This year, American Horror Story’s cryptic, beach-themed teaser hinted at what’s to come for season 10. While the short video introduced the show’s tenth season cast (which includes Macaulay Culkin and the return of fan favorites Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson) it didn’t reveal any plot information.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the next season of American Horror Story isn’t filming on schedule, making it one of many productions that have had to rearrange their shooting plans. However, according to creator Ryan Murphy, season 10’s unique theme could throw the whole series schedule off kilter, even after productions resume again.
“A lot of what I was going to shoot was dependent on a very specific moment,” Murphy told The Wrap of the upcoming season. “It was a weather-dependent show. So now I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t know what I’m gonna do next with that show. I don’t know if I’ll accelerate another season or wait [until] next year to shoot this one.”
Thus far, it’s unclear why Murphy would need to film in warmer weather months, but it does give credence to the theory that American Horror Story will explore the mystery surrounding the so-called “Lady of the Dunes.”
In March, it was reported that a new Murphy production, assumed to be American Horror Story, was readying to film in Provincetown, Mass. This is the same town where the body of a woman was discovered in 1974. “The Lady of the Dunes” was found in the sand dunes of Cape Cod, missing her hands. Thus far, she has never been identified...but true crime enthusiasts have their theories.
Some people suspect that the mysterious woman may have appeared as a background actor in the movie Jaws, which was filmed nearby on Martha’s Vineyard the same year the body was found. In 2018, author Joe Hill pointed out a woman wearing a blue bandana that looks suspiciously like an image of the reconstructed face of the Lady of the Dunes. The background actress has not been identified, and thus far, no one claiming to be her or even know her has come forward.
This mystery could be the thing that kicks off this season of American Horror Story, which routinely borrows from real-life creepy history. Season 9’s 1984 featured a fictionalized (ghostly) version of “The Night Stalker,” aka Richard Ramirez (Zach Villa). Other seasons included real people like famous murder victim Elizabeth Short, aka “The Black Dahlia” (Mena Suvari) and torturer and slave owner Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates).
Per Murphy’s comment, the planned season could take place around summertime on Cape Cod, when the Lady of the Dunes may (or may not) have appeared as a background character in Jaws. With many productions having to push their filming dates back through summer and into fall or beyond, however, it’s possible that it may simply be too cold in Massachusetts for AHS to film a beach-centered season.
Still, if Murphy did want to borrow from this crazy murder mystery, it would fit right in line with what we’ve come to expect from AHS. It may be worth the wait.