Cassandra Peterson comments on why there will never be another Elvira

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elivra, Mistress of the Dark, is a living legend among the horror elite. Recently, the sultry and savvy TV host, who for years introduced a variety of low-rate sci-fi and horror features while peppering the presentation with her own brand of tongue-in-cheek humor, announced that this year will be the the last time she'll perform at Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween celebration. This will end Elvira's 35-year tenure as a performer at the festival.

With that being said, there is a light in the darkness of this upsetting news. Leaving the event will indeed free up Cassandra's schedule to peruse other endeavors during the raven-haired mistress's favorite time of the year. As a performer, Cassandra has been crafting her Vampira-inspired alter ego since the early '70s, and throughout the years has become an inspiration to horror fiends the world over while using her witty innuendo and iconic to win the black hearts of her audience.

Of course, with the announcement of Elvira leaving the "Knott's Scary Farm" performances behind, one has to wonder if perhaps she's thinking about retiring the character for good? Luckily, recently caught up with the beehive-haired beauty, and inquired about what she has planned for the future. When asked about whether or not she would eventually pass the Elvira torch to a new actress, Cassandra responded by saying, "It's a funny thing. It's a character but, I don't know…think about somebody else playing Pee-wee Herman. I don't know that you'd really want to see that. It would be really kind of, ew, weird."

I will come forward right now and say that I share in Cassadra's apprehension (and implied disgust) about another woman slipping into Elvira's shadowy black dress. In my mind, the 'Mistress of the Dark' title is a moniker that should be earned, not gifted to another for the sake of revamping an icon. As it happens, Peterson had more to say on the matter as she continued talking with the entertainment outlet. "It's funny you mentioned that because I thought, 'What an awesome idea. I will just pass the baton onto another girl whose Elvira and who's younger and can keep doing it and travel around and go to appearances and do all this and that. We, in fact, did a show called 'Search for the Next Elvira' where we auditioned over 2,000 people, got down to the final 10 and then we picked somebody. We thought, 'Well this is awesome, we can have this girl go out and do Elvira gigs and all that.'"

Cassandra then elaborated on her comment about the search for a newer, younger Elvira. "Well, unfortunately, what happened is people wanted the real thing," Peterson confessed. "We couldn't sell her to anyone. I think we got her to do one really sad-ass parade in Nebraska somewhere and it was sad, because she's great. She was adorable. She did a good job. They just wanted the real thing. I should be flattered, I was flattered, but I also thought, 'Oh, geeze. Now I've got to do it forever until I'm 99 years old, I guess.'"

Now, with her final Halloween performance at "Knott's Scary Farm" festival coming up, fans are going to want to know what sort of performance they can expect from Elvira's final bow. "I want to go out looking good and it's an awesome show," Peterson exclaimed. "I don't want to be out there next year in a walker or something. Like, it'll be, 'Oh poor Elvira, she should have really retired a few years ago.' I want to be like Mohammed Ali. You want to go out while the going's good, and to do something different, also diversify."

Further along in Popculture's interview, Cassandra spoke a little about her plans for the future, of which included her aspirations to convert Mistress of the Dark into a Broadway play. "I have this little fantasy about doing a Broadway play of Mistress of the Darkand, I think in that case, I would definitely have someone else do it because I don't want that kind of schedule where you work 365 days a year and two shows on Sunday and a matinee. I can't deal with that," Peterson shared. She also mentioned that she's got "two other projects lined up" that she wants to give her undivided attention to. In regard to what they are, Peterson stated that one is an autobiography, which she's been working on for quite some time. The other would include a return to television, where she would once again host a series of sci-fi and horror-related entertainment.

Personally, I'd love to see Elvira land a TV series in which she hosts short films created by well-known to up-and-coming filmmakers. Pick up that phone and give the Mistress of the Dark a call, Netflix, before someone else decides to build a comfy couch for from which Elvira can hypnotize a whole new generation with her wit and wildly revealing attire.   


About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.