Killers, Cults and Queens

5: The creepy disappearance of the Roanoke Colony

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Episode notes

Cheryl Hole and Nikki Druce are turning back the clock to the 1500s, to travel to the “new world” (see: America). After a previous failed attempt, Queen Elizabeth the 1st was hell bent on colonising as much of the world as possible, and so, under the guidance of John White, 120 volunteers travelled 3,795 miles across the choppy Atlantic to create their new home… it was the last journey they would ever take, as just a few years later they would mysteriously vanish off the face of the Earth. Who were the lost colony of Roanoke, and what actually happened? Cheryl and Nikki are about to find out. Expect some seriously misguided holiday advice, the longest travel delay probably anyone has ever experienced, and of course, conspiracy theories of epic proportions.

00:00 - Intro
07:37 - Nikki sets the scene
09:30 - Queen Elizabeth the 1st’s mission for Sir Walter Raleigh 
10:26 - Sir Walter sends Ralph Lane and Sir Richard Granville on the first mission to Roanoke
13:55 - The first mission goes immediately wrong
15:08 - Ralph murders the leader of the Secotan Tribe, Wingina
15:51 - Sir Francis Drake rescues the idiot men
16:48 - John White leads the second attempt to Chesapeake Bay
19:16 - Mutiny is afoot on Croatoan
22:04 - John tries to make friends with Algonquian people with the help of Chief Manteo
23:39 - The botched attack on the Dasamongueponke tribe
25:07 - The colony run low on supplies, so John makes the trip back
26:28 - The many delays of John White
27:24 - John White returns to Roanoke, only to find everyone gone
29:06 - Could they have gone to Croatoan?
35:56 - Did they turn into cannibals?
37:45 - Could they have fallen prey to witches?
41:20 - The Spirit of the Wendigo and the Reptillian Devil of the Woods
42:33 - The Dare Stones
47:54 - What archaeologists have found since
50:14 - Outro

This episode is sponsored by Skin+Me. Head to and use the code QUEENS to try your first month for just £3.50.

For all things Killers, Cults and Queens, head over to @killerscultsqueens on Instagram. And follow Cheryl Hole @cherylholequeen and Nikki Druce @macabrelondonpodcast.

Produced by Alexandra Jueno at Audioboom Studios. 

If you have been affected by any of the themes in this episode, please consider contacting the following resources:

The Samaritans helpline: 116 123
Confidential Emotional Support Line: 01708 765200
Sane mental health line: 0300 304 7000

The knowledge out there on this topic is vast, so if your interest is peaked by this episode. Please take a look at our sources:

The Mysterious Disappearance of Roanoke Colony
Roanoke: The Colonists Who Vanished
Lost Colony of Roanoke - Documentary
Roanoke Colony - Wikipedia
John White (colonist and artist) - Wikipedia
The Lost Colony of Roanoke: 8 Theories About the Mysterious Island and Its Inhabitants
20 Unsettling Events in the Life of the Settlers of Jamestown, Virginia 
Evidence Grows, the Lost Colony Split Up.
LI802XS 2020 Spring: Roanoke Colony: DNA Project
America’s First Mystery: What Happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke?