The rise and fall of Vampira, dark goddess of horror



What a sad story. If only we could go back and give her some of that 20/20 hindsight, help her avoid the stupid traps she landed in.


Could the starlet who sued perchance be Elvira?

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This is a great slice of Hollywood history! I’m looking forward to reading this book and I’ll check out his other book. It’s great to see historians working on such cool topics.

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No. (I’ve heard of this case, but I can’t recall the specifics at the moment, but it definitely wasn’t Elvira, aka Cassandra Peterson.)

Nurmi and Peterson were involved in a lawsuit in the 1980s, but it was one Nurmi had filed against Peterson, claiming Elvira was infringement on Vampira. (The court eventually threw out the case.)


For more on this fascinating story, check out R.H. Greene’s 2012 documentary Vampira and Me. It’s a well made doc filled with interviews and never before seen archival footage of Vampira in her prime:


Wow she was doing the climbing out of the coffin thing two years before Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

And that head shot of her with the shaved head is fierce. Looks like that was an audition for a sci-fi movie that was never made. She looked great.

She might have had better luck if she’d left Hollywood and gone for one of the local markets on the east coast. Remember there were still regional television networks in that era.


Great read, thanks!

When this book comes out in 2104, I will be sure to read it.

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Ya beat me to it!

Nurmi was interviewed extensively for the film *American Scary*, and is still first among the “departed friends” who are memorialized on the main page. She has, arguably, the best line in the whole documentary:

“I resent women with big bosoms! I had to fake mine!”

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Comedian and former Simpsons writer Dana Gould has spoken longly and lovingly about his freindship with Vampira during a number of interviews; one being with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist podcast and another with Kevin Pollak on his Chat Show.

Either, if not both, are well worth listening to - even for those who are (or were) Vampira naive.

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