I don't scare easily, but I'm pretty sure that I watched the premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel through my hands. While I wouldn't describe any of the other seasons of FX's horror anthology as "tame," I'm not sure any compare to the grotesque sights that the show's loyal audience witnessed in the fifth season's first hour. From gauged eyeballs to zombies emerging from mattresses, there were few things that fans didn't see in the very first episode. There is, however, one person that we missed, and that was an American Horror Story alum. Evan Peters will play Mr. March on American Horror Story: Hotel , and, though he wasn't seen in the premiere episode, we may be able to get a hint about who he is from the potential real-life inspiration behind Peters' character Mr. March. (Spoiler alert: Mr. March is no Jimmy Darling.)
So, who is Mr. March? According to showrunner Ryan Murphy, this is not the guy you want to run into in the hotel lobby. Murphy told Entertainment Weekly that Peters' Mr. March is "perhaps the worst human being to have ever lived," which is a pretty bold statement considering Murphy is the man responsible for giving us some of the most cruel characters on television. (And no, I am not just talking about Glee's Sue Sylvester.) Mr. March is a murderer who will appear in flashbacks, but could he have a real-life counterpart? The creepy answer to that is... yes.
Showrunner Murphy was pretty open about who Peters' Mr. March may be based on and unfortunately, truth is sometimes even more disturbing than fiction. Peters' character is the one who first built the Hotel Cortez, and, according to Murphy, is based on one specific historical figure: H.H. Holmes. Get ready, because things get pretty gruesome from here on out. You've been warned.
Holmes built what was essentially a "torture hotel" in Chicago, filled with almost unspeakable horrors. Holmes reportedly had gas chambers installed to kill his victims, and put ovens in the basement to destroy the bodies of those he murdered. He frequently switched contractors and kept rooms windowless and soundproof so that no one would be the wiser about his awful crimes. Though we may never know just how many people Holmes killed before he was hanged in 1896, the estimated total is around 200.
The first episode of American Horror Story: Hotel may have been plenty effed up, but I have a feeling that we haven't seen anything yet. As another Peters' character once said, "all monsters are human," and this time around he may be playing the most monstrous human of them all.