Brow Beat

AHS Keeps Releasing Season 6 Teasers Without Revealing Which One Is Real—and It’s a Pretty Smart Marketing Strategy

The mystery deepens.

Still taken from “Blind Date”

Fans of American Horror Story fans love a good twist, and before Season 6 of the show even arrives, they’ve got one. On Sunday, FX dropped yet another teaser for the new season of Ryan Murphy’s horror series—that makes it the 11th promo the studio has released over the past few weeks. The twist? Most of these teasers aren’t even real; they’re misdirects meant to keep fans guessing what the new season’s theme will be.

After the first six teasers debuted July, FX CEO John Landgraf revealed that most aren’t even relevant to the upcoming season. “There are many more trailers than you’ve actually seen for hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story—different genres, different places,” Landgraf reportedly told critics during the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “One of them is accurate; the others are all misdirects.”

So which one is the real teaser? We still don’t know, and since Landgraf’s bombshell, FX has continued to release even more promos (though which, if any, are relevant to the upcoming season is anybody’s guess). Each spot seems to point to a totally different possible theme—past seasons of the show have been subtitled Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, and Hotel.

The newest clue in this mystery is “Blind Date,” which emulates the camp of horror B-movies as a young woman is dragged into a lake by a scaly hand, only to emerge with the two contentedly entwined. The teaser feels way more Scream Queens than American Horror Story, but Bustle lays out a compelling case for a possible Hollywood theme, as past seasons have been linked to Los Angeles and to the film industry in particular.

As a marketing strategy, the bait-and-switch tactic is actually a pretty smart idea, as it has kept fans scouring the spots for hints and formulating theories about what the theme might be. (Charles Manson? The Antichrist? Aliens?) We’ll just have to wait until season six premieres on Sept. 14 to see if they’re right.