The story of the child-killing businessman William Afton from the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise.
NOTE: Everything here is in chronological order, not order of release. Also keep in mind that due to FNAF's vague storytelling, most of what is known about Afton and his family is up to a lot speculation.
Five Nights at Freddy's 4
William Afton only appears in the Fazbear location shown in the minigames, at the end of Night 3. If the player heads toward the left side of the section of restaurant with the double doors, and then heads back via proceeding right, they will see William placing the head of a Spring Bonnie costume on the head of an employee. In the following game, Sister Location, it is implied that William is the father of the minigame protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 4, the Crying Child.
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
In the opening scene of Sister Location, an entrepreneur is interviewing William about the Circus Baby's Pizza World animatronics. They inquire why certain features were added and express their concerns, but he avoids answering their questions regarding these specific features, which he had actually designed to make it easier for him to kidnap and murder children under the guise of kid-friendly entertainers.
William's company by the name of Afton Robotics is revealed to have created the Circus Baby animatronics, formerly owned Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rental (a rental subsidiary), and, by extension, Circus Baby's Pizza World. It's revealed that during Circus Baby's Pizza World's opening, William instructed his daughter, Elizabeth, not to go near Baby, due to her being programmed to kill children when they are alone. But Elizabeth does find herself alone with Baby, who lures her close with ice cream. Once she is within reach, Baby drops the ice cream and grabs William's daughter with a robotic claw, pulling the girl into her chest cavity and killing her.
It is revealed in the Custom Night's final cutscene that William sent his son, Michael, to his rundown factory to find his daughter. This ends up getting his son killed by his daughter Elizabeth and the other children, who are now possessing the animatronics. After Ennard vacates Michael's body, he repossesses his own corpse, which has decomposed into a purple colour. At the end of the cutscene, Michael vows to find his father.
Five Nights at Freddy's 2
Afton makes his debut in three of the four minigames that can randomly appear after getting a game over, although this isn't his first chronological appearance.
- In the third "level" of the Foxy Go! Go! Go! minigame, William can be seen standing next to the Pirate's Cove curtain, smiling to himself or at Foxy. When Foxy approaches the children that were happy and excited in the previous two levels, they are instead grey and lifeless. The minigame ends with Withered Foxy's jumpscare.
- In the Take Cake to the Children minigame, the player is Freddy trying to give cake to six impatient children in a small room, while a lone child is crying outside of the building. After a short time has passed a purple car drives up to the crying child and William exits the vehicle. The child begins to cry more and more while he stands next to them until they suddenly turn grey and lifeless. The minigame ends with a jumpscare by the Puppet after William gets back into the car and drives off.
- He also appears in the S-A-V-E-T-H-E-M minigame on rare occasions. In this minigame the Puppet leads Freddy to the prize corner in the FNaF 2 pizzeria, while a robotic voice spells out the letters of the minigame's name. Occasional pools of blood and five dead bodies can be found scattered around the map. Very rarely while entering a new room William will appear and attack Freddy. If he touches him, blue static instead of the usual red will fill the screen with the response "You can't." appearing in the corner, instantly ending the minigame.
Outside of the minigames Phone Guy will talk about an investigation going on at the newly opened pizzeria from Night 3 onwards, becoming increasingly concerned and uncomfortable with every message. He mentions someone may have tampered with the facial recognition software of the new Toy animatronics due to them getting increasingly aggressive towards staff members and adults, but interact with children just fine.
He later tells the player that the building is now on lockdown with nobody being allowed inside or outside the building, "previous employees" in particular and that the player might be moved over to dayshift next week since the position just became "available", when he previously stated that the dayshift guard reported nothing unusual. In his Night 6 message, Phone Guy mentions that a spare yellow suit in the back of the restaurant has been used since it wasn't in its original position and that now none of the animatronics are working properly anymore.
This heavily implies that William was either the dayshift guard or at least present and active during the events of the game, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Five Nights at Freddy's
Although he doesn't appear directly in the first game, there are hidden newspaper reports which mention him. After five children went missing, a suspect was arrested by the authorities, but was let go since there wasn't enough evidence for him to be convicted. It is unknown whether the suspect was Afton himself or someone innocent.
Five Nights at Freddy's 3
William Afton can be seen in the end-of-night minigames. After Night 1, the player can have the ability to play as 8-bit Freddy, and Shadow Freddy appears and says "Follow me.". After the player follows it to a secret room, it will say "ERROR" at the left-hand corner of the screen, followed by a static noise, and Purple Guy can be seen taking Freddy apart.
