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Shelby Miller is a traumatized wife. She is a character in Roanoke primarily portrayed by Lily Rabe. In most of her My Roanoke Nightmare experiences, she is portrayed by actress Audrey Tindall (who is portrayed by Sarah Paulson).

Background

Before the events of the season, Shelby worked as a yoga instructor in Los Angeles. It was on the job that she met her future husband, Matt.

Personality and Appearance

Shelby is a very relaxed individual and appears to have many hobbies; ranging from yoga to cooking (which she recently took up upon moving to North Carolina and has claimed it relaxes her) and she also appears to have a taste for red wine.

Shelby is Caucasian and dresses very casually. She has light blue eyes and blonde hair.

Story

Shelby met her husband, Matt, when he won a lottery for a yoga lesson at which Shelby was the instructor. Matt suffered a minor injury and never took another class but he did begin to date Shelby. Soon, they married and began living together in Los Angeles. Shelby got pregnant and Matt got a promotion. To celebrate, the pair went out - presumably for a meal - when they were attacked by a group of men who were partaking in a gang initiation. The attack severely injured Matt and he was taken into intensive care. Unresponsive, the doctors feared for his life, however, Shelby seemed positively certain that, if she could be with him, he would wake. She was correct, however, she soon began bleeding and it was stated that she had suffered from a miscarriage.

In order to escape the trauma, the pair went East, to North Carolina where Matt grew up. They spent a day in a forest where they stumbled upon a beautiful farm house. They soon decided to purchase the property at auction (the only other interested buyers being a group of hillbillies known only as the Polk family). When they lost the auction, the Polk men seemed agitated though they shortly left. Shelby and Matt, extremely happy with their purchase, entered their new home. Shelby stated that, from the first moment, though she loved the place, she felt danger there.

Soon after purchasing their new home, Shelby and Matt began to experience various strange events. The first of which occurred on their first night in the house. During intercourse, they heard strange noises and Matt went to investigate. Thinking it was a raccoon or a bear, Matt was shocked when he found trash spread throughout the garden and, even more so, frightened when something threw the trash can over his head. The next morning, Shelby hears an unusual hail against the property which turns out to be a rain of teeth; the teeth vanish after the onslaught.

Shelby worries about being alone in the house and begins seeing and hearing startling apparitions. While bathing in an outdoor hot-tub she is pushed underwater by vaguely seen figures in colonial dress carrying pitchforks and torches. However, a lack of evidence leaves police skeptical of her claims. Shelby begins to fear the house and wants to move, though she keeps those concerns to herself.

Matt later persuades his judgmental sister Lee Harris to move in to keep Shelby company and also sets up surveillance cameras around the property. Lee was revently fired from her police job due to an abuse of prescription pain-killers and her stark sobriety puts her at further odds with the wine-drinking Shelby.

When torch-bearing, knife wielding intruders, just as Shelby described, enter the property, Shelby and Lee hide downstairs and discover a found-footage video in which a man tracks a pig-headed creature. The power fails and the mob invades upstairs. Shelby and Lee then return upstairs to find the house has been strung up with interlaced wooden dolls and totems.

They show the police the video, who think it's a fake to intimidate the couple and scare them away. Shelby wants to leave, but Matt says that they have nowhere to go, as they've invested everything. Angry, Shelby leaves the house and drives off. She answers a call from Matt just before she collides with a woman in the road. The woman stands and walks into the woods, vanishing as Shelby pursues on foot. Shelby, now lost in the woods, finds a clearing with more of the hanging twine totems. The ground itself begins to undulate, as if breathing, and she runs deeper into the woods. She is surrounded by a torch-bearing mob and a man with his scalp removed to expose his brain collapses at her feet.[1]

Shelby is chased to the road where she is nearly run over by Lee. At the hospital, Shelby is cleared of having hallucinogens in her system as she tells her story of human sacrifice. The investigating officers find no evidence of her tale. The next morning, she tells Matt that she thinks the mountain men created an elaborate hoax to drive them away from the property, and that she and Matt will not be driven from their new home and investment so easily.

