Architecture and American Horror Story: Reading ‘Murder House’ on Murderous Bodies

  • Antonia MackayEmail author


Using theories of feminist corporeality, and drawing on the works of Beatriz Colomina (Sexuality and Space), Elizabeth Grosz (Volatile Bodies) and Gilles Deleuze (A Thousand Plateaus), this chapter seeks to read American Horror Story’s first season, “Murder House”, through the architecture of the home. In doing so, this chapter intends to read the effect of the haunted house on the bodies who reside within its frames, and therefore the formation of identity. This chapter argues that a reading of the architectural environment in “Murder House” provides the impetus for both seemingly gender normative and also non-normative behaviour (murderous, demonic and disfigured), suggesting it is the architectural space of the renovated Victorian mansion which can maim, morph and manipulate bodies into conforming to familial normality, or else transgress into heterogeneous (and potentially non-human) identities.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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