Fans finally know what American Horror Story Season 6 is actually about. Well — they kind of know now, anyway. Unsurprisingly, the show didn't really give too much plot away in its first episode. But hey, kind of knowing some is better than nothing at all, right? For instance, we now know that Season 6 is titled My Roanoke Nightmare, and we also know that it focuses on a couple named Shelby and Matt Miller, who retell their personal nightmarish experience in Roanoke, North Carolina through actor-portrayed reenactments, reality show-style. (Roanoke, NC is, of course, where the population of the Lost Colony of Roanoke disappeared over 400 years ago. Creepy or creepy?) And, even knowing just that little bit about this season's plot — which does appear to be based around this historical mystery despite taking place in modern day — leads to the next logical question: How does American Horror Story Season 6 connect to the seasons before it?
Creator Ryan Murphy told EW in 2014 that each season of the anthology horror series is connected. Even a teaser for this season managed to seamlessly switch from one season to the next. The theme surrounding My Roanoke Nightmare seems to be a mysterious one, but already, it's definitely sharing some DNA with AHS's first season, later dubbed Murder House. While it's unclear if this new farm in Season 6 has or will actually kill anyone, the woods around it certainly appear to be deadly. Something that's teased in the premiere by way of a man rushing out of the woods with his head scalped and in the season's newly released trailer where Sarah Paulson confirms there's been a human sacrifice.
Like Murder House, the Roanoke house also holds a secret that the remaining episodes will spend time explaining. Is it murder? That's still yet to be decided, but Kathy Bates is very serious about protecting this place, which should make everyone a little suspicious. Also, it begs the question of if Bates, who says she must protect this house for the colony, is one of Roanoke Colony's lost members come to life, or one that's been stuck in this house's purgatory. The latter was, of course, a major theme in the first season: all of the inhabitants of the Murder House were unable to leave after dying within the confines of the home.
While those theories are possible, one Redditor has come up with another that could more specifically connect Seasons 1 and 6 of American Horror Story — and it has to do with Paulson's character. In My Roanoke Nightmare, Lily Rabe is playing the real Shelby Miller, while Paulson is the made-for-TV version of Shelby in a documentary-style retelling of the events in the Roanoke house. But, user ellewoodswannabe16 questioned on Reddit whether viewers should trust what they've seen so far, and cited a theory that suggests Paulson may actually be the real Shelby Miller, while Rabe is the actress cast to retell the events in Roanoke following the Millers' deaths.
This theory proposes that Shelby didn't actually die, though: No, it suggests that Paulson's Shelby actually survives this nightmare, but no one knows because she changed her name to Billie Dean Howard following the events in Roanoke. Yep — that's the character Paulson played in the first season of American Horror Story, and then again last season in American Horror Story: Hotel . In Murder House, Billie Dean was a medium Constance (Jessica Lange) found on Craigslist to help her try and get the ghost of her son, Tate Langdon, to leave reality for the other side. Billie Dean says in that first season that she's filming a Lifetime series — and when AHS fans meet her again in Hotel, she's doing just that.
If this theory is true, Season 6 could offer her backstory that explains how she discovered her gift of speaking with the undead. As ellewoodswannabe16 points out, this theory could also explain why Billie Dean suggests the Croatoan spell — meant to get rid of ghosts — to Violet in Murder House. "Croatoan," of course, was a term brought up during Season 6 of AHS. This theory could actually answer some of the questions related to My Roanoke Nightmare — specifically, that Kathy Bates' mysterious character could very well be a ghost only Paulson's Shelby can see.
But, of course, as plausible as this theory could be, it's for now just a theory. That being said, this does offer a very clear line from Season 1 to 5 to 6, not to mention, another level of mystery to this already mysterious season.
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