He then continues to do the same to the other animatronics as each night goes on. After Night 5, the player has the ability to play as the ghost of one of the murdered children. The player then has to walk to the Safe Room, which they have the ability to enter. William can be seen scared, with 4 of his victims blocking the exit. The player has to chase him around, and William will then immediately run into the empty Spring Bonnie suit. He then laughs at his victims, thinking he is safe, until the suit's spring-locks malfunction. As a result, the numerous mechanical parts lining the inside of the suit crush and puncture William's body until he died from serious injury and blood loss. In an ironic turn, Afton's spirit possessed the Spring Bonnie suit just like how his victims possessed other animatronic suits, turning him into Springtrap. The managers of the pizzeria found the broken animatronics and permanently shut down Fredbear Entertainment, leaving Springtrap to rot in the safe room.
30 years later, a horror attraction called "Fazbear's Fright" was made in an amusement park. Springtrap was found and placed inside this attraction. William, as Springtrap, noticed that he had no escape and attempted to kill the player for five nights. After Night 6, the attraction burns down. In Sister Location's Custom Night ending on Very Hard Golden Freddy mode, it is revealed that Springtrap has survived.
Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator
William Afton returns in the sixth installment as Springtrap once more, as the secondary antagonist. He makes his first appearance as Springtrap, after Tuesday's night is complete, during his salvaging phase. Like the other hostile animatronics, the player can choose whether to throw him back into the alley outside the pizzeria or to salvage him. If the player chooses to throw him back into the alley, he will be absent for the rest of the game. If the player chooses to salvage him, they will have to observe him while listening to five audio prompts. Springtrap, like the other animatronics, will move when the player's view is obstructed by the maintenance checklist. If the player fails, Springtrap will jumpscare the player and taunt them. If the player succeeds, William will disdainfully remark that the player deceived and lured him to their establishment.
Regardless of the outcome, the player will have to defend themselves from Springtrap onwards. After Saturday's night shift is complete, Elizabeth, possessing Baby, speaks to the player about how she and her father manipulated the player into inadvertently granting them children to kill, and souls to collect, before declaring that she will make her father proud. Her speech is then interrupted by the player's supervisor, known in-game as the Cassette Man (heavily implied to be William's former business partner, Henry). He sets the building on fire, and then informs the animatronics that they have all been lured to the player's establishment, as a trap set for them, in order to force the spirits possessing them to pass on to the afterlife. The Cassette Man specifically addresses William, telling him that he will be sent to Hell for his murders.
He also appears in at least two of the secret minigames, he appears as Spring Bonnie in the Fruity Maze minigame with Susie "helping" find her dead dog, the second time he appears is in the Security Puppet minigame after he kills Charlotte and drive away in his purple car. It is possible that he appears in the third minigame, Midnight Motorist as the so called "Orange Man", who drives home only to discover animatronic tracks and that his youngest son jumped out of his bedroom's window and went to the FNaF 4's restaurant.
Ultimate Custom Night
In this spin-off to the main series, it is heavily speculated that Afton is the main protagonist, being made to fight off several of the animatronics as part of his personal hell for every deplorable action he committed throughout his life. Some evidence pointing to this conclusion comes from lines the animatronics give towards the player one, in particular, being from Withered Chica, who is revealed to have been Afton's first victim from the previous game. In The Puppet's taunting lines, it states that it used to fear him, but is now in a position where it can exert judgment on the player for eternity, and how seeing him powerless was was like music to it. And how Nightmarionne goes on to proclaim that it was a nightmarish reflection (his murder of Cassette Man's daughter) of the consequences of his actions. Many also believe that the ambient noises heard in the secret Old Man Consequences minigame is, in fact, Afton declaring his eternal hatred for his son and his former business partner whilst burning in Hell much like how the Cassette Man foretold in Pizzeria Simulator. However, Glitchtrap seems to indicate he escaped this place or we play as Michael.
Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted
William is presumed to have returned in this VR game in his Spring Bonnie persona named Glitchtrap. He appears in the main menu, originally as a pair of purple glowing eyes. As the player collects more tapes in levels throughout the game, he gets closer and closer to the player, mostly waving at the player.
