All the ‘American Horror Story’ houses & where to find them

Lauren Morling
16 Min Read
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / IMDB

Both Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the co-creators of American Horror Story, have a knack for weaving chilling narratives that orbit around an eerie house with malevolent secrets.

Within these haunting houses, arguably characters in their own right, they blur the lines between history, horror, and the supernatural.

In each series of the American Horror Story anthology, these houses are more than just film settings. They embody the show’s sinister nature, captivating you with their foreboding presence.

And much to our delight, several of them are inspired by real-life buildings, while some are purpose-built for the show. Keep reading as we delve into each American Horror Story season and pin down whether the house (or other prominent location) featured at the center of the story is a real-life abode or not.

Tracking down all the American Horror Story houses, hotels & primary locations – by season

Season 1: The Murder House

Season one’s Murder House marks the inaugural season of this spine-tingling anthology series.

Set in a haunted house with a dark and twisted history, it revolves around the Harmon family who move into the infamous residence. As the Harmons start to rebuild their fractured lives, they discover their new home conceals a multitude of sinister secrets and restless spirits from its disturbing past.

The house’s role

The Murder House becomes a character in itself, entwined with the tales of those who have lived and died within its walls.

Scene from Season 1 filmed outside the American Horror Story house. Photo credit: FX
Scene from Season 1 filmed outside the American Horror Story house. Photo credit: FX

Its eerie corridors and concealed secrets draw in both characters and viewers, creating an unsettling atmosphere. The house serves as a catalyst for the supernatural occurrences that plague the lives of those who live within it, blurring the lines between the living and the dead.

Is it real?

Yes, it is! The real-life mansion used for exterior scenes is called Rosenheim Mansion, and it’s located at 1120 Westchester Place in Los Angeles, California.

It was built in the 1900s as a private residence in what was then known as “Billionaire’s Row”. It took five years to build and became known as one of the finest homes in Los Angeles.

Keep reading: Is it real? The Mansion in ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’

Season 2: Briarcliff Manor “Asylum”

The second season ventures into the dark and haunting halls of Briarcliff Manor, a mental institution in the 1960s.

The chilling narrative delves into madness, horror, and the supernatural. It explores the lives of the patients, staff, and the disturbing forces lurking within the asylum’s walls. Here, the lines between sanity and insanity blur, harboring dark secrets, chilling experiments, and tortured souls.

The property’s role in the story

Briarcliff Manor becomes a symbol of repression, cruelty, and the manipulation of power.

The asylum’s architecture mirrors the twisted minds of both patients and staff. Its ominous halls, shadowy corners, and forbidden spaces harbor unspeakable horrors, including unethical treatments, grotesque experiments, and the haunting presence of evil entities.

Is it real?

Briarcliff Manor does exist, but the series wasn’t filmed there. The exterior shots of the asylum scenes were actually filmed at the Romanesque Revival-style Orange County Courthouse located at 211 W Santa Ana Blvd in Santa Ana, California.

The real Briarcliff Manor from American Horror Story S02 is actually the Orange County Courthouse located at 211 W Santa Ana Blvd in Santa Ana, California
The real Briarcliff Manor from American Horror Story S02 is actually the Orange County Courthouse located at 211 W Santa Ana Blvd in Santa Ana, California. Photo credit: Arnold C (Buchanan-Hermit), CC by 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The asylum itself was based on Willowbrook State School, an institution for intellectually impaired children in Staten Island, New York that operated between 1947 and 1987.

Season 3: Miss Robichaux’s Academy “Coven”

Set in present-day New Orleans, the third season of American Horror Story centers around Miss Robichaux’s Academy, a school for young witches.

The academy serves as a haven where these witches learn to unlock their powers and discover the mysteries of their heritage.

See also: The Mayfair Witches house is real… And it neighbors Anne Rice’s former home!

Set against the backdrop of New Orleans’ rich history steeped in voodoo and witchcraft, the season explores the themes of sisterhood, power struggles, and the eternal battle between good and evil.

