Special offer for Halloween: the most important horrors and fears of 2021

Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, the mistress of darkness, wrote revealing new memories.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)


Cassandra Peterson swears no one will recognize her. She ran out of energy in the last week, without a big black beehive wig, glittery eye makeup, and those tight-fitting dresses with a slit to here. She has a royal celebrity look, but who is she?

“I almost had an accident while looking at your billboard in Beverly and trying to read the description,” the stranger says suddenly as he approaches Peterson’s table at a coffee shop in Larchmont Village. “And I almost hit someone. Thank you very much.”

“Well, I’m very glad you’re okay,” Peterson says, smiling and lowering her sunglasses. “And that you didn’t sue me for it.”

You know her as Elvira, the mistress of darkness, a vampire horror presenter, who premiered on local television in 1981 – KHJ-TV, Channel 9 – with her own TV show, “Elvira’s Macabre Movie.” Everything about Elvira is at its peak, designed as an image of stereotypes from Valley Girl with a Gothic aesthetic, located somewhere between punk rock and “The Addams Family”.

At age 70, Peterson finally opens the veil on Elvira and puts herself in the spotlight as an LA icon with the song “Cruel Yours, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark.” The unstoppable commander digs deeper than the Hollywood dirt to examine Peterson’s circular path to fame and reveal how private she was. READ THE WHOLE STORY

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