Women In Horror Month: Cassandra Peterson, Elvira ‘Mistress Of The Dark’

February 24, 2015

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

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Late one night when I was twelve and up past curfew, I was channel surfing when I found reruns of  this cheesy horror movie (I was already a horror addict by that point), suddenly this divine creature in a skin tight black dress came across the screen, Elvira, I was fascinated. Over the years my girl crush on Elvira never faded, after all she is the “Mistress Of The Dark”. Elvira brought the greatness out of bad horror movies with her one of a kind narration.


Everyone knows the name Elvira and between her show, her movies, her photos in magazines, you’ve had to see her at some point. The lady is hard miss.  Her larger than life personality, her outrageous sense of humor and great looks have made her a legend.

How much do you know about the women behind the spunky character? Elvira’s real name is Cassandra Peterson. Cassandra was born in Manhattan, Kansas and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the age of 17, Cassandra became the youngest showgirl in history in the show ‘Vive Les Girls’ at the Dune hotel in Las Vegas. Thanks to some advise from Elvis, she traveled to Europe and began a career as a singer and actress.  She had several roles in Italian films, including the film ‘Roma’ by Fredrico Fellini. After returning to the states she spent four and a half years in LA’s comedy group ‘The Groundlings’. Cassandra auditioned for the part of

a “horror hostess” on a L.A. TV station in 1981 titled “Movie Macabre” and Elvira was born. Elvira appeared on many talk shows, including ‘The Tonight Show’ (with Vincent Price). Casandra co-wrote and produced her two horror-comedy movies ‘Elvira:Mistress Of The Dark’ (1988) and the 2001 movie ‘Elvira’s Haunted Hills’. 2007 brought the FOX reality show ‘The Search For The Next Elvira’, where contestants tried to fill Elvira’s shoes, but of course no one could.

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Not only has Cassandra used Elvira to entertain the masses, she also used Elvira’s status to bring awareness to help organizations for everything from HIV/AIDs awareness to animal charities, creating a legacy any ghoul would be proud of, earning her a spot on our list of the greatest ‘Women In Horror’.

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Elvira on ‘The Tonight Show’ along side Vincent Price


‘Elvira’s Haunted Hills’ Trailer



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