American Horror Story Season: Roanoke – Chapter 1

Aaannnndddddd we’re back. Another season of American Horror Story. Last year I vowed to write a synopsis of every episode and I’m sticking to that; fortunately I was told that it’s only 10 episodes long so it shouldn’t be too bad. At the end of last season I mentioned that this season would be American Horror Story: Cabin Fever. Well, I was wrong. I’m not completely sure where I got that from. I thought I saw it on TV but now I think I may have conjured it up in a dream, or made it up, or I was drunk. Either way, this season is not about a cabin in the woods where people get killed; it’s about a house in the woods where people get killed.

This year the writers opted for a documentary type season, one that unfortunately resembles the Lifetime Network show My Haunted House – a show that’s actually supposed to be believable but is not. So it’s the real people telling their real story complete with a dramatic reenactment. Got it? OK then, let’s begin.

We open with a couple, Matt and Shelby, introducing themselves and discussing how they’re the worlds greatest couple, kind of how all horror shows start. They talk about how great things were until they start talking about how things became not great: while celebrating Matt’s promotion and their pregnancy news a gang of assholes walk up to Matt and punch him in the face, knocking him out. He lands in the hospital, Shelby miscarries and now they no longer feel safe in the city so they begin searching for a house in the country. While frolicking in the woods they stumble upon a vacated house that could only look more scary if it were surrounded by hanging corpses.


Now to me a punch in the face isn’t enough to provoke me to live in the middle of nowhere. At least in a large city someone is bound to find your body. But what do I know, I’m an introvert and live in Texas where we all have acres and guns. Anyway, the aesthetics of the house are not enough to dissuade them and they eventually go on to win a bid for the house against 3 hillbillies, paying $40K for the house and the 10 acres surrounding it. Cheap, huh? Just like the Amityville Horror house. Still, the fact that they were able to purchase the house with so much property for so little doesn’t raise any red flags.

Predictably, the first day they move in they begin experiencing the paranormal. Their experiences include hearing pig noises, banging on their door, a trash can being thrown at them, the usual. A few days after moving in Matt goes out of town on business leaving Shelby home alone. Shelby enjoys her evening doing yoga, cooking and then getting in the hot tub where she is nearly drowned by a woman wearing old-timey clothing. She calls the cops and Matt; naturally neither of them find evidence of this imaginary woman. Regardless both Matt and Shelby believe it’s the hillbillies (the Polk family) messing with them, to which the cop replies that he’ll go find them.

Matt isn’t convinced the police are going to help them, primarily because nothing came of their visit and also he woke up to a slaughtered pig on his doorstep. He has to leave to continue his business trip but before he does he installs security cameras and moves his sister, Lee (a former cop), in to help watch over things while he’s away. To make it more fun and interesting it just so happens that Lee doesn’t like Shelby, primarily because she does yoga, and the hilarity ensues! Here’s some more background info on Lee: After getting hurt in the line of duty she became hooked on pain pills and consequently lost her job, which then led to a downward spiral that caused the end of her marriage as well as caused her to lose custody of her daughter, Flora. And now she’s stuck babysitting yoga-loving Shelby in a seemingly/obviously haunted house. On top of that she’s trying to stay sober, a fact she reiterates to Shelby when she asks her not to drink in the house.

That night Lee is awoken by an empty wine bottle rolling into her room. Angry and still sober she grabs the bottle and heads downstairs to confront Shelby, then they proceed to argue just as an angry ghost mob heads for the front door. Matt, who is still out of town, gets an alert on his phone prompted by the security cameras and can see the mob coming for them. After trying to reach Shelby, who can’t hear her phone because of yelling, he calls the cops and then speeds home. FINALLY Lee and Shelby are silenced by the sound of someone entering the home. Lee leads the way to investigate and they end up in the basement where they hear a man screaming. They find a video playing and on the screen, a pig-man can be seen. That’s right, a pig-man. A man with a pig head in place of his actual head, or placed over his head. He’s got a pig head for a head. When they finally emerge they are treated to an artsy display of hanging twig dolls. Matt finally arrives, Shelby and Lee show him the video; Shelby wants to leave and Matt’s response is “well I think it’s those hillbillies just messing with us, we’ll be fine. Also, we spent all of our money buying this house soooo…..”

Shelby throws a tantrum and leaves, and then hits a pedestrian because she was fucking with her phone. She gets out, the pedestrian gets up and, rather than notice that the pedestrian looks a lot like the person who tried to drown her, runs after her into the woods. Naturally she gets lost and things only continue to go south from there; she sees more hanging stick dolls, runs, trips (of course), the ground begins to move like she’s hallucinating the end of days, the villagers surround her, and then she’s treated to the the sight of a man who is missing his scalp and is now crawling towards her. She screams and that’s the end of episode one, and my faith in this show.

I have a few predictions for this show but they’re null and void because after Googling Roanoke (I’d heard the name but forgot anything I’d ever known about it) I kind of have an idea of where this season is going. BUT, I’ll continue to keep you updated on every episode, that way you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to. You’re welcome.


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