Interview: Elvira returns to Knott's Halloween Haunt
For actress Cassandra Peterson, Halloween comes far more than once a year. Better known as her busty, quick-witted and vampire-esque persona Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Peterson, who turned 61 earlier this month, has fearlessly played the comedic horror hostess role and held the title of the Queen of Halloween for 32 years.
Elvira was also a staple at Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween Haunt for almost two decades and after being away since 2001, she's back for one-night-only on Oct. 4 to hang out with fans and celebrate the 40th annual Knott's Halloween Haunt.
"It makes me feel old, but aside from that it's fantastic," Peterson says of returning to Buena Park for the festivities. "I'm so happy to be a part of this because I was at Knott's for so many of those years and I have such a history with them and I feel like I had a little part in making Halloween Haunt what it is today."
Peterson says that she can't wait to see the advances Knott's has made since her departure – all of the frightening mazes, the new stage shows and, of course, the freaks and ghouls that hide in the thick fog throughout the park and randomly pop out for a scare. Since she's normally booked solid for hosting gigs and appearances this time of year, Peterson says she actually approached Knott's about being a part of this milestone year.
Elvira's first Halloween Haunt appearance came in 1982, just one year after she replaced the late Sinister Seymour (Larry Vincent, host of "Fright Night") and became the hostess of the KHJ "Movie Macabre" television show in Los Angeles.
"I didn't look at it like 'Oh yeah! I've made it big in show biz!'," she says of landing her TV debut. "It was really a one day a week, $300 paying job, but for an actress, that's like 'Wow, at least I know I'll have $300 coming my way this week.' It was really shocking how fast this thing took off."
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 4 (park opens at 7 p.m.)
Where: Knott's Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
How much: $36-$59.99