I'll never escape Hangfire. But perhaps an actress can manage the most important performance of her life.

Dame Sally Murphy is Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress. In Who Could That Be at This Hour?, she is forced to help Hangfire obtain the Bombinating Beast statue.


Early Life

Dame Sally Murphy was once Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress, performing in the Stain'd Playhouse. She is noted as having played the title role in Mother of Icarus, and having been risen to the ceiling on invisible wires.[1]


Sally Murphy about to drown.

Sally Murphy gave Lizzie Haines the opportunity to study under her, even after Stain'd-by-the-Sea's economy collapsed. After several months of mentoring, though, Lizzie was abducted by Hangfire and the Inhumane Society, who had a job for Sally.

Who Could That Be at This Hour?

Sally Murphy, pretending to be Mrs. Murphy Sallis, hires S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice Lemony Snicket to return the Bombinating Beast statue to her, which she claims was stolen by the Mallahans. Hangfire poses as her butler in order to keep an eye on things and possibly take the statue from them. 

Later, Snicket and Moxie Mallahan find her tied to a chair in the flooded basement of the Sallis Mansion and rescue her from drowning. Moxie realizes she isn't Murphy Sallis, and Snicket realizes that she's instead Sally Murphy. She becomes hysterical and claims that only Hangfire can help her. When Snicket mentions being part of a secret organization, she gets frantic and screams at him to leave. 

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

Train station

The busy train station.

Sometime after her attempted drowning, Sally and Lizzie managed to escape the Inhumane Society, and came up with a plan to escape the town and hide Lizzie, though Sally doesn't think she, personally, will ever escape Hangfire.

In order to sneak onto The Thistle of the Valley, Sally managed to convince Polly Partial to give them a thistle for Lizzie's porter disguise. While sneaking on, she and Lizzie run into Snicket, who recognizes her and asks for a favor. She offers to buy him an ice cream cone, as children like ice cream, but instead he asks her to help him on the train. She refuses to tell him why she's leaving, and when he mentions the Inhumane Society, she asks him to keep his voice down and stop interfering. Lizzie reminds her that they need to be on the train, and she manages to get away from the apprentice. 

Once on the train, Lizzie switches disguises and pretends to be Sally's nephew. The train makes an unexpected stop, and then Snicket finds them again in their compartment. Incredibly nervous, Sally almost breaks character several times. Snicket informs them that a murder was committed and that Hangfire is aboard the train, before telling Lizzie to hide her porter's uniform better.  After the train crashes, Sally sticks by Lizzie as she reunites with her family, before offering to give autographs to the other passengers. 




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