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iHorror Spotlight: The Mistress of The Dark [Interview]



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(Photo Courtesy of ‘The Real Elvira’ Twitter).

All about having wicked good fun, one of the most iconic Halloween personalities, Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira Mistress of The Dark is set to host ScareLA at the Pasadena Convention Center. The theme, “Season of the Witch,” is quite quintessential for this sexy vixen. ScareLA is everyone’s one-stop shop for everything Halloween and will run Saturday August 6th & conclude Sunday August 7th. recently scored an interview with The Mistress of The Dark and spoke to her about her life and some spooky stuff she has in the works!

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iHorror: Thanks for taking our call, I appreciate it.

Cassandra Peterson: Your welcome, glad you’re doing it.

iH: It’s been 35 years, how did Elvira Mistress of The Dark start? I know that your parents had a costume shop right?

CP: Yeah, you know I grew up with Halloween being the biggest Holiday of our year for my family, but it really had nothing to do with how Elvira started. There were signs there that this is definitely what I should do with my life. At the time I was in town looking for acting work trying to become an actress. I was with the Groundlings for four and a half years. I was doing totally improv with Pee-Wee Herman and the late Phil Hartman. When I was with the Groundlings a friend of mine said that she had heard about a local TV station KHJ Channel 9 looking for a horror hostess. The director of the show came down and saw me in the Groundlings, really liked what I did and had me audition, and I ended up getting it after a long process. He really did like this character that I did; it was sort of like a valley girl character I was doing in the Groundlings. He said, “oh no keep that character and then you have to come up with a spooky look you know?” I was thinking, “Yeah, this just does not go together at all.”

iH: Yeah that totally, your valley spooky girl thing does not go together.

CP: Yeah you know, I would have been doing more of a [Perfect Dracula Voice] “Come In Darling Drink A Glass Of Blood” type of thing if they would have told me to come in and be a horror host. He appreciated the humor and along with one of my best friends at the time that was an artist came up with the look, and I went on local TV and started hosting this really late at night on Saturday night, and I was surprised when even lasted longer than a week, and I am going, “this is so bizarre”

iH: Oh really, it was so just off the wall for the time right?

CP: Yeah, it was really weird, like I said those two elements really didn’t go together the look and the humor, and then they hoisted a bunch of real crap movies on me, like really old black and white movies that nobody wanted to see. I, however, love those kinds of movies, I love them. I sat down with my writing partner John Paragon, also from the Groundlings and he, and I came up with jokes every week. First, we were trying to be serious and then we thought we just cannot be serious, we have to joke about this or nobody is going to believe a word we are saying.

iH: Yeah, you gotta make it fun!

CP: Yeah, you really do it is not how we really started off and not what the concept I thought it was going to be, but that is what it ended up being.

iH: Yeah, well that’s pretty good, 35 years you did something right.

CP: Kind of a world record for show business, so that is how it began.

iH: So Elvira, where did that name come from, Elvira?

CP: They had intended to use Vampira. At the time I did not even know there was a real person named Vampira but I quickly found out when she threatened to sue the station if they used her name, and that was on the first day of shooting. So there we were ready to go on I was Vampira and all of a sudden someone runs in “stop stop stop! We have to pick another name!” So right then and there everyone in the studio including the lighting guy camera man and whoever was there wrote down a name that they thought it should be. And we put it in a coffee can, and I picked it, and it was Elvira. I’m like “what the hell Elvira, what is that some kind of country western star?” I think that it had to do with that song Elvira by the Oakridge Boys actually came out the same week I was doing this show, coincidentally that is what we ended up with.


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iH: So, taken it back 35 years right? Out of all these years, what really stands out? That moment that was like “that was pretty bad ass!” Or one event? I know there is probably a ton.

iH: There are I have done some really bizarre things. To throw out a few, I don’t know, ringing the closing bell in the New York Stock Market.

iH: Oh wow! Yeah, that is pretty cool. Did you do it in costume?

