TV Shows

All The Theories You Need To Know About American Horror Story: 1984

It’s easy to get distracted by the campy aesthetic of American Horror Story’s ninth season, but don’t forget: There’s a psycho killer on the loose! Actually, in American Horror Story: 1984, there are multiple killers at large. 

In this slasher movie-inspired season, wide-eyed ingenue Brooke (Emma Roberts) narrowly escapes Los Angeles serial killer the Night Stalker by joining new friends for a counselor gig at Camp Redwood. Unfortunately, Brooke learns too late that the secluded lakeside camp has a blood history all its own. 


As revealed in the show’s first episode, former worker Mr. Jingles (portrayed by an unrecognizable John Carroll Lynch, the same man who terrified as Twisty the Clown on American Horror Story: Freak Show) killed nine people at Camp Redwood a decade earlier. When Mr. Jingles busts out of the mental institution that kept him locked away for years, it’s clear that his killing spree is only getting started. Not great news for Brooke, but definitely bad news for her coke-snorting, co-ed fornicating friends. (Haven’t they ever seen a slasher movie?)

American Horror Story: 1984 pays homage to iconic genre films like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Sleepaway Camp, and Nightmare on Elm Street. However, don’t expect a straight-up slasher with this series. On American Horror Story, things are rarely as they appear to be, and there’s always a twist that turns everything on its head.

Every week, we theorize what could happen next on the new season — and what surprises may be right around the corner.

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Theory: Season 10 Of

American Horror Story

Will Be About Urban Legends

In episode 8, reporter Stacy (Stefanie Black) references the show In Search Of, a series all about mysterious phenomena like Bigfoot, aliens, and the Bermuda Triangle. Could this be the show teasing the theme of season 10? Murphy did recently claim to TV Guide that there will be a big "clue" to the next season's theme in episode 8.
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Theory: Finn Wittrock Will Play Jingles' Son

In "The Lady in White," we learn that Jingles desperately wants to protect his son from Ramirez, so much so that he ends his life in order to break up the pact he made with the serial killer. Finn Wittrock, who returns to the series in upcoming episodes, could portray the son at a later point in his life.

Status Of This Theory? Turns out, fans were right! Wittrock returns to the franchise as Jingles' baby, all grown up and ready to explore Camp Redwood in 2019.
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Theory: Richard Ramirez Is The Antichrist

Michael Langdon, is that you? Given the bizarre resurrection following the Night Stalker's death, it's possible he has powers far greater than a normal, human serial killer. Is it Camp Redwood that holds the supernatural connection...or Ramirez?

Status Of This Theory? There's nothing super special about Ramirez after all. At the end of the season, he's just another ghost the other ghosts love murdering over and over again.
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Theory: Margaret Is Actually Real Estate Agent Marcy

In American Horror Story's first season, Marcy (Christine Estabrook) sells the Harmon family the Murder House. Margaret is swiping up haunted properties left and right. Could she really be Marcy, just decades earlier? Marcy could theoretically be a nickname for Margaret, no?

Status Of This Theory? Nope. As far as we know, Marg is just Marg.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX Networks.

Theory: The Night Stalker Never Attacked Brooke At All 

The Night Stalker, aka Richard Ramirez (a real murderer that terrorized Los Angeles and is portrayed by Zach Villa this season), attacks Brooke in her home, prompting her to join the other counselors at Camp Redwood. Except, here’s the thing: Brooke only sees the Night Stalker after learning of his existence from Xavier (Cody Fern). Brooke’s even the one who notes that serial killers attack more often in the summer, when “people leave their windows open.” Maybe Brooke got attacked by the Night Stalker — or maybe Brooke hallucinated the whole thing because she’s not as stable as she appears to be. 

Status Of This Theory? The Night Stalker is totally real, totally evil, and Brooke's not crazy at all — though she's definitely traumatized given the whole Camp Redwood situation.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX Networks.

Theory: Margaret Booth Is The Killer

Camp owner Margaret lost an ear when she was attacked by Mr. Jingles years earlier but lived to tell the tale. Now, she’s super religious and frowns upon the bad behaviors of the counselors under her thumb. Considering that Mr. Jingles technically spared her life during his killing spree, maybe she’ll team up with Jingles to take out the counselors who aren’t living their most saintly lives.

