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AHS: How to watch American Horror Story in release and chronological order

From Murder House to NYC, here's how to watch FX's massively successful anthology of scary stories

Image credit: FX

Yeah, I know, Halloween is over. But for some of us, spooky season is a lifestyle more than a time of year - we find the creepy at Christmastime, the sinister in summer, the abomination in Arbor Day. For some dedicated fans, horror is unbound by place, culture, or, yes, season. Case in point: American Horror Story.

FX's long-running horror anthology and its spinoff, American Horror Stories, are watchable at any time of year, from the depths of October to the bright-and-shiny (hiss) middle of July. And yet, hopping into the franchise isn't as easy as picking a day to start binging. With over twelve years of gortytelling in its repetoire, maybe the scariest thing about AHS is the commitment.

Fortunately for newcomers, there are a couple all-year fright fanatics right here at Popverse, myself included. And since I'm both a firm believer in the constantly creepy calendar and missing the heights of Halloween, I thought I'd put together this American Horor Story watch order.

Let's begin with the obvious.

How to watch the American Horror Story franchise in release order

Image credit: FX

If you're looking for simplicity, the easiest way to get into American Horror Story and American Horror Stories is to check the dates they came out and follow them. Starting in 2011, here's the horror anthology series in release order:

It's a lot of content, but one thing that American Horror Story has going for it is the fact that it's an anthology show. Sure, there are recurring characters and themes, but you can pretty much start with any season and enjoy it how you want.

And yet, there's a certain appeal to watching something chronologically - not in the way it was released, but in its internal chronology. Yes, the American Horror Story franchise is set in the same, linear universe, and if you're interested in tracking its timeline, you'd better ask yourself...

How to watch the American Horror Story franchise in chronological order

Image credit: FX

I won't lie, watching American Horror Stories and its parent show this way is kind of the 'expert mode' of binging. You're going to have to hop between shows, mix up the seasons, and keep track of the timeline. But if you do choose this path, know that I'm proud of you. And to make it easier, here's the order you need to watch the show, plus the year in which each season, episode, or season of episodes takes place.

  • 1757 - American Horror Stories, Season Two, Episode Four
  • 1952 - American Horror Story, Season 4: Freak Show
  • 1954 - American Horror Story, Season 10: Double Feature, Episodes 7-9
  • 1961 - American Horror Stories, Season Two, Episode One
  • 1964 - American Horror Story, Season 2: Asylum
  • 1973 - American Horror Story, Season 10: Double Feature, Episode 10
  • 1981 - American Horror Story, Season 11: NYC, Episodes 1-8
  • 1984 - American Horror Story, Season 9: 1984
  • 1987 - American Horror Story, Season 11: NYC, Episodes 9 & 10
  • 2011 - American Horror Story, Season 1: Murder House
  • 2013 - American Horror Story, Season 3: Coven
  • 2015 - American Horror Story, Season 5: Hotel
  • 2016 & 2017 - American Horror Story, Season 7: Cult
  • 2021 - American Horror Story, Season 10: Double Feature, Episodes 1-6
  • 2021 - American Horror Stories, Season One
  • 2022 - American Horror Stories, Season Two, Episodes 2 & 3
  • 2022 - American Horror Stories, Season Two, Episodes 5-8
  • 2023 - American Horror Story, Season 12: Delicate
  • 2023 - American Horror Stories, Season Three
  • 2026 - American Horror Story, Season 8: Apocalypse

One benefit of watching the shows this way is that you get to track a loose arc to an otherwise arcless franchise; a history of horrors starting in the witchy past and ending in a very relevant apocalypse. But however you choose to experience it, you're going to need somewhere to stream the scares.

Where can I watch American Horror Story/Stories?

Image credit: FX

Great news, freaky fans. Though the American Horror Story saga stretches across time periods, subgenres, and plenty of different styles, there's one place you can go to watch each and every episode listed above. That place is Hulu.

We can't promise you'll survive the American Horror Story/Stories binge, but at the very least, it'll be a convenient one.

Will there be more American Horror Story/Stories?

Image credit: FX

Yes! All the way back in 2020, Deadline reported that FX renewed American Horror Story for three more seasons after that year. One of those seasons, NYC, is already wrapped, and this year's Delicate is the second. That leaves one season, the unnamed 13 (spooky!) still on the table. So just what is that one going to be about?

Unfortunately, we're not sure of almost anything about American Horror Story Season 13. Keep in mind, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have just recently ended, and while those were ongoining, plans for future TV shows across networks were on hold. So for now, the next addition to the American Horror Story anthologies is something like a horror villain itself - hard to describe, harder to pin down, but definitely lurking just around the corner.

As far as the show's not-so-differently titled spinoff (seriously, SEO must be hell for these people), we know even less. As of this writing, there's been no official announcement of an American Horror Stories Season Four or rumors thereof.

But if you're new to the series, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. With 136 episodes, over 100 hours of content, and a maze of macabre machinations, American Horror Story and American Horror Stories will keep the fright in you alive... no matter the season.

I know I implied earlier that Christmas isn't usually a time for horror. But the thing is, there are some pretty damn good Christmas horror movies.