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WTF Does American Horror Story’s Theme Actually Mean?

Sarah Paulson AHS

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The American Horror Story season 6 premiere debuted on FX last night, finally giving fans a concrete answer as to WTF this year’s theme is. Well, sort of. The season is officially called “My Roanoke Nightmare,” but details on what the hell that actually means remain sparse.

However, based on last night’s episode and our ingenious minds, we have an idea.

Based on what we saw in last night’s episode, the season will be modeled after the “based on true events” TV format, which makes sense considering Murphy just came off of American Crime Story. The story will follow newlyweds Matt and Shelby, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson, who purchase a major fixer-upper in North Carolina. Matt is a pharmaceutical salesman who often travels to Raleigh for work, leaving his wife Shelby, a woman who recently had a miscarriage and is experiencing horrifying hallucinations, alone. Naturally, things can’t end well for these two.

But WTF does it all mean? The “Roanoke” in the title probably refers to the the island off NC, where a group of settlers infamously disappeared during the late 16th century.

Considering how decrepit the house looks, we have a feeling it might be tied to the Lost Colony. For anyone who skipped this part of history class, Deadline sheds some light on the creepy and historic moment.

“Roanoke” refers to Roanoke Island in North Carolina, site of the famous “Lost Colony” of 117 English settlers who disappeared sometime between 1585 and 1587, leaving behind only the message “Croatoan” (the name of a nearby Native American tribe with whom the colonists had established relations) carved into a tree. The disappearance happened during the chaotic Anglo-Spanish war (during which the 1588 attack by the Spanish Armada occurred), preventing regular contact with overseas settlements. As a result, the final fate of the colony has never been firmly established, though current prevailing opinion holds that they may have integrated with, or have been attacked and conquered by their neighbors. In any event, the Lost Colony remains one of early America’s most enduring mysteries.

TMZ first reported the presumed theme in August, when photos from the Santa Clarita included a photo of a tree with the word “Croatoan” inscribed in it. With a creepy The Hills Have Eyes feel to it, and elements from the first season’s epic haunter house, we’re sure this will be one hell of a season.

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