Here’s your ‘American Horror Story’ refresher guide, because it’s time

After months of waiting, and dozens of amazing promos, American Horror Story finally returns to television TONIGHT. So far, it looks like Hotel is going to be the craziest, scariest, bloodiest season to date. And that’s all the more reason to be super excited.

So for every AHS die-hard fan (That was a pun. Get it, DIE?), and all the AHS newbies out there, here’s your quick refresher for everything that’s going to go down this season.

Jessica Lange checks out; Lady Gaga checks in

After four seasons of being AHS‘s crown jewel (with four Emmy noms, and two wins), Lange has decided to bow out of Hotel. It makes us sad, but she could still always return in the future.

In her place, we’ve got Lady Gaga who’s a HUGE fan of the show and got in touch with creator Ryan Murphy directly to ask if she could have a part. He said yes, of course. Gaga is going to play “The Countess,” the owner of the Hotel Cortez. She is proooooobably a vampire, but no one is calling her a vampire.

The rest of the gang is back, too!

Who else is returning for another go at AHS? Evan Peters (who is the only cast member to have starred in all five seasons so far) and Sarah Paulson (who has been in all five, but was only recurring in the first). Other familiar leads include Dennis O’Hare, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. Lily Rabe, Emma Roberts, and Finn Wittrock will also make appearances this season.

AND, there are a few other AHS familiar faces, too. Like, Chloë Sevigny, Wes Bentley, and Matt Bomer who have all appeared in at least one other season before.

Plus, some brand new members of the AHS crew

There’s newcomer  Cheyenne Jackson, and also Max Greenfield, who has blonde hair and we feel many ways about it (all good ways).

The seasons are very much connected

Any fan of AHS knows that there are little hints to other seasons scattered throughout. Hotel is actually going to feature a HUGE reference to Season 1, Murder House. As in, for some reason, we’re taken back to the Murder House. Also, Murder House Realtor, Marcy, stops by for a visit.

Supposedly (and maybe a minor spoiler), we head back to Murder House in the very first episode of Hotel.

Something else for you to think about: Murder House takes place in LA, Hotel takes place in LA. The original owner of the Murder House was the Montgomery family, season two introduces us to Madison Montgomery, also from LA. No way all of this is simply a coincidence. These are the tiny little things we’ve got to start looking for in Hotel.

No one will sing

Lange sang in Season 2 and sang A LOT in Season 4. No one is going to sing in Season 5, not even Gaga.

“The interesting thing is we cast a lot of singers this season,” Murphy explained to Deadline, “But I like that singers, for the most part, are always great actors because they know how to sell a story through song, through a scene…I think people expect that [Gaga’s] going to be sitting in a bar in a white silk gown sort of singing songs — she is not. The upcoming season that we’re doing is much more horror-based; it’s much more dark.”

Oh, just how dark and scary?

Ask any of the cast, and they’ll say, VERY SCARY. Peters told the Wall Street Journal, “I think it’s the scariest season of all. I’m not just saying that. Honestly, there are a lot of elements that are very scary. I think because it’s present day, so that’s really cool, and the hotel. I mean, what’s scarier than a hotel?”

Bomer told Variety, “We’re going to start scaring you now, and hopefully it won’t wear off until January.”

THEN Jackson told Variety, “It’s gorier than, I think, any of [the past seasons] so far, and it’s scarier to me because it’s more psychological and not just like, blood and guts. It’s the stuff that [sticks in] your head.”

EVEN MURPHY IS SCARED. Talking to Entertainment Tonight, he explained, “It’s incredibly terrifying because [this season] plays on fears that I have, which is people being under my hotel bed. I’ve always been freaked out by that.”

Oh, good. Now that you mention it, we are too. In short: watch it with the lights on. American Horror Story returns TONIGHT on FX.

(Images via FX)