Inside General Hospital's Strange And Twisted Dawn Of Day Cult Plot

"General Hospital" occasionally gravitates toward wild and wacky storylines. Over the years, countless citizens of Port Charles have emerged "back from the dead." People have had psychic visions after being injected with LSD, and some villains wear masks pretending to be others. There's no shortage of bizarre plotlines on "GH." However, one of the most intense storylines in recent memory is the Dawn of Day cult plot, featuring Hank "Shiloh" Archer (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) terrorizing the town for nearly a year (via Soap Central).

Shiloh and his cult, disguised as a charitable self-improvement organization, infiltrated the lives of nearly every character on the canvas in some capacity. He was unafraid to challenge the likes of mob enforcer Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) or any other long-term characters who were angered by his presence in their town. The influence and hold Shiloh had on vulnerable Port Charles residents is unlike anything the show had seen before.

Throughout Shiloh's reign of terror on "GH," he took advantage of anyone he could, including vulnerable women and a dying teenager. With the help of his right-hand woman, Harmony Miller (Inga Cadranel), Shiloh unearthed some of the darkest secrets of his victims — particularly Kristina Corinthos Davis (Lexi Ainsworth), daughter of mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) — triggering a chaotic sequence of events over the following two years.

Kristina's connection to the cult started a war in Port Charles

The first glimpse at how dangerous Shiloh could be, came after he first came into contact with Kristina Corinthos Davis. Kristina was in a vulnerable time in her life, trying to pick up the pieces after she and Parker Forsyth (Ashley Jones) split. The young woman decided to move into the "Dawn of Day" house with Shiloh and his followers (via Soaps in Depth). Kristina introduced Shiloh to her sister Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) and Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). However, alarm bells went off for the two, who had already met Shiloh as Hank Archer. Though Shiloh tried to explain away his name change as part of his spiritual transformation, their suspicion only grew.

Though her family tried to convince Kristina that she needed to leave Dawn of Day, she felt connected to Shiloh and his message. Eventually, Shiloh invited Kristina to be a part of his inner circle called "The Trust," which required her to submit a pledge — a damning secret about her or her family — followed by an initiation ceremony. The ceremony included unknowingly drugging Kristina, branding her with a tattoo, and having sex with her. Luckily, Jason arrived just in time to save Kristina from being assaulted (via Soaps). Though she was initially furious over her forced removal from the group, her family's support and extensive therapy eventually convinced Kristina that she had been brainwashed.

Meanwhile, Sam realized that there was a connection between Shiloh and her own sordid past. He was the son of a man she had once conned into marriage and swindled. Despite what Shiloh said to the contrary, his interest in Kristina was not coincidental — it was revenge.

Sam pretended to fall for Shiloh's act to save her sister

After successfully removing Kristina Corinthos Davis from Dawn of Day, Sam McCall set her sights on shutting Shiloh's cult down from the inside as a spy, per Soaps in Depth. Sam convinced Shiloh that she supported his cause, but her primary intention of joining the cult was to retrieve her sister's "pledge" so that Shiloh would no longer have leverage over Kristina. Unfortunately, Shiloh had secretly relocated the file, so Sam was forced to remain undercover until she could get her hands on it.

Sam played the long game to get what she wanted out of Shiloh and accompanied him as his date to the annual Nurse's Ball. However, he was involved in an altercation at the event, and he lashed out by drugging Sam and taking her to a secluded location to complete her initiation into The Trust. Shiloh got much further with Sam than he had with Kristina, but Jason Morgan came to the rescue once again and saved her from being raped, violently attacking Shiloh in the process (via Soaps).

Sadly, Shiloh's power over Harmony Miller convinced her to falsely confess to his crimes, helping him evade charges, according to Soap Central. Though both Sam and Kristina's experiences with Dawn of Day were harrowing, they pale in comparison to what Shiloh did to Harmony's daughter, Willow Tait (Katelyn MacMullen).

Shiloh's assault on Willow led to an unwanted pregnancy

Willow Tait's experience with Shiloh and the Dawn of Day cult is unlike any other because she was so deep in the organization. Her mother, Harmony Miller, did his bidding, including offering herself up to Shiloh as the first member of The Trust. However, in a disgusting twist, Willow was also a victim of Shiloh's branding and sexual assault. If that wasn't horrible enough for her to endure, it was with Harmony's blessing that Shiloh committed these acts.

Willow eventually became pregnant, giving her the strength to leave Dawn of Day and escape to Port Charles. She ended up giving her baby up for adoption to protect him from his father (via Soap Central). Unfortunately, Shiloh arrived in town and learned about his child, whom everyone believed was Wiley Cooper-Jones. The cult leader tried to battle for custody of little Wiley but failed. It was later revealed that Willow and Shiloh's son had actually died shortly after birth and had been secretly swapped with Michael Corinthos and Nelle Benson's baby. Ironically, Willow and Michael ended up together, and she adopted Wiley and is now raising the boy as her own.

Shiloh committed many acts of violence against Drew

Drew Cain (then Billy Miller) is another "General Hospital" character who suffered greatly because of Shiloh. The two crossed paths in Afghanistan when Drew was a soldier and Shiloh — then Hank Archer — was working as an independent contractor for the government (via Soap Central). Drew discovered that Shiloh was committing acts of treason against the United States by selling fuel to terrorists. Drew was the only person who knew where Shiloh's secret fortune had been hidden. Unfortunately, Drew's memories of that time were trapped on a flash drive, which Shiloh was determined to get his hands on.

In a desperate attempt to find his money, Shiloh kidnapped teenager Cameron Webber (William Lipton) and planned to implant him with Drew's memories. That plan was foiled when Franco Baldwin (Roger Howarth) stepped in to take his place in the procedure, which caused Franco to believe he was Drew for many months. Later, viewers also learned that Shiloh witnessed Peter August (Wes Ramsey) kidnap Drew in Afghanistan years earlier and deliver him to the villainous Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers). Drew was later held captive and programmed to become Helena's personal assassin, per Soaps in Depth.

Due to these crimes against Drew, he lost out on the opportunity to get to know his son Oscar Nero (Garren Stitt), whom he only met as a teenager. However, if Shiloh's wrongdoings toward Drew didn't give the other man enough reason to hate him, what Shiloh then did to Oscar was the final nail in his coffin.

Shiloh used Oscar's death to go after ELQ

Shiloh was a methodical predator, carefully calculating his next move and the best ways to come at his intended victims. His twisted past with Drew Cain was well documented, and he had a history of taking advantage of adult women. However, with Oscar Nero, Shiloh preyed upon a vulnerable teenager who was dying of cancer (via Soaps in Depth). Shiloh preached spiritual enlightenment with his Dawn of Day propaganda, and holding on to that false hope was detrimental to the boy's mindset — he even left his parents to live in the DOD house for a time.

However, following Oscar's tragic death, Shiloh dropped a bombshell on the entire Quartermaine family at the reading of his will. Shiloh claimed Oscar left him his shares of their family company, ELQ, in exchange for everything he had done for him, per Soaps. The family was outraged, and nobody believed that Oscar would ever make such a move. Shiloh threatened to hold the will up in probate court, but this only proved the unethical and immoral methods Shiloh was willing to use to get what he wanted.

Thankfully, Sam McCall stopped Shiloh's hold over the city in 2019 when she shot him during an altercation with Jason Morgan, ending his life. Even though Shiloh has been deceased for years, his impact on the lives of his victims remains.