The AHS Coven house’s role

The Buckner Mansion in New Orleans served as the AHS Coven house in Season 3 of the popular series. Photo credit: APK, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Miss Robichaux’s Academy, which also came to be known as “the American Horror Story Coven house” exudes an academic serenity that masks the occult secrets hidden within its walls.

This duality sets a mood of both tranquility and underlying tension. The ornate architecture, winding corridors, and hidden nooks help create a sense of mystery and enchantment.

Is it real?

Yes, it is! The Buckner Mansion at 1410 Jackson Avenue, New Orleans, was the set of Coven. It was also featured in the show’s tenth season, Apocalypse.

It was built as a family home in 1856 by Henry Sullivan Buckner before it became a school. It’s now privately owned and rented out.

Season 4: Freak Show Campgrounds

The fourth series transports us to the peculiar world of a traveling freak show in 1950s Jupiter, Florida. The series explores the lives, struggles, and interconnected stories of the performers, each with their own unique talents and haunting pasts.

The campground serves as a haven for society’s outcasts, where the performers find a sense of belonging amidst the flickering lights and colorful tents.

It’s within this paradoxical space that they find community bonded by shared experiences and the desire for acceptance.

The campground’s role

While the season doesn’t revolve around a specific house, it’s deeply rooted in the vibrant and unsettling atmosphere of the freak show campgrounds.

The Freak Show campgrounds in American Horror Story, Season 4. Photo credit: IMDB
The Freak Show campgrounds in American Horror Story, Season 4. Photo credit: IMDB

The campgrounds serve as a backdrop for the intricate relationships, secrets, and the dark side of the showbiz world, where the line between spectacle and horror blurs.

Is it real?

The actual film set for Freak Show is located in Jefferson Parish outside New Orleans — on an exterior set located off the River Road.

The lot was located down a gravel road near Brother’s Food Mart. Longue Vue House & Gardens in New Orleans’ Garden District was used for the exterior shots.

Season 5: Hotel Cortez

The fifth season of American Horror Story spins a dark and seductive tale around the haunting Hotel Cortez, where the living, the dead, and the supernatural collide.

Set in present-day Los Angeles, the season unravels within the walls of this creepy establishment, led by the Countess, played by Lady Gaga.

Related: See Lady Gaga’s house in Malibu, which she calls her ‘Gypsy Palace’

The season blends supernatural horror with psychology, delving into the twisted desires and secrets of the building’s residents.

The hotel’s role in the storyline

Hotel Cortez is a character in its own right where the lives of its guests, inhabitants, and supernatural entities collide. Its opulent yet sinister architecture set the scene for the series’ dark and intricate narrative.

The facade of the fictional Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story, S05. Photo credit: IMDB
The fictional Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story, S05. Photo credit: IMDB

Within its striking yet foreboding corridors, the Hotel Cortez reveals a haunting history, including unsettling tales of addiction, murder, and the supernatural.

Is it a real hotel?

No, it’s not. Hotel Cortez was based on the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, but it was created on a purpose-built soundstage specifically for the series. Exterior shots were filmed at the James Oviatt Building, in downtown Los Angeles.

Season 6: The Roanoke House

The sixth season tells a chilling tale set in the mysterious Roanoke House, nestled in rural North Carolina.

Presented in a documentary-style format, the season peels back the layers of horror that lurk within the walls of the farmhouse. As the past and present collide, the house’s dark history seeps into the lives of its inhabitants, unleashing terror that defies conventional storytelling.

The Roanoke house’s role in the story

American Horror Story’s Roanoke House is an ominous character and a driving force for the haunting narrative of the season.

American Horror Story's Roanoke House. Photo credit: IMDB
American Horror Story’s Roanoke House. Photo credit: IMDB

It embodies the horror genre’s quintessential haunted dwelling. Its creaking corridors, hidden secrets, and foreboding atmosphere intensify the sense of fear and suspense.

The house has a chilling influence, warping reality and sanity, and plunging those within its grasp into a terrifying nightmare.

Is it real?

