American Horror Story Actress Says New Season Is So Scary She Couldn’t Sleep After First Filming

American Horror Story has rightfully earned the reputation of consistently scaring its viewers, but the cast and producers of the hit FX series promise that the newest season, American Horror Story: Freak Show is the scariest yet.

In fact, actress Kathy Bates confessed that filming the show literally kept her up at night, claiming “After my first scene last week — and this is a terrible confession to make — I couldn’t sleep until six in the morning, and then I slept for 30 hours,” Bates said. “And that was without drugs, I swear to God. I think [Ryan Murphy] scares the s–t out of me.”

Ryan Murphy is one of the two producers of the show, along with Brad Falchuk. The series is a unique concept, described as an anthology series, meaning that although many of the actors and actresses re-appear each season, each season is actually a self-contained, unrelated mini-series, and the actors and actresses are cast into new, unrelated roles every season.


American Horror Story took Comic-Con by storm, announcing the cast for season four, as well as the characters’ names. Brief snippets about the characters and the show itself were also revealed, although the show’s producers continued with their penchant of revealing only enough to generate buzz and excitement, while keeping details under wraps.

AHS: Freak Show’s cast includes veteran American Horror Story actors Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Gabourey Sidibe, Jaimie Brewer, and the show’s returning superstar Jessica Lange. Producers have also added to the cast, bringing aboard Michael Chiklis, John Carroll Lynch, and Finn Wittrock, among others.

The show is set in Jupiter, Florida in the 1950s and focuses on one of the last American freak shows. Jessica Lange will play Elsa Mars, the head of the freakshow and ex-wife of Chiklis, who will be playing strongman Wendell del Toredo and is currently married to Desiree Dupree, played by Angela Bassett. Kathy Bates plays Ethel Darling, with Evan Peters as her son, Jimmy.

Perhaps the most interesting role – or roles – go to Sarah Paulson, who appears as a set of conjoined twins, Bette and Dot. The second head, Paulson says, is not a prosthetic, and taping her characters takes 22 people on set every time they shoot. The two characters she plays are very different. In fact, Paulson admits that she even has a favorite head, claiming “Right now, a week in, Bette is my favorite character. It’s like Sybil. I should call Sally Field and get some tips.”

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on FX in October. If you plan on watching, you may find yourself sleeping with the lights on!

[Images Via FX and Mariano Villalba]