"My Roanoke Nightmare" is a made-for-television documentary series inside the universe of American Horror Story ("a show within a show"), and is the framing premise behind season six, Roanoke. Within the timeline of the American Horror Story universe, it aired for five episodes in the fall of 2015. Some disclaimers such as "Based on actual events" blur this line.
Due to the success of the show, a sequel series was created titled "Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell."
|“||My Roanoke Nightmare was the television success story of 2015. With minimal promotion, the show garnered 23 million viewers by its finale, topping that week's airing of Sunday Night Football, Empire, and The Walking Dead.||”|
|— Critical acclaim[src]|
The real-time incidents happened during the span of September-October 2014. Those events were depicted and re-enacted on My Roanoke Nightmare which was filmed during July-August 2015 and aired in Fall that year.
Exploiting the wave of the show's success, Sidney Aaron James decided to produce a sequel, in the format of a reality show, entitled Return to Roanoke, grouping both the witnesses and the actors who impersonated them in the Roanoke House during the October Blood Moon. The result is more bloody than expected.
The survivors of the events give their take on the story, while different actors portray them as reenactments. The "real" cast (otherwise known as the "actual people" in the American Horror Story universe) go as follows:
- Shelby Miller (portrayed by Lily Rabe)
- Matt Miller (portrayed by André Holland)
- Lee Miller (portrayed by Adina Porter)
With other details of events given by:
AHS Repertory Company portrayed fictional actors playing roles in the in-universe TV series. Some of them were unnamed and served as guests and extras solely during reenactments but not as full-fledged characters outside the set of “My Roanoke Nightmare.”
- Sophie Green: "On the surface, it's an interracial story set in a post-racial world. Which, of course, is a lie. But they're really talking about the colonization of America. The Butcher and the Roanoke Colony. Which became a matriarchy in a patriarchal system. That's why it's so timely. It's a battle we're fighting today."
- Sidney Aaron James: "Reality is what we make of it."