Carnival of Souls (1962) Script

Hey, Joe, drag your foot, boy. Look what we got here.

Hey, you wanna drag, huh?


Come on, man. Get ready.

I'll show 'em how to drive. Just watch me.

Sir, as high as this river is right now, and with all the mud and sand it's carryin', they may never find that car.


Right there.

All right, let's hear your story about how it happened.

It wasn't our fault, sir. Yeah?

We were the first ones on the bridge, and coming a-along following the tracks, and they wanted to get around us, I guess, and they lost control...

You sure you didn't crowd 'em off?

Three hours.

Yeah? Not sure I wanna find that car now.

With this sand and with that current, we may never find 'em.

About all I guess we can do is keep tryin'.


Come on. Let's get down there.

Why, it's Mary Henry.

Are you all right?

How'd you get out?

Here, put this on. We'd better get you back to town.

What about the other girls?

I don't remember.

Is this like the one I'll be playing in Utah?

It's quite similar.

I supervised the installation myself.

The accident won't delay your going, will it?

No. I'm leaving this morning.

There's nothing I can do here. That's right.

Well, Mary, you'll make a fine organist for that church.

Be very satisfying to you, I think.

It's just a job to me.

Well, that's not quite the attitude for going into church work.

I'm not taking the vows. I'm only going to play the organ.

Oh, you want more than that.

Of course it doesn't pay much, but, well, at least it's a start.

Are you driving by Benton to see your folks?

No, I can't. I... I must hurry.

I... I've got to leave. I'm going to drive straight through.

Mary, it takes more than intellect to be a musician.

Put your soul into it a little, okay?

Good luck, Mary.

Stop by and see us the next time you're in.

Thank you, but I'm never coming back.

Can I help you?

Fill it up. All right.

Be anything else, lady?

Could you tell me what that big structure is back a few miles by the lake?

Oh, you mean the old bathhouse.

Yeah, that used to be a pretty ritzy place in the old days.

Then the lake went down and they made a dance hall out of it.

Then they put those buildings up out there and made some sort of a carnival there for a while.

Ah, that's years ago though. Just stands out there now.

I see.

Uh, I have an address here of a rooming house. Could you direct me?

Oh, sure. Why, that's just right over here a little way.

Been savin' it for you since I got your letter.

Could've rented it yesterday if I'd wanted.

Oh, it... it's fine. I-It's just about what I expected.

I knew you'd like it.

This ain't no regular roomin' house, you know.

I only got you and Mr. Linden across the hall.

Each room's got its own private bathroom too.

You can take all the baths you want.

I'm not one to fuss about things like that.

Thank you. I think I'll be quite comfortable.

Well, hope you'll stay a while.

I'm downstairs in the back part of the house, so if there's anything else you need, guess it'll have to wait till morning.


Good night, Mrs. Thomas.

And this, Miss Henry, is our pride and joy.

This was made in the same town where I've been studying.

Of course. That's where we heard about you.

You have found a place to stay?

Yes, I have a room. Good.

Well, we hope you're going to like it here.

We're not the largest church in this area, of course, but we have a nice congregation.

We'll have to have some sort of reception. They'll want to meet you.

Couldn't we just skip that? Skip that?

I don't suppose it's an absolute necessity.

I don't know what some of the ladies will say.

If they say I'm a fine organist, that should be enough, shouldn't it?

Well, yes, of course.

We'll let it go at that for the time being.

But, my dear, you cannot live in isolation from the human race, you know.

Mind if I try this now? I want you to.

You go right ahead.

I'll be next door at the manse, if you need me.

We have an organist capable of stirring the soul.

What do you see?

Oh. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I've practiced all afternoon and it's gotten me in a mood.

You need some fresh air.

I've got to make a call out past the lake.

Would you like to come along for the ride?

You know that old pavilion out there? Mm-hmm.

Will we pass it? Go right by it.

Stop and look at it if you like. I would, with you along.


This used to be quite a place.

It's been deserted for a long time now. Will you take me in?

Goodness no. It isn't safe out there anymore.

That's why they put up this barrier.

Be very easy to step around it.

What attraction could there be for you out there?

I'm not sure.

I'm a reasonable person. I don't know.

Maybe I want to satisfy myself that the place is nothing more than it appears to be.

Would you take me out there? No.

The law has placed it off-limits.

Wouldn't be very seemly for a minister to break the law, would it?

No. Maybe I can come back some other time.

Shall we go along now?

Ah, I thought that'd be you.

Good evening.

That organ playin' must take a long time. You've been gone most the whole day.

I went for a long drive in the country with my new boss, an elderly minister.

Oh, ho.

That must have been a kick in the head.

I learned that from my other boarder, Mr. Linden.

Did you get your supper?

Oh, I forgot.

