Where Is Roanoke? The 'American Horror Story' Setting Was Once A Real-Life Colony
After months of speculating, misleading teasers, and crazy clues, American Horror Story Season 6 finally premiered and revealed its super creepy theme. Subtitled Roanoke, the series has changed things up completely compared to the five previous seasons, and is this time using a mockumentary-style format to frame the horrors fans will witness. Told through reenactments played by other actors with the "real" characters narrating, the new season of American Horror Story follows happy couple Matt and Shelby as they experience a haunting after moving into a new home that is situated in the former colony of Roanoke. But, where is Roanoke, and why the heck is it so haunted? This American Horror Story setting has every reason to be creepy.
If you're like me, you may have assumed that Roanoke was in Virginia, and were a bit confused as to how Matt and Shelby could be in Roanoke when they had just moved to North Carolina. But yes, while Roanoke the city is in Virginia, it actually just shares a name with the place the new season of American Horror Story is drawing inspiration from — the Roanoke Colony. In short, the Roanoke Colony was established by Englishman John White in the late 1500s on one of a chain of barrier islands now known as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
According to the History Channel, White left for England shortly after establishing the colony, but when he returned three years later, found that the entire colony had been abandoned, and there was no sign of any of the colonialists. It was like they had disappeared — circumstances which earned the Roanoke Colony the nickname the "Lost Colony."
Though the settlers had seemingly vanished, there was a clue to their whereabouts. The settlers had seemingly carved the word "CROATOAN" into the bark, which, according to TMZ, was also found on a tree within the American Horror Story Season 6 set. However, while American Horror Story's Billie Dean Howard stated that the word "CROATOAN" was part of a demon-banishing spell, the truth is likely not as creepy. “Croatoan” was the name of an island near Roanoke, now called Hatteras Island, and was established by a Native American tribe of the same name. It's possible, according to the History Channel, that the clue was left to say that the settlers were searching for food or shelter on the island.
Though there could be a reasonable explanation for why the settlers disappeared from the Lost Colony — including that they had simply merged with other colonies near by — it doesn't seem like American Horror Story will be going with the logical this season. This is a horror show, after all.
Image: FX Networks/YouTube