Herk Harvey, Carnival of Souls (still), 1962


Carnival of Souls

Part of Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein.

Series Media Sponsor  
7x7 horizontal logo

Series Supporting Media Sponsors

East Bay Express logo
Up Out logo

A young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she is haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Made by industrial filmmakers on a modest budget, the eerily effective B-movie classic Carnival of Souls was intended to have “the look of a Bergman and the feel of a Cocteau”—and, with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score, it succeeds. Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece gained a cult following on late-night television and continues to inspire filmmakers today.

“One of the 50 Scariest Horror Movies.” —Complex magazine

“Reporters have asked why Carnival of Souls is still recirculating, playing theaters 30 years after it was made—when hundreds of other low-budget black-and-white films have been long forgotten. All I know is that the movie was created, directed, filmed, and edited by people who loved the idea of making a picture—not to exploit anything or fit into any special niche, but just to make the best film they could with the limited resources available to them.” —Carnival of Souls co-writer John Clifford, Criterion.com

Film Details

Country: USA
Language: English
Year: 1962
Running time: 78 min
Director: Herk Harvey
Producer: Herk Harvey
Writer: John Clifford
Cinematographer: Maurice Prather
Editors: Bill de Jarnette, Dan Palmquist
Music: Gene Moore
With: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt
Print Source: Janus Films

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

More Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul Events

See All