On last week’s premiere of season six of American Horror Story we were introduced to the Millers on a frightumentary called My Roanoke Nightmare. Shelby has already made contact with two of the spirits that roam her land, and we anxiously await as the haunting begins in earnest. Will the Millers learn more about the missing colony?
Miranda and Bridget
I love how tonight’s episode has picked up right where it left off. Ryan Murphy is sticking to his guns on presenting this season in documentary form and although some of my friends are a bit confused by the way this season is being presented, I am not. I am a big fan of the ghost documentaries on Destination America because you’re hearing the story from the people who survived a haunting and lived to talk about it. I think my friends’ confusion was trying to figure out the real Shelby and Matt from the reenactors. Lily Rabe and Andre Holland are the real Shelby and Matt and Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. are the actors in the documentary.
Now that we’ve unscrambled that glitch, the brilliance of doing this show in documentary form is that you get to be frightened twice; once my listening to what happened to the Millers and then again when you see it playing out on the screen. Buying a home that has demonic spirits attached to it is no picnic. It goes way past buying a house with a bad roof or leaking pipes. The realtors and banks won’t tell you that the house is known to cause death by hauntings and this is definitely not a problem that Mike Holmes can fix. Shelby and Matt are prisoners of the property until they can sell the home at a loss.
Shelby, before fleeing for her life, witnesses a human sacrifice with Kathy Bates as the queen sorceress and Lady Gaga as some devious sprite dancing around a man who not only has a pig’s head shoved upon him, but is then roasted over an open pit. We begin to understand that this is way more than your average ghost tale. After Lee finds Shelby, she’s taken to the hospital where she reports what she saw in the woods.
No one believes Shelby and I find this kind of weird and yet so important to the story because I’m sure this isn’t the first time that the local police have received reports about that home. The hospital staff checks Shelby for drugs use, but finding her clean, assume it was a hallucination. House rich and cash poor, the Millers are forced to return to the home.
Even though Lee has seen some scary shit and, even though she and her family think it’s the hillbilly farmers who are playing these tricks, she brings her young daughter to the home for a visit. Mason, Lee’s ex-husband has no clue that his daughter is in danger or that the house is haunted and to me this shows Lee’s true character. She is a narcissist. Lee places her own needs before her child’s. She could have taken Flora to a hotel for the weekend visit.
As expected, because after all this is a ghost story, Flora makes a friend with an invisible child named Priscilla. We don’t see Priscilla. There is no need to see the ghost because we can hear little Flora talking and giggling with someone when the adults are not around. Why Lee didn’t grab her little girl and skedaddle as quickly as possible after finding the bonnet beats me, but she didn’t. We are led to believe that Priscilla is from the time of the original vanishing and that she might be a good ghost.
The cops are called again when Shelby and Matt get lost in the woods while investigating another pig squealing outside the home. I’m not sure how they got separated, but Shelby and Matt come across a gruesome bonfire complete with the overcooked squealing pig. What do the police do? They leave a squad car outside the Miller’s home and, we learn the name of papa hillbilly; Ishmael Polk.
But, there are other ghosts in that house and they are anything but nice. Matt is awakened by a phone call that leads him to witness two nurses abusing an elderly patient before shooting her. These ghosts are from a later period than the ghosts that Shelby saw. Matt awakens the sleeping officer outside his home, but again, there is no proof and the police now think the Millers are crazy. We can feel the frustration of the Millers, but come on. I would have called in the neighborhood priest by now to do a blessing of the home.
I need to stop here and explain they type of haunting Matt had witnessed. He was watching a residual haunting where a memory of an event plays over and over, usually during certain times of the day or year. The nurses did not see Matt although he saw them and even spoke to them. This is why the police found no evidence of a crime or the letter M spray painted on the wall by the homicidal nurses.
While Lee gets drunk after an argument with Mason over Flora’s safety, Matt and Shelby see a spirit standing over a root cellar some distance from the house. This story gets more involved when we learn that someone had been living in that root cellar. Why?
Via a VHS tape, Matt and Shelby learn about Dr. Elias Cunningham (Denis O’Hare) and the reason he was living in the home. He was doing research for his true crime novel, but things got too wild and he had to hide in the root cellar. The Millers also learn about the Jane sisters.
The house had many tenants, but Miranda and Bridget Jane were something right out of a hospice nightmare. They were nurses who liked to torture, then kill their elderly charges using the alphabet to spell out the word Murder, but they never finished the word. The police think they took off, but Elias knows what really happened. The sisters were done in by an evil entity that lived in the house.
The Millers are trapped by a thirty year mortgage. They have nowhere to go and no funds to go to the nearest hotel. They are at the mercy of the spirits. That VHS tape proves what we already knew; Matt wasn’t hallucinating. His tearing down the loosely pasted wallpaper reveals the incomplete word, Murde, leaving us to wonder if the final letter will be added with the next death.
I love ghost stories and I love doing ghost investigations, but even though the homes I investigate only have Caspers (benign spirits), but there are homes that are haunted by angry or demonic spirits. Some of these spirits are able to hurt and possibly kill the living as I found out while doing an investigation that you can read about here.
It’s fun watching a documentary about ghosts when you’re cuddled safely on your sofa and sipping a cup of herbal tea, but for the people experiencing a nasty haunting, it is outright frightening. It didn’t help that Lee brought Flora back to the house even though she knew something was wrong. I knew what would happen to that child. We all did. The blood on that tree and Flora’s yellow sweater prove that the spirits will do all in their power to take back the home and the land. See you in a few weeks after my vacation in Italy. I wonder what family spirits I’ll come across while I’m there.