American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

The Butcher (given name: Thomasin White[1]) is the leader of the lost colony of Roanoke and the main antagonist of the sixth season. She is a character in Roanoke primarily portrayed by Susan Berger. In the documentary My Roanoke Nightmare, she is portrayed by actress Agnes Mary Winstead (an in-universe actress portrayed by Kathy Bates).


Thomasin White was married to John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony. When John ventured off on a supply run, Thomasin was left in charge of the colonists, but rebellious insurgents, led by Mr. Cage, wanted to relocate the village inland for the coming winter. Thomasin refused, so the rogue colonists — including her own son, Ambrose — placed her in a scold's bridle and banished her from the colony, leaving her in the forest to starve to death. She was there, alone in the woods, when she heard the rumblings of a wild boar headed towards her. Convinced that she would soon be dead, she began to pray, until the boar was abruptly slaughtered by a dark force - Scáthach, a witch who appeared suddenly from the mist-enraptured trees. Scáthach magically removed the cage from Thomasin's head and offered her the raw pig heart in exchange for her soul. Thomasin ate the heart and regained her strength, returning to the camp with a vengeance. After slaughtering Mr. Cage and the rest of the insurgents, she reluctantly spared her son, but reclaimed dominion over the colony, which then moved a hundred miles inland.[2]

Over time, Ambrose objected to the sacrifices made by his mother in the name of Scáthach and her deities, horrified by the killing of children to "sanctify the land". He believed that his mother had turned her back on the Christian God, and soon after formed a rebellion against her. Scáthach detailed a plan to Thomasin as retribution for their betrayal: under the auspices of a special communion of repentance, the Butcher poisoned her fellow men and women and stabbed her son, killing the colony and tethering their souls to the land. Thomasin, the last living mortal in the colony, offered herself to Scáthach, who took Thomasin's blade and killed her, completing the dark sacrament.[3]

History goes on, showing a pattern of the same lunar cycle in October: the dying grass moon, or Blood Moon, which gives the Butcher and her colony the freedom to kill the living in order to consecrate the sacred grounds in blood. Over the years, the many historic owners of a mansion built on the ghostly colonists' land have died at the hands of the Butcher and her cadre of undead settlers. The first recorded man to be killed on the grounds was Edward Philippe Mott, who built the estate in 1792. In 1973, the Chen family tried to protect themselves with folk magic, but The Butcher and colonists slaughtered them. On October 29, 1988, the murderous Jane sisters, Miranda and Bridget, were sacrificed at the hands of The Butcher as well.[3]

The Butcher had a business pact with Mama Polk and her family. The Polk family would deliver fresh civilians to the colony during each Blood Moon for sacrifice, and in return, the Polks would be left alone.[4]

Personality and Appearance[]

The Butcher is the self-titled leader of the land in which the Roanoke House is located and is very hostile towards trespassers. The Butcher is clearly presented as a violent woman with immense drive and motivation to protect "her land" and protect her colony. The Butcher is a vengeful and unforgiving woman, brutally murdering the men in the colony who initially betrayed her, showing she has no hesitation in murdering her own people, including her son, Ambrose, albeit to bind them to the land.

The Butcher has black hair with hints of gray and is light-skinned. She wears a colonial dress and usually has blood, possibly human, on her face. As a ghost of Roanoke, she appears to look much less human in appearance than ghosts shown in previous seasons, displaying characteristics more akin to having diseased or rotting green flesh.


In 2014, in order to make her move out, the Butcher tried to drown Shelby Miller while she was relaxing in the hot tub outside the house, but was nowhere to be found when she saved herself.

After having an argument with Matt and leaving the house, Shelby hit the Butcher with her car on the road nearby the house. Afraid that something might be wrong with the mysterious figure that she just hit, Shelby tried to talk to her, but she got on her feet and disappeared into the forest. Shelby followed her, but soon found herself lost and not being able to find her way back to the road.[5] She stumbles on the colony sacrificing a scalped man. The Butcher and her colony hammered a "pig's tail" to the man's rear end, and accused him of desertion, and hoarding stolen provisions. A pig's head is placed on his head and he is roasted over a fire. The Butcher and her accomplice, Scathach, spot Shelby and call for her to be seized and they chase her to the road.[6]

The Butcher appeared during Cricket's séance when he was trying to find Flora. She demanded the house is a part of her territory and tried to make Matt, Shelby and Lee move out of the house by breaking a candle and a few windows in front of their eyes. Later, Cricket tried to get in touch with her again in the woods nearby and she appeared with members of the colony carrying torches. She agreed to the terms laid out by Cricket: she would return Flora to Lee, and the Millers would move out of the house and leave the sacred grounds of her colony. However, their deal is left un-negotiated, as Matt wonders off deeper into the woods, and Shelby goes after him.[2]

The Butcher found Flora and is to sacrifice her in front of the Millers, but with Priscilla's help, Flora is able to escape to Matt and Shelby. Cricket, as it turns out, was captured. The Butcher guts him while the Millers watch, and Ambrose assists his mother in disemboweling the medium.[3]

As soon as they escape, the Millers are captured and delivered by the Polk family to the colony at the house, and the Butcher offers her condolences to Mama Polk for the death of her son. The colonists are to kill Flora, but Ambrose attacks his mother and pulls them both into a pyre of fire as Lee arrives and the Millers escape in a car.[4]

