How 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' is connected to every season
American Horror Story season six ended with a bang Wednesday night. Roanoke was a wild installment full of unique twists, gruesome murders and, of course, wild connections to previous seasons.
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy confirmed to Entertainment Weekly in 2014 that every season of the show is connected. The first connection came in season four when Freak Show reintroduced Pepper, a character who appeared in season two. The connections continued into season five when Hotel incorporated plot lines from Murder House in season one and Coven in season three. Season six managed to take things up a level, making connections to the previous five seasons that came before it.
Season 1: 'Murder House'
The sixth season of American Horror Story had a major throwback to season one that could have easily been overlooked. In Roanoke, a psychic named Cricket visited Matt and Shelby at their farmhouse and warded off some of the evil spirits with one word: "Croatoan."
The meaning of "Croatoan" was actually explained by medium Billie Dean Howard in season one. Billie Dean gave the backstory of the Roanoke Colony and how the settlers mysteriously disappeared. According to Billie Dean, the spirits of the settlers continued to haunt local tribes. One elder eventually used a banishment curse to rid the land of the spirits, shouting "Croatoan" to complete it.
"Croatoan" wasn't the only reference to season one. It was revealed that the pig man who haunted the grounds was based on a legend that was told in Murder House. Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet appeared in a guest role as Derrick, a patient of Dr. Ben Harmon's. Derrick had a fear of urban legends, specifically the one of the "Piggy Man," a butcher in Chicago in 1893 who would wear a pig mask while butchering pigs. Legend had it that if you said "here piggy, pig, pig" in the mirror three times, the Piggy Man would appear and kill you.
The tale was revisited during season six, where it was revealed that the Piggy Man was actually a member of the Polk family. He was a butcher who eventually got bored of slaughtering pigs, and started killing humans.
Season 2: 'Asylum'
The season six finale reintroduced Lana Winters, a character from season two. Lana Winters was a reporter who was wrongly committed to Briarcliff Asylum after attempting to go undercover to research a serial killer. Lana was eventually released and went onto become a famed journalist who exposed the mistreatment of patients at the asylum. The character reappeared in season six to interview Lee, the sole survivor from the reality series Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell.
Season 3: 'Coven'
Some magic from season three worked its way into season six. Coven broke down the history of witches, revealing that there is one powerful Supreme witch in every generation. Roanoke actually featured the original Supreme, a witch named Scáthach. Scáthach was a descendant of Druids and worshipped the Old Gods. She got her power through blood sacrifices.
Season 4: 'Freak Show'
Matt and Shelby's haunted North Carolina farmhouse in Roanoke was built in 1792 by a man named Edward Philipe Mott — a relative of season four character Dandy Mott! The Mott family was wealthy, but the bloodline ended when Dandy was killed in Freak Show, which was set in 1952.
Season 5: 'Hotel'
Season six of American Horror Story didn't have an exact connection to season five, but it's easy to compare Lee Harris' decision to sacrifice herself to that of Det. John Lowe's. Lee decided to kill herself on the grounds of the farmhouse in order to give her daughter Flora a chance to live. She promised Flora that she could visit her and her ghost friend Priscilla whenever she wanted. John's young daughter had a similar arrangement with her father in Hotel after he was killed by police. John was not killed on the magical grounds of the hotel, so he could not haunt the building forever. However, he was able to return on Halloween night to reunite with his family. An eternal happy ending.