American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

William van Henderson is an actor who portrayed Elias Cunningham in My Roanoke Nightmare. He is a character in Roanoke portrayed by Denis O'Hare. To date, William van Henderson is one of the few members of the main cast of My Roanoke Nightmare who is still alive.


Not much is known about William van Henderson before “My Roanoke Nightmare”, where he portrayed Professor Elias Cunningham, a man haunted by the horrors of the Roanoke House. William was going to be on the sequel, “Return to Roanoke” but declined Sidney's offer.[1]

Personality and Appearance[]

William is a man in his fifties. He is tall, with a lean built and thinning brown hair. Outside of his role in the pseudo-documentary, William was shown wearing semi-formal clothes and having a more joyful personality when compared to Elias Cunningham, the character he portrayed in the show, who's a man driven mad by the supernatural and gruesome events at the Roanoke House.

William is a professional actor who, however, declined Sidney Aaron James' invitation to return on set to film the sequel. Thus, he's one of the few original cast members that doesn't die during the filming of the sequel to the critically acclaimed “My Roanoke Nightmare”, called “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell”.[2]


William is interviewed by a news anchor about Lee Harris. William explains that he and Lee worked together on “My Roanoke Nightmare” but the only interaction they've ever exchanged was just a brief hello at the premiere of the show. He explains that he only remembers that Lee wears the perfume Shalimar. The news anchor continues the interview by mentioning “Return to Roanoke” and that William didn't return to participate in the season. William explains that he was invited by Sidney Aaron James but he declined the offer. William also wanted to address that there was many conflicting reports about him not returning to the show and wanted to set the record straight to the audience.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode: Chapter 5
  2. Episode: Chapter 10