IMDb > Carnival of Souls (1962)
Carnival of Souls
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Carnival of Souls (1962) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow) Videos (see all 7)
Carnival of Souls -- A young girl witnesses the brutal rape and murder of her mother by a circus clown and begins to have nightmares when the carnival comes back to town when she is an adult.
Carnival of Souls -- An accident victim becomes a church organist after being drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.
Carnival of Souls -- After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   11,223 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
John Clifford (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Carnival of Souls on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 November 1962 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She Escaped Death. Now It Wants Her Back! See more »
Plot:
After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Stunning horror masterpiece that overcomes it limitations See more (267 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Candace Hilligoss ... Mary Henry
Frances Feist ... Mrs. Thomas, Landlady
Sidney Berger ... John Linden
Art Ellison ... Minister
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
Sharon Scoville ... Mary's Girlfriend
Mary Ann Harris ... Mary's Girlfriend
Peter Schnitzler ... A Walking Corpse
Bill Sollner ... Lake Zombie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reza Badiyi ... Bus Ticket Customer (uncredited)
Ed Down ... Man at Bridge (uncredited)
Herk Harvey ... 'The Man' (uncredited)
Wayne Shmille ... Sheriff at Bridge (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Herk Harvey 
 
Writing credits
John Clifford (written by)

Herk Harvey  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Herk Harvey .... producer
 
Original Music by
Gene Moore 
 
Cinematography by
Maurice Prather (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Bill de Jarnette  (as Bill De Jarnette)
Dan Palmquist 
Herbert L. Strock (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
George Corn .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Lanny Fellers .... assistant production manager
Larry Sneegas .... production manager
Richard Walker .... assistant production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Reza Badiyi .... assistant director (as Raza Badiyi)
 
Sound Department
Ed Down .... sound
Don Jessup .... sound
 
Other crew
Dan Fitzgerald .... title designer
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Corridors of Evil" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
Runtime:
78 min | 91 min (original version) | USA:84 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (green tinted) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:R (Manitoba) (2002) | Canada:G (Quebec) (1997) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) (1991) | Canada:AA (Ontario) (1990) | Finland:(Banned) (original rating) (1962) | Finland:K-18 (re-rating) (1962) | Germany:12 | Norway:16 | UK:12 (DVD re-rating) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2009) | USA:Approved (original rating) | USA:PG (re-release) (1990)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
At the "Carnival of Souls" 1989 reunion, director Herk Harvey wore the ghoul makeup that he wore in the film for interviews.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Mary Henry plays the organ, her finger and foot actions do not match the organ music on the soundtrack.See more »
Quotes:
Mary Henry:I don't belong in the world.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King (2008) (V)See more »

FAQ

What have critics said?
Is this available on DVD?
Can I watch this film online?
See more »
39 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Stunning horror masterpiece that overcomes it limitations, 5 August 2005
Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA

The film is so engaging that you manage to overlook the flaws while you're watching it. Sure some of the acting and editing are below par, but you don't realize that fact until after the film is done. During viewing you get caught up with the story, and Hillgoss' performance. Mary didn't have to be multi-dimension, but Hillgoss' performance makes her so. She is cold, alone, and isolated from the world. She has no friends, and doesn't feel the need for any. Despite the coldness of her character, you feel sympathetic for her and even begin to hope she gets out okay. Due to her lack of companionship, she eventually turns to the chauvinistic man who lives across from her. This is another interesting character, one who obviously lusts for Mary but doesn't know how to express his feelings, and it seems if it wasn't for the censorship at the time, he could've become more fleshed out. As another reviewer noted, he is obviously on the verge of rape and is emotionally abusive.

The story is simple, yet it grabs you by the throat and refuses to give up until the film is over. A woman bizarrely comes out of water three hours after an accident occurred. How did this happen? As she tries to get away as far as possible from the incident, strange events continuously occur and she finds herself drawn mysteriously to an abandoned carnival. Also, a strange specter appears constantly. Is this a human stalking Mary? Or is it something supernatural or of the psyche? No one else can see him. Things continue to get worse and worse, and many times Mary is unable to communicate or hear the people around her, yet strangely it goes back to normal within moments. The film's ending is slightly predictable, but suiting. Something more flashy would've destroyed the feel.

As many have noted, this isn't a technically flawless film. But you get so sucked in by the film it isn't until the ending that you realize some of the flaws. For one the editing isn't the greatest, but you must remember that the crew had an obscenely low budget to work with. It wasn't for lack of talent, it was for lack of resources. Also some of the supporting actors aren't very good, but again the film is so low-budget that it would've been impossible to pay better performers. Did you really expect to see Oscar winners in a b-film anyways? There are several aspects that easily trump the mild flaws. For one, the camera work is incredible, on par with many Hollywood films. The angles of the organ were particularly affecting, and the upward shots of the ghouls gave you the feeling of helplessness that Mary feels. Also, Hillgoss' performance is, as I stated above, very good. She manages to make a cold and isolated character human and sympathetic instead of the cardboard stereotype that haunts most films of the nature. The actor who plays the neighbor isn't the best, but his character is certainly interesting, a perverted peeping tom that if the film had been made ten years later would've surely been more developed. Also, the crudeness of the acting adds to the feel. Due in fact that Hillgoss provides the only good acting in the film, you get the feeling that something isn't right. The lack of development for almost every other character adds to the dreamlike quality. When was the last time you had a nightmare in which the other people involved where fleshed out.

The most impressive aspect is Harvey's direction. He knew how to make something out of absolutely nothing, and it certainly shows. The angles and pacing are some of the film's benefactors. And the dream sequences and sped-up carnival footage are nothing short of breathtaking, showing his masterful Harvey was. It's a shame he never made another film, but than again if you make only one film, why not have it be a masterpiece? "Carnival of Souls" transcends its limitations. It contains no special effects for the most part, and very minimalist makeup. It shows that imagination is what makes a film work, not flashy dynamics and special effects. Due to this, many fans of newer horror films will not appreciate its genius. For fans of cult films and surrealist films will be impressed. The latter camp will be amazed how the film is very avant-garde despite no budget to work with. The film is one of the ultimate cult films. Ignored when it came out, only decades later was it appreciated on its rerelase in 1989. The same thing happened with "Reefer Madness", "Glen or Glenda", and "Spider Baby". That is, in my opinion, is one of the factors that makes a film a cult film, definitely more so than if the film is just a sleeper hit. Even if it didn't have the cult following, this is still a film that must be seen. It never outright scares you, but it gets under your skin. It leaves a lasting impression, and I guarantee you'll not forget it for the rest of your life. (10/10)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (267 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Carnival of Souls (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The ending: 2 possibilities agwoodliffe
Another interpretation (and spoilers!) gonelunch1
Is Gwyneth Paltrow a clone? suzus_petals
THE creepiest movie ever. randytx-643-376535
Does anyone know how to get in touch with Candace Hilligoss? artymans
The abandoned Saltair Pavillion diddleysquat-1
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
1408 Deep Red The Amityville Horror The Fog Donnie Darko
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.