American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare kicked off last week. The debut shocked viewers by taking on a mokucumentary style format.
In case you missed last week’s episode, Lily Rabe and André Holland play Matt and Shelby, a couple who were victims of something (probably involving ghosts and/or being ripped off by a real estate agent) in North Carolina. Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. play their re-enactors. It’s almost like an episode of A Haunting or Celebrity Ghost Stories, but so much better because we’re not yet convinced Ryan Murphy isn’t secretly a sick human being (seriously buddy, we need to talk about how you come up with some of this stuff).
So far, the season is shaping up to be a long list of reasons why you don’t ever want to move into a giant, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere — especially when the real estate agent is only auctioning it up for $20,000. In case you’re ever presented with the opportunity to purchase a random home on 10 acres of land for less than the price of some used cars, consider what happens in episode two.
Warning: below has all the spoilers. It is literally everything that could be spoiled in episode two.
The episode opens where the last one left off. Shelby stumbles upon Kathy Bates who is performing some insane, cult-ish pig roast. They’re burning a guy — adorned in a very creepy dead pig’s head — alive over an open fire. Shelby isn’t pleased about the barbecue her neighbors appear to have thrown her. She freaks out and is brought to the hospital because the police think she’s taken hallucinogenic drugs (as would we if literally anyone we know told us they saw a human pig roast). This isn’t enough for Shelby and Matt to chalk the home up to a bad investment (as if that wasn’t already clear when the sky started raining human teeth the episode before). Some people need to learn their lesson the hard way.
Side note: if you look close enough, one of the people in the background of this scene totally looks like Lady Gaga, we we’re guessing this season Gaga will be part of whatever the heck kind of weird cult thing keeps planting Blair Witch-style stick figures all over.
The episode continues with Lee bringing her daughter, Flora, to the home for a visit — because the only way to know that your house is haunted for sure is to bring a child into the mix. Kids are like radar for ghosts; just leave them in a haunted place long enough, and they’ll have a concerning invisible friend or two. Flora’s ghost friend is named Priscilla and likes to talk about things like blood and Colonial-style head-wear. Lee hears a vase shatter and finds a Colonial-style bonnet on the floor. She starts to think Shelby’s onto something.
Once again, there are ominous pig squeals in the middle of the night. Shelby and Matt go out to confront the demonic cult (or “the Inbreds” as Shelby’s calling them), who she believes are trying to run them off their property. It turns out sometimes a wild pig is a just a wild pig. The pig does lead them to another creepy-as-anything campfire where another Blair Witch-style stick figure is being burned. Someone appears to be cooking bacon on the fire, but just throwing this out there, I’m getting the vibe that it’s definitely human. Human bacon.
Good ole Shelbs and Matt call the police again who offer them 24-hour protection (basically, to shut them up). Everyone knows 24-hour police protection means nothing when you’re in a horror movie. You’re probably not even safe pulling out your sleeping bag and roasting some marshmallows (or human bacon) in the middle of the precinct.
Just as predicted, they’re not safe at all. Matt sees a creepy vision in the middle of the night of two nurses shooting an elderly patient in the head for not taking her medicine. The nurses laugh about it and Matt calls the cops again. The cops are basically like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Rather than assume that the house is haunted and a terrible investment for literally the 100th strike against the house, Matt assumes he has brain damage from being knocked out.
The show continues as Flora is getting picked up by her dad. Flora likes to play this sadistic game of hide-and-seek which is basically how-much-do-my-parents-love-me-and-seek. She doesn’t tell them she’s hiding and waits to see how long it takes them to notice she’s missing and find her. They find her playing with her ghost BFF, who it turns out, isn’t very nice. Priscilla says that “they” were going to kill everyone in the house and save Flora for last. Flora’s dad freaks out and takes her out of there, screaming. Props to Dad for being the only one to recognize that this is basically Murder House 2.
Instead of moving, Lee falls off the wagon. Some weird stuff happens, but they just assume Lee was drunk. Matt carries Lee to bed and says “You gotta get your sh** together, girl.” The entire AHS audience is like “You too, dude. You too.”
Some more creepy stuff happens. Shelby sees a ghost child outside. Lee wakes up with visions of the creepy, killer nurses, a random demonic dude wearing a pig head and some other very strange things that she’s definitely not drunk enough to handle. Shelby and Matt find an underground bunker that someone has obviously lived in with a video camera.
This is where we find out what the deal with the house is…sort of.
Shelby and Matt play the video and what appears to be “an inbred” is actually a highly proficient, well read, college professor. He moved into the home to research a book he was writing — a true crime drama in the vein of Helter Skelter. The two creepy nurses were his subjects.
The nurses used the home as an assisted living facility and killed those who checked in. Patients had to meet the same criteria: have the type of family who doesn’t want to visit and have your name begin with a certain letter. They killed five patients and spray painted the first letter of their name on a wall in the house. The letters spell “MURDE.” Obviously, the sisters were trying to spell murder but never got to that last letter. How come they didn’t finish? Well, that’s what the professor is trying to find out. The official story is that they fled the country after murdering five patients, but the house was unoccupied for 15 years prior to the nursing home. The family who lived there before had left abruptly without taking a single personal item or leaving a forwarding address. Sketchy.
Once Shelby and Matt find out their home was the scene of five murders, they aren’t as keen on staying. They try to sell the house back to the bank, but let us remember that time they thought it was a good idea to pay $40,000 for a $20,000 home in an auction. These are not people who think things through. Obviously, all sales are final.
The episode ends with Lee kidnapping her daughter from her father’s house because kidnapping your kid is definitely the way to get a judge to agree to joint custody. Flora goes missing but she isn’t playing hide-and-seek. They find her yellow hoodie ominously hanging from the top of what looks like the tallest tree in North Carolina.
Moral of the story is: do not buy a house that costs $20,000. Obviously, you get what you pay for.