There's never been a shortage of colorful characters on "American Horror Story," from the residents of "Murder House," to the denizens of "Freak Show," to a cameo appearance in "Asylum" by the actual, literal devil.
But the horror gets an extra layer of sparkle when a real historical figure shows up on the scene -- and the latest one to join the cast is killer.
Lily Rabe, who has appeared in various roles in every season of the series so far, will be reaching new levels of depravity on "American Horror Story: Hotel" in the role of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos, who was famously played by Charlize Theron in the Oscar-winning "Monster," murdered seven men before being caught and sent to prison. She was executed in 2002.
Rabe will appear as Wuornos in the show's two-part Halloween special, and so far, she's the only cast member who'll be checking into "Hotel" as a character who actually existed IRL. But characters inspired by real people are de rigueur on "AHS," as you can see in our roundup below.
Angela Bassett played this famous Voodoo priestess, who history tells us lived and practiced in New Orleans in the 1800s. (History does not tell us if she could really do this creepy thing with her eyeballs.)
Played by Kathy Bates in "American Horror Story: Coven," LaLaurie was a real-life socialite and psychotic serial killer who tortured and murdered dozens of people in a secret chamber of horrors in her mansion's attic.
Although they lived in different eras and were of different genders, Meep was clearly inspired by IRL sideshow performer Koo Koo the Bird Girl, who famously appeared in the 1932 cult classic, "Freaks."
This famous serial murderer's identity is unknown -- he was never caught -- but his bloody mark on history is as true-life as it gets.
Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. the Black Dahlia
The famous victim of this grisly, unsolved Hollywood murder made a cameo appearance in the first season of AHS, played by Mena Suvari.
Kit and Alma Walker
The couple from "Asylum" were inspired by a real-life pair, Barney and Betty Hill, who famously claimed to have been abducted by aliens in 1961.
We can't speak to Edward's reputation as a ghostly murderer of carnival folk who dare to perform on Halloween, but according to texts from the late 1800s, he was a real person - and he really did have a little face on the back of his head.