The "Real" Legend of American Horror Story: Roanoke's Pig Man
American Horror Story fans have plenty of nightmare fodder this season. Tomasyn White, the ghost of a vengeful colonist played by Kathy Bates, is enough to chill anyone’s bones—but she’s not the only one wreaking havoc in Roanoke. A man with the head of a pig, once one of White’s victims, is also terrorizing residents of the isolated house.
While there was a real Tomasyn White—she was the wife of Roanoke governor John White—as far as we know, she wasn’t particularly terrifying. The legend of the Pigman, however, has had people shaking in their boots for decades.
Like any small town worth its salt, Angola, New York, is home to a creepy tale that has been passed down to generations of teenagers looking to scare themselves while out for a drive on a Friday night. The story goes like this:
There was a hog farmer and butcher who lived on the outskirts of Angola. When he was inundated with work, the butcher would impale the heads of butchered pigs along spikes on his driveway. Locals were fully aware of the butcher’s bizarre "do not disturb" sign and knew to leave him alone when the decapitated heads appeared.
At least, most people knew to leave him alone. A few teenagers decided to test the seriousness of the situation—and, perhaps finding the butcher in a particularly foul mood, were quickly beheaded for their troubles. Like the porcine victims before them, the teenagers’ heads were reportedly impaled on stakes to warn off others. It’s said that the butcher escaped into the nearby woods and was never found, but evidence that he’s still lurking out there pops up from time to time.
Should you want to see a reenactment of the legend, Travel Channel has got you covered:
The road the butcher allegedly once lived on, Holland Road, is now nicknamed "Pigman Bridge Road," and it's still a hotspot for kids looking for a thrill.
But Angola doesn't have the market cornered on ham-handed serial killers. Like crybaby bridges and vanishing hitchhikers, there are Pigman legends scattered across the United States, including in Georgia, Texas, and Vermont.