We’re taking a walk down memory lane with a rewatch of American Horror Story: Murder House and contemplating one thing that still doesn’t make sense.
During a recent rewatch of American Horror Story: Murder House, I got to thinking a little bit about the logic behind the house’s ghostly inhabitants. For the most part, the rules are simple. We know that anyone who dies on the premises of the house cannot ever leave. Their ghosts will be doomed to haunt the place for eternity.
We also know that ghosts can change their appearance, or at least change their clothing. However, there is one ghost who doesn’t appear to fit into the rules of the house, and therefore it makes one wonder if perhaps she wasn’t entirely human when she died.
I’m talking about the house’s maid, Moira. We know Moira as two people. The young Moira is seductive and played by Alexandra Breckenridge. The older Moira shows the damage inflicted by her in the fatal shot fired by Constance with her damaged eye, and she is portrayed by Frances Conroy.
My question is, why is the old version of Moira considered to be her “true form?” Every other ghost that has died remains the same age and generally the same appearance as they did when they died. Even Chad remarks that he would kill one of the twins to “keep them cute forever.” That means the ghosts are aware of their limitations.
But Moira died when she was young. How would she have ever aged into an older woman? Why wasn’t her permanent form Alexandra Breckenridge?
American Horror Story has never been one for outstanding logic, I’ll admit. There are plenty of plot holes we can poke at in Murder House alone, but this one seems a little too glaring.
The purpose of Moira’s character is a testament to her beliefs and ambition. She tests the men that live there to see if they’re as weak-willed and sinful as the rest of their gender. Eventually, Ben Harmon can see things “as they truly are,” and he stops seeing young Moira.
It frustrates me a little that we never get a substantial explanation for why Moira appears older. I started to think of more out-there conspiracy theories. What if the real Moira was not a human woman but instead, some kind of succubus. Perhaps the real Moira is an old woman, but she takes the shape of someone young and beautiful as a means to lure unsuspecting men and “save” the women they’re with by allowing them to see the truth of the men they marry.
This obviously goes awry when Constance kills her, forcing her to stay in the house forever. But she can still shift forms. Seeing as she is the only ghost with that ability (that I can recall), it would make sense if there was something special or supernatural about her pre-death.
It also makes me wonder why some of the ghosts in the house don’t appear to bear the wounds that killed them. Tate looks fine despite being shot several times in the chest while Nora sports a gaping hole in the back of her head.
Ben shows no rope marks around his neck despite being hanged to death. Hayden doesn’t look like she has any head wounds. But Larry’s wife and kids show severe burns and signs of immolation. Perhaps those who commit suicide in the house are the only ones who must continue to show their scars forever after as punishment.
As for ghosts and American Horror Story, the long-running horror anthology may still be toying with spectral visitors. Check out this awesome theory from Elite Daily that proposes there may be ghosts currently lurking in Season 10: 1984.
What are your theories about the ghosts of Murder House? Are you watching the current season of American Horror Story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of American Horror Story: 1984 air Wednesday nights on FX and you can currently stream Murder House on Netflix and Amazon Prime.