Book Review: Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark

"Cassandra Peterson has created a legacy that resonates across multiple generations."

Share This Post

You can’t think of the Halloween season without thinking of the best horror host to ever do it, Elvira. From hosting the weekly show Elvira’s Movie Macabre to starring in two films based on the iconic character, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and 2001’s Elvira’s Haunted Hills, Cassandra Peterson has created a legacy that resonates across multiple generations. 

Cassandra Peterson gave us the gift that is her memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark in 2021, and horror fanatics have been eating it up. An intricate title for such an interesting life lived. This might be one of my favorite books I’ve ever read, and I would recommend it to anyone even if you don’t love Halloween and horror as much as I do. It gave me a much bigger appreciation of my Halloween queen as she pulled back the curtain, and allowed her fans to experience another side to her.

This book is funny, heartbreaking, inspirational, and most of all, honest. Peterson doesn’t hold back in Yours Cruelly from start to finish. She discusses her complicated relationship with her parents,the challenges of being a blossoming teenage girl, her time living in Las Vegas as a showgirl, and a night spent with her idol, Elvis. One of the most interesting parts of the book was her going into detail about being a teenage groupie who followed bands around the country. 

Peterson’s career is an impressive one even after everything she’s been through. In her 70s, the woman behind Elvira is still living a life true to herself and I have nothing but respect for it. She has worked her ass off to become the face of Halloween and we have all benefited from it. I would definitely tag this book with a few trigger warnings as it deals with parental abuse, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addition, and some other themes that may be tough to get through for some folks. 

I ordered my hardcover copy from The Dungeon at Southland in Maryville, TN but you can find it anywhere books are sold. You can also check the audiobook out at your local library using the Libby app. 

Brittany Fernandez is a Lifestyle Writer for SoBros Network. She’s a Nashville native covering events on the local scene, B-movie horror reviews, and everything in between. Her go-to karaoke song is “No Diggity.” Follow on Twitter: @brittbutspooky

Subscribe to the SoBros Network Patreon here – $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore