'American Horror Story 6' premiere and theme, explained

SPOILER ALERT! The following contains spoilers from the premiere of 'American Horror Story 6.'

Since the announcement of the show's sixth season, American Horror Story has been playing with us. FX dropped teaser after teaser for the new season, but only one revealed the true theme of the anthology show this year, according to USA TODAY.

Astute AHS fans may remember in Season 1there's a reference to the American colony of Roanoke, where in 1590 all 117 people died suddenly. Their spirits lingered and haunted the Native population nearby, so an elder cast a banishment curse with the word "Croatoan." Billie Dean Howard told that story in Season 1, and now the nightmare has returned to haunt us in Season 6, aka "My Roanoke Nightmare." (Did you figure out which was the true teaser? Good for you!)

The show also picked up a new format this time around, resembling a true crime documentary. Two casts tell the story -- the talking heads of our characters, and the ones that are living out the nightmare. Lily Rabe is the real, present-day Shelby, and in the reenacted timeline she's played by Sarah Paulson. André Holland is Matt in the present, and he's played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the flashback (those who watched The People vs. O.J. Simpson may appreciate this particular casting choice). We also have Matt's sister Lee, played by Adina Porter in the present and AHS fave Angela Bassett in the past.

The significance of the new format was not immediately obvious -- some assume it means Matt and Shelby will survive, but there aren't any guarantees. It certainly leaves room for plenty of horror, as Matt and Shelby move into an old farmhouse and terrifying things start happening (think: rain of teeth, dead pigs, ghostly women in hallways, men with pig heads and creepy straw dolls). Many elements of these horrors have a distinctly colonial twist, from the dolls to the torches to the woman Shelby hits with her car as she's trying to get away from this really poor real estate decision.

The preview for the rest of the season promises more flashbacks and testimonials, and a lot of Kathy Bates in colonial garb with a meat cleaver. Because the bearded lady costume from AHS: Freak Show wasn't enough.

So, are we getting Lady Gaga in a bonnet or what?


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