Billie Dean Howard is a medium Constance found on Craigslist. She has been helping Constance for years, trying to get Tate Langdon to move on to the next world. Billie Dean mentions she is in the process of shooting a reality show for Lifetime.
Appearance and Personality
Billie Dean Howard is a middle aged woman who dresses "business casual." She often wears suit coats with jewelry or floral shirts. Her character was called a “Lee Press-On Nails Psychic” to explain her sometimes "cheap" look. Her hair is medium blonde, parted toward the right side and curled at the ends. Her complexion is pale and she wears makeup, light lipstick, mascara and eyeliner. She has a furrowed brow and a serious expression to her face and plump, full lips. Her character as the psychic medium is self-involved and brash. She takes herself very serious. In this, we can find a bit of humor in her personality. She is very involved in her work and gets the job done to the best of her ability. She works with Constance trying to communicate with her son, Tate. She is afraid of Tate, because his presence is too strong for her to handle. While working with Constance, Billie Dean is able to explore the other spirits living in the Murder House. She has a distant cousin called, Claire Howard.
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She tells Constance that a child conceived by a human woman and ghostly father would be the Anti-Christ who will bring about the end of times.
Constance and Violet seek her help to get rid of Chad and Patrick. She tells them of one very successful exorcism, in the year 1590, at the Roanoke Colony. Billie Dean says that all settlers died and subsequently haunted the local Native Americans. One of the elders used property that the English settlers left behind and burned it. He then said "Croatoan" to cast a spell to banish them. Billie Dean recognizes that Violet is dead and speaks to her through telepathy. She tells Violet that she is sorry that she died so young. Violet pleads with her not to tell Constance. Billie Dean talks about the great evils and the energy that feeds the house, lamenting all the regret and pain many of the spirits feel. Tate then appears in the background. She is visibly shaken and states that "He cannot be here". When Violet asks what Billie Dean's reaction was all about, Constance replies that it was because it is emotionally difficult for a medium to encounter a dead person. Since Violet herself is dead and Billie Dean has no problem with her, Violet suspects this is untrue. However, she later learns the truth about Tate's background.
Billie Dean reappeared in the season finale of Hotel, speaking to John Lowe's ghost on Devil's Night for her TV show and then joining the serial killer dinner ghosts without her camera crew. She is threatened and told to keep her mouth shut by the ghosts and Ramona Royale , then sent running from the Hotel Cortez.
Powers and Abilities
Billie Dean Howard possesses powerful psychic abilities. As a medium, she could hear and see the dead; she is able to actually communicate with these spirits. Billie Dean can sense and feel spiritual energies, such as when she come to the Murder House and Hotel Cortez. She was able to speak to Violet Harmon through telepathy. She also had surrounded herself with the white spirit light that protect her from malevolent and dark spirits. Billie Dean Howard is the only character who possessed innate power to contact with ghosts.
- To Constance Langdon: "The dead can hold a grudge better than most Scorpios."
- To Violet Harmon: "I used to be like you. Until I was 25. When out of the blue my cleaning lady shows up as I'm brushing my teeth. Except she's got no toilet brush and rubber gloves, she's naked and bloody. Her husband murdered her with an ice pick."
- To Constance Langdon: "The Holy Ghost merely whispered in the Virgin Mary's ear and she begat the son of God. If the Devil's going to use a human womb for his spawn, he's going to want a little more bang for his buck."
- Billie Dean is the first character to be portrayed by Sarah Paulson. The second is Lana Winters, the third is Cordelia Foxx, the fourth and fifth are Bette and Dot Tattler, the sixth is Sally, the seventh is Audrey Tindall, and the eighth is Ally Mayfair-Richards
- Billie Dean Howard is the seventh character to make a crossover appearance in another season. She is hired by Iris to visit the Hotel Cortez in order to help Liz communicate with the recently deceased Tristan.
- Billie Dean is the first character portrayed by Sarah Paulson to possess some form of supernatural power, the second being Cordelia Foxx in "Coven".
- Billie Dean's appearance may be a nod to Allison DuBois' appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
- Ryan Murphy stated in the weeks before Michael Langdon's birth that Billie Dean's theory about him being the Anti-Christ is not necessarily true, though this may have been to provide an element of surprise for fans before the season finale.
- Billie mentioned that negative energy could appear in places such as prisons and asylums, trapping ghosts in their depths forever. The second season of American Horror Story is set in an insane asylum; ironically, no ghosts appeared in the second season.
- It is revealed in "Be Our Guest", the season finale of "Hotel", that in addition to being able to see ghosts, Billie Dean is also able to identify other supernatural species, as evidenced by when Ramona Royale confronted her and Billie was able to tell right away that she isn't human or a ghost.
- In a conversation with John Lowe, Billie Dean stated that in order to protect herself from malignant ghosts, she surrounds herself with "white spirit light" - the same thing Misty Day said to Fiona Goode in "Coven", and later Cricket Marlowe to the Miller family in "Roanoke" - himself a psychic medium.
- Billie Dean may be related to Timothy Howard, a character featured in "Asylum".