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AHS: Hotel Only Made Ryan Murphy's Real-Life Fears Even Worse

"American Horror Story: Hotel" was the fifth season in the anthology horror series "American Horror Story." Known for pushing boundaries, delivering scares, and telling a new compelling-yet-disturbing story every season, fans of "AHS" know one thing for sure: Expect the unexpected. While the series reuses the same actors to portray different characters, most of the seasons are completely distinct from one another. "AHS" has never been afraid to take risks, even if those risks fall flat or cause controversy.

"AHS" wrapped Season 11 in 2022 and has been renewed for Season 12 in 2023. Some of the older seasons of this groundbreaking show are still the seasons that the fans rave about the most.

One such season is "Hotel." After four successful years of the show, "Hotel" broke a lot of molds that "AHS" set in place for itself. For starters, the phenomenal Jessica Lange, who has played significant characters in every season, departed. "Hotel" also introduced Lady Gaga, who hadn't really broken into acting yet at the time. Fans were skeptical of her ability to deliver, but she took the role of the Countess and made it her own. "Hotel" is also known for having one of the most disturbing opening episodes in the series' history.

While filming "Hotel," creator Ryan Murphy struggled with some of the scenes due to his personal fears revolving around staying in hotels.

Murphy said Hotel was personally terrifying

In 2015, after "Hotel's" premier, Ryan Murphy sat down with Collider to talk about the new season. During the interview, Murphy was asked what made "Hotel" different. Murphy took the opportunity to talk about how terrifying he found the newest season.

"For me, it's incredibly terrifying because it brings out fears that I have, which is people being under my hotel bed. I've always been freaked out by that," he explained. He also elaborated a little more on a general difference by mentioning Gaga's influence on the season. "I think it's sexier than any other season we've done, in particular, because of the 'Gaga' of it. I would say scarier and sexier..."

After confessing to having a serious fear of people hiding under his hotel room bed, he was asked if filming "Hotel" helped him get over that. "No. It's made it worse," Murphy answered bluntly. "We're shooting a scene where somebody comes out of a mattress, so that's been terrifying. We built a mattress that somebody has been sown into [...] and was not dead."

To be fair to Murphy, hotels can be incredibly unsettling places. Sleeping in a room that thousands of people have been in understandably feels unnatural to some people. There could be someone hiding in there, or cameras, or something sinister left behind. It's sometimes hard to feel safe in such a foreign place crawling with strangers, which is why a hotel is a perfect setting for "AHS."