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Carnival of Souls (1962)

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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Is there death after life? See more »


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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?


The film was originally released on double-bill with The Devil's Messenger (1961), a TV pilot for a Swedish horror show. See more »


In the conversation with her landlady after she returns from the car trip with the Minister, Mary's position on the staircase changes between shots. She is lower down the stairs in the second shot. See more »


Dr. Samuels: Now, don't be hasty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in 8 Reels of Sewage (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Most Resourceful Modest Budget Horror
28 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After viewing this legendary flick for the first time, I have to say that the quality they achieved on a shoestring is still impressive today. Every penny spent on this little film makes its way before the viewer, which is something that can't be said of most major budget films then or now. Corman used "getting the money up on the screen" as his yardstick for his own success as low budget producer and director. But while I like the Corman cheapies, like Bucket of Blood and Little Shop of Horrors, and acknowledge that they possess a relatively high level of workman-like resourcefulness, it's hard to deny that Carnival makes many of Corman's films look slapped-out and unimaginative in comparison. Corman usually steered clear of anything poetic, dabbling with it most pointedly in the dream sequences in his first Poe adaptations. In contrast, this films makers are quoted to the effect that they were inspired by Bergman and Cocteau. Now, with such heroic ambition, Carnival could have turned out a laughable mess. But the films dark waking dream atmosphere is well realized. They had some really great locations– the pavilion, the wooden bridge, the organ factory and the church with the "casting out demons" stained glass. The actress playing the heroine is lucky (or skillful) casting, too; she doesn't look or act quite like the average person, which is perfect for the story. If I picked one thing to complain about, it would be the interlude with the guy from across the hall in the rooming house, about the writing of that section and especially about the actor who played him. But I won't. There's just too much good to be said about this small masterpiece of independent film making.

Ten stars. See it.

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