American Horror Stories Pays Tribute to Late Actor With Return of Surprise Character

This week saw the premiere of the first two episodes of American Horror Stories, a spinoff of the flagship FX drama with stories contained to just one or two episodes rather than a whole season. For the first two episodes of the series however the creators returned to an iconic location, the first ever from the show, season one's "Murder House." In the episode a young woman and her two fathers move into the haunted home with the hopes of turning it into a tourist location, but naturally the forces inside (specifically the Rubber Man) appear and start to influence things. That character from the first season wasn't the only to appear, and the second carried a little more meaning.

As long-time fans may recall, one of the many (MANY!) characters/ghosts that appeared in the Murder House was Thaddeus aka The Infantata, a creature reassembled from the pieces of the dead child of one family that lived in the house in the 1920s. Unlike the ghosts that occupy Murder House, Infantata lives exclusively in the basement and has a blood thirst that he takes out on persons who step down there. In addition to Rubber Man, Thaddeus also makes an appearance very briefly in the first episode, terrorizing some teens that are running for their lives through the basement. Though his appearance is fleeting, it's still special because the actor that originally played the part is no longer with us.

Originally character actor Ben Woolf played the role of Thaddeus but tragically passed away in 2015. For American Horror Stories, actor Shane Carpenter took on the part for the brief cameo. Out of all the characters that Murphy and Co. could have chosen to appear in their return to Murder House though, that they picked Thaddeus and allowed Woolf's legacy with the series to live on (Woolf also appeared in AHS: Freak Show in the role of "Meep") is a touching tribute, even if it's to a tiny monster that drinks blood.

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(Photo: FX)

American Horror Stories will debut new episodes every Thursday on FX on Hulu.. The series will see several cast members from the flagship series return (though playing entirely new characters) including John Carroll Lynch, Naomi Grossman, Charles Melton, and Billie Lourd. The series will also see the addition of Machete himself Danny Trejo as none other than Santa Claus.

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After the show's conclusion, American Horror Story: Double Feature, the 10th installment of the hit series, will premiere on Wednesday, August 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX, and streaming the next day via FX on Hulu.