Shelby is wary of Lee's choice to let Flora visit, and Matt wants to fight for their homestead until they have an opportunity to sell. Later, Shelby awakes to hear a pig squealing outside, and she and Matt travel into the woods. They get separated, and Shelby happens upon the sacrificial fire, and they unite to find roasting meat and a wooden effigy, which Matt destroys. They direct the police to the site, and they post a bulletin for the Polk family and set up a protective detail for the Millers.

Matt and Shelby investigate the cellar and find a VHS camera with an intact tape. The man on the tape, Elias Cunningham, describes the same malevolent forces pursuing him that the couple has been experiencing.

Shelby and Matt search with the police and volunteers to find Lee's missing daughter Flora.

Shelby and Matt receive a late night call from the police, who have found a charred corpse strapped to a raised wooden hoop. Forensics removed a piece of jewelry, which leads to Lee identifing the corpse as her ex-hushand Mason. Matt's security camera recorded the exterior footage to his computer, and they speculate as to whether Lee was responsible for Mason's death. When Lee is understandably upset, a man named Cricket Marlowe enters the house claiming to have been called by a spirit from New Orleans to help them find Flora. Cricket says that Flora was abducted by the dead. Shelby and the family are skeptical, but allow Cricket to perform a seance to find her. However, Cricket says that he can find Flora, but that he will require a $25 000 fee from the family. They all immediately calls it an extortion and a fraud, and a desperate Lee counters by holding Cricket at gunpoint. Matt then tells Cricket to leave.

Later on, the Millers agree to go with Cricket into the woods at night, to search for Priscilla. Cricket attempts to negotiate with The Butcher for Flora's life in exchange for leaving the land and burning the house. During this time, Shelby discoverers a recently-missing Matt having sex with the horned woman. Thereafter, a furious Shelby screams at Matt, who has no memory of the incident when he returns to the house. When Lee later finds her way back to the house, she is arrested by the police, turned in by a steamed Shelby.[2]

After Shelby and Matt argue about his encounter with the horned woman, she prepares to bathe and is attacked by the Piggy Man, who materializes in different places around the house. The Piggy Man chases Shelby and Matt, slashing at them, until struck from behind by Elias Cunningham, who says the Piggy Man will return soon. He shows the Millers his records of the historic owners of the house. The history goes on, showing a pattern of the same lunar cycle in October: the dying grass moon. Hauntings can occur at any time, but the deaths and disappearances are in the same 6 day period.

Elias insists that they leave, but the Millers must find Flora first. Elias takes them on the periphery of the land to find her, but instead encounter the horned woman, and a incensed Shelby chases her. Elias tries to plead with Priscilla to release Flora, but he is shot by arrows from the Butcher's party. The Millers flee back to the house, where Cricket says he detects that Flora is still alive, but does not appreciate that they reneged on the deal with The Butcher. Cricket leaves and is shaken after a further parlay, this time with the horned woman, who's name is Scáthach. He recognizes her growing power, but he also offers Matt's sexual favors to her as a negotiating tactic. Cricket also relays the history to the Millers, and takes an Uber back to his hotel room to prepare, but is taken by the Butcher.

The Butcher has Flora and is to sacrifice her in front of the Millers, but with Priscilla's help is able to escape to Matt and Shelby. The Butcher guts Cricket while the Millers watch in horror. Ambrose assists his mother in disemboweling the medium.[3]

They calls for the police to address the mob outside, but Ambrose calls one last time for the family to surrender. Shelby plans a hasty escape with Flora, but a skittering creature steals the child first. They are able to recover her, but the past victims corral them. However, Edward Philippe Mott materializes and leads them to safety through the tunnels. They emerge outside, and are captured and blindfolded by the Polk family. The Polks, still upset about the police taking custody of the feral boys, plan to hand the Millers back to The Butcher. Matt takes an opportunity for them to escape from the Polk's truck, killing one of the brothers in the process. In retaliation, Mama Polk wounds Shelby by severing her foot. The surviving Polks deliver the Millers to the mob at the house where the colonists are to kill Flora just when Ambrose attacks his mother, pulling them both into a pyre. Lee's timely arrival and Edward's hasty intervention allow the family to escape in a car. Later on, they clean up and rest in a cheap motel after Shelby gets medical attention.[4]

