223. Carnival of Souls (US 1962)


director: Herk Harvey

screenplay: Herk Harvey, John Clifford

starring:  Candace Hillgloss, Herk Harvey , Frances Feist, Sidney Berger (I'm not making these up, by the way), Art Ellison        


A woman lives a haunted existence

synopsis: Mary Henry, a talented organist (obviously), is seen riding in car driven by another young woman. A group of teenagers challenge the woman to a drag race (obviously) and all participants end up dead in the river. Apart from Mary.

Mary moves to Salt Lake City and takes a job as a church organist. She begins to have apparitions of a sinister, deformed character known as The Man. The Man's reflection seems to replace Mary's own reflection. Mary becomes obsessed with the town's pavilion and returns again and again to hear the church organ music which seems to be playing in this eerie, deserted building.

Mary seems to float between the real world and the spirit world of The Man. Her music divines a wretched collection of ghouls (some of the 'souls' of the title) from the waters beneath the pavilion.

The ghouls start turning up all over the town. Mary is dismissed from her job when her minister accuses her music of being 'sacrilege'.

Four Kopites waiting for a live LFC game outside the Rose of Mossley Hill.

Mary returns to the pavilion for one, last fateful time.....

Now this is more like it. I saw this on one of the weirder cable channels in the early hours of the morning. Not the best time to watch this film.

The organ music alone is guaranteed to disturb you and the film has an otherworldly feeling to it unlike anything I've ever seen. The film was made on the cheap and relies on atmosphere and dream logic to induce a sense of fear or dread.

Ex-Liverpool centre back turned Sky pundit Phil Thompson

The acting has an odd quality to it and the whole film could have probably worked as a silent film

Not shit-your-kecks scary, but unsettling and it'll stay in your mind long after it's finished. And Candace should have been a star. Or maybe not.