Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"


Carnival of Souls is a 1962 independent horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the film did not gain widespread attention when originally released, as a B film; today, however, it is a cult classic. Set to an organ score by Gene Moore, Carnival of Souls relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create a mood of unease and foreboding. The film has a large cult following and is occasionally screened at film and Halloween festivals. It has been cited as an important influence on the films of both David Lynch and George A. Romero.

Harvey was a director and producer of industrial and educational films based in Lawrence, Kansas, where he worked for the Centron Corporation. While vacationing in Salt Lake City, he developed the idea for the film after driving past the abandoned Saltair Pavilion. Hiring an unknown actress, Lee Strasberg-trained Candace Hilligoss, and otherwise employing mostly local talent, he shot Carnival of Souls in three weeks on location in Lawrence and Salt Lake City.

And the plot...

Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) is riding in a car with two other young women when some men challenge them to a drag race. As they speed across a bridge, the women's car plunges over the side into the river. The police spend three hours dragging the murky, fast-running water without success. Then Mary miraculously surfaces. She cannot remember how she survived.

Mary then drives to Utah, where she has been hired as a church organist. Odd things happen along the way. At one point, she can get nothing on her car radio but strange organ music. She passes a large, abandoned pavilion sitting all by itself on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. It seems to beckon to her in the twilight. Shortly thereafter, while speeding along a deserted stretch of road, a ghoulish, pasty-faced figure (The Man, played by director Herk Harvey) replaces her reflection in the passenger window and stares at her. When The Man suddenly appears in front of her, she swerves off the road. She manages to get back on the road. At a gas station, the attendant tells her the pavilion was first a bathhouse, then a dance hall, and finally a carnival before shutting down.

In town, Mary rents a room from Mrs. Thomas; John Linden, the only other lodger, wants to become better acquainted with the blonde newcomer, but she is not interested. That night, she becomes upset when she sees The Man downstairs in the large house and retreats to her room. Mrs. Thomas, who kindly brings her some food, says she did not pass anyone.

Soon, Mary begins experiencing terrifying interludes when she becomes invisible and inaudible to the rest of the world, as if she simply is not there. When The Man appears briefly in front of her in a park, she flees, right into the arms of Dr. Samuels. Samuels, though he acknowledges he is not a psychiatrist, tries to help her.

Her new employer, the minister (Art Ellison), is a bit put off when she declines his suggestion of a reception to meet the congregation. When she practices for the first time, she finds herself shifting from a hymn to eerie music. In a trance, she sees The Man and others of his ilk dancing. The minister, hearing the strange music, denounces it as "profane" and insists upon her resignation.

Terrified of being alone, Mary agrees to go out on a date with Linden. When they return home, he talks his way into her room, but when she sees The Man in the mirror, she becomes upset and tries to tell him what has been happening to her. He leaves, believing she is losing her mind.

After talking with Samuels again, Mary believes she has to go to the pavilion. There, however, she finds no answers.

Other ghouls join The Man. Mary tries frantically to escape, at one point boarding a bus to leave town, only to find that all the passengers are ghouls. Then she wakes up, showing that she dreamed this sequence at least. In the end, she is drawn back to the pavilion, where she finds her tormenters dancing. A pale version of herself is paired with The Man. When she runs away, they chase her out onto the beach. She collapses, and they close in.

The minister, the doctor, and the police investigate afterward, but are baffled. Her bare footprints in the sand (the only ones) end abruptly, but there is no trace of her.

In the final scene, the car is finally located and pulled from the river. Mary's body is in the front seat.

Carnival of Souls


The script...

Herk Harvey              director, producer
Bill de Jarnette
Dan Palmquist            film editor
Gene Moore               composer
Maurice Prather          cinematographer
John Clifford            screenwriter

Candace Hilligoss        Mary Henry
Herk Harvey              'ghosly' man
Sidney Berger            John Lyndon
Art Ellison              Minister
Frances Feist            Landlady
Stan Levitt              Doctor

A southwestern US farmer town. A white car, three girls in the first row. Mary, a skinny blonde girl in bright clothes, on the rightmost position. A black car, two men, slowly moving, stopping beside the white car in the background.

Man in the car: (A man with a white hat, very heavy accent): Hey Joe, drag your foot on, look what we've got here. (To the girls) Hey want a drive, he?
(Cypress trees in the wind in the background)
Drive it up.
Come on, man.

Changing camera positions. The girl driver looks to the car of the men. The machines are howling in idle gear.
The traffic light switches, the wheels of the cars flip on the start. They start on an asphalt road. The man with the white hat is leaning out of the window during the race, flirting with the girl driver, who responses. She is smoking a cigarette, the girl car falls behind the black car, they change to a rough road.

They pass by a sign 'Road under construction. Travel at your own risk'.
A black oillamp is burning under the sign.
Various looks at Mary, she looks frightened.
Trees are moving in the wind, dust is whirled up by the cars. The cars come to bridge, metal superconstruction, they cross the bridge side by side. The lane of the bridge is some improvised timber construction. It is not clear, why the girls car is crashing through the parapet, but it does, falls with top ahead into a muddy river. A door slightly opens. The car sinks extremly quick into the river.
The car of the two men is stopping after the bridge, they leave the car, looking into the river.
The credits start.
A muddy river, pieces of wood, a spider web.

