“It’s funny . . . the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight everything falls back into place again.” The low-budget but highly influential atmospheric horror classic Carnival of Souls was made for just over $30,000 and filmed in three weeks in Lawrence, Kansas, and at the Saltair Amusement Park outside Salt Lake City. The soul survivor of a “joy ride” turned tragic, a rather bland young woman named Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) starts to experience disturbing visions after she takes a job as a church organist. Carnival of Souls, which features an eerie organ score and was produced and directed by Herk Harvey (who also appears as a ghoulish figure in the film), has served as the inspiration for a slew of horror movies – from Night of the Living Dead and Eraserhead to The Sixth Sense. Skip the awful 1998 remake that bears little resemblance to the original.
Useless Trivia: Hilligoss also appeared in The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964).