Well, this ain't no boardinghouse, but I got some coffee and sandwich makings left.

I could bring you some up after a while.

Good. I'll be taking one of those baths you're so generous with.

Take as many as you want.

I ain't one to make a fuss about a thing like that.

Come in, Mrs. Thomas.

Oh, uh, just a minute.

I thought you were Mrs. Thomas!

Yeah, I, uh... I wondered when you asked me in.

I'm John Linden. I'm your neighbor across the hall.

Nice to meet you. Would you excuse... Hey, I, uh...

I was just wondering... Just stand right there.

I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Mary Henry.

Yeah, I know.

I, uh... I heard you tell Mrs. Thomas you haven't ate anything yet, huh?

I just thought, bein' neighborly and all... I haven't eaten anything either.

I just thought I'd ask you out to dinner.

That's very thoughtful, but I can't accept.

I know we haven't met or anything yet, but I just thought...

I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse me.

Look, there's a real nice restaurant right down the street, and I thought...

I'm the kind of guy who doesn't like to eat by himself.

I've made arrangements to eat in my room tonight.

Hey, if, uh, you change your mind, just holler.

Looks kind of lonesome in here.

Good night, Mr. Linden.

Miss Henry?

It's Mrs. Thomas.


Who's the man in the hall?


Oh, you must mean Mr. Linden.

He has the room across the hall.

No. I mean the other one.

There is no other.

Me and you and Mr. Linden.

Us three is all there is in this house.

B-But you must have passed him out there.

You're needin' this food.

Goin' without eatin' makes you jumpy sometimes.

Maybe you heard the boards pop or somethin'.

These old houses creak worse than my knees.

I didn't hear him, Mrs. Thomas. I saw him.

Now, don't talk that way.

I don't sleep so good as it is.

It's these old houses. They...

They're big enough so that you could hide a man in every corner.

You just gotta not let your imagination run away with you.

Are you going out there? Well, of course.

There's nobody there.

Now you just go and eat that sandwich I made for you.

Don't drink the coffee if coffee keeps you awake.

It won't.

Coffee never keeps me awake.

Well, good morning.

I heard your alarm. I knew you'd be up.

Guess what I got. I can't imagine.

Oh, just what it takes to start the day off right.

I make it in my room. It saves me havin' to get dressed up.

I guess I had to get dressed to come over here anyway.

Oh! It looks just like what I need.

Well, then two cups of coffee comin' up.

Say, uh, I guess you took it wrong last night about me comin' to your door and all.

I'm not a very sociable person ordinarily.

How can I resist an inducement like this?

A what?

Come on. I don't know all those big words.

I'm just an ordinary guy who works in a warehouse, that's all.

I make pretty good money though. Hey.

I got a couple of shots left over from last night. Want a little bit in yours?

No, thanks. It's not the recommended breakfast for a church organist.

Oh, is that what you do?

You mean they pay somebody to play the organ in church?

Some churches do.

Hey, I hope you don't mind about this.

I just didn't know you were a church woman.

To me a church is just a place of business.

Well, that's a funny way to look at it. Why?

People seem shocked because I took a job in a church, and I regard it simply as a job.

I'm a professional organist and I play for pay, that's all.

Thinkin' like that, don't that give you nightmares?

Strange you should say that.

As a matter of fact... not for that reason, mind you... but I had the strangest feeling last night.

Yeah, I had kind of a lost night myself.

That's funny.

The world is so different in the daylight.

But in the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand.

But in the daylight, everything falls back into place again.

Let's have no more nights.

Or let's make them more interesting, huh?

Say, how'd you get to be a church organist?

I studied it in college.

I could've gone to college.

I used to play pretty good football, but they wanted me to take a lot of classes and things.

They're that way. I'm just as smart as the next guy.

But I just didn't dig what they were teachin' in school.

And the thing I hated most was "principal products."

Principal products?

You know, like, uh, "The principal products of Brazil are..."

Oh, geez.

Coffee beans, snake oil. You know, like that.

When I was in school, I couldn't care less.

The only thing I cared about was girls.

Didn't they offer a course in that?

If they would've done that, I would've graduated.

What's the matter? Can you still taste the coffee?

Come on. What do you think, I'm an alcoholic?

I just like to start the day off in a good mood, that's all.

You must be hilarious by noon.

I'm just the kind of a guy employers want. You know, the happy worker.

Come on. Didn't I make your morning happier?

This morning you're exactly what I needed.

You're gonna need me in the evenin' too. You just don't know it yet.

I'll rinse off these cups.

Ah, no, no. Just spoils the flavor for tomorrow.

Well, thank you for the coffee.

It was unsanitary, but delicious.

Well, uh, should've put some of the germ killer inside.

Well, I hate to leave so early.

Think you can get through the door?

You got the wrong impression of me.

Well, I meant because you have so many things to carry.

