The latest season of “American Horror Story” is not telling your average ghost tale. More details on the haunting of the North Carolina farmhouse were revealed in episode 3 of the FX anthology series, exposing a chilling story based in truth.
As fans are already aware, the Roanoke Colony was a real settlement founded in the late 1500s by the English. Due to a lack of supplies, the governor of the colony, John White, was forced to return to England in order to bring back some necessities for his people. He didn’t return until three years later — and when he did, everyone he left behind was gone. Over 100 people were missing, and the only sign of life was the word “Croatoan” carved into a piece of wood.
“American Horror Story” Season 6 told their version of the story in episode 3 on Wednesday night. A psychic character named Cricket (Leslie Jordan) was introduced, and explained that when John left for supplies, he put his wife Thomasin (Kathy Bates) in charge. Times got desperate at the colony as people began to starve, and one man decided to rise up and go against Thomasin, who refused to leave the land that they settled on. Thomasin was left to die in the woods with a spiked cage placed around her neck — her own son (Wes Bentley) was the one that put the lock on it. But Thomasin didn’t die in the woods. A witch (Lady Gaga) found her and released her from her shackles, asking that Thomasin give her her soul in return. Thomasin surrendered her soul to the witch and sought out her old colony for vengeance. She reintroduced herself as “The Butcher,” and killed the men who had wronged her.
Cricket revealed that the farmhouse Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Shelby (Sarah Paulson) own is actually the location where the Roanoke Colony resettled. The Butcher protects the land, killing anyone who tries to take it from her.
So, what does Croatoan mean? And how does it factor into the story of Roanoke? Cricket shouted the word when he became fearful that The Butcher was going to attack everyone during the séance. The word also appears carved in a tree in the promo video for episode 4, and Shelby can be seen shouting it while in the woods.
The history of the word was actually explained in Season 1 of “American Horror Story.” A medium named Billie Dean Howard entered the murder house with Constance (Jessica Lange) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) to get rid of some dangerous spirits. She explained that in 1590 the men, women and children at Roanoke in North Carolina died inexplicably — but their spirits remained. The spirits of the ghost colony haunted and killed members of the local tribes. Finally, the elder enacted a banishment curse, summoning the spirits by collecting their personal belongings and burning them. To complete the curse, the elder yelled the word “Croatoan.” Click HERE to watch the scene from “American Horror Story: Murder House.”
It doesn’t seem as if the Croatoan curse completely banished the spirits, because now they’re haunting Matt and Shelby. However, the word does appear to have some powers. No one was hurt when The Butcher appeared during the séance, even though a candle was split in half with a ghost axe and windows were broke.
What do you think of all of the mystery surrounding “American Horror Story: Roanoke”? New episodes air on FX on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.