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|“||I will make that fat f-ck's crimes look like a Boy Scout jamboree!||„|
|~ Margaret revealing her murderous nature.|
|“||I win. I am the final girl!||„|
|~ Margaret Booth.|
Margaret Booth is the main antagonist of American Horror Story: 1984 and the real killer of the 1970 Red Wood Camp massacre, for which she framed Benjamin Richter, her former best friend.
Initially, as the current director of Camp Redwood, she was portrayed as an odd fanatic and an innocent survivor of the massacre reportedly committed by Richter, whom the media dubbed "Mr. Jingles." However, in the fourth episode "True Killers" it was revealed that she was behind the massacre and thus the series' major events.
She was portrayed by Leslie Grossman.
Initial Personality - "Survivor"
At first, Margaret was portrayed as a fanatically devout Christian who claimed that God saved her from being a victim of Mr. Jingles — even though she did lose an ear. She insisted on banning acts that she considered "sins." This included drinking, taking drugs, and consuming pornography. She aimed to make Camp Redwood a "Godly" and decent place for children.
True Personality - "Killer"
However, Margaret was revealed to have both been the real killer behind Camp Redwood Massacre, and to have framed her former best friend, Benjamin Ritcher, for the murder simply because she believed he should protect her from the victims, who had bullied and abused her. Her incrimination eventually shaped him from a gentle and friendly man into the murderous Mr. Jingles.
She turned out to be a murderous and psychopathic maniac who relished in killing for pure enjoyment. Her religious beliefs were a false disguise, used to justify her cruel actions and obscure her true nature.
In 1970, Margaret Booth was a young counselor at Camp Redwood who was constantly bullied by her fellow counselors. She resented them, and soon grew closer to Benjamin Ritcher, later known as Mr. Jingles. He was a kind and gentle man but was scorned and isolated by the other counselors for his shy personality. The pair became friends, bound together by their "outcast" status. It eventually became apparent that Margaret only saw Benjamin as a possession (evidenced by her morbid look when she sucked out Benjamin's blood of his wound). Margaret attempted to pursuade Benjamin to help her with the massacre but Benjamin, feeling none of her resentment towards the other counselors, refused.
As a result, Margaret grew to resent Benjamin and was, at the same time, encouraged and manipulated by the ghost of Lavinia Richter, Benjamin's mother who hated him for (indirectly) causing the death of his younger brother Bobby, to enact her revenge. Margaret slaughtered the entire camp and cut off everyone but Benjamin's ear, alongside a ear of her own, to frame Benjamin for the murder and present herself as a victim. After Benjamin's arrest, Margaret soon took charge of the Camp Redwood and painted herself as the only survivor of the case. She left Benjamin to be tortured in a mental hospital, where, after years of being blamed for the crimes he didn't commit, he grew to accept his guilt, and eventually developed his murderous "Mr. Jingles" personality.
While in charge of Camp Redwood, Margaret disguised herself as a pious Christian and claimed to be working on making the camp a better place for children. However, she secretly worked with Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, and manipulated all of the sides of the protagonists, Mr. Jingles and Ramirez into killing each other, until she revealed herself to be the true killer of the 1970's crime and a remorseless, selfish sadist who showed no empathy towards others and enjoyed seeing her victims suffering.
She eventually recreated the tragedy once more and framed Brooke Thompson (the main heroine) for the murder by stabbing herself in the leg. Once again, Margaret claimed to be the survivor of yet another tragedy and married Trevor Kirchner, another survivor, who reluctantly blackmailed her into marrying him. For the next five years, Margaret gained wealth and fame through her double "survival." She exploited the sites of various massacres, and other macabre events, as place of interest for tourists, and threw away anything that was connected to religion or God. This sucess still wasn't enough, however.
Margaret then announced plans to host a Halloween music festival, with the aim of slaughtering all the attendees, so that Camp Redwood would became yet another "place of interest." She worked together with Ramirez and another serial killer named Bruce to enact the plan, killing several dozen musicians in the process. Nevertheless, her husband Trevor later had a change of heart after meeting the ghost of Montana Duke, who he fell in love with. Horrified by Margaret's actions, Trevor cancelled the music festival, driving Margaret into killing him outside the camp, so that he wouldn't come back as a ghost (although he was thankfully brought back by Brooke, who escaped from the prison, arrived at Camp Redwood for vengeance against Margaret, and dragged Trevor into the camp).
That night, Margaret fought Brooke and nearly killed her, but the ghosts of the former counselors, and Margaret's other victims, saved her. They then dismembered Margaret while she was alive, before throwing her remains into a shredder and spreading them outside the camp. However, Margaret had already died before her body was shredded. This turned Margaret into a ghost at Camp Redwood.
Thirty years later Bobby II Ritcher, Benjamin's son, returned to Camp Redwood to search for his father. He met the ghosts of Montana and Trevor, who admitted that they hadn't seen Benjamin since his death. They also revealed that Margaret had been behind the murders. Margaret's ghost then discovered and attacked Bobby. She tried to kill him twice, but was stopped, first by the ghost Benjamin, and then by the ghost of Lavinia, who injured Margaret's ghost and handed her to the other ghosts, making Margaret to gain her eternal punishment at last.
|“||Do you want to know the other great thing about God? You can use him to explain why something happened, but you can also use him to explain why you did something. Even something horrible. Isn't that great?||„|
|~ Margaret Booth|
|“||Cleanliness is next to godliness. Go clean yourself up.||„|
|~ Margaret to Booth|
|“||Why? Because he is innocent? Oh, come on. There is no such thing.||„|
|~ Margaret to Lavinia as she was about to kill Bobby; her last words before her final defeat|
- Margaret is the third religious fanatic of American Horror Story after Joan Ramsey from Coven and Pastor Charles from Cult, following the theme of religious fanaticism within the series.
- She is the fourth American Horror Story character named "Margaret". The first is Margaret Harvey from Murder House, the second is Margaret Gibson from Hotel, and the third is Margaret from Roanoke.
- Leslie Grossman explained that Margaret keeps her glasses on even if she is missing an ear because the arm of the glasses rests on the ear nub.
- Margaret Booth on the Pure Evil Wiki.