About 10 men, all ages, are standing on the bridge, a boat on the river, men on the river banks throw ropes into the river, maybe with anchors, to find the car.

A Man: So, as high as the river right now, the low the mud, if they don't send a crane, we may never find that car.
{People do not have such a heavy accent any more. Everyone speaks somehow cultivated, logically correct, this will stay constant for the whole movie. It is, as if everybody is just an instance of Mary herself}.

Another Man: Three hours.
A Policeman: Make sure, that we find that car now.
A Man: The sand (...) we may never find it.
Another Policeman: Allthough, just we can do is keep trying.
(A movement on the bridge, people are running)

A Man: What's that.
Another Man: Come on, let's get down there.

Mary, no shoes or socks, covered with mud, coming out of the river, standing on a sandbank, going slowly, her feet sinking deep into the mud. One of the concrete pillars of the bridge is positioned on that sandbank. The people from the bridge running to the pillar, where an iron ladder is leading them down.

Another Man: It's Mary Henry.
Another Man: Are you allright, how did you get out.
A Policeman: (He puts a grey blanket around her): Put this on, we gotta get you back to town.
Another Man: What about the other girls.
Mary: I don't remember.

They leave the place, the last to leave is a handsome boy in a white undershirt, looking back to the river, the picture follows his look and remains a while on the muddy river.

Later, Mary, in a grey dress, again on the bridge, still the boat with the outboard motor is on the river, men throwing ropes into the river, seeking the car. Mary enters her nice looking car, the picture fixes the ignition key, the key is turned, then the picture continues on the complicated switchboard of an organ. Mary is playing the organ, it seems to be in an organ factory, the music is the same strange music you hear all over the movie, it seams, there is no melody, just a succession of harmonies.
Different men doing variant works.
It is a huge organ, men are gathering and watching her playing.
The shadow of a man appears, afterwards the man, in black suit.

Mary: Is this like the one I'll be playing in Utah.
Man in black suit: It's quite similiar. I supervised the installation myself. The accident will delay your going, will it?
Mary: No, I am leaving this morning, there is nothing I can do here.
Man in black suit: Naturally. Well Mary, you'll make a fine organist for that church. Will be very satisfying for you I think.
Mary: It's just a job for me.
Man in black suit: That's not the attitude for going into church work.
Mary: I'm not taking the vows, I'm only going to play the organ.
Man in black suit: Want more than that. Of course, they does not pay much, but, well at least it's a start. Are you driving by (...) to see your folks?
Mary: No, I cann't. (She seems to be insecure) I got to leave. I'm going to try a straight through.
Man in black suit: Mary, it takes more than intellect, to be a musican. Put your soul into it a little. Okay.
(Mary is going away, the picture remains on the man in black)
Good luck Mary. Stop by and see as the next time you're in.
Mary: Thank you. But I'm never coming back.

Man in black suit: I do not know about that girl.
Worker in white: How do you mean?
Man in black suit: The day before yesterday she was the only one of three girls to survive an accident. at least she should feel a little something like like (...) or gratitude.
Worker in white: Never know, waht she thinks. She is alway kept pretty much to herself.
Man in black suit: Yes, maybe in her place I'll do the same. Just pick up life again.
Worker in white: Well, she is so quiet, like she fools you. But she is a top minded little thing.
Man in black suit: I guess, that's what it takes to survive. But I still say, she is behaving strange. Worker in white: Well, if she's got a problem, it would go a long way with her.
The man in the black suit leaves, the worker activates again a saw-machine.

Daylight; Mary drives her car on the bridge, where the accident did happen. An expensive looking Chevrolet. She turns on the radio.
The music starts when she drives through a small town, easy listening music, while the car goes through lovely mountains, snowcovered mountain peaks in the background, wood.
A sign appears, 'Welcome to Utah please drive carefully'.
Night; Mary switches on the light inside her car.
Slowly the kind of music is changing, again non-melodic organ music. Mary is searching another sender in the radio. Shadows in reflexes in the window screens.
A dark building in the middle of a plain - later we will see, that this is the amusement hall in the centre of a dried lake. Mary sees her face in the side windows, she seems not to be concentrated on the street, her eyes are wandering around. In the right side window a face appears, Mary sees the face and accelerates the car.
The face disappears. She is looking around. Then suddenly in the middle of the street a white haired man, eyes in huge black make up. Mary steps on the breaks, the car leaves the street, the car stops in the roadside ditch.
Mary closes the open windows and bolts the car-doors. After a few tries the machine starts again and Mary continues her trip.
Again the same view of her from the side and her face is mirrored by the side window.
Mary stops at a gasoline station.

Man: Can I help you?
Mary: Yeah, lit up.
Man: Is there anything else, lady?
Mary: Tell me what that big structure is back a few miles by the lake?
Man: Oh, you mean the old bath-house. Oh that used to be a pretty richy place in the old days. Then the lake went down and they made a dance hall out of it. Then they put those buildings out up there, and made some sort of carnival there for a while. Ah, thats years ago though. Just stands out there now.
Mary: I see. (Taking out a sheet of paper)
I have an address here of a rooming house, could you direct me.
Man (looking at the paper): Oh sure. Well that's just right over here little way.

Black screen. A door opens, light is switched on, Mary, carrying two suite-cases, beside her the landlady.

Landlady: I have saving that appartment since I've got your letