In 2011, Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story premiered to high ratings on FX, beating out every other show that night on cable. Its stars and their idiosyncratic characters (like the famous ‘rubber man’) have since become the talk of the town, and many of the show’s actors have even returned for multiple seasons.

Now approaching season 4 – otherwise known as American Horror Story: Freak Show – the upcoming story will feature a whole new set of misfits, along with some familiar faces from the past. After ghosts, aliens and witches, the Freak Show will take viewers to a new time and place, backstage at one of the last remaining freak shows of 1952.

The first trailer introduces the members of this exhibition, including Ethel, the bearded lady (Kathy Bates), her ex-husband Wendell, the strongman (Michael Chiklis), their son Jimmy (Evan Peters) and Desiree, the three-breasted woman, who is also Wendell’s new wife (Angela Bassett). Then there’s conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) and the group’s ringleader, Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange).

american horror story freak show trailer American Horror Story: Freak Show Trailer: Voyeur

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten a glimpse at scary clowns and a multi-legged aerialist, but this new trailer changes from the obscene and macabre to a different kind of creepy. It appears we’re being treated to a voyeuristic look at life under the big top, as we peek in on the “freaks” doing their thing. Melanie Martinez’s song Carousel provides the soundtrack, which only adds to the unnerving feel.

This season is also unique in that all of the main cast, save Chiklis, are returning from season 3. Lange in particular has been with the series since the start, but as reported, this will be her last year. For all these reasons, Freak Show could be American Horror Story‘s most promising season yet. Ratings for the show have steadily risen each year, and there’s no reason to think the trend won’t continue.

Screen Rant readers, what do you think of the first trailer showing the new cast? Are you excited to see the new season of American Horror Story?

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres October 8, 2014 @10pm on FX.

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