Shelby, Matt, and Lee decide to give testimonials about their paranormal experiences afor a television program created by Sidney Aaron James called "My Roanoke Nightmare". Actress Audrey Tindall reenacts Shelby on the show. After My Roanoke Nightmare aires on television, it becomes a colossal success and Shelby and Matt become house hold names, however, they later separate and Shelby has an affair with the "cheap imitation" of him: Dominic Banks, the actor who reenacted Matt.

The next year, Shelby returns to the reality show Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell. She plans to reconcile with Matt while they're trapped together in the Roanoke house, but insists that Dominic not be involved. Unbeknownst to her, Sidney intends to keep Dominic on the show to increase the drama.

On the first day, tensions rise etween Shelby and Audrey, until Matt and Lee arrive and Shelby chases Matt out of the room, pleading him to talk to her. The participants part ways as the night winds on and Shelby tries to reconcile with a wary Matt, however, Dominic arrives and Matt immediately attacks him as Shelby watches in horror.[5]

Tensions in the house continue to rise as Shelby, Matt, and Dominic argue about Shelby's infidelity. The fighting is interrupted when Agnes appears and attacks Shelby, forcing Lee, Audrey, and Monet to go into the woods to find help.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Shelby and Dominic come across Matt having sex with Scáthach. Matt admits the he came back to the house for Scáthach, causing Shelby to murder him in a violent rage as Agnes rallies a mob outside.[6]

Shelby and Dominic plot their escape from the mob outside. They try to exit out the tunnels but are chased back inside by the previous residents and forced to retreat into the upstairs bathroom where Shelby, out of grief and regret for killing Matt, slits her own throat.[7]

Notes

  • In the fictional documentary "My Roanoke Nightmare" (i.e. most of Roanoke), Shelby is dramatically re-enacted in-universe by actress Audrey Tindall, who is in turn played by real-life Sarah Paulson. During scenes where she is describing her experiences, the "true" victim is portrayed by Lily Rabe.
  • Shelby is the only victim of Roanoke who committed suicide.
    • She was the second character of Rabe who committed suicide, besides Nora Montgomery.
  • Shelby, Matt, Mason, Sidney and Audrey are the only characters involved with the Roanoke incident that weren't killed by the forces brought from the paranormal entities of Roanoke.
  • Shelby is a fifth character portrayed by Lily Rabe, the others being Nora Montgomery, Sister Mary Eunice, Misty Day and Aileen Wuornos.
    • Currently, none of Lily's characters have lived to the end of their respecrive seasons.

Quotes

  • Shelby Miller: "Humans respond to fear in two simple ways: fight or flight."
  • Shelby Miller: "To this day I still have that dream. I've tried yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy even. We escaped with our lives that night, but I never completely got over it. I'm not sure I ever will."
  • To Sidney Aaron James: "I've read the vile things that people are saying about us online. I hear the comments they make. I try to ignore it and live my life, but at a certain point you have to you have to defend yourself. People leave hatchets stuck into my front door. I've gotten death threats."
  • To Lee and Matt: "It was a goddamn mistake. Jesus, I am so sick of you holding that over my head, I don't I don't know how many more ways I can apologize to you. I'm done. I'm done being punished for being human. Matt, it was one time, I swear to you. It was one time. I was lonely I was completely out of my mind."
  • To Dominic Banks: "I killed the only man I've ever loved. I took his life with my own hands. There's no place left for me."

Gallery

References

  1. Episode: Chapter 1
  2. Episode: Chapter 3
  3. Episode: Chapter 4
  4. Episode: Chapter 5
  5. Episode: Chapter 6
  6. Episode: Chapter 7
  7. Episode: Chapter 8

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