1) Ryan Murphy’s concept for American Horror Story came from wanting to write darker, more horrifying content after working on Glee. “I was like, ‘I can't write any more nice speeches for these Glee kids'," he said.
2) Unlike most TV shows, American Horror Story is still shot on film — a tradition that was started by Chris Baffa during Murder House.
3) Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy first met in 2004 when they both wrapped shows on The WB.
4) Before casting Paulson in AHS, Murphy originally wanted her to play Emma Pillsbury on Glee.
5) Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson previously worked together on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie.
6) Lange helped get Paulson cast in Murder House. At a benefit, she reportedly turned to Murphy and said, “Can't you find something for Paulson [in Murder House]?"
7) Evan Peters was originally interested in acting because he wanted to meet the Olsen Twins.
8) Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka turned down being the couple that once owned the house in Murder House.
9) Peters had to be lubricated head-to-toe in order to get into the Rubber Man suit. The costume was so tight that he tore a lot of suits while doing stunts.
10) The crew hand-built the entire interior set for Asylum — over 50-60 carpenters helped assemble it.
11) After filming intense scenes for Asylum, Lily Rabe and Zachary Quinto would play the guitar and banjo for the cast.
12) In fact, Jessica Lange suggested doing "The Name Game" musical number because she wanted to do something light after filming such a dark season.
13) Paulson signed on to play Lana Winters without even knowing what the role was.
14) The first scene she shot as Lana was when she undergoes shock therapy.
15) Paulson’s work in Asylum was some of the hardest and most emotionally draining acting she’s ever done. She said, “There were moments where I did go into a corner on the set and just bawl my eyes out because it was just a very traumatic thing to play.”
16) Denis O’Hare’s makeup for Spalding in Coven was partially inspired by Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
17) For the first few episodes of Coven when Cordelia loses her sight, Paulson actually couldn’t see because of the contact lenses she had to wear — they later gave her a set of contacts where she could partially see.
18) Kathy Bates’s Baltimore accent in Freak Show was so difficult to learn that she even talked with it off-screen.
19) Ben Woolf, who played Meep, was actually a preschool teacher IRL. His work on American Horror Story was an extra job.
20) Paulson’s scenes as Bette and Dot in Freak Show took 12-15 hours to film.
21) She would record her dialogue as one of the twins and then wear an earpiece and listen to herself while playing the other.
22) Special effects artists created two animatronic heads for Bette and Dot. The conjoined twins were a combination of the animatronic heads and special effects created in post-production.
23) Lady Gaga actually contacted Murphy first saying that she was interested in a role on AHS.
24) Peters was originally supposed to star as Tristan in Hotel — a role that ultimately went to Finn Wittrock.
25) He said that the scenes he found the hardest to film were when Mr. March has sex while killing a girl. He said, “I blocked them out. I’m like, ‘I can’t even think about it.’”
26) There was an entire room dedicated to Lady Gaga’s costumes for Hotel.
27) Lady Gaga worked closely with costume designer Lou Eyrich to help create The Countess’s costumes.
28) Designers that previously worked with Lady Gaga sent pieces from their archives and upcoming fashion shows — original Versace pieces were loaned to the show from Gaga's personal collection as well.
29) The cellphone footage used in Roanoke was actually filmed by the actors on their cellphones.
30) Despite having appeared in Murder House, Adina Porter had to re-audition for her part in Roanoke.
31) Murphy incorporated Sarah Paulson’s real-life phobias into Cult: clowns, heights, bees, and trypophobia.
32) Peters didn’t know he’d be playing more than one role in Cult until they began filming.
33) In Cult, when Meadow is in an open grave, they actually dug a grave at the house where they were filming. On top of that, Billy Eichner actually shoveled real dirt onto Leslie Grossman.
34) Peters’ favorite AHS roles so far have been Tate from Murder House and Mr. March from Hotel.