Warning: This article contains spoilers from American Horror Story. Continue reading at your own peril.
We've long discussed the possibility of all the American Horror Story seasons being connected. It was a theory for many years until the fourth season, entitled Freak Show, began joining the dots. Ever since then there have been many connections made. For those of you who have been watching the latest installment in the horror franchise — My Roanoke Nightmare — you will probably notice the differences in tone and storytelling technique from previous seasons.
The season may have only just begun but fans have already started picking up on possible connections between Roanoke and other previous seasons of AHS. Some believe that main character Shelby is a witch and that she is directly connected to the witches from American Horror Story: Coven.
Series creator Ryan Murphy has also confirmed that Roanoke is connected to Freak Show and will explore the heritage of the Mott family, who were regular characters from the carnival-centric season. However, as a long time fan of the horror show, allow me to explain to why I believe Roanoke is directly connected to Murder House more than any of the others.
Roanoke Has A Similar Premise to Murder House
The first thing that struck me about Roanoke is that is shares several similarities with Murder House, specifically in the premise of the storyline. Both of these two seasons of American Horror Story focus on a family wanting a fresh start so they uproot their lives and move to a new location. They find a house that seems perfect for them only to realize that their new home is the center of supernatural activity.
The obvious similarities don't stop there, either — the families from both seasons of AHS quickly come to realize that they are mere pawns in an ongoing game for ownership of their house. Also, let's not forget that an episode of Murder House was entitled "Piggy, Piggy" and focused on a fictional myth about a pig man. The pig symbolism has also been significantly featured in Roanoke — specifically through the human sacrifice ritual in the second episode.
There also appears to be a supernatural entity that haunts the surrounding forest wearing a pig mask. What's interesting is that both seasons use of the pig symbolism use the animal as a means to invoke fear, heightening the similarities between the two. Taking this into account I can't help but think that Roanoke will be the season to finally bring all of the American Horror Stories together and in order to do so, it will start at the beginning with Murder House.
The Supernatural Entities Take The Same Form In Both Seasons
American Horror Story: Murder House became known for its unusual interpretation of ghosts — the ghosts in the show could interact with, communicate with and even engage in sexual activity with the living. What made it much stranger is that the living have no idea they are interacting with dead people. In Murder House, ghosts such as Tate Langdon would interact with the Harmon family on a regular basis and the Harmons had no idea that he was dead. In Roanoke, the supernatural tribe make human sacrifices and taunt Shelby, yet Shelby thinks these people are alive — she has no idea that they are ghosts of the Roanoke colony.
In Murder House, the ghosts could not leave that horrifying house in which they died — they were tied to it for all of eternity. Between the murdering nurses reappearing in Matt and Shelby's home to the recurring Roanoke colony, it is starting to look as if the ghosts of My Roanoke Nightmare are also tied to the farm house.
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Roanoke Uses Actors Who Were Not Featured In Murder House
American Horror Story has a tendency to recycle its actors by using them in different roles. We've seen it many times since the series first began back in 2011 — for example, Jessica Lange played four completely different roles across four different seasons before departing from the show.
However, I noticed something rather peculiar about the cast of Roanoke — most of the AHS actors who played large roles in Murder House are either absent from Roanoke or have not appeared in it yet. Sarah Paulson and Denis O' Hare are the exceptions. Paulson appeared as medium Billie Dean Howard in Murder House but it was a rather minor role. Similarly, Denis O' Hare — who had a substantial role in Murder House — hasn't had much of a role in Roanoke yet.
Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett only joined the show with Season 3's Coven and Cuba Gooding Jr. made his AHS debut in Roanoke. While it's possible that this is a total coincidence you have to remember that this is American Horror Story we're talking about — everything happens for a reason.
Perhaps the exclusion of Murder House actors is deliberate so that if connections are made between the two seasons, people won't get confused by seeing the Murder House actors playing different roles. Although Paulson did briefly reprise her Murder House character in Hotel, her two characters never interacted on screen. If key actors were to reprise their former Murder House roles while they are playing different characters on Roanoke, that could certainly confuse viewers.
Does Evan Peters' Absence Suggest A Return For Tate?
There is a lot of debate as to why we haven't seen Evan Peters on Roanoke as of yet. Ryan Murphy did confirm that there will be a shocking twist later in the season so it's entirely possible that this twist is related to Peters' character. Murphy also confirmed that several fan favorite characters from previous seasons will be making appearances on Roanoke so perhaps we will see a few Murder House characters popping up this season. If this is the case, then Peters' absence could be due to him possibly reprising his role as Tate — his Murder House character — later on in the season following the shocking twist.
Tate's storyline was left rather ambiguous when Murder House concluded back in 2012, so a return for the character would be much appreciated by viewers of the series. Tate was a beloved character and fans were extremely devoted to his relationship with fellow Murder House character Violet Harmon. If we are to believe that fan favorite characters will return, then who better than Tate? It could explain Peters absence and it would definitely be a solid link between the two seasons of the show.
With more twists and turns set to to turn American Horror Story on its head in the coming episodes, who knows what surprises lie in store for fans of the show? Roanoke may only just beginning but clues seem to be materializing in every new episode and because of this I couldn't be more sure that Murder House is directly linked to Roanoke.
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays on FX. Do you think Roanoke is directly connected to Murder House? Tell me in the comment section below.