Murder House in FX’s American Horror Story

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The Murder House as a Symbol

The Murder House in American Horror Story is a place where anyone who dies by it is forced to be a ghost and haunt the house. The Murder House is a symbol for punishment and repentance. American Horror Story’s Murder House features most of the characters having done bad things, and much of their interpretation is that Murder House is punishing them for their sins.

This starts from the very first ghosts that inhabit the Murder House, Charles and Nora Montgomery. Charles was forced to haunt the Murder House because he had turned their child into a Frankenstein monster after he was killed by one of the many women he experimented on. Likewise, his wife Nora was forced to walk the house because she was a crude woman who belittled Charles constantly and refused to take care of their child at all.


Since then, there have been many other victims of the Murder House in American Horror Story. There were two bratty twins who vandalized property and ended up being murdered in the house by one of the ghosts and left haunting it. Larry Harvey told his wife that he was going to leave her, so she set the house on fire with their children in it. They were forced to haunt the Murder House, meaning Larry’s wife committed a big enough of a sin to be trapped there.

 Tate Langdon was a part of a school shooting and came back to the house and was killed by the police, which led to him haunting the house as well. Tate also killed Chad and Patrick, a couple that was broken by infidelity, and the rift in their relationship led to their punishment of haunting the house. Hayden McClaine was a selfish and vengeful woman who was killed by Larry Harvey inside the Murder House, meaning she had to stay there for the rest of her afterlife.

The Murder House symbolizes repentance as well though. While most of the more sinister ghosts in the house continue to be sociopathic and vengeful, they are still haunted by their own selfish wants and desires they had in the living realm. However, when you look at the Harmon family, you can find a more positive interpretation of the Murder House.

When the Harmons move into the Murder House, they are having massive problems getting along. Ben cheated on his wife Vivien with one of his students and their daughter Violet was rebellious and rude to her parents. However, while their lives become increasingly worse during the season and they seem to drift apart even more, it is only in death where they manage to come together again. At the end of the season, the entire family is dead and haunting the house.

Ben and Vivien reconcile their marriage after death and Violet comes to appreciate her parents and enjoys spending time with them. Collectively, the family works together to scare a family out of staying in the house so they don’t go through what they did. At the end of American Horror Story, Murder House was meant to allow the ghosts to repent for their sins, but only the Harmon family was really able to come around and become better for it.