Oh. Like I said, I hate to leave.

It's been a pleasure, Mr. Linden, but I'm sure you have to get to work.

Don't you? Nope.

I have the whole day free for shopping.

Does the hem hang right in back?

We might change the hemline a little.

The drape is just fine.

Otherwise it looks very nice.

I'm sure it isn't very chic to take the second dress, but I like it.

We alter it a little here to make it straight all the way around.

Do you want to go back to your dressing room?

I like it fine. I believe I'll have you deliver the dress, if you don't mind.

I did say I'd take it.

What's the matter with her?

What's the matter with everyone?

Why don't they answer me?

What is it? That man!

I didn't mean any harm. I just stopped to get a drink.

No. No.

It was that man.

That man!

There was someone else there!

That strange man was there!

Now, look. You've had a fright.

Hysteria won't solve anything. Now control yourself.

Look, I'm Dr. Samuels.

My office is right across the street there.

You've had a shock.

If you would like my assistance, I'll be glad to offer it.

Thank you.

Could I come with you now? Certainly.

I'll take her over to my office. We'll see that she's all right.

My purse.

It was more than just not being able to hear anything, or make contact with anyone.

It was as though... as though for a time I didn't exist.

As though I had no place in the world, no part of the life around me.

And then you saw this... this man?


You'll excuse my back, but I wanted to get some of that written down.

I must have been talking for an hour.

Anything else? Anything you haven't told me?

That's all there is. That's the whole story.

He's been following me. That's all there is to it.

It isn't that simple though, is it?

What do you mean?

He couldn't have been in the park this afternoon, or one of us men would've seen him.

And that night in the hallway, you said yourself the landlady came up a minute later, and she didn't see him?

What are you driving at?

It's been less than a week since you were in a car that crashed into the river.

How you got out of that no one seems to know.

But that experience must have been a serious emotional shock.

You think I imagined all of it, don't you? You think I'm insane?

I didn't say that. I don't mean that.

I'm a competent person. If anything, I'm a realist.

I'm not given to imagining anything.


All of us imagine things.

Have you ever heard two men talking behind your back and imagined they were talking about you?

Have you never imagined you saw someone you knew, and walked up to them and found they were a perfect stranger?

I don't see what this has to do with it. The point is this.

Our imaginations play tricks on us.

They often misinterpret what we see and hear. Do you agree?

I suppose so.

If that can happen in ordinary times, go a step further.

Look what can happen in a high fever, or following a serious emotional shock.

It doesn't seem possible that I could have imagined all of it.

Does this man, this figure, resemble anyone you've ever known?

An acquaintance, or your father? No.

Have a boyfriend here or back home? No, no desire for one.

Never? No.

I'm surprised to find myself saying that, but it's true.

I have no desire for the close company of other people.

Have you always felt this way?

I... I don't know.

Don't you want to join in the things that other people do, share the experiences of other people?

I don't seem capable of being very close to people.

I do feel that perhaps I'm trying to reach out for those other things.

Do you feel guilty wanting them?

I don't understand you.

I'm not a psychiatrist, and perhaps I'm being clumsy at all this, but I am suggesting that perhaps this figure represents a guilt feeling.

Oh, that's ridiculous!

Maybe. Frankly, I don't know.

Well, I know one thing.

If my imagination is playing tricks on me, I'm going to put a stop to it.

You're a very strong-willed person, aren't you?

I survive, if that's what you mean.

That old pavilion out by the lake.

Somehow you associate it with all this, don't you?

I could go out there. I could put an end to that too.

I could go out there... Now don't be hasty.

If it is all in my imagination, I could put a stop to it.

Maybe. But at least someone should be with you. I can't possibly...

As you say, Doctor, I'm a person of strong will.

And the time to go out there is now.

And if I have to, I can go alone.

Say, uh, I don't wanna get turned down again.

I was thinkin' of askin' you out to dinner.

I stopped for a bite to eat on the way.

Anyway, I have to practice at the church this evening.

Look, uh, how's about if I pick you up afterward?

We'll go someplace and dance or somethin'.

I'm sorry. I'm not much for dancing.

Uh, hey, uh, you mind if I ask you a question?

I won't know until I hear it.

What, are you afraid of men?

No, I'm not afraid of men.

Well, you seem sort of cold.

This morning when I brought you the coffee, you were friendly.

This morning I needed company.

Well, maybe you'll need company tonight.

It's better than walkin' home alone.

Yes, it is.

I should be finished around 9:00.

Will that be all right? That's okay by me.

Say, uh, I'll see you in church, huh?

Profane! Sacrilege!

What are you playing in this church?

Have you no respect? Do you feel no reverence?

Then I feel sorry for you and your lack of soul.

This organ, the music of this church, these things have meaning and significance to us.

I assumed they did to you.

