39. Carnival of Souls (1962)
Director: Herk Harvey
Stars: Candance Hilligoss, Herk Harvey, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt
It's a good thing that the Utah in which Carnival of Souls unravels its odd creepiness is nondescript. Had writer-director Herk Harvey chosen to emphasize a setting like, say, Beaver or Greenville, we can't imagine anyone who's seen this nightmarish horror flick would ever want to visit there, let alone live.
En route to start her new gig as a church organist, Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) gets into a bad car accident, comes to, and tries to begin her life in a seemingly normal Utah town. Except that she keeps seeing freaky, white-cake-faced ghouls that want her to check out the local abandoned pavilion. She's afraid to do so, though, since the decrepit building practically screams "Ghosts and other scary shit reside here!" Carnival of Souls' hallucinogenic climax finds Mary finally entering the pavilion, with results that'll induce the crazy willies. —MB