‘AHS’ Season 6: What’s New For ‘American Horror Story’ Season 6’s Cast In The 2016/2017 Story ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’

American Horror Story fans finally got to learn the secret theme for AHS Season 6, but here’s a guide to what else is new this season, from new and returning cast members, to weaving together the grand theme of all seasons of American Horror Story. If you aren’t up to date, AHS spoilers follow.

What Is The Theme For American Horror Story Season 6?

After numerous misleading teasers, the big mystery has finally been revealed as to the theme for AHS Season 6. My Roanoke Nightmare centers around the story of a couple, Matt and Shelby, who buy an old farmhouse in the country and find out they have some very unwelcome guests. Let’s just say that that buying a huge old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere for only $40,000 might set off some red flags in your brain. Just a thought, Matt and Shelby.

The format for this season is the couple re-telling their story in the style of many paranormal shows these days, featuring interviews with the “real” couple, interspersed with dramatic reenactments. So if you look at the American Horror Story cast listing and see two actors and two actresses for the main characters, that’s why.

As explained by USA Today, American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare makes reference to the real-life mystery surrounding the American colony of Roanoke. In 1590, the entire population of 117 people suddenly died, and no one knows why to this day. The legend has it that “their spirits lingered and haunted the Native population nearby, so an elder cast a banishment curse with the word ‘Croatoan.'” If you aren’t sure what that means and why that word was used, no one else is sure, either.

American Horror Story: Murder House made reference to the Roanoke colony, and that is one of many examples over the six seasons of AHS of inter-season references. Co-creator Ryan Murphy confirmed to EW that all seasonal themes are linked in some way.

“They’re all connected. We’re just beginning to tell you how they’re connected. They’re all very separate but there’s clues every season that we’re now telling you how the different worlds are intertwined.”

Astute AHS fans picked up on another reference to American Horror Story: Murder House in the premiere episode. The found footage in AHS Season 6 Episode 1 shows a glimpse of a man wearing a pig’s head as a mask, referencing the legend of Piggy Man from Murder House.

Looking outside the American Horror Story franchise, any horror fan can tell you there was also a clear reference to the film The Blair Witch Project, which has a current remake just released yesterday, two days after the AHS premiere. That’s either a big coincidence or some pretty clever marketing.


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sarah paulson american horror story : my roanoke nightmare
Sarah Paulson as the actressin the dramatic re-enactment of Shelby's story in American Horror story: My Roanoke Nightmare. [Image by FX]

Returning American Horror Story Cast Members

AHS fans were happy to see the return of some of their favorite cast members from previous seasons in American Horror Story Season 6 Episode 1, including Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and you may not have caught it, but that was Denis O’Hare in that creepy found footage. Even though we didn’t see them in this first AHS installment, we also know some other cast members are returning for American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare. According to IMDB, Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, and Cheyenne Jackson are on the cast list.

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Paulson plays the actress portraying Shelby in the dramatic reenactments, with Lily Rabe cast as the real-life Shelby. Angela Bassett also plays one of the reenactment actors as Matt’s sister, Lee. Kathy Bates appears to be playing a very sinister ghost from the Roanoke colony.

Kathy Bates in AHS season 6
[Image by FX]

New AHS Cast Members

One of the best things about American Horror Story is the way cast members return, creating a family of performers that AHS fans love. A very weird family, to be sure, but this season welcomes the following featured cast members so far: Cuba Gooding Jr, André Holland, and Adina Porter in starring roles. You may have also noticed a cameo by Chaz Bono in American Horror Story as one of the locals at the house auction making some serious side eye at Gooding and Paulson. Holland plays the real-life Matt, with Gooding as the actor in the dramatic reenactments. Porter portrays the real-life Lee.

The American Horror Story FAQ Of Most Common Questions:

  • Is Lady Gaga in AHS Season 6? Yes, Little Monsters, Mother Monster is coming to AHS: My Roanoke Nightmare as confirmed by Cinema Blend, although not in the starring role this time around. She’s busy making more Lady Gaga music for you all.
  • When does American Horror Story Season 6 start? It started on September 14, but you can catch up through many On Demand services, or watch American Horror Story online through various services such as Hulu.
  • Is Evan Peters in AHS Season 6? Yes, ladies, Evan Peters is credited as a cast member even though he has yet to appear in AHS: My Roanoke Nightmare.
  • What time does AHS start? American Horror Story airs on FX Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET, with repeating episodes after the initial screening. Or simply work that DVR.

[Feaured Image by FX]