At the end of the Pizza Party Night Terrors level in blacklight mode, he beckons the player behind a curtain. If the player follows him, the player spawns as Freddy Fazbear onstage. After this, the credits roll, with Afton dancing in the background.
If the player collects all 16 tapes throughout the game, Afton will attempt to possess the player's body and escape into the real world at a random point. One ending to this has the player locked in front of a metal door, with Afton appearing through the door's lock and shushing the player before walking off. This may imply his success in escaping the game in the player's body, although the DLC implies that he didn't.
Curse of Dreadbear
If the player gets a bunny mask, they can hold the plushie that Afton was transformed into while holding the mask. This will begin a conversation between the player, Vanny, and William Afton. We tell William that we made the mask, that we will be ready for his plan and that it will be fun. This implies that Afton didn't escape the game, and that Glitchtrap is the true William.
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery
William, in the form of Springtrap returns in this AR game. The e-mails the player gets highly hint that one of the characters mentioned in them is Vanny. This might mean that William will return with a major role.
In the non-canonical spinoff game, Afton is a playable character in both his minigame-sprite and Springtrap forms.
In the lore
Very little is known about William's life before 1983. All we know is that he at one point in life met Henry Emily and became a father, having three (or four) children - an unnamed older brother (who may or may not be Michael Afton), Elizabeth, and the unnamed younger brother of the older brother.
At one point, most likely in 1973 or 1983, William and Henry opened Fredbear's Family Diner, and started a new company - Fazbear Entertainment, Incorporated. Fredbear's Family Diner had two springlock animatronics, which were both animatronics and wearable suits - Fredbear and Spring Bonnie. In 1983, another restaurant was opened, titled Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. Freddy's, compared to Fredbear's, had five animatronics - Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, Foxy the Pirate and The Puppet.
First murders and The Bite of '83
At first both restaurants were successful, but for an unknown reason, William killed Henry's daughter, Charlotte, outside of Freddy's. Charlotte's soul later possessed The Puppet, as the animatronic crawled near her corpse.
Shortly after that, William, wearing the Spring Bonnie suit, murders five children in Freddy's - Gabriel, Jeremy, Susie, Fritz and Cassidy, and stuffs the bodies into Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy and Golden Freddy. The Puppet gives life to the animatronics from Freddy's, while Cassidy possesess Golden Freddy. It is implied that William's younger son saw the incident.
A few days later, while the younger son is running away from an employee in Fredbear's suit, William is seen helping an employee wear a Spring Bonnie suit. Two days after that, the big brother and his friends put the younger brother into Fredbear's mouth as a prank, but it goes horribly wrong when Fredbear crushes the child's head. The child later dies in the hospital, Fredbear's Family Diner is closed down, and the event is called The Bite of '83. Shortly after that, Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is closed down for the murders.
The Sister Location
After the restaurants have closed down (or prior to the bite), William opens another restaurant titled Circus Baby's Pizza World. The pizzeria has six animatronics - Circus Baby, Funtime Freddy and Bon-Bon, Funtime Foxy, Ballora, the Bidybabs and the Minireenas. While it seemed like they were made to entertain kids, the main four robots were actually made to kill them. William brings his daughter, Elizabeth, to the pizzeria. While William isn't looking, Elizabeth goes to Circus Baby, and is killed by her. William shuts the entire restaurant down as soon as he learns about it, and claims it was due to gas leaks. The robots are trapped underground, in Circus Baby's Entertainment & Rental. Soon after that, he is questioned by an unknown person about what Baby can do. William lists everything she can do except killing children, and the man says that these weren't the design choices he was curious about. Meanwhile, Elizabeth possesess Baby.
Sometime after that, William tells Michael to go to the underground location to free his sister. Meanwhile, William mysteriously disappear.
The second and third Freddy's, and first death
In 1987, the second Freddy's is opened, and William comes out of the hiding. Sometime before Jeremy Fitzgerald became the night guard, William comes to the restaurant and kills five more children. The Puppet then gives them life, making the new toy robots possessed. William then quickly escapes the restaurant. The restaurant closes down two weeks later because of The Bite of '87, an incident in which an animatronic attacked someone (most likely Jeremy), biting off the frontal lobe. Later, a new restaurant opens, with the older models being repaired.
In 1993, a few months after the third Freddy's closed down, William (with the possible help of Shadow Freddy,) destroys the original four. But, the souls of Gabriel, Jeremy, Susie, Fritz and Cassidy start haunting William. William quickly spots the Spring Bonnie suit and jumps into it. At first, he laughed at the souls, but then experienced a springlock failure, in which the endoskeleton crushes a human body. After a few seconds, William dies. Some time after that, the room in which William died is boarded up by Fazbear Entertainment.
