Three Deadly Women Who Give Me Life!

Tis’ the season for terrifying women! With Halloween right around the corner, I wanted to pay respects to three ghastly gorgeous women who created the framework for gothic glamour in film and television. They rose to great heights in the horror subgenre and even broke into the mainstream media. These women of the night stole the hearts of millions and became cult classics! 


Morticia Addams

This macabre matriarch first appeared in the 1938 comics, “The Addams Family”, by Charles Addams. She lives in a traditional gothic mansion with her husband Gomez, her two children Wednesday and Pugsley, and family members Uncle Fester and Grandmama. The Addams unapologetically live their ghastly lifestyles, completely unaware of the fact that their “alternative” way of life is seen as taboo to others around them. Morticia is almost always portrayed with her iconic skin-tight black gown, and bone-straight hair, gliding through the Addams mansion. Morticia dedicates her life to her family. She disembodied everything there is to know about typical matriarchy. She supports her husband’s deadly nature, encourages her children to explore danger, and will whip you up a fine cup of cyanide. She spends her days fantasizing about deadly crusades while maintaining an odious garden full of toxic foliage.



If you’re looking for someone who makes horror look regal, Vampira is the ghoulish girl for you! Vampira was a character portrayed by Maila Nurmi, who hosted a movie show in 1954. Nurmi took inspiration for Vampira’s look from Morticia Addams but gave it a layer of sex appeal. She was recognizable by her three-inch-long red fingernails and her impossibly tight corset that took the phrase “hourglass figure” to a whole new level. Every episode of her show would begin with her gliding across a foggy corridor. When she reaches the end of the misty hall and centered in the camera frame, she lets out a blood-curdling scream! Vampira has constantly seen drinking martinis topped with eyeballs in place of olives, reciting odd poetry, and wishing her viewers “bad dreams”. While “The Vampira Show” only aired for one year, her influence is timeless. Disney even used the character as a model while creating the animated character “Maleficent”, the evil witch in “Sleeping Beauty”. She was even named “Night-Mayor” of Hollywood. Vampira fused camp and gothic aesthetics in a way that change the way we viewed “femme fatale” characters. 



Elvira has been in the horror business since the 80s, earning her the title of “Mistress of the Dark”. Elvira was a character loosely based on Vampira. Portrayed by Cassandra Peterson, Elvira embodied the Vampira’s glamour but stood out remarkably due to her edgy aesthetic and lewd humor. She starred in her movie variety show, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, where she greeted audiences with laughs and witty one-liners while playing B-rated horror movies and other cult classics. She drives her “Macabre Mobile”, a 1958 Ford Thunderbird, tricked out with a spider web grill, a chain-link pentagram steering wheel with a Baphomet head in the center, and a leopard print interior. Her beehive wig, pale makeup, and revealing black gown added sex appeal to the horror genre. Today, Elvira and her huge…… sense of humor is still celebrated in cult communities.