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As the season progressed, the emphasis shifted to the house’s dead occupants. Or, put another way, as more people were offed, the majority of the cast became ghosts, and the center of gravity moved to the afterworld. In one of the season’s more extraordinary scenes, we saw the teenage Violet gazing upon her own decomposing body in the house’s bowels and realizing, wrenchingly, that she had been dead for weeks.

We were offered ghosts who decorate nurseries, ghosts who sweep up their messes, ghosts who complain that there’s no Ramones album available, ghosts who trim Christmas trees, ghosts who have varying degrees of knowledge that they are, in fact, dead. And like the dead who occasionally appeared during episodes of the late HBO funeral-home drama “Six Feet Under” — albeit as hallucinations of the show’s living characters — the dearly departed of “American Horror Story” offer us insights into our own lives and how transitory our problems are when compared to death itself.

“The word ‘ancient’ loses all its meaning when your entire existence is one long today,” the middle-aged incarnation of Moira the housekeeper (Frances Conroy) says in the season finale.

Ultimately, “American Horror Story” is a fresh take on the tale of the immigrant experience. Death is the undiscovered country of destination, the place where people must build their world anew. It took the entire first season, but this much about the show has become clear: Dying is a starting point for exploration of the human condition. And what better way to look upon the living than through the eyes of the formerly living, which share traits with us but are also permanently, irrevocably different?

Now, in the past few days, we find that Mr. Murphy and Mr. Falchuk planned all along to end the saga of the Harmons and their L.A. house with the season finale. Next season, they say, they’ll move on to an entirely different tale somewhere else in the vast and haunted American republic — a place with different homeowners, different themes and different ghosts with different stories to tell.

“Houses don’t have memories,” George Lutz said as he moved into his house in “The Amityville Horror.” He was, he quickly realized, as wrong as wrong can be. Or, as the Murder House’s real-estate agent lobbies a family of prospective buyers, teeing up the second season of “American Horror Story” perfectly: “No matter where you go, you’ll be moving into somebody’s history.”