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TCA: ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Rooted More in ‘Honest, Primal Fears’

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — American Horror Story: Hotel, the fifth installment of the FX franchise, will return to its series’ beginnings.

“The season we’re doing this year harkens back to the first season, which is much more rooted in honest, primal fears,” said cocreator, writer and executive producer Ryan Murphy Friday during the TCA summer press tour panel for the show.

Brad Falchuk, who also is a cocreator, writer and executive producer on the series, added that the first and second seasons of AHS dealt with the idea of being trapped, a horror trope that lends itself to scares and fears.

“I think this season provides that but it’s a little less claustrophobic,” he said.

“This is kind of like the horror kind of is sneaking out of the hotel,” he added.

Murphy revealed that AHS: Hotel is set in downtown Los Angeles and was inspired by the mysterious 2013 death of Elisa Lam at the Hotel Cecil, which has since been rebranded as Stay on Main. The set, though, was actually built from the ground up on the Fox lot.

Viewers can check in to the 13 episodes of AHS: Hotel on Oct. 7.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—Murphy revealed that Lady Gaga will play Elizabeth, the owner of the hotel, who has a nefarious plan that will be revealed in the first episode. Her character also has multiple relationships with characters in the series.

—Actor Cheyenne Jackson talked about his takes on horror coming into the franchise. “I grew up in Northern Idaho in a predominantly Republican town. So that was was scary,” he joked.

—Sarah Paulson described what it was like to play conjoined twins on American Horror Story: Freak Show, the last installment of the franchise. “It was just a big sh*t show in my brain,” she said, saying it was one of the most challenging things she has done.

—Kathy Bates also talked about playing the bearded lady in the last season. “There was always a silver lining. It covered my double chins,” she said.