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'American Horror Story: Coven' teaser: Voodoo queen Angela Bassett

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol

RedEye

2:09 PM CDT, September 25, 2013

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The latest teaser and motion poster from FX's "American Horror Story: Coven" gives us a closer look at Angela Bassett's character.

In the video above, which includes the line, "This fall, respect your elders," we see Marie Laveau—a real-life practioner of voodoo in the 1800s who was called "the voodoo queen of New Orleans" and, according to folklore, danced with a snake and presided over bloody rituals.

"Coven" creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk must have heard about the snake, because their Laveau seems to have a snake tail in both the video and poster. Is it part of her body or is he just hiding under her skirts?

According to the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, Laveau was born a free person of color and between the 1820s and 1860s became known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Laveau could reportedly grant wishes and heal people. Her youngest daughter, Marie Laveau II, is said to have succeeded her and led more elaborate prayers

When Laveau died on June 15, 1881, newspaper obituaries told varied stories about her life, with some saying she was a saint and others calling her a witch.

The museum reports that according folklore and traditions, she was a hairdresser, domestic informant, madame and blackmailer. She could "fix court cases and cheate the executioner," and used her powerful Voodoo to cuase the deaths of at least one governor and one lieutenant governor.

Visitors still visit Laveau's grave today to make wishes, the museum says.

In "Coven," Laveau and Fiona (Jessica Lange), the Supreme witch of the coven operating out of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, will work to repair a rift between Laveau's voodoo priestesses and Fiona's witches. Bassett has said that the character is only loosely based on the real Laveau. Kathy Bates plays another historical character, serial killer Marie Delphine LaLaurie.

The 13-part third installment of the horror anthology will premiere at 9 p.m. CT Oct. 9 on FX.

Here's more from FX about "Coven," which is currently filming in New Orleans:

"American Horror Story: Coven" tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America. Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona (Jessica Lange), the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town, determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.





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