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Is American Horror Stories' Feral Based On A True Story?

A tale about government-concealed clusters of cannibalistic mutants hidden throughout America's national parks sounds exactly like the sort of scary campfire story kids run home to tell their parents. In the latest episode of FX's "American Horror Stories," though, no one will be running home to say anything.

In "Feral," Jay (Aaron Tveit) and Addy Gantz (Tiffany Dupont) bring their young son camping at ‚Äč‚ÄčKern Canyon National Park. Their cozy break from reality looks straight out of an L.L. Bean ad: a picturesque view of the mountains, stars reflecting on the lake at night, paper string lights adorning their quaint tent. But when their son disappears without a trace en route to a fishing expedition, everything changes. A last-ditch effort to find him 10 years later brings a bloody new horror for the grieving parents.

Fans on the show's subreddit pointed to a real-life case that seemingly inspired the episode. You know, minus the whole conspiracy about feral communities lurking in the wilderness.

So, which true-crime case inspired Episode 6 of "American Horror Stories"?

The danger of national parks

Fans believe that "Feral" was inspired by "Missing 411," a 2016 documentary that "chronicles the unsolved yet eerily similar disappearances of five children in the wilds of North America across multiple decades" (via IMDb).

The documentary is based on a series of self-published books by police officer-turned-investigator-turned-writer David Paulides. While "Missing 411" follows five children's cases, fans found the "American Horror Stories" episode was similar to one case in particular.

One user explained the similarities between the fictional Gantz case and a real-life case in which a family's son suddenly vanished while they were walking together on a camping trip. While that case didn't include feral forest dwellers, there were oddities that made for a chilling mystery.

"I was SO pumped when I realized that's what this episode was based on," one Redditor said, while others expressed a desire for an entire season about national parks. "All in all, I need AHS: Missing 411 right about now," said u/ElectricBarbarellas. "Ryan Murphy, please deliver."