While speculation about the theme itself has died down, Season 6 of American Horror Story continues to mystify and freak us out in equal measure. Episode 2 of My Roanoke Nightmare did little to answer the questions raised by the season's premiere. We still don't know what the hell Lady Gaga's up to; we still don't know why the hell 'teeth rain' is a thing. Instead, Episode 2 added even more mysteries for us to unravel.
The cult's pagan rituals and our new little ghost buddy called Priscilla will certainly come to the fore as the series continues to progress. Right now, though, all eyes are on the two killer nurses who are currently haunting Shelby and Matt's f**ked up house. And you thought the hospital in Season 2 of Scream Queens was deranged!
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Flashbacks to their murderous rampage were horrifying enough within the context of the show, but in perhaps the shows most meta-move yet, it turns out that American Horror's Story's latest additions to the program are actually based on real people.
What Did The Evil Nurses Do On AHS?
After a brief cameo in the first episode of My Roanoke Nightmare, Matt awoke this week to see a vision of the two nurses killing an elderly lady in cold blood. Upon her death, the 'caregivers' laughed with glee and sprayed the latter 'M' on the wall.
Later on, Matt and Shelby are led to an underground bunker by a distant figure, where they discover a video of a professor who used to occupy the house in 1997. Denis O'Hare's character is revealed to be Dr. Elias Cunningham, an academic who visited the house before a greater evil drove him into the bunker.
During Cunningham's monologue, flashbacks reveal that the nurses converted the house into an assisted living home that they used to kill five of their elderly patients, selecting those who wouldn't be missed by their families. In a horrifying twist, we learn that the dead were also selected based on their names, as the nurses would spray paint the first letter of their victim’s names on the wall to spell out “MURDE.” Either their next victim was going to have a name beginning with the letter 'R' or they were describing the house as shit in French.
Officially, the murderous caregivers fled the scene before they could be caught by the authorities, but Cunningham believes that they themselves were killed by a greater evil, hinting that Kathy Bates and her deranged cult are responsible.
The True Story
American Horror Story has drawn upon true events before, including the story of Edward Mordrake in the fourth season, Freakshow. But the real-life tale of these two nurses is arguably far more chilling.
Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood were two Michigan nurses who fell in love with one another while working at the Alpine Manor nursing home. So far, so cute, but things took a darker turn when the two lovers developed a taste for murder, dreaming up ways to kill the elderly patients who couldn't defend themselves.
Graham and Wood planned to spell out “MURDER” after each kill, just like on the show. However, their plan fell through because it was hard to find patients who fit their criteria, so the nurses began to count each murder as a day instead, as in the phrase, "I will love you for forever and a day."
Most of the kills that were depicted on American Horror Story were embellished, such as the rat poison and gunshot to the head. In reality, the nurses worked hard to ensure that each death looked like it had occurred due to natural causes in order to avoid suspicion. One murder that was true-to-life, though, was the moment when Graham choked one of their patients with a washcloth; this, chillingly, was lifted straight from the true story.
What Happened To The Evil Love Birds?
Just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Graham and Wood couldn't last forever. Eventually, the two nurses fell out of love, partly due to the fact that Graham was fed up of doing all the donkey work while Wood simply kept watch during each murder. Wood later spilled the beans to her ex-husband, who unsurprisingly notified the authorities, leading quickly to their arrest.
A poem that Wood wrote for Graham was introduced in the 1989 trial after they were arrested, which concluded with the words, "You'll be mine forever and five days," — one day for each murder. The pair reportedly kept souvenirs from each murder too as an adorable keepsake, but the police could never find them.
However, the love had clearly died by the time the trial took place, as Wood testified against her former partner Graham, who was convicted and sentenced to six consecutive life terms. In exchange, Wood just pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges and was able to avoid a life sentence for her cooperation, earning 20 to 40 years jail time instead.
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Although this gripping story of betrayal doesn't give us younger lovebirds much hope, there's an important lesson here: don't trust your partner, if your partner is also a cold-blooded killer of senior citizens.
Although it's still unclear which direction American Horror Story will take for the rest of Season 6, it's looking extremely likely that the two nurses will appear again as Shelby and Matt fight to unravel the mysteries behind Murder House 2.0. If Murphy continues in this vein, we may also see more real-life killers, just like these evil nurses and the other murderers who previously appeared on the show.
How will these evil nurses tie in with the overarching mystery of Roanoke and the creepy cult?
Source via The Wrap