American Gothic is a horror/drama/thriller series set in the heart of South Carolina in a small town called Trinity. In this town not everyone are as they seem and everyone seems to follow their leader, Sheriff Lucas Buck... who might not be as human as he seems. His son, Caleb Temple, was brought up by another family and was lead to believe that a man called Gage was his father. The local doctor, Matt Crower, gets curious when suddenly the Sheriff wants everything to do with Caleb. Then Caleb's cousin, Gail Emory, comes to town to protect Caleb in every way she can, but that is extremely difficult when she fall in love with Lucas. Then Caleb's school teacher, Miss Selena Coombs, becomes jealous. But also on Caleb's side is his dead sister, Merlyn. She is an angel prepared to do ANYTHING to keep Lucas away...
Caleb Temple's 10th birthday turns nightmarish when his sister, Merlyn Temple, is killed and his father, Gage Temple, is the prime suspect. Gage's guilt seems confirmed when he commits suicide in his jail cell, leaving Caleb an orphan... except for the ghost of Merlyn. Caleb seems to find a father figure in Dr. Matt Crower, but this won't last if Sheriff Lucas Buck has any say in the matter.
Fleeing deep into the woods from Sheriff Lucas Buck, young Caleb takes refuge in an eerie, abandoned hunting lodge and is terrified when he discovers a dying man who has been tortured and is being held prisoner there.
Sheriff Buck calls in a favor from the local judge who is overseeing Caleb's custody hearing, hoping to ensure his favored status, but he doesn't stop there.
Carter Brown panics when Sheriff Buck wants his teen-age daughter to work for him as payback for an old favor. When he refuses, his life quickly begins to unravel.
Gail may have pushed Sheriff Buck too far when she accuses him of foul play in the death of his former girlfriend, who was with him just before her car mysteriously drove off a bridge.
Selena reaches out to Caleb and tries to help him with his school work. She begins to spend extra time with him which bothers Lucas. Selena also tries to reconcile with her father.
When Jack Drey, a South Carolina state police lieutenant, throws his weight around in the investigation of the disappearance of his adulterous brother-in-law, Hack Weller, Sheriff Buck becomes wary. Drey suspects that Weller's obsession with Selena might have driven a vicious Buck to kill him.
Sheriff Lucas Buck gets revenge --in his own chilling fashion-- on four men who move to Trinity and set off a crime wave.
Dr. Matt struggles with his alcoholism and the death of his family. Lucas tries to push him over the edge by offering him a drink and forcing the bizarre memories of his wife and daughter.
Artie, Ben Healy's brother, holds-up a local store in Trinity for a cheap watch. Ben and Lucas respond to the robbery and Ben accidentally shoots Artie. Artie, injured but still conscious, takes Lucas hostage.