The Rise and Death of Springtrap
In 2023, 30 years after William's death, an unnamed person opens Fazbear's Fright, a horror attraction based on the tragedies that happened in Freddy Fazbear's Pizza decades ago. On the second day, the person and his friends find William's corpse in the Spring Bonnie suit, and they bring it into the attraction. But, it is revealed that William possessed the suit some time after his death. William, now called Springtrap, tries to kill the unnamed guard. Six days later, the attraction burns down, and Springtrap survives. As the suit is badly damaged, Springtrap repairs himself with another Spring Bonnie suit, and becomes Scraptrap.
Some time after Fazbear's Fright has burned down, Henry, shown to be still alive, opens a new restaurant, and calls Scraptrap to the location. Scraptrap knows this is a trap, but still goes there because he was curious. In there, he finds out that the manager is his son, Michael Afton, who after going to the underground location, got his insides ripped out by Ennard, an amalgamation of the endoskeletons of the Funtimes. Ennard was wearing Michael's body and when it became rotten and purple, Ennard ejected out of the body, but Michael survived. While trying to kill Michael, Scraptrap finds Molten Freddy, who was Ennard after the Funtimes kicked Baby out of the body and when Funtime Freddy took control. A day after Scraptrap was salvaged by Michael, Scrap Baby, who is Baby after being kicked out of Ennard, is salvaged by Michael. A day after Scrap Baby was salvaged, Lefty, who is a mysterious black bear, appears.
On Saturday, Scrap Baby is about to kill Michael and says she will make William proud, but Henry interrupts her. He reveals that Scraptrap was right, and this was a trap made to lure the remaining robots in, and sets the pizzeria on fire. Henry explains that Lefty has actually The Puppet inside him, and that he was made to capture him. When Scraptrap is slowly burning down, Henry says that "the darkest pit of Hell has opened to swallow him whole", and that he shouldn't keep the Devil waiting, and calls William a friend. Scraptrap is killed in the fire, seemingly once and for all.
Altough not confirmed and unlikely, it is possible that after William's death, Golden Freddy created a special version of Hell, made to torture William. If it is true, then William is tortured for an unknown period of time.
The Freddy Fazbear Virtual Experience and the Fazbear Funtime Service
Some time after William died for good, Fazbear Entertainment is re-established. After working with a indie game developer, who created games that gave the company a bad reputation, Fazbear Ent. starts working with Silver Parasol Games. Together, they make a VR game which was made to look like the events that happened in the pizzerias were nothing but lies. To make the game, they scan the circuit boards of various animatronics, including Scraptrap. Scanning Scraptrap's board added a virtual, not possessed version of Springtrap added into the game. But something else came with Springtrap. It was a virus taking the form of a non-animatronic Spring Bonnie suit, named Glitchtrap. Glitchtrap is confirmed to be in one way or another a version of William, no matter if it is only a part of the soul, or the entire soul. Glitchtrap encounters Jeremy Fitzgerald, who has survived getting his frontal lobe bitten off in 1987. Glitchtrap tries to make Jeremy join his side, but Jeremy cuts his own face off, which kills him. Then, Glitchtrap encounters Tape Girl, who as the name says, made 16 tapes. Tape Girl eventually spreads the tapes around the entire game. Fazbear Ent., after Jeremy's death, works with an unnamed company. The new beta tester is Vanny, who is coincidentally a follower of William himself. Vanny collects the tapes, making Glitchtrap stronger. Ultimately, she turns him into a plushie. Altough at first it seemed like Glitchtrap was defeated, it was actually made to make Glitchtrap safe, as no one would suspect anything about a plushie.
After the VR game was released, the company makes the Fazbear Funtime Service, a service made to send various animatronics to customers, entertaining them. However, due to a virus (Which is either Glitchtrap or the Puppet, who came back in a similiar way to William), the robots instead attack people. Meanwhile, Vanny is hired, where she meets Luis, who most likely has a crush on her. Other employees notice that a new animatronic was added, altough he isn't in the code of the service, and that animatronic is most likely Springtrap. The numerous clones of Springtrap in the Service aren't in any way possessed. Meanwhile, it is hinted that Glitchtrap is inside Vanny's mind.