“When John White returned from his voyage to England, he found that the colony of the first English settlement in the New World was abandoned. The only clue to the colonists’ whereabouts was the word C-R-O-A-T-O-A-N found carved on a post at the settler’s fort on Roanoke Island.
What the secret of Croatoan is and in particular what its connection is that caused colony’s disappearance remains a mystery to this day. It would be remiss, however, not to mention one more theory, that of the natives who once lived on Roanoke Island all those years ago. The Croatans themselves believed that the island had a spirit and, if angered, this spirit had the power to change those who offended it into the form of animals, trees and rocks.
John White drew this map of the coast of North Carolina and Virginia in 1585 and 1586. (Note that west, not north, is up.) Although his efforts to map the coast helped him find Roanoke Island, the colonists he left behind had disappeared.
“The towne of Pomeiock,” by John White. Image: the British Museum.
Croatoan has been found in several other mysterious places.
-When famous poet Edgar Allen Poe was on his death bed, he apparently whispered the word shortly before his demise.
-Croatoan was found scribbled in the journal of Amelia Earnhart after her disappearance in 1937.
-Similar to the lost colony, Croatoan was found carved into the post of the last bed that horror author Ambrose Bierce slept in before mysteriously vanishing.
-Notorious stagecoach robber Black Bart carved the word on his prison cell’s wall before he was was released and mysteriously vanished.
-Croatoan was found written on the last page of the logbook of the ship Carroll A. Deering when it crashed into Cape Hatteras in 1921 with no one aboard.”
Images: American Horror Story: Roanoke, Chapter 3