Following up on the promise to begin revealing clues about the fourth season of American Horror Story in this season’s eleventh episode—an episode that, not coincidentally, airs tonight—creator Ryan Murphy has revealed to Entertainment Weekly what year will provide the backdrop upon which he splatters as much crazy shit as possible, before adding a soupçon of crazy shit. “It’s set in 1950,” Murphy says, thus confirming the rampant speculation that, like Asylum, the next chapter of the anthology series would be another period piece—speculation that began pretty much as soon as Murphy suggested Jessica Lange would be playing “a Marlene Dietrich figure.” To that end, Murphy says Lange has “already started practicing her German accent,” though any further details, and what a terrifying sound that must be, are left to the imagination.
However, besides whatever hints are dropped in tonight’s episode, Murphy says, “If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year.” The beginning of Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunt? The creation of the hydrogen bomb? The commencement of the Korean War? The relocation of Dr. Wehrner von Braun into the U.S. space program (which would make sense, given its possible New Mexico setting)? The formation of the German secret police? The manufacturing of the first Volkswagen Microbus? The publication of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics? The first-ever Peanuts comic? Knowing American Horror Story, yes, all of these.