Did You Know About Elvira’s Connection to Colorado?
October may be over, but some Coloradans aren't quite ready to let the spooky season go. Whether it's horror movies, creepy stories, or simply enjoying all things haunted, some choose to embrace the scariness, even after Halloween passes by.
Fans of the frightful in Colorado will be excited to learn that the Queen of Halloween herself, and one of the greatest horror icons of all time, has a surprisingly close connection to the Centennial State.
Better known by her eerie alter ego, Elvira, Cassandra Peterson has had a successful career as an actress, singer/songwriter, and dancer that's spanned over nearly 40 years.
Although Peterson was born in Kansas, she spent her childhood and teenage years living in Colorado Springs.
During her teens, Peterson worked as a drag queen go-go dancer at a few different clubs in town. She also performed routines for soldiers at nearby Fort Carson. Her love for dressing up came from helping out in her mother's costume shop, called Peterson’s Partyland.
Peterson attended Ivywild School from first through sixth grade and graduated from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs in 1969 (see her yearbook senior photos here). After graduating, she soon set out on the path to stardom, becoming the youngest showgirl in Vegas history, at 17 years old.
From there, Peterson's career blossomed as she began modeling, singing in a band, hosting, and acting. The classic Elvira character was created in 1981, featuring the recognizable low-cut black gown, black beehive wig, and valley-girl voice. Elvira's image and brand have since become synonymous with gothic culture and the horror genre.
In 1987, the Mistress of the Dark became the first female celebrity to endorse Coors Light beer - once again tying her back to Colorado.
Despite her years of fame, Peterson never lost sight of where she came from.
The popular actress has made her way back to her old stomping grounds a couple of times in the past few years. In 2021, Peterson shared scenes of her hometown with her followers on TikTok. In the three-minute video, she gave glimpses of her former neighborhood and schools, the mailbox in front of where she grew up on Arbor Way, as well as the site where Peterson’s Partyland used to be.
Elvira also made an appearance at the Colorado Springs Comic Con in August 2023.
Several murals in Colorado Springs were painted to pay homage to the vampirish vixen. Maybe she will come back and visit those next?