While the Roanoke house’s address at 900 Sappony Road in Martin County, North Carolina does exist, as does the Shaker Mansion which inspired the on-screen version, the series was not filmed on location.

You might be disappointed to hear that the old farmhouse from American Horror Story: Roanoke doesn’t actually exist. It was purpose-built in a California forest and took four months to complete.

But the crew put a lot of effort into creating the Roanoke house. They didn’t just create an outside shell, but rather complex interiors complete with rooms and furnishings — including the iconic spiral staircase that’s a trademark of Brad Falchuk’s series.

Season 7: Ally and Ivy’s House “Cult”

The seventh season unfolds within the deceptively normal confines of Ally and Ivy’s house, a suburban home that becomes a frightening battleground.

The season explores societal fears, manipulation, and psychological terror in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Within this suburban haven, the house becomes a symbol of both refuge and dread as the characters struggle with their deepest anxieties.

The house’s role on the show

The house morphs from a symbol of comfort to a breeding ground for fear and manipulation. Within its walls, paranoia festers, mirroring the characters’ deteriorating mental states.

The exterior of Ally and Ivy's house in American Horror Story: Cult. Photo credit: Google Streetview
The exterior of Ally and Ivy’s house in American Horror Story: Cult. Photo credit: Google Streetview

It transforms into a haunting symbol of societal anxieties and the breakdown of “normal”, where the horrors of manipulation, cultism, and psychological turmoil blur the boundaries between reality and the surreal.

Is it real?

Yes, it is! The 2,604-square-foot property that played the role of Ally and Ivy’s house on AHS is located at 1537 N Orange Grove Avenue. Set on an 8,102-square-foot lot, the 1962-built home boasts five bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. While it’s currently off-market, the property is estimated to be worth approximately $2.5 million.

Season 8: Outpost 3 “Apocalypse”

American Horror Story: Apocalypse explores a desolate world following a nuclear disaster. Outpost 3 emerges as the last refuge for the strongest survivors.

However, within the shelter’s walls, tensions rise, power dynamics shift, and uncanny events occur. As the world outside becomes more dangerous, Outpost 3 becomes a pressure cooker of terror and internal conflict, where survival instincts clash with the horrors lurking within.

The property’s role in the storyline

Outpost 3 plays a key role in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, providing a refuge of opulence and decay that provides both safety and confinement.

Scene taking place inside Outpost 3 in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Photo credit: IMDB
Scene taking place inside Outpost 3 in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Photo credit: IMDB

Amidst the struggle for control and survival, the shelter becomes a battleground, where characters are trapped between the devastation of the outside world and eerie supernatural elements.

Is it a real place?

A lot of the season was filmed at FOX Studios in Los Angeles, with some filming taking place at real-life locations, including some featured in previous seasons of the hit TV series.

Actual locations include King Gillette Ranch, Rosenheim Mansion (the Murder House), Sepulveda Dam, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Golden Oak Ranch, and Charlton Flats Picnic.

Exterior shots are filmed at Buckner Mansion in New Orleans (the same one used for AHS:Coven) and the James Oviatt Building in Los Angeles.

Season 9: Camp Redwood “1984”

American Horror Story:1984 unfolds at Camp Redwood, a haunting summer camp with a dark and sinister history. Set in the 1980s, the season is a classic horror where a group of young counselors arrive at seemingly tranquil campgrounds.

Scene at Camp Redwood in American Horror Story: 1984. Photo credit: IMDB

As the counselors settle in, the idyllic setting transforms into a stage for terror, where masked killers and supernatural elements pay homage to the slasher genre of the ’80s.

Camp Redwood’s role in the series

The summer camp serves as a chilling location for setting the tone, building suspense, and shaping the narrative. Amidst the isolated woods and cabins lies an undercurrent of terror.

Its tranquil yet enclosed grounds become a playground for murderers and supernatural events, heightening the suspense.

Is it real?

No, it’s not. Camp Redwood itself was created by the production team. However, you can visit Franklin Canyon Park near Los Angeles where a lot of the series was filmed.

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