Status of This Theory? Confirmed. Jingles didn't kill those counselors back in the day. Instead, it was Margaret who went on the murder spree to get back at the counselors who mocked her. (The twist is very Friday the 13th, as while Jingles is hardly a good guy now, he wasn't the OG murderer.)
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Photo: Courtesy of FX Networks.

Theory: Brooke Is Secretly A Killer

Sure, Brooke seems as innocent as they come...and that’s what makes her the most suspicious character. We don’t know anything about Brooke’s past, only that she’s new to Los Angeles and planning on becoming a vet tech. Is she shy and reserved by nature or is she hiding some big, dark secret?! 

It wouldn’t be the first time that American Horror Story flipped our expectations of the show’s main character on its head. In American Horror Story: Hotel, Wes Bentley’s Detective John Lowe is revealed to be the serial killer he is investigating.

Status of This Theory? Brooke's dark past was revealed in episode 2. At the altar on her wedding day, Brooke's jealous would-be husband shot and killed the friend he presumed was sleeping with Brooke, then shot himself. Brooke swears she didn't actually have an affair (not that it would excuse the violence if she did.)

It turns out, Brooke's story was the real deal. She was just an innocent victim in all of this.
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Theory: Camp Redwood Is The Next Murder House

The ghost of a camper run over and killed the night of Mr. Jingles' massacre is still lurking around the camp, believing it's that fateful night. Are the other deceased campers also hanging out at the camp? If so, maybe Camp Redwood is more than just a place where something horrible happened: Maybe it has some supernatural pull to it, a la the Murder House. When you die in Camp Redwood...maybe you never really die.

Status Of This Theory? If the Murder House is its own sort of purgatory, then so is Camp Redwood. Most of the counselors are dead, but unable to leave Camp Redwood. Montana, however, is pretty cool with it: She declared she's ready to be a "god" of the camp, despite being killed by Brooke.
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Theory: Mr. Jingles Is Out For Revenge On Margaret

The undead camper claimed Mr. Jingles ran over him with his car. Margaret claimed Mr. Jingles was in the camp, slaughtering her friends. These two facts could both be true — maybe Mr. Jingles hit the camper after his massacre? — but it's also possible that Margaret is fibbing about something. Did she really commit these murders, then blame Jingles for it? Or could she and Jingles have plotted against the campers together, only for Margaret to throw Jingles under the bus?

Status Of This Theory? Sorta kinda. Jingles thought he really did kill those counselors, thanks to years of shock therapy, but when Margaret gloated about her crimes, he quickly decided he wanted her dead.
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Theory: The Show Is Actually Just A Movie

Slashers were huge in the '80s, and American Horror Story: 1984 definitely leans into all the same tropes. Since the show takes place in Los Angeles, maybe the characters we know on the show are actually "acting" in a movie about Camp Redwood, and by the end of the series, we'll see the revealed actors be tormented by a real serial killer instead.

Status Of This Theory? Nope. Everything that happened in Camp Redwood was real and ridiculous.
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Theory: Montana Has Beef With Brooke

At the end of episode 3, Montana (Billie Lourd) reveals she's in cahoots with the Night Stalker. She asks Ramirez why he hasn't "killed her yet," likely referring to Brooke. As far as we know, Brooke and Montana met for the first time in aerobics class, but Montana did take a liking to her immediately. Maybe that was all a ploy to get her to Camp Redwood.

The most plausible theory is that Montana is somehow connected to Brooke's deceased husband, or one of the people he killed. Montana didn't buy Brooke's insistence that she wasn't cheating on her would-be hubby. If Montana is convinced Brooke's infidelity is the reason the person Montana loved is dead, it would be a decent enough reason to want Brooke gone.

Status Of This Theory? Ding, ding, ding! The best man at Brooke's wedding was Montana's brother, so when she and the Night Stalker started hooking up, she used her relationship with him to seek revenge on Brooke.

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