ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

This week on American Horror Story, we learned a whole load of stuff. In fact, we must be headed to that BIG GIANT TWIST Ryan Murphy's been teasing us about, because the mystery of the entire set-up so far was revealed in Chapter 4.

Check out all of the secrets we uncovered in American Horror Story season 6 episode 4.

1. The Meaning of ''Croatoan''

Denis O'Hare shows up, tweed-clad and brimming with knowledge like an American Rupert Giles, and begins to explain EVERYTHING. His character, Elias, tells us that the meaning of the word ''Croatoan'' is actually kind of straightforward:

  • It was left behind so followers could find the colony
  • It's a word of ''dark power and blood magic''
  • It can be used to ward off the spirits (well, for 359 days of the year, anyway. More on that later)

Check out recaps of the previous episodes of AHS: Roanoke.

2. The History of the House

Before Elias is turned into a human pin cushion, he manages to tell a horrified Matt and Shelby the history of their house... and it's not pleasant. Presenting them with a ''complete list of the paranormal activity of the house and the surrounding area'' — bet that's a great read! — Elias breaks down some of the worst things to befall the accursed property:

  • 1792, Edward Phillipe Mott (as in Freak Show's Dandy Mott!?) completed building the house. He was the first to disappear.
  • October 3, 1952 (Mean Girls Day!) 3 hunters pulled rifles on each other and blew each others heads off.
  • October 19, 1973 the Chen family go missing. If you were wondering about the song playing during their TV dinner, it's 'I Can Feel Your Heartbeat' by The Partridge Family.

  • October 29, 1989. The nasty nurse sisters ''go missing,'' although we see in a flashback that they were brutally killed by Thomasin.

3. The Red Moon

The red moon exerts a deadly power in AHS / Pinterest
The red moon exerts a deadly power in AHS / Pinterest

You must have noticed that all of the freaky shit that went down in the Millers' house happened during October. Don't worry, Elias has an explanation for that, too. The murders all occurred:

''During the same lunar period. The dying grass moon, six days from the first quarter moon to the first half moon.''

This is known as the Red Moon, and it's a time when Thomasin and her Earth-bound spirits become deadly as opposed to just creepy and inconvenient. They assume a solid form and can't be warded of by yelling ''Croatoan'' in their general direction. If Matt and Shelby weren't freaked out enough, Elias helpfully adds:

''The first quarter moon rises tonight, we have to leave right now.''

4. The Story of Priscilla

The whole reason that Matt and Shelby's house has the power of a thousand evils is uncovered: the house stands on the ''site of the true lost colony of Roanoke.'' Cricket explains that Thomasin's congregation wandered,

''but they were never lost. They came here and they were living in the horn of plenty.''

However, the price demanded for their bounty was ''more cruel than anyone could imagine:'' they were practicing human sacrifice, and poor little Priscilla was chosen. Kathy Bates at her finest bashes the child's face in with a rock, roaring:

''I shall soak the soil with our blood and tether us to these grounds forever''

5. The Story of ''The Bitch With the real power''

Last but not least, although we still don't know the name of the majestic Gaga witch character, we now know that she's ''the bitch with the real power.'' Cricket takes charge of this swathe of exposition as Elias has gotten himself shot full of arrows, telling us the history of the Gaga Witch.

''She'd been an English girl once, a descendent of the druids and their Roman conquerors.''

She left England for America as a stowaway, where the sailors blamed her for the perilous voyage and decided to burn her at the stake as a witch. Answering to a more ancient and deadly power than the pilgrims' feeble God, Gaga Witch killed every sailor on board and disappeared into the wilderness. Powered by her immense blood offering, her power grew. It's hardly surprising that Cricket's ''sage, sacred herbs, the pocket book of chants'' ended in disembowelment rather than victory. Let the theories begin.


Do you have any theories about who the Gaga Witch is in AHS: Roanoke?

Check out the promo for next week's episode, Chapter 5, when Shelby and Matt will truly be Under Attack (it can't just be me with that Abba song in their head now...)


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