But without this awareness, I'm afraid you cannot be our organist.

In conscience, I must ask you to resign.

That does not mean that I am abandoning you, nor should you turn your back on the church.

There is help here, and I urge you to accept it.

Well, hi there. I've been waitin' an awful long time for you.

My car's over there. I know the right place to go.

What's the matter? Don't you drink either?

Not really. Not really.

How else is there if you don't drink really? Answer me that, hmm?

Now me, I not only drink really, I really drink.

What's the matter? Don't you like the music either?

I like it fine. You don't like it.

You don't like to dance, and you don't like to drink.

You don't like for a man to hold you close. That's it, isn't it?

I didn't say that. You haven't said anything all evening.

Why don't I go play that song again, you like it so much.

Hey, Johnny, who's the doll?

Nobody you know, Chip.

Oh, come on now. You been holdin' out on me.

That's not the kind of pig you usually drag around.

You quit lickin' your chops. She's outta your class.

You wanna bet?

Lay off, huh?

I got somethin' on the stove there, man. I'll help you put it over.

I don't want her to think I even know creeps like you.

Good luck.

Meet someone you know?


He's a... college fella.

He told me about this girl that's been wantin' to meet me.

Wanted me to meet her. What'd you tell him?

I said, how could I? You're my date, you know.

Said you, uh, didn't seem to enjoy my company much.

Oh, that's not true.

I really appreciate you taking me out this evening.

I'd had a miserable night if you hadn't.

Ah. Forget it. Come on, here. Join the party. Drink up.

I paid good money for that stuff. It ain't poison.

I'm sorry if I annoy you.

You know, I don't get you.

First you stand me off. Well, that's okay. That's class.

Figure you got somethin', you're just holdin' back.

Now everything I say is okay. You're a mouse.

Yesterday I didn't care.

Tonight I wanna be with you.

With me, or just with anybody?

With you.

Why don't you thaw out, hmm?

You wanna be alone. I'll leave you alone. No, I don't. No, I...

I like being with you, really I do.

I don't want to be alone tonight.

I want to be near you.

Do you mean that? Yes.

Why don't you and me get outta here, huh?

You know, my room's only a couple of feet from yours.

Ain't likely to get very far from me, are ya?

Oh, geez. Shh!

You'll wake Mrs. Thomas. Ah, that old girl lives in the back.

She won't hear nothin'.


You don't wanna go in there all by yourself, do you?

It's dark, and it's lonely in there.

You don't have to be alone tonight.

Just let me come in a while. Let me stay with you, huh?

Look, you don't wanna be alone, do ya?


I'm sorry, I... Look, look, honey.

Honey, you asked me in. You must like me a little, huh?

Hey, what's the matter with you?

What's goin' on around here?

What's the matter with you?

That man's after me.

You gotta stop him! He's after me again.

I'm gettin' outta here. You don't have to go!

Not me, sister. That's just what I need, gettin' mixed up with some girl that's off her rocker!

I don't wanna be left alone!

What'd you find out, Doctor?

Not very much, I'm afraid.

I am sure glad you just happened around.

I was gonna call somebody, but I was afraid I'd have to pay the bill.

I came on purpose.

I've been thinking about her ever since she left my office yesterday.

What's she been up to?

Only the devil knows that.

I heard her movin' things all around that room all night.

Never heard such goings-on.

And she wouldn't let me in her room this morning.

She's a strange one. Mmm.

She absolutely refuses my help.

I can't say that I blame her.

There's something about her that completely baffles me.

I've urged her to call upon me if she feels she needs help, and I hope she will.

I can't let her stay in this house.

You won't have to worry about that.

She's determined to leave the city, and she wants to get away as soon as possible.

I hope she does leave.

I hope she can.

Decided to leave, did ya?

Where ya goin'?

I can't refund none of your week's rent when you go off like that.

Sounds like your transmission. Can you pull it up on the rack?

Okay, fine.

Will it take long? Well, I have to check it first.

Would you like to get out?

May I just sit here? Sure. Suit yourself.

When is the next eastbound bus?

When does the next bus leave? I must get on it!

I want to get out of here.

I want to get away from here.

Eastbound bus, now loading, gate nine.

Don't close it! Wait! Wait, wait!

Let me in. You've gotta let me in. I gotta get on that train.

I gotta get away from here. Please! Please!

You hear me. You can hear me.

Why can't I hear anything?

Will you help me? I need your help.

J-Just a moment, please.

Why can't anybody hear me?

I... I came to you, Doctor, because you're my... my last hope.

I-I-If you don't help me, I... I have to go back there.

He's... He's trying to take me back somewhere.

Doctor, you've got to tell me what to do.

Her car's still over there, and then there are footprints leading up to here.

And then nothing.


The Buick's right down there. Bring it on up.