ByMelissa Thomas, writer at
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Melissa Thomas

Sarah Paulson has played quite the array of characters in the various seasons of American Horror Story, but her most emotionally- disturbed character may be this season's 'Sally'. Since her first appearance, I have started to theorize that she looks and acts a lot like a certain '90s Grunge queen. Is this all purely coincidental or is American Horror Story: Hotel's Sally supposed to be a more twisted version of Courtney Love?


The similarities are staggering; the messy blonde hair, eccentric fashion choices and even the way she smokes!

The Outfit

As shown above, the leopard coat, linen dress and torn fishnets are Sally's go-to and they were also a staple in Courtney's everyday wardrobe. The tights are even ripped in almost the same spot. The only real differences are the color of the dress and that Sally has decided to accessories with a choker.


Grunge Courtney was known for her heavy, smeared smokey eye and red lips. Coincidentally, that seems to be Sally's choice as well. The lips and eyes are not the only makeup similarity; the heavily contoured line along the cheekbones, the strong shimmery highlight and the pale, poorly applied foundation also seem to bare a striking resemblance.


Courtney Love is no stranger to odd, erratic behavior; neither is Sally. Sally (much like Courtney) can go from sweet to psycho in the blink of an eye. She is a highly complex character, often times wearing her emotions on the surface (just like Courtney). Some of that could be in part to another similarity they share - drugs.

Sally is also very desperate for attention and is willing to go to any lengths to get it - much like Courtney in the '90s.


Courtney Love struggled with heroin for a good while throughout the '90s; she was often times high at shows and other events.

Sally is also a fan of the drug; it was even a big part of the reason she died (well, was murdered). She uses heroin as not only her drug of choice, but also as a weapon. She has used it to lure more than one man to the hotel, and those men normally don't make it out alive.


Both women are (or were) extremely talented, but their talents are overshadowed by the love of narcotics. Courtney had a promising career in music until heroine led her down the wrong path.

Sally was a singer, song writer and poetess before her death at the Hotel Cortez in 1994. Below is a quote from Sally when she was talking to John Lowe at the bar about some of her work;

"Patti Smith said that my poems were like glass shattering. I wrote a song with her. And then she wrote me off"

She was written off because her love of heroine overshadowed her talents.

Hotel is only 5 episodes in, and the evidence only continues to mount. There may only be small clues here and there, but the similarities are undeniable, so whether this is all just purely coincidence or completely on purpose, only time will tell. If they are intentionally modeling Sally to be Courtney, will they ever come clean? You decide.


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