FX

8 American Horror Story: Roanoke Theories So Crazy They’re Probably True

Is Billie Dean Howard behind this entire thing?

American Horror Story: Roanoke has been toying with our emotions since day one. Framed as a docu-series called My Roanoke Nightmare, each episode reenacts the unsettling story of real-life couple Shelby and Matt (played by Lily Rabe and Andre Holland), who move into an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and are promptly haunted by angry ghosts. Pieced together by interviews with Rabe and Holland and dramatizations starring "actors" played by Sarah Paulson (as Shelby) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (as Matt), My Roanoke Nightmare plays like a paranormal series that's heavy on unexplained events — like teeth falling from the sky and sweaty sex with creepy entities in the woods — but light on actual sense.

We have no idea where this is all headed, but we do know that co-creator Ryan Murphy has game-changing twist planned for Episode 6 — one that he says will change the entire season as we know it. (Although to be fair, did we ever really know it?) Every time we think AHS is going to zig, it zags, and while there's a sickening sense of excitement in the unknown, it's also incredibly frustrating to be in the dark. Of course, that hasn't stopped the internet from theorizing this season's big twist. Will the apparent docu-series break the fourth wall and shift its POV to the production crew? Are the interview subjects actually ghosts? Is Billie Dean Howard behind this entire thing? Here's a look at how Roanoke has been potentially sowing the seeds for its big reveal.

  1. The interview subjects — Shelby, Matt, and Lee — are actually ghosts
    FX

    One of the major criticisms of this season has been that the stakes are seemingly too low. We know that Shelby, Matt, and Lee survive their harrowing encounters with the Roanoke ghosts; if they didn't, they wouldn't be doing interviews, right? Well, maybe. Given what we know about ghosts from Murder House, it's possible that the Shelby, Matt, and Lee we see giving interviews are actually ghosts themselves. According to AHS logic, ghosts can leave the house but not the property, so in order for this theory to be probable, the production would have to be taking place on the haunted Roanoke property, which could put the entire crew in danger. Either that, or they're filming the entire thing on Halloween — but given the wardrobe changes from episode to episode, we don't think that's the case.

  2. My Roanoke Nightmare is Billie Dean Howard’s reality show
    FX

    Remember Billie Dean Howard (Paulson), the Craigslist medium from Season 1? Well, when she popped into the Cortez Hotel last season, we learned that she was now working in reality television. So it's not out of the realm of possibility to imagine that she's the one pulling the strings behind the scenes of My Roanoke Nightmare. Not only would this explain the similarities between Roanoke and Murder House, but it would also make for a convincing twist, especially if the focus shifts toward the production side of things in Episode 6.

  3. The production is haunted
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    Another popular theory is that the production will become haunted by the Roanoke spirits. Of course, this only makes sense if My Roanoke Nightmare is actually filming on location at the "Murde— House," and so far, nothing in the show has alluded to this. We did, however, hear the voice of a producer in "Chapter 3" of the season, which implies that those behind the scenes will somehow factor into the narrative at some point. Murphy isn't just going to let AHS treasure Lily Rabe sit and talk the entire season, is he?

  4. Someone in the production will die to complete Bridget and Miranda’s MURDE— wall
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    Crazy murder-obsessed sister nurses Bridget and Miranda died before they could complete spelling their favorite word ("murder") on the wall; they were sadly one "R" short. So it seems plausible that anyone entering the house with a first name that begins with an "R" is in serious danger. So all you Rhonda, Russells, and Richards better stay away. That being said, how poetic would it be if one of the actors' names started with the letter "R"?

  5. Swine Witch is pregnant with Matt’s baby
    FX

    Why else would the Swine Witch (Lady Gaga) hook up with Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr.) in the woods if not for the opportunity to give birth to a demon baby?! AHS loves demon babies. Not to mention, pigs are symbols of fertility.

  6. Evan Peters is the man in the control room
    FX

    When it comes to American Horror Story: Roanoke, we have plenty of questions. Chief among them is: Where the hell is fan-favorite Evan Peters? We're three episodes into Roanoke and we've seen nary a hair on Peters' head. Is he part of the big reveal? One theory suggests that Peters is playing one of the producers working on My Roanoke Nightmare. Earlier this year, Peters snapped a photo of himself soaking in the excitement of live television in the Good Morning America control room. Some fans think this was research for AHS, but Peters was also spotted with noticeably red hair back in August. Why would he need to dye his hair red to play the part of a producer? Hmm.

  7. Alternatively, Evan Peters is Piggy-Man

    The more plausible theory is that Peters is the man underneath the Piggy-Man mask lurking in the woods. When this enigmatic character was briefly seen walking around during "Chapter 1," fans were quick to notice those pointy, bony shoulders and cry, "Peters!" But again, why would Peters need red hair to portray that character? Since we know relatively little about this Piggy-Man, we're just going to go with it. Maybe he's one of those creepy red-headed kids Shelby and Matt found in the barn, but all grown up. (Does anyone else think that those kids actually belong to the Swine Witch? After all, she also has red hair.)

  8. Shelby, Matt, and Lee made it all up
    FX

    What's real and what's fake? Who even knows. It's possible that none of this even happened and that it has all been fabricated by production. For all we know, interview subjects Shelby, Matt, and Lee could all be actors too. Something strange that fans picked up on in the first episode is that the interview subjects — Rabe, Holland, and Adina Porter — are younger than the three actors in the reenactments — Paulson, Gooding Jr., and Angela Bassett. Could it be because both the interviews and reenactments are being done by actors, and the real protagonists suffered a much worse fate, à la the Harmons in Murder House?