Who is William Afton in Five Nights at Freddy’s? Sure, we know he’ll “always come back,” but Afton isn’t your regular pizzeria entrepreneur. While he might seem harmless and charismatic on the surface, there’s a deep evil lurking beneath Afton that’s explored in the Five Nights at Freddy’s games. Spoilers ahead!
All the strange happenings in Five Nights at Freddy’s, including the missing children, evil animatronics, and general chaos, can be linked back to him. He’s a cruel and sadistic serial killer who quite literally hides behind the mask of a family-friendly food mascot. Horror movie legend Matthew Lillard is leading the Five Nights At Freddy’s cast as William Afton, and we have no doubt he will do this deplorable baddie justice. So, here’s everything you need to know before watching the new movie.
Who is William Afton?
William Afton is the founder of Fazbear Entertainment Inc — a family restaurant chain he uses as a cover to murder several children.
A charismatic businessman, Afton and his wife had three children: Michael Afton, Elizabeth Afton, and a third young son only referred to as the Crying Child.
Along with best friend and business partner Henry Emily, Afton opened his first restaurant, Fredbear’s Family Diner, sometime in the ’70s. Things were going so well that they opened their second location, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, in 1983. This location didn’t last long, though.
It was shut down after Evan/The Crying Child, Afton’s youngest son, died after having his birthday party at the establishment. His older brother Michael and his friends tease Evan, forcing him to get closer to an animatronic’s mouth, but the springlocks end up failing and the jaws clamp shut on Evan’s head, killing him.
Simultaneous to this, Afton committed his first kill (that we know of) at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza — his business partner Henry’s young daughter, Charlotte Emily. Two years later, in 1987, William started working as a security guard under a new alias at the New Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. He kidnaps and kills five more children, who, in turn, possess some of the other animatronics.
As the animatronics start to behave strangely around adults and staff members (with the children possessing them believing every adult and staff member is Afton), the infamous Bite of ’87 occurs, biting off the victim’s front lobe and swiftly putting an end to the New Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.
Later, in the early ’90s, Afton tried to open a new restaurant — Circus Baby’s Pizza World. He does this with a new set of animatronics he calls the Funtime Animatronics. One animatronic, named Circus Baby, seemed to take the form of a young girl and is speculated to have been made by Afton to honor his daughter, Elizabeth.
However, these animatronics were not made for the purpose of entertainment. Afton programmed these animatronics to be homicidal, because he cottoned on to the idea of Remnant enabling people’s spirits to live beyond the grave, and figured that if he killed enough children, they’d produce enough Remnant to render him “immortal.”
Elizabeth had a special attachment to Circus Baby but got too close to the animatronic one day, and it ended up killing her. This meant Circus Baby’s Pizza World never opened, and Elizabeth’s spirit ended up possessing the Circus Baby Animatronic.
Not one to give up, though, Afton decided to open up Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rental — a service that allowed people to rent animatronics and suits for birthday parties. And you can just guess how well that went…
Does William Afton die?
Technically, Afton dies sometime between FNAF 2 and FNAF 3.
He dies in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza’s safe room after he puts on the withered Bonnie suit to scare the animatronics cornering him, all possessed by the children he murdered. This happens in the ’90s when he visits the now-abandoned New Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Location and manages to awaken the spirits of the children inside the suits.
However, the Bonnie suit’s spring locks suddenly activate, crushing him from the inside and causing him to die violently and painfully. For thirty years, he remains dead and sealed up in that room, but his spirit somehow reanimates and allows him to possess his mangled, animatronic-crushed body after the restaurant is re-opened as a horror attraction. From then on, he becomes Springtrap.
Then, in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator, he, Michael Afton, and all the possessed animatronics are lured by Henry Emily to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place. Emily then torches the place to release the spirits of the children from the animatronics and put a stop to William for good.
But somehow, like Palpatine, Afton has returned. This is because a number of circuit boards from the old animatronics were scanned shortly before the events of FNAF: Help Wanted. It’s widely believed that Springtrap’s circuit board was among those scanned and that Afton’s ghost somehow became part of the code of the subsequent in-universe mini-games.
From there, Afton became Glitchtrap: a type of ghostly, sentient computer virus that corrupts security guard Vanessa. In the next FNAF game, Security Breach, Vanessa has a double life as costumed bunny Vanny and carries out Glitchtrap’s orders by continuing to kill and reprogramming the Glamrock animatronics to become murderous at night. So sure, Afton is technically dead, but he’s still causing trouble beyond the grave.
For more on FNAF, check out our articles on the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date, the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie cast, the Five Nights at Freddy’s true story, and the answer to that all-important question: Why are the animatronics evil in Five Nights at Freddy’s?