TV

Is NC’s ‘Lost Colony’ the next ‘American Horror Story’?

John White discovers the word "CROATOAN" carved at Roanoke's fort palisade.
John White discovers the word "CROATOAN" carved at Roanoke's fort palisade.

“American Horror Story” – the FX anthology series whose previous seasons have featured Massachusetts mental patients, Louisiana witches and Florida circus freaks – appears to be drawing inspiration from a real-life North Carolina story for its upcoming sixth season.

The website TMZ has posted photos from the show’s California set that feature a pioneer village and the word “CROATOAN” carved into a tree.

That word, of course, was the only clue left behind on North Carolina’s Roanoke Island when 117 people mysteriously disappeared there in 1587. The story of the missing settlers is told in the long-running “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama in Manteo.

Laurel Anne Darden, marketing coordinator of the production, said Tuesday that she hadn’t heard whether there is a “Lost Colony” theme to the new season of the TV show. But it wouldn’t be too surprising.

I know that the producer, Ryan Murphy, is very interested in the Lost Colony story.

Laurel Anne Darden, marketing coordinator of ‘The Lost Colony’ in Manteo

“I know that the producer, Ryan Murphy, is very interested in the Lost Colony story,” she said.

The word “Croatoan” was mentioned in the first season of “American Horror Story,” which was set in present-day Los Angeles and concerned a house haunted by ghosts. That reference led to some speculation that Season 2 would be about the Roanoke Island settlers. Instead, the second season, known as “American Horror Story: Asylum,” was set in a mental hospital off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1960s.

The pattern of the show has been to have one season set in the present, then a season taking place in the past. Season 3’s “American Horror Story: Coven” involved modern-day witches in New Orleans, while Season 4’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” took place in a 1950s circus in Florida. Last season, “American Horror Story: Hotel” was again set in modern-day Los Angeles.

Though the series is fictional, it often weaves in real-life events and characters, such as Marie Laveau and Marie Delphine LaLaurie in New Orleans and the Black Dahlia in Los Angeles.

Season 6 of “American Horror Story,” with a cast including Lady Gaga, is set to premiere this fall.

“The Lost Colony” outdoor drama runs through late August at the Waterside Theatre in Manteo.

Thad Ogburn: 919-829-8987, @thadogburn

  Comments