American Horror Story’s Season 6 Teaser Reveals a New Monster That Will Make You Never Take the Stairs Again

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American Horror Story has already dropped a half dozen titillating teasers for its upcoming return to TV, but what’s wrong with one more? As with all things Ryan Murphyrelated, the show employs a “more is more” approach to building buzz for the sixth season premiere, arriving Wednesday, September 14.

Another super creepy promo for the FX series was released Friday, August 12, and like its predecessors, it’s an inspired homage to classic horror — and by “classic,” we mean “the first of its kind.” (Click here to view it. Another new teaser is below.)

In the latest clip, a woman dressed in a vintage robe climbs a staircase with a candle in hand, as a shadow with spindly, skeletal fingers appears behind her and creeps closer and closer, and … GAHHHH! She yelps as the unseen specter grabs her hair, and then the teaser cuts to the signature “?6” title card. And if you’re thinking that said title looks just like an interstitial from Hollywood’s early days, you’re on the right track; this promo is totally a nod to the 1922 silent film Nosferatu, the first vampire movie ever made (and which featured a similar scene involving a nefarious shadow).

For fans who’ve been combing the teasers for a clue or two about the upcoming season’s theme, this one presents a conundrum: AHS already tackled vampires in last season’s American Horror Story: Hotel, so what’s with the homage to fanged bloodsuckers? Are the showrunners committing the ultimate, unspeakable horror of straight-up repeating themselves?

The answer most likely lies in comments made by FX president John Landgraf at a Television Critics Association panel session this week, where it was revealed that actually only one of the teasers we’ve seen is a legit representation of the theme.

“We just thought it would be really be fun to keep it a mystery,” Landgraf said, explaining that the network’s marketing team has whipped up an absolute mass of trailers for “hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story, meaning different genres, different places.”

In short, it’s anyone’s guess which of the teasers actually represents what’s in store when the show returns next month. Said Landgraf: “[One] of them is accurate, and the others are misdirects.”

But if a month seems like a long time to wait for the skinny on the new theme, don’t forget: Murphy has always claimed that the most recent season contains hints aplenty as to where the show will head next … which is to say, we’ll be spending the next month doing a frame-by-frame analysis of every tchotchke in the Hotel Cortez in search of the next AHS theme.

Among the little that we do know about the new season is that its confirmed cast members include Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Tell Us: What do you think the new teaser means?

American Horror Story returns to FX Wednesday, September 14, at 10 p.m. ET. 

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