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"Monsters Among Us"
Series American Horror Story
Season Freak Show, Episode 1
American Horror Story 4x01 001.jpg
Air date October 8th, 2014
Writers Ryan Murphy; Brad Falchuk
Director Ryan Murphy
Producers Robert M. Williams, Jr.; Alexis Martin Woodall; Jessica Sharzer; Bradley Buecker; James Wong; Jennifer Salt; Tim Minear; Dante Di Loreto; Brad Falchuk; Ryan Murphy; James E. Williams; Todd Nenninger
Starring Sarah Paulson; Evan Peters; Michael Chiklis; Frances Conroy; Denis O'Hare; Emma Roberts; Finn Wittrock; Angela Bassett; Kathy Bates; Jessica Lange
Episode guide
"The Seven Wonders"
"Massacres and Matinees"

"Monsters Among Us" is the first episode of season four of the seasonal anthology series American Horror Story, which is branded under the subheading of "Freak Show". It is the thirty-ninth episode of the series overall. The episode was directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It first aired on the FX Network on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014. Bring out the FREAKS, y'all!



Principal Cast

Guest Stars



Notes & Trivia

  • This episode is rated TV-MA.
  • Production code number: 4ATS01.
  • This episode had a special running time of 90 min. (with commercials), 63 minutes (without commercials).
  • This episode had a viewership of 6.13 million people, making it the most-watched episode of American Horror Story to date. [5]
  • It was executive producer Douglas Petrie who first broke the news that the season would use a carnival as its primary setting. [8]
  • The official main cast for season four of American Horror Story was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening, July 26th, 2014. [9]
  • Ryan Murphy revealed that AHS veteran actress Sarah Paulson would be coming back around for a fourth time, although now she would be working "double" time as she takes on the role of conjoined twins Bette and Dot. The first official photo still from the set revealed a back-shot of the twins wearing a hospital gown staring out of a window. [10]
  • Jessica Lange was one of the first cast members slated to return for season four. It was revealed by series showrunners that she would once again be taking on a leading role, this time playing a German expatriate, who is the manager and recruiter of one of the last traveling freak shows in the country. [11]
  • It was announced on the final night of PaleyFest that former The Shield and Vegas actor Michael Chiklis would be joining the cast of American Horror Story. Chiklis' character, Dell Toledo, is the former husband of Kathy Bates' character, Ethel Darling and the father of Evan Peters' character, Jimmy Darling. [12]
  • Aside from Pepper, this is the first appearance of all characters. It is also the first appearance of the fictional town of Jupiter, Florida.
  • Actress Jyoti Amge, who plays Ma Petite, is the shortest woman in the world, standing at only 2'0" tall and weighing 11 pounds. This is her first work in television.


  • Actor Michael Chiklis is credited in this episode, but does not make an actual appearance. He is however, seen in a preview for the following episode, which airs at the end of this episode.
  • Actor Denis O'Hare is credited in this episode, but does not make an actual appearance. He is however, seen in a preview for the following episode, which airs at the end of this episode.
  • IMDB erroneously lists Emma Roberts as "credit only" for this episode, but her character, Maggie Esmerelda, actually does make a brief appearance.
  • Actress Angela Bassett is credited in this episode, but does not make an actual appearance. She is however, seen in a preview for the following episode, which airs at the end of this episode.
  • Actor Jim Henry, who plays a hooligan driver, is uncredited for his participation in this episode.
  • Actor John C. Klein, who plays a drunk, is uncredited for his participation in this episode.
  • Actress Cynthia LeBlanc, who plays a diner patron, is uncredited for his participation in this episode.
  • Actor Kyle Pacek, who plays a bass player, is uncredited for his participation in this episode.


  • The song that Elsa Mars performs on stage, which Gloria Mott refers to as "caterwauling", is "Life on Mars?" by British pop star David Bowie. The presence of the song in this episode is anachronistic as the story is set in the late 1950s and the song was not released until 1971. It first appeared as a single and was also on the album, Hunky Dory.


  • Perceived blooper: Elsa Mars' rendition of "Life on Mars?" may be construed as a blooper to some as the song was not released until 1971, however its inclusion in this episode was actually intentional. Who's to say that David Bowie didn't rip the song off from Elsa?


  • Bette Tattler: Dear Diary. It was the glorious third of September when I was finally freed from the shadows. The future had never seemed brighter.


  • Dot Tattler: Dear Diary. It was a Saturday, the 3rd of September, that the world as I had known was forever doomed. The shadows that had sheltered me were banished by the blinding light of scrutiny. I knew I was about to enter the gates of Hell. But like the inescapable pull of gravity, there was nothing I could do about it.


  • Elsa Mars: Ladies and gentlemen. Everything you've heard is true. All that has been advertised is here, under this tent. Wonders. Curiosities. A plethora of the strange, the weird, the bizarre, the unusual! From jungles untamed to forests enchanted. From the Dark Continent to the spice-laden lands of India. Astounding mistakes of nature are gathered here for your amusement and edification. What you're about to see will astound your very senses and harrow... yes, harrow your souls.


  • Elsa Mars: I'll tell you who the monsters are! The people outside this tent! In your town, in all these little towns. Housewives pinched with bitterness, stupefied with boredom as they doze off in front of their laundry detergent commercials and dream of strange, erotic pleasures. They have no souls. My monsters, the ones you call depraved, they are beautiful, heroic ones. They offer their oddity to the world. They provide a laugh, or a fright, to people in need of entertainment. Everyone is living the life they chose.

See also

External Links

Episode links

Series links


American Horror Story logo.jpg
This article pertains to an episode from season 4 of American Horror Story. This template will categorize articles that include it into the American Horror Story season 4 episodes category.