Robert Thompson, currently identified as Ethan Morrow, is the local "priest" in Shady Brook. He spends most of his time in the town's equivalent of a church. He suffers from delusions of grandeur and narcissistic personality disorder.
Robert Thompson was born in November 1886. He grew up in a small village that would later become the city of Trenton, Oklahoma. When he was only two, Robert's father walked out on the family, and his mother took over as best she could. Robert had no siblings, but his mother struggled to care for him due to health issues. Before Robert's fifteenth birthday, his mother died from lung cancer. At that young age, Robert vowed to make a family of his own and be a stable, loving father to his many children.
As a young adult, Robert worked in a variety of labor-intensive, remedial jobs but struggled to hold down work. He was always a lone wolf, but the loneliness hit him hard every night. To fill the void, Robert became obsessed with world religions. He was determined to drink up esoteric knowledge and find answers to all of life's questions. In his off hours, he read every ancient text he could get his hands on and soon became particularly intrigued by the occult and dark arts.
Robert became obsessed with Black Magick and began to perform paganistic rituals to get the things he wanted in life. He spent years and years perfecting the rituals, though he could find no evidence that his efforts were not in vain.
One evening, at the age of 56, Robert became so frustrated with his life that he planned to hang himself. As he tied a belt over his shower door in preparation for the act, a young girl appeared before him and identified herself only as Eve. She told Robert that he was special and that she, as a representative of The Old Ones, the true pagan gods of our world, had plans for him. Robert spoke with Eve at length, and the girl convinced him to shed humanity's self-imposed rules of morality and instead fight for what he wanted. She taught him how to perform true magick rituals, and she introduced him to Betsy Rose, who would later become his wife.
In Betsy, Robert found happiness. Soon, however, the couple yearned for a child--but Betsy was of too old an age. So, one night, Robert and Betsy together performed a ritual that Eve assured them would culminate in the conception of a child. The ritual worked, and Robert and Betsy began to understand the true power of The Old Ones.
After the birth of their son, Peter, Eve directed the couple to the land that would later become the town of Shady Brook. She informed them that the land covered the ruins of those who once worshiped The Old Ones, long before recorded history. Here, she said, Robert's magick would be strongest. And so it was in this place that Robert decided to start a family.
But such a family required sacrifice. And so, in exchange for promised immortality, Eve tasked Robert and Betsy with the hardest task they would ever have to take: sacrificing their only child. Though Robert and Betsy were hesitant, Eve had already proven that she could perform miracles, and she swore to the couple that they would live endlessly and could form a new family here, in this place.
After much thought, Robert carried out his task and sacrificed his son in the name of The Old Ones. And in return Eve followed through with her word: neither Robert nor Betsy aged a moment from that day on.
In the decades that followed, Robert and Betsy gave birth to many more children and formed the large family that Robert always dreamed of, each member taking part in the same rituals first carried out by Robert and Betsy in service of The Old Ones so that they may all live forever until the end of time, ever-expanding their family.
In order to keep the true affairs of Shady Brook a secret from the rest of the world, Robert Thompson changed his and Betsy Rose's names to Ethan Morrow and Nancy Mann, respectively. Their children were also assigned fake last names, to hide the fact that most of the town's citizens are, in fact, related.
In 2005, Robert Thompson unsuccessfully tried to integrate author Jake Torrent into the town of Shady Brook. After his actions failed, Robert ordered the young man's death, which was carried out by one of Robert's sons, Tim Richardson.