By Megan Boyanton
NEW ORLEANS, January 11th, 2013— The FX channel’s hit series, “American Horror Story,” took to the age-old streets of New Orleans for its third season, which launched in October 2013 and will conclude in February 2014. The plot focuses on a sisterhood of witches, on the cusp of a battle with their Voodoo nemeses. Additionally, a legion of sorceress hunters, a murderous phantom, and a zombie army intertwine themselves throughout the ten released episodes. All the scenes take place in the Big Easy, but the most well-recognized setting is undoubtedly Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. In actuality, the Garden District manor at 1410 Jackson Avenue has existed for over one hundred and fifty years as the antebellum Buckner Mansion.
The residence, with its eight bedrooms and three floors, houses all six witches in the television show, but can actually sleep eighteen. It spreads across twenty thousand square feet of land and boasts majestic oak trees, native to the region, and greenery. In 1856, Henry S. Buckner, a mogul of the Southern crop of cotton, constructed the nineteenth century chateau with architect Lewis E. Reynolds for his family, who thrived inside its walls until 1923. The Soule Business School then gained control of the dwelling, transforming it into a place of learning. Although the institute shut down in 1983, a mark in white and black mosaic tiles remains from its past in education— “From Education as the Leading Cause, The Public Character, Its Color Draws” is sealed in the cement in front of its ornamental iron gates, studded with cast-metal honeysuckles. The quotation originates from William Cowper’s “Tirocinium,” a poem following the theme of schooling.
Since then, the Buckner Mansion has functioned as a villa, available for rent on Vacation Rentals by Owner or www.vrbo.com. The manor permits occupants a minimum stay of three days and the monthly charge holds at a neat $30,000. Among the amenities mentioned on the website, “ghosts on request” are included. Looks like the spirit of the Axeman, first mentioned in episode six, is not the only source of supernatural energy on the premises. New Orleans is not recognized as America’s most haunted city for nothing, after all.
“American Horror Story: Coven” truly embraces the local flavor, incorporating different city sites throughout the progression of the series, including the four episodes not yet broadcasted. The Maison Vitry, for example, on Dumaine Street acts as the headquarters for Marie Laveau and her Voodoo accomplices. Kyle’s home, as acknowledged in the first and third episode, is located in the Ninth Ward, one of the nine geographic divisions of the city. However, the plot’s action unquestionably concentrates on the Buckner Mansion, a place the American Horror Story crew breathed life— and, of course, cold-blooded on-screen death— into once again.
What: Buckner Mansion
Where: 1410 Jackson Avenue, Garden District