Betsy Austin

betsyaustinfilmBack to Outcast and its first episode, A Darkness Surrounds Him, we can start with the secondary characters. This one in particular is likely to have this single appearance in the show: Betsy Austin, portrayed by Lacy Camp. In the show, she’s the mother of Joshua, the possessed boy who’s also the first case of succesful exorcism on Kyle Barnes‘ account. She is shocked to see her boy chewing his fingers to the bone, and to witness his descent to what appears to be madness: she however seems to understand what’s really going on, as she immediately calls Reverend Anderson for help. In the comics her role is pretty much the same, and she doesn’t have much of a history…but we do not exclude anybody, so let’s take a look at her nevertheless.

Betsy’s early life is pretty much unknown, and not even her maiden name is revealed. It’s a safe bet that she was born in RomeWest Virginia, and she lived there all her life. As a girl she met a young man from her same town, Roger Austin, and she fell in love with him; in a matter of years, the two were married, and they found themselves a nice house (always in Rome, of course). The Austins had two children: an unnamed daughter, and Joshua, their little boy. Family life proceeded as normal as it could be, with the kids growing up, Roger often out of town for work, and Betsy who piously attended the celebrations led by Reverend Anderson, the local preacher, a man who had quite an obsession with demonic possession and who warned his followers every day from his pulpit of the everlasting war between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Despite her faith, Betsy didn’t pay much atttention to his words, believing in God and the Devil in quite a general way…until Joshua started feeling ill. Her boy, still little more than a kid, started behaving weirdly, first being harsher and more aggressive than usual, than developing a neverending hunger that forced him betsyaustincomics1to eat everything he found in the house. At first, Betsy and Roger thought of some sort of psychological disorder and decided to take measures, but one night Betsy’s view on the problem changed drastically: hearing that Joshua was in the kitchen, eating again, she reached him…and she found him chewing the flesh from his own fingers, arriving to the point of exposing the bone. Understandably shocked Betsy, who at the time was alone in the house, locked Joshua in his room, and then went to church to ask for the help of Reverend Anderson: she now believed that her boy suffered from something more serious than a “simple” psychological disorder, and she needed the help of an exorcist.

When the preacher arrived in her house, it just took a moment for him to realise that the demon possessing Joshua was powerful, and he ordered Betsy to leave the room: simply unable to abandon her baby, the woman decided to stay, despite Anderson repeated to her many times that she had to leave. As a result, when during the ritual the boy started levitating over his bed, Betsy received an inhumanly strong kick to the face, and she was thrown to the other side of the room with no effort by her “baby boy”. It was with growing desperation that Betsy, wounded, understood that Anderson was not strong enough to exorcise Joshua…luckily enough, help had just arrived from outside Rome: a prodigal son, Kyle Barnes, had returned, and he shared quite a history with Anderson. At first, not even Kyle’s arrival changed anything, and both he and Anderson were forced to flee from Joshua’s room, much to Betsy’s pain. When they came back in the second time, however, things went differently: using both the sunlight, which apparently armed the demon, and Kyle’s blood, poisonous for the creature, they managed to free Joshua, giving him back to his mother safe and sound. When the police, arrived on the scene due to the worrying noises coming from the house, betsyaustincomics2tried to arrest Kyle for violence against Joshua and his mother, Betsy readily defended him, and had all the charges dropped: she couldn’t allow the man she was the most grateful to to suffer for what he had done for her family. When Roger finally came back, she told him everything about the exorcism and of the role that Kyle Barnes had in it, and she celebrated with her husband the return to normal of their family. When Kyle came back to their house to check up on Joshua, both Betsy and Roger were simply enthusiast to see him again: they would have never forgotten the man who had saved their boy.

Betsy Austin is a perfectly normal middle-aged woman from a provincial town, a devoted wife and mother, a pious church-goer and a careful housewife. With her world of perfect normality shattered, she proves to have more qualities than it meets the eye, showing an uncommon strength and resourcefulness. Nothing, not even the Devil himself, can prevent Betsy from protecting her boy.



  1. […] due to strange noises coming from there: when he arrived on the place, he found Roger’s wife Betsy and son Joshua bloodied and bruised, and Kyle Barnes, a man locally famous for being a […]

  2. […] Holt was sure he had exactly what he needed to put the man behind bars, but Joshua’s mother, Betsy, retreated all charges, leaving Kyle once again unpunished. Mark told his brother-in-law that he […]

  3. […] Kyle and Megan went to town together, they met Reverend Anderson, who was going to visit Roger and Betsy Austin, whose son Joshua was apparently possessed. Anderson didn’t believe for a moment it was a […]

  4. […] he grew up and lived there for all his life. When he was still a young man he met a woman, Betsy, and she became his wife soon after. The two of them together became the perfectly normal […]

  5. […] Austin was a perfectly normal boy in a perfectly normal family: he was the son of Roger and Betsy Austin, and he lived with his parents and his little sister in a pretty house in Rome, West Virginia. […]

  6. […] Austin was born in Rome, West Virginia, the eldest daughter of Roger and Betsy Austin. She lived mostly with her mother in their big country house, since her father was often on the […]

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