CP: Uh huh yup. Giving an award to Vincent Price who is my idol. I think the award was for the Saturn Awards of Horror. Having my own float in the Rose Parade, which is the biggest parade in the world, having a pinball machine! Meeting Michael Jackson when he was doing Thriller, I was like “Oh My God!” Meeting him and finding out he was a fan at the time was so wonderful. There has been like a gazillion of them; I can’t just pick one.

iH: Yeah, it is like picking a favorite kid, you just can’t do it.

CP: [Laughs] Yeah, there have been too many awesome moments.

iH: When you presented that award to Vincent Price, did you get to small talk with him? Did he know who you were at the time?

CP: Yeah, he came on my show, and he did know who I was, and he made an appearance on my local television show which was pretty damned amazing since we didn’t pay anybody to do it. He came on with John Astin who played Gomez on the Adam’s family television show. He came on with him, and they trick-or-treated at my house it was my Halloween special. I was on the tonight show with Vincent Price. Also a Tom Snider show which was a talk show back in the day with Vincent Price and over the years we got to be really really friendly. I got to know him very well, and he was a lovely lovely man. It was so sad when he passed away. I used to always say to him “you went in the wrong business; you should have been a comedian.” He was funny as hell! He was just one of the funniest people; I’m telling you he would crack me up all of the time. He was a cook; he was an artist. He taught me how to make fish in the dishwasher.

iH: [Nervous Laugh] What?

CP: Yeah, yeah he gave me this recipe for cooking fish in the dishwasher. You have to wrap it in aluminum follow because you do not want to get schmutz on it, you know? [Laughs] Yeah he told me you put all of these herbs all this lemon and everything wrap it up in tin foil then stick in the dishwasher and wash your dishes, and you have fish when it’s done.

iH: What the hell? [Laughs Hysterically] Yeah, you got clean dishes when you’re done too, that is awesome!

CP: Yeah, I know it is awesome, and then you have to use one to eat off of, and you are back to where you started.

iH: So, you mentioned Halloween at your house. What is Halloween like for you? Do you stay home? Do you get a lot of requests to go places? Interviews? Or is it sort of just chill out night, turn the lights out, no trick-or-treaters?

CP: [Laughs] I wish. No, In 35 years I have never been home on Halloween. I long gave up decorating; I tried doing it when my daughter was little, and she is still resentful towards Elvira

iH: I bet!

CP: Because Her mom never got to take her trick-or-treating. I work, I work all month. You know Halloween is kind of a month long thing now.

iH: It’s huge!

CP: Yeah, it used to be one night, then it was like a couple of nights, then it was the weekend, then it was a week..and it just seems to get longer and longer, which is awesome for me.

iH: Sure it keeps you busy.

CP: Yeah pretty much work starting umm about mid-September and I work straight through almost every single night of the month.

iH: That has got to be tiring.

CP: Yeah it is kind of a bummer because it is my favorite holiday.

iH: You don’t get to enjoy it.

CP: I know, I don’t get to wear a different costume. [Sarcastically] I have to wear the same thing every year, and I don’t get to go trick or treating with anybody, and I don’t get to have a Halloween party. But I still do get to be the center of attention, and that is the most important thing for me. [Laughs]


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iH: So, ScareLA, you are involved with ScareLA

CP: I, Ammm

iH: So how did that all come about? That is a pretty cool event.

CP: Have you been there?

iH: Yeah, it is pretty sweet!

CP: Yeah, it is super awesome! I had no idea. I had heard about ScareLA, and I really did not know what it was, and I am always involved in this other convention around that same time. I went last year; I was working for the Halloween Haunt at Knott’s Berry Farm, which I had did 21 years, so I was doing a show there last year, and I went to do press for it at ScareLA, and I was blown away! Oh My God this is so fricken awesome. If I had known this was here, I would have been here every time.

iH: Yeah it is kind of a big deal. It is kind of like a low profile big event; it is kind of weird that way.

