Carnival of Souls (1962)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  2 November 1962 (Finland)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 12,646 users  
Reviews: 276 user | 162 critic

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Candace Hilligoss ...
Frances Feist ...
Sidney Berger ...
Art Ellison ...
Stan Levitt ...
Dr. Samuels
Tom McGinnis ...
Organ Factory Boss
Forbes Caldwell ...
Carpenter in Organ Factory
Dan Palmquist ...
Gas Station Attendant
Bill de Jarnette ...
Mechanic (as Bill De Jarnette)
Steve Boozer ...
Chip, Man at Juke Box
Pamela Ballard ...
Dress Sales Lady
Larry Sneegas ...
Drag Racer
Cari Conboy ...
Lake Zombie
Karen Pyles ...
Dress Store Customer
T.C. Adams ...
Dancing Zombie


Mary Henry is enjoying the day by riding around in a car with two friends. When challenged to a drag, the women accept, but are forced off of a bridge. It appears that all are drowned, until Mary, quite some time later, amazingly emerges from the river. After recovering, Mary accepts a job in a new town as a church organist, only to be dogged by a mysterious phantom figure that seems to reside in an old run-down pavilion. It is here that Mary must confront the personal demons of her spiritual insouciance. Written by Rick Gregory <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She Was A Stranger Among The Living. See more »


Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 1962 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Corridors of Evil  »

Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


(green tinted)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to star Candace Hilligoss, the river water she was submerged in for the film's finale was frigidly cold. She said she had to be placed in the water for several hours to get the final shots. In fact, one of the actresses lying next to Hilligoss can be seen trembling from the cold water. See more »


The coffee cups are translucent when neighbor brings coffee which reveals that they have only poured an inch in each and that they're not drinking. See more »


Minister: You cannot be our organist. In conscience, I must ask you to resign.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The films opening credits fade in and out, scattered across the footage of the flowing river. See more »


Referenced in CarnEvil (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Surprisingly Excellent
18 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While I am a self-avowed fan of low-budget horror flicks, "cult" classics, etc.., I was expecting to be disappointed by Carnival of Souls. The little I allowed myself to read about COS before watching it made me feel like it was either going to be disappointing and slow or right on target (weighted average is around 7). Instead, it was almost certainly the creepiest, eeriest movie I have ever seen. At the age of 21, most might expect me to have had my senses dulled by MTV-style shock theatre, but whatever damage has been done was not enough to diminish in any way the effect of this brilliant movie. I, in fact, read the screenplay to "The Hitch-hiker" (the Twilight zone script many have referenced as an inspiration for this movie) for an 8th grade class, but even that knowledge did not diminish my admiration for this low-budget masterpiece. The photography is incredible and atmospheric, with many of the lighting contrasts and unexpected appearances of "the ghoul" extremely effective. The acting was actually rather good, with Candace Hilligoss believable as the cold, yet seemingly psychotic lead character. I found the slimy man-next-door to be played even more convincingly, with all the repulsiveness of a real-life slum Casanova. The Saltair setting was also brilliant. Honestly, I have to stop exuding praise, but this movie really knocked me off my feet, with only occasional moments of slow-but-tensionless action early in the movie keeping this from being a ten. All in all, the best low-budget indie horror movie I've ever seen (and that includes Night of the Living Dead).

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