In 2016, as Agnes Mary Winstead lights a fire outside the house, demanding satisfaction from the occupants inside it, the Butcher and her colony arrive and surround Agnes. The Butcher then kills Agnes by thrusting her cleaver into Agnes' face.[7]

Lee Miller is briefly possessed by Scathach to aid the Butcher in killing the remaining cast of Return to Roanoke. Fans of the show Sophie Green and Milo end up being found by the colonists and they are forced onto stakes and get burned alive.[8]

In a TV show, called Spirit Chasers, a group of paranormal investigators trespasses onto the Roanoke House grounds during the Blood Moon, hoping to capture the reported ghosts of the house on film. Their investigation ends quickly and they are attacked by the many ghosts that haunt the land. As they attempt to flee off the property to the police cars waiting outside, they are killed by the Butcher and her colony.[9] During the next day Lee kills herself with Priscilla's help while Flora leaves. The Butcher and her colony are seen on a hill walking down to kill the many police officers and reporters on the grounds.


The Butcher is the first ghost to demonstrate supernatural powers and abilities. This may be due to having sold her soul to the witch Scáthach, who placed her under the curse of the October Blood Moon; by having been granted these powers, the Butcher can more easily carry out Scáthach's commands. Alongside Edward Mordrake, she could be considered one of the most powerful ghosts in the American Horror Story universe.

  • Spirit Commandant - The Butcher gained the ability to control and command all of the ghosts that died by her hand, who follow her orders out of fear.
  • Telekinesis - The ability to move objects with the mind. The Butcher displayed this power during a séance conducted by Cricket Marlowe, Shelby, and Lee, shattering all windows of the Roanoke House before careening a cleaver at a candle, splitting it in half as a warning.
  • Pyrokinesis - The ability to create, control and manipulate fire with the mind. The Butcher can instantaneously set bonfires and is perpetually surrounded by the lit torches of the ghostly Roanoke colonists.
  • Transmutation - The ability to move instantaneously from one location to another. This power is possessed by all ghosts residing in the place of their death; however, due to having died outdoors, it is presumed that the Butcher can appear anywhere in the forests of North Carolina.
  • Intangibility / Invisibility - As a ghost, The Butcher has the ability to become tangible / seen or intangible / unseen at will.


  • The reenacted Butcher is the fourth character portrayed by Kathy Bates. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • The Butcher is the first character in American Horror Story to be portrayed by Susan Berger.
  • The Butcher is only absent from "Chapter 6" throughout the season.
  • The Butcher is one of the strongest ghosts in the show, alongside Edward Mordrake.
  • The Butcher is based on the historical Tomasyn White, but her name is spelled differently in-universe and in production, either deliberately or mistakenly. Another difference is that real-life Tomasyn never had a son named Ambrose, only a boy named Thomas that died at a very young age, and a girl named Eleanor.
  • The Butcher, and other members of the Roanoke colony, use a very distinct Original Pronunciation Accent, common in late 16th Century Britain.
  • In "Chapter 7", The Butcher and her followers prepared to perform a ritual sacrifice by chanting an eerie poem in Gaelic. The text is the Gaelic version of some of the lines Agnes Mary Winstead (impersonating the Butcher) pronounced during My Roanoke Nightmare, and reads as follows: "Am an theine far gach uile chnoic. Am an sleagh catha." Translated as "I am the fire on every hill. I am the spear of battle."
  • The real Butcher never said a word.


  • The Butcher: "I am the queen of every hive. I am the fire on every hill. I am the shield over every head. I am the spear of battle. Who but am I both the tree and the lightning that strikes it."[6]
  • The Butcher: "This deserter was found just at the edge of the wood with our provisions stolen from the storehouse. Justice demands penance for his betrayal. For he is but a cloven beast, rotting in the mire and muck, as unclean as his festering soul. Speak, pig! Speak! Let him be purified."[6]
  • The Butcher: "I shall stop at nothing to hold safe this colony. I shall stack the bodies high as cordwood."[2]
  • The Butcher: "Seize her!"[6]
  • The Butcher: "Had I that child, she would have been flayed and roasted by now. Priscilla, the bastard seed, has hidden her away, somewhere beyond our hallowed ground. I shall not step one foot off my land. Never again. I must protect it from trespassers such as thee."[2]
  • The Butcher: "Thou hath lost a son tonight. 'Tis a mother's burden to suffer the birth of her babe. But all agony pales when placed in measure with the cold death of that child."[4]
  • The Butcher: "If thou wishes not to follow me in this life, thou will follow me in the next. We shall never leave this place. It is our land. I will soak this earth with our blood. Let it mingle with the soil, tether us to these grounds forever!"[3]
  • The Butcher: "Thou hast chosen to remain on these hallowed grounds, despite our warnings. For these sins, thy blood shall sanctify the land. Thy body to enrich the soil. And thy soul to serve me for eternity and a day."
  • The Butcher: "This land will always be mine. And I shall consecrate my holy right to it with thy blood."



  1. Although based on real-life Tomasyn White, the names is spelt differently by the AHS production.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode: Chapter 3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Episode: Chapter 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode: Chapter 5
  5. Episode: Chapter 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Episode: Chapter 2
  7. Episode: Chapter 7
  8. Episode: Chapter 9
  9. Episode: Chapter 10