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As the first half of the season follows the "show within a show," the second half follows the couple from the documentary and the reenactment actors as they venture back to the creepy house to experience the horror for themselves. They come face to face with the real versions of the characters they play. And just like any season of American Horror Story, it goes bad very quickly. The main antagonist of the season is a woman simply referred to as The Butcher. In the first half of the season, Kathy Bates plays an actress named Agnes Mary Winstead, who portrays The Butcher in the reenactments. She gets a little too into the character, turning murderous after she"s given a restraining order from the cast and crew.
While that"s scary enough, it gets worse when you see The Real Butcher. Along with the acts that she commits, part of what makes her so scary is her appearance. Through makeup, prosthetics, and a great performance, the character comes across as a horrific, murderous, cleaver-wielding ghost that even the bravest people wouldn"t want to cross. But what does the actress who plays The Real Butcher look like under all that? You"d be surprised.
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Unlike the Real Butcher, actress Susan Berger lives a normal, peaceful life. She"s been acting for almost 40 years, with her first job being a guest role in the original Hawaii Five-O television series in 1973. Since then, she"s had guest roles in Hannah Montana, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grey"s Anatomy, This Is Us, and more. She was married to actor Barry Corbin, who some might recognize as Coach Whitey from One Tree Hill or Merle Tucker from Modern Family, for almost twenty years until their divorce in 1993.
Thankfully, Berger has nothing in common with her character in American Horror Story: Roanoke. In the story, The Real Butcher is the wife of the governor of the Roanoke Colony. While her husband is away on a supply run, she is exiled and left in the woods to starve. A witch named Scáthach frees her in exchange for her soul, and thus The Real Butcher is born, returning to her mutinous colony and slaughtering nearly everyone. Over the years, The Real Butcher continues to sacrifice anything and everything to Scáthach, before meeting her own end. She then continues the task in the afterlife every Blood Moon, luring people to the woods and killing them.
Without all the makeup and costuming that she wears in American Horror Story: Roanoke, Berger is pretty hard to recognize. Despite that, her memorable turn as The Real Butcher continues to stoke fear in viewers" hearts. Hopefully Berger will return to the horror genre someday soon. Who knows? Maybe she"ll even come back in the next season of American Horror Story.