American Horror Story: Freak Show's Inspiration? The History of Florida's Real Freak Towns

We're not quite sure why Ryan Murphy set the freak-show-themed season of American Horror Story -- whose third episode aired last night -- in 1950s Jupiter, Florida, unless there's some secret planetary or zodiacal theme at work (which might also explain why the lead character's name is Elsa Mars). Because in real life, the town of Jupiter has no strong connection to freak shows or circus performers of any kind. (Though Tiger Woods does live there.)

But town choice aside, Murphy certain picked the right state for the series. If you think modern-day Florida is strange, it should come as no surprise that it's home to more than a few towns that were established or settled by freak-show performers, circus folks, and other people of curious professions.

Sure, none of these places likely saw German expats singing David Bowie songs, but otherwise, truth can be stranger than fiction.

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Kyle Munzenrieder