CP: Yeah it is. I am like, “how could this have gotten by me? I don’t know.” I had heard about it here and there. But it is so awesome; it is like everything Halloween, everything horror. You can decorate your house and all these vendors. Yeah and you can learn special effects makeup, learn special effects, everything you could use for horror or Halloween, or a haunt you know under one roof and all these people there who are instrumental in helping you learn these things and showing you these things. The vendors, the crafts, the costumes its great.

iH: It seems like it is a pretty new event, I believe it has only been around four years prior.

CP: Yeah it is relatively new and you know I did hear about it the first couple of years. “I was like, hmmm really, mmmm okay.”

iH: Yeah sure just another event, right?

CP: Yeah I mean there are a lot of them. But I honestly went there last year and went “how do I get along with these people; this is awesome I want to be there.”

iH: On conventions and stuff how did Comic Con go in San Diego?

CP: Oh My God!

iH: Was that awesome or what?

CP: It was awesome, it was really really crazy this year. I had been going there since I always tell people I have been going there since it was in a basement of some hotel Like I don’t even remember it was like a thousand years ago. I think I started going there in 81 or 82 when I had a comic book out, a DC comic and I went there, and I swear to God I was like the only woman.

iH: Are you serious?

CP: Yeah, back then you know women did not get into the whole horror thing or the comic book thing. It was because they were not making that stuff for women they only made it for guys, you know. 35 years later, my God, it has opened up so much. Comic Con is definitely as many women as men now.

iH: Especially with all the crazy women characters coming out. With Suicide Squad and stuff like that, it is just endless.

CP: Yeah, Ghostbusters female cast.

iH: That is huge!

CP: “If you build it, they will come.” I don’t think people got that before. They were all “woman are not interested in horror; women are not interested in comic books.” Then when they started making them with an audience in mind, people get into it. I am super glad to see so many women involved now in horror and not just the victims, you know? They are the heroes.

iH: Yeah, exactly that’s cool. So are we going to be seeing any new movies, shows coming from you? What’s going on?

CP: I will mention a couple of things. I am working away on an animated television show which I have been working with a couple of writers and artists to get this going. Currently, I am not going to say who, but I have a major animation studio doing a pilot for it right now that we have been kicking around. And I would also like to mention this October coming up; I call it a Coffin Table book, but it is a giant 350-page Coffee Table book that is what I was doing at Comic Con this year promoting that.

iH: Pre-sales started June 15th right?

CP: Yeah, exactly pre-sales are out, and the actual book itself is around October 5th. It was a huge project for me, taking the better part of a year to gather together all of these photos from 35 years.

iH: I bet that archive is huge!

CP: Huge, can’t believe it and trying to sort through them and find fans that I think my fans would really be interested in was a big project man.

iH: Are there going to be a lot of behind the scenes stuff in that book?

CP: Yes, there is a ton of behind the scenes from my movie Mistress of the Dark, from Elvira’s Haunted Hills, even from shooting my Coors commercials and stuff. Photos that fans had never before seen and that I had never released at all. And there are the iconic photos that maybe everyone has seen in posters and other things that people are familiar with. A large format book with really really beautiful color photos, the reproduction, is great. And I wrote commentary for a lot of the photos, what was going on at the time, who the photographer was. It also follows my career from the beginning until the present day so you can kind of see the character evolve.

iH: That Progression, yeah for sure.

CP: Yeah basically you see the hair get really flat to really taller, taller, taller it was too tall and then it came back down. So a lot of stuff from my personal collection and I think fans are going to I hope enjoy.

iH: Oh, they are going to go nuts I am sure.

CP: I hope so.

iH: You can probably make more than one book with all of those photos. For 35 years!

CP: Yeah I could have definitely made more, believe me. It was hard picking out the ones that we wanted to keep and not getting to use all of them that we would have liked to have shown. And then I have my next 35 years of photos coming up! [Laughs]


(Photo Courtesy of


iH: So retirement, I mean 35 years a lot of people in careers, you know 35 years and they are going to call it quits. Do you see that coming in for you?

CP: I thought I was going to retire at 40, then 50, and 60. I kept trying to retire, and they just drag me back in.

iH: They aren’t letting you!

CP: Yeah, I know it is weird. I mean it is good I am happy, very happy that it is continuing to go. I am just saying to myself every day, how long can I keep this going, I don’t know. Having a little time off would be nice. Having a Halloween party for a change would be nice.

iH: That would be awesome, like your first Halloween party after retirement. Could you imagine?

CP: Yeah, right? I would love that. Oh My God. I would have to make that really big. So who knows, there is one part of me would really like to retire and then the part of me says Oh My God why would you ever retire?

iH: You got to keep going, right?

CP: Yeah, yeah and there is a lot I can do as Elvira that does not even involve getting into costume like the animation project and my auto-biography that I have been writing for a hundred years, and I am never going to get finished. All of the licensing and merchandising that I do can live on without me dressing up and being in drag you know?

iH: Yeah that will be non-stop no matter what you do.

CP: I hope so

iH: Well Cassandra I really appreciate everything again, for taking the time out of your schedule to speak with us.

CP: Thank you, Ryan, I appreciate it too.

iH: And we will see you at ScareLA I am sure!

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Spooky Links

Elvira Official Website      

Elvira Official Facebook Page

Elvira Official Twitter Page


iHorror: Elvira Retrospective Photo Book Coming This October

iHorror Exclusive: One On One With Elvira


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Shudder Promises: “Goopy practical effects…and LOTS of blood” in Upcoming Movie



Shudder has been hitting out of the park with new horror releases lately. Now comes word that they will release the horror/comedy Destroy All Neighbors on their streaming platform starting January 12. The movie is helmed by music video director Josh Forbes. It stars Jonah Ray Rodrigues (Mystery Science Theater 3000), and Alex Winter, Ted, of Bill & Ted Fame.

There is no trailer for the movie yet, but Shudder explains that Rodrigues plays William, “a neurotic, self-absorbed musician determined to finish his prog-rock magnum opus, faces a creative roadblock in the form of a noisy and grotesque neighbor named Vlad (Alex Winter). Finally working up the nerve to demand that Vlad keep it down, William inadvertently decapitates him. But, while attempting to cover up one murder, William’s accidental reign of terror causes victims to pile up and become undead corpses who torment and create more bloody detours on his road to prog-rock Valhalla. Destroy All Neighbors is a twisted splatter-comedy about a deranged journey of self-discovery full of goopy practical FX, a well-known ensemble cast, and LOTS of blood.”

Destroy All Neighbors will premiere on Shudder on January 12.

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Kojima then brings out Jordan Peele, to announce that the game is in partnership with the director. The latest horror game is titled OD and is already on big most anticipated lists.


Kojima announces that this is of course a game but is also a new form of media altogether. He remains cryptic about the game but makes sure to give us all a lot to take in and be excited about.

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There is no word on when OD will see a release date but we are very excited and will be sure to let you know more when we receive more info.

Are you excited about Kojima’s new partnership with Peele? Let us know in the comments section.

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Not much is known at the moment other than the game will be a third-person experience that takes place in Paris.

The synopsis for Blade goes like this:

In Marvel’s Blade, Eric Brooks is the legendary Daywalker, half-man, half-vampire torn between the warm society of the living and the rushing power of the undead. From Bethesda and Arkane Lyon, the studio that brought you Dishonored and “DEATHLOOP”, Marvel’s Blade is a mature, single-player, third-person game set in the heart of Paris, now in development in collaboration with Marvel Games.

We are already dying to see what Arkane and Bethesda does with Blade. It will undoubtedly be a huge and memorable experience. Marvel has been doing a great job of carefully brining their games to life. If you haven’t played Guardians of the Galaxy, please do. It is a singular experience that goes beyond the game films and gives us an all-new experience in the Guardians tales. We are sure that Arkane will give us another amazing Marvel chapter when Blade is released.

There isn’t any word on when Blade is going to be released. But, we will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we hear more.

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