It began with hearing footsteps from the empty third floor. From there, Peterson recounts in her book, she witnessed an apparition of a woman dressed in a 1930s-style nurse’s uniform, that warned she was going to “take” Peterson’s sleeping ex-husband “into the pool.” Another time, she encountered the spectre of a man in period clothing sitting by the fire.
Not only does Peterson report the house was the site of more than one suspicious death (including that of a Ziegfeld Follies girl who died in the pool, and wasn’t discovered until the next day), she tells of a dinner party attended by Mark Hamill. The Star Wars actor revealed he had lived in Briarcliff in the 1960s, until one of his housemates died by suicide.
Peterson tells Den of Geek in a recent interview: “He drove in the gates, and he just got out of the car, and stood there going, ‘Oh, my god, I can’t believe it; this is the house I lived in when I was in college.’”
Peterson said Hamill proceeded to “drop this bomb” about his roommate who died in the home.
“We told [Mark] all about what had been going on there, so he was fully aware of that, and he told us that story because we told him about all of the creepy things that were happening,” Peterson says. “We were like, ‘Oh, my god, please don’t tell us that’…of course it turned out to be the master bedroom closet right across from our bed.”
Despite her personal beliefs, and misadventures as Elvira, Peterson said she doesn’t encounter the strange and unusual all the time — even though she currently lives in a “very creepy” home that was previously the site of a “horrible, horrible violent death.” However, she does recall a moment from her youth, “in the 50s, probably,” that she ascribes to the paranormal.