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Elizabeth Short

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Elizabeth Short
an aspiring actress, who came to be known as the Black Dahlia
Portrayed by Mena Suvari
First Appearance Spooky Little Girl
Last Appearance Afterbirth
Species Ghost
Cause of Death Accidental overdose of nitrous oxide (Spooky Little Girl)
Occupation Actress
Relationships Dr. Curran (dentist)

Elizabeth Short is a guest character on American Horror Story, whose appearance was based on the real-life case. Elizabeth Short was a young aspiring actress. She unfortunately came to an untimely demise the day she entered the "Murder House". Historical news coverage refers to her as "The Black Dahlia".

Episodic Appearances

Elizabeth Short was a beautiful young lady from Boston with the all too familiar dream of making it big in Hollywood. In 1947, while in Los Angeles, she visited a dentist, Dr. David Curran, who worked from his home, the "Murder House". Short on money, Elizabeth seduces Curran in exchange for dental work at no cost. Curran puts her under nitrous and subsequently begins having sex with her. Once finished Curran takes off the nitrous mask and attempts to wake Elizabeth, but she fatally overdosed during the sex. Panicking, Curran drags Elizabeth's body to his basement where he is confronted by Charles Montgomery. Claiming to be a world renowned surgeon, Charles offers to assist Curran with Elizabeth's body.

To his horror, Curran discovers that the insane surgeon has only made his predicament worse by mutilating Elizabeth's body by bisecting it at the waist and carving a Chelsea smile. Charles proclaims that it was his duty as a surgeon and that Curran would find Elizabeth now to be more "portable". At some point Curran, presumably, drops her body off in a vacant lot in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles. Her remains were discovered by a woman and her daughter.

As a ghost Elizabeth is bewildered and confused. She is unaware that she is a ghost until Hayden reveals her legacy as "The Black Dahlia". She still is a seductress, as is seen by her attempt to seduce Ben into diagnosing and treating her for free. [1]

She also makes a brief appearance, bisected on a table, to scare Miguel Ramos out of the house. [2]


"The Black Dahlia" (a.k.a Elizabeth Short) has a very pale complexion and long, curly, dark, almost black hair. She is shown wearing a black 1940's tailored suit, along with a pair of black pump high heels, stockings and white gloves.


  • Elizabeth : "It's not a carnation silly, it's a dahlia."
  • Elizabeth: "My dreams will never come true."
  • To Hayden: "I really did become someone."


  • The character Elizabeth Short isAmerican Horror Story's fictional dramatisation on the still unexplained scenario that lead to the real Elizabeth Short's death. The late Miss Short was not referred to as "The Black Dahlia" until after her death. The name was a pun on the (then popular) film "The Blue Dahlia", changing the word Blue to Black because of Elizabeth's dark hair and affinity for frequently wearing black clothing,. The depiction of Elizabeth being bisexual is also a fictional dramatisation, since Short was known to have been homophobic; often trying to avoid the company of lesbians and gays, stating that she "had no use for queers".[3]



  1. Episode: Spooky Little Girl
  2. Episode: Afterbirth
  3. wikipedia:Black Dahlia

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