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    Posted on Sep 19, 2016

    This Is How "AHS" And The Lost Colony Of Roanoke Come Full Circle

    Inside the true and yet-to-be-solved history behind Season 6 of American Horror Story.

    Last week, American Horror Story debuted its sixth season on FX, and fans of the show were pretty stoked about it.


    This season, which is subtitled Roanoke, focuses on a married couple named Shelby (Sarah Paulson) and Matt Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who move from Los Angeles to North Carolina after Matt is assaulted — the result of a gang initiation challenge.


    The two find a house in Roanoke, a tiny island off the coast of North Carolina, near the Outer Banks. Things take a turn once the couple moves into their new digs and strange happenings begin to occur: teeth falling from the sky, mysterious figures attempting to drown Paulson's character, and the appearance of zombie-like people who live in the woods.

    Although details about the latest offering of AHS were scarce, there'd been speculation that this season would highlight the Lost Colony — ya know, an actual American horror story.

    Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Creative Commons / Via

    Well, if you're unfamiliar with that tale, here are all of the creepy and unsettling details you should know about one of the nation's most enduring mysteries.

    BeyondDC / Creative Commons / Via

    According to the Outer Banks' official tourism website, nearly three decades before the Pilgrims made their way to Plymouth Rock, there was another group of English settlers — more than 100 total — who made their way to the New World, landing and establishing themselves on Roanoke Island in July 1587.

    Jim Denham / Creative Commons / Via

    The mission to the island was funded by Sir Walter Raleigh and led by John White, who was later elected governor. White's daughter, Eleanor, married a man named Ananias Dare, and the two welcomed their child, Virginia Dare, to the world in August 1587. Virginia Dare is famously known as the first English-born child on American soil.

    Soon after arriving on the island, John White had to return to England for more supplies — although he was nervous to leave, as tensions were high between the settlers and natives.

    BeyondDC / Creative Commons / Via

    White noted in his journal that a man named George Howe had been murdered by natives while he was out fishing one day.

    It would be three years before he would return to Roanoke, and unbeknownst to him, it would be the very last time he'd see his daughter and granddaughter.

    Creative Commons / Via

    White returned to the island in 1590 (a massive delay in time because of the Anglo-Spanish War) bearing additional replenishments, but sadly, the settlement had been abandoned and clues as to where the colonists may have gone were few and far between. The words "Croatoan" and "Cro" were scribbled into two trees in the area where the missing colonists once resided.

    So what happened to the colonists? Well, no one knows for sure, but a host of theories have popped up.

    Creative Commons / Via

    White himself speculated that the settlers had moved inland to the Croatoan tribe where Chief Manteo, the Native American chief who'd befriended the people of Roanoke, lived.

    Creative Commons / Via

    White was unable to begin a more in-depth search for his family and the others because of an impending storm.

    But there are other theories that the settlers' village was destroyed after another native tribe overtook the Croatoans, thus leaving no one to protect the colonists.

    BeyondDC / Creative Commons / Via

    Ghost stories about the fate of Virginia Dare have become the stuff of legend, like this tale of the white doe.

    La Mano de Cuervo / Creative Commons / Via

    The story goes that Dare survived the attack on the colony, with the help of her mother, and she grew up to be a beautiful woman whose good looks attracted a lot of attention. After she turned down his hand in marriage, an evil sorcerer named Chico turned the girl into a white deer. The story ends with two men — one named Okisko and the other named Wanchese — killing the deer. According to the myth, in the place where Dare died grew a scuppernong rose — the grape used in early North Carolina wineries.

    There were also hoaxes, too, like this elaborate tale of the Dare stones.

    And now the story of the missing colonists has come full circle, as the story was highlighted in Season 1 of American Horror Story, Murder House.

    In Episode 11 of the season, titled "Birth," Sarah Paulson's character — a medium named Billie Dean Howard — tells the story of the settlers who inexplicably died in Roanoke.


    The ghosts of the deceased colonists would indiscriminately kill natives in the surrounding area.

    Per Howard, the spirits of the dead colonists haunted the local natives. And the only way to banish the spirits for good was to collect their personal belongings (aka talismans), toss them in a fire, and utter the word "Croatoan" to be rid of them forever.


    The spell, according to Paulson's character, was invoked by an unnamed native elder.

    So now, the series has expertly circled back to include a plot point that was set in motion in the very first season.


    And if the terrifying tale of the ghost colony sent chills up your spine back then, the newest season of AHS will be sure to give you nightmares.


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