This week, Cassandra Peterson — best known as her alter ego Elvira, Mistress of the Dark — used her new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, to open up to the world about her long-term relationship with Teresa “T” Wierson.
As Peterson tells it, the couple met at the Hollywood Gold’s Gym where the horror icon admired Wierson from afar. “Often, when I was doing my preworkout warm-up on the treadmill, I couldn’t help noticing one particular trainer — tan, tattooed, and muscular — stalking across the gym floor, knit cap pulled so low over his long brown hair that it nearly covered his eyes,” she writes in the book. “Dark and brooding, he gave off such intense energy that when he crossed the enormous gym floor, the waters parted and people stopped in their tracks to stare.”
In her memoir, Peterson describes Wierson as the typical “sexy bad boy” and says that watching her surreptitiously from the treadmill made her heart beat faster and was a great way to pass the time. It wasn’t until they bumped into one another in the ladies’ room that Peterson realized her gym crush was no bad boy. “A former bodybuilder, track runner, and cyclist, she was an incredibly sweet person, despite her tough exterior,” she writes. The two experienced an instant connection and had fun together as they trained three times a week for the following six years.
That friendship began to change, however, when on an appropriately dark and stormy night, Wierson showed up on Paterson’s doorstep in need of a place to stay. Both were freshly out of relationships and they supported one another through that difficult time. “Having her around was a huge relief,” writes Peterson. “T was like a big kid, and she turned out to be the best babysitter anyone could ask for. Evenings were spent with all of us laughing, cooking, singing, and dancing around the kitchen while she helped me prep dinner. The black cloud that had hung over our home for so long felt like it had finally lifted. I began to feel happier than I had in years and I could tell my child was feeling the same way.”
One night after the two caught a movie together, something suddenly changed for Peterson. “I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth. As shocked as she was, I think I was even more surprised. What the hell was I doing? I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends.”
Confusion aside, the chemistry between them was undeniable, and the two have been together, albeit secretly, for nearly two decades. “I’ve never had a long-term relationship in which my partner has treated me with so much love and respect, is always there for me, loves me for who I am, and doesn’t try to change me,” Peterson shares in her book. “For the first time in my life, I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved.”
The only reason she didn’t come out about the relationship sooner, Peterson explains, is that she feared the impact disclosing it would have on her career. As it turns out, she had nothing to worry about. When news broke earlier this week, the internet sighed a (rare) collective “good for her.”
Yours Cruelly, Elvira is out now.
Not content to just break the internet by revealing her love story, and release a memoir, she also has the upcoming Elvira’s 40th Anniversary Very Scary, Very Special Special coming to Shudder this week on September 25.
In the vein of her cult classic, late-night television series Elvira’s Movie Macabre, which debuted in 1981, Elvira will be lending her brand of witty commentary to a series of horror films Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, House on Haunted Hill, The City of the Dead, and Messiah of Evil.
Watch the trailer below.