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How Elvira Still Makes Big Money Every Halloween

Elvira Mistress Of The Dark
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Her name is Cassandra Peterson, and her first job in show business was as a show girl in Las Vegas. Not long after her start there she headed to Los Angeles and Elvira was born. See how she has made Halloween her own and how she still makes millions from this one day a year.

Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira
Kevin Winters, Getty Images

Thirty years ago Cassandra Peterson walked in to a local television station in Los Angeles  hoping for a job. It just so happened that they were looking for a host for  late night, low budget scary movies. She was hired on the spot and Elvira quickly became a sensation. The late night TV show was eventually syndicated and was seen by viewers all over the United States.

The giant beer company Miller-Coors was the next big thing for Elvira. They have declined to comment as to why they picked Halloween and Elvira for such a huge and ongoing advertising campaign, but you couldn’t get through the beer aisle of a grocery, liquor or convenience store without running into a giant cardboard cut-out of Elvira. She did three commercials for Coors in the mid 1980s and Coors Light still considers her the ‘Queen of Halloween’. She also does guest appearances at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween themed ‘Knott’s Scary Farm’ event and she has licensed her name or image to over 400 different products over the years. Elvira turns down few product endorsements. “Almost nothing is too tacky for Elvira.” she says!

Does Elvira have any regrets for making almost a million dollars every time October 31 rolls around? “If ever there was a holiday that deserves to be commercialized, it’s Halloween. We haven’t taken it away from kids.” she says. “We’ve just expanded it so that the kid in adults can enjoy it, too.”


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