Surprise, bitch: A new season of American Horror Story is on the horizon. Yes, Ryan Murphy’s annual fright fest is coming back some time this fall and, as per usual, we don’t know much about what’s ahead. Murphy is notoriously secretive about the AHS seasons; we often don’t know the theme or the full cast or anything until roughly a month before the show’s premiere.
That being said, there are some tidbits about the ninth installation that are trickling out. A few cast members have already confirmed their return, while others have announced they’re sitting this season out. Murphy, who isn’t that active on social media, has teased a few things on Instagram as well. We may be still pretty much in the dark when it comes to American Horror Story season nine, but there’s enough info out there to get fans excited.
So let’s dig in, shall we? Here’s everything we know about the latest season of AHS.
The premiere date: Unless Murphy decides to break form, expect season nine to premiere either in September or October of 2019.
The cast: The only confirmed cast members so far are Emma Roberts and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, who will play boyfriend and girlfriend, according to Murphy. Sarah Paulson and Billy Eichner appeared on Watch What Happens Live in January and revealed they know details about season nine, which suggests they’re both returning. Unfortunately, though, Evan Peters—who’s been a staple on AHS since its inception—is not appearing on this season. He confirmed the news in April, telling Extra, “No, I’m going to sit this season out.”
The theme: Nothing’s been announced yet, but the dominant theory is that season nine centers on aliens. There have been multiple references to extraterrestrials throughout AHS, most notably in “Asylum.” But even “Apocalypse,” the most recent season, had some alien themes: Venable, Paulson’s character, called the outpost servants “grays,” which is a popular nickname for aliens. Also, in one episode, Kathy Bates’ character performed the same song HAL does in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
There’s also a theory that suggests each AHS season represents one of the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno. There are only two circles left: lust and violence. “Apocalypse” could easily represent violence (there was so much carnage last season), which means season nine might center on lust. Murphy himself cosigned this theory, posting it to his Instagram with a one-word caption: “Interesting.”
The characters: “Apocalypse” saw the return of the “Coven” witches—including the true Supreme, Madison Montgomery—but they won’t be hanging around for season nine. Fan-favorite characters have been known to make cameo appearances, but my prediction is we’re looking at a slate of new narratives this time around.
The next season: AHS has been renewed for a tenth season, so we’ll at have at least one more round of scares after season nine ends.
Of course, we’ll update this post with more AHS information as it comes in.
Christopher Rosa is the entertainment staff writer at Glamour. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisrosa92.