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Inside American Horror Story's Beautifully Spooky Mansion

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Closing in on its fifth episode, American Horror Story: Coven—the third and latest season of the insanely creepy FX miniseries about dueling New Orleans witches—features The Big Easy as a central character in the cast. Specifically, much of the grittiest action takes place at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a boarding school for wayward witches housed in the Garden District's Buckner Mansion, which can be rented out for, ahem, $20K a month. While the outside of the 20,000-square-foot manor is spooky in itself, set decorator Ellen Brill transformed the formerly warm, inviting interiors—Curbed NOLA has "before" shots—into the chilly black-and-white rooms seen on screen.

Brill's inspiration actually came from photographs of another New Orleans plantation. "It was painted all white, with white floors, and had dark outlined furniture and dark artwork," the decorator told Domaine. "Every time I saw an image of this place I thought it was in black and an old noir film." And while past two seasons have been all about unbridled terror—set in a haunted house and an asylum, respectively—this set is, in a way, more sinister, relying on imposing high ceilings, stark white walls and floors, and spindly French-inspired furnishings that all contribute to an effective stage for the show's most dramatic scenes to date. After all, Brill says ominously, "I guess you could say you can really see blood on white." Domaine has a few more shots, right this way.

· Home Tour: American Horror Story's New Orleans Witches' Mansion [Domaine]
· Garden District Mansion Stars In 'American Horror Story' [Curbed NOLA]
· All American Horror Story coverage [Curbed National]