Carnival of Souls (1962)

USA, 1962
78m, 84m [Director’s Cut]
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Herk Harvey. Production began on 18 September 1961/

Plot Summary

After being run off a bridge by a group of uncouth drag racers, Mary Henry is the only survivor of a car crash that kills her two friends. While recovering from the shock, Mary takes a job as church organist in a small town. But she soon starts to see strange figures and is drawn to the eerie, run-down carnival outside town. There she confronts the phantoms who are stalking her and learns some terrible truths about the original accident.


* = uncredited

Directed: Herk Harvey
© [not given on screen]
A presentation of Herts-Lion International [UK prints]. A Harcourt production
Produced: Herk Harvey
Production Manager: Larry Sneegas
Assist. Prod. Managers: Lanny Fellers, Richard Walker
Written: John Clifford
Assistant Director: Raza Badiyi
Director of Photography: Maurice Prather
Editing: Dan Palmquist, Bill de Jarnette
Lab: General Labs, California, USA *
Music: Gene Moore
Sound: Ed Down, Don Jessup
Hair Styles: George Corn
Titles: Dan Fitzgerald
Cameras: Arriflex *
Locations: Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA; Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA; Lecompton, Kansas, USA; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA [all *]

Candace Hilligoss [Mary Henry]
Frances Feist [Mrs Thomas]
Sidney Berger [John Linden]
Art Ellison [Minister]
Stan Levitt [Dr Samuels]
Tom McGinnis [organ factory boss]
Forbes Caldwell [organ factory worker]
Dan Palmquist [gas station attendant]
Bill de Jarnette [mechanic]
Steve Boozer [man at juke box]
Pamela Ballard
Larry Sneegas [drag racer]
Cari Conboy [lake zombie]
Karen Pyles
T.C. Adams
Sharon Scoville, Mary Ann Harris [Mary’s girlfriends]
Peter Schnitzler [walking corpse]
Bill Sollner [lake zombie]
Reza Badiyi [bus ticket customer] *
Ed Down [man at bridge] *
Herk Harvey [‘The Man’] *
Wayne Shmille [sheriff at bridge] *

Alternative Titles

Helvetilliset – Finland
Da Infernaliska – Finland, Sweden
Karnawal umarlych – Poland
Tanz der toten Seelen – Germany

Carnival of Souls (1998)

Extracts included in
Horrible Horror (1986)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.8 p.38
  • Fangoria no.86 (September 1989) – interview with Herk Harvey (Death comes to Kansas by Tom Weaver)
  • Fangoria no.118 (November 1992) pp.14-19, 59 – interview with Candace Hilligoss (Her life was a carnival by Tom Weaver)
  • Videoscope no.16 (Fall 1995) – interview with John Clifford (Souls survivor by Tom Weaver)
  • Videoscope no.26 (1998) pp.44-45 – interview with Candace Hilligoss (Souled out: Candace Hilligoss on the carnival conspiracy by Tom Weaver)
  • Videoscope no.30 (1999) pp.30-31 – interview with Candace Hilligoss (Souled out! Candace Hilligoss on the new carnival of souls by Tom Weaver)


  • 100 American Horror Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.35-36
  • The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen by Richard Crouse p.35-38 – credits, review
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.236 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Attack of the Monster Movie Makers by Tom Weaver pp.145-56 – interview with Candace Hilligoss
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.147 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.167, 325
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.260, 366, 373
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.58 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.73 – credits
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.48 – credits, review
  • I Was a Monster Movie Maker by Tom Weaver pp.88-95 – interview with Candace Hilligoss
  • It Came from Weaver Five by Tom Weaver pp.39-48 – interview with John Clifford
  • Kine & TV Year Book 1968 p.123 – credits
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.56 – credits
  • Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright p.210
  • Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver – interview with director-star Herk Harvey
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.30 – credits, review
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.92-93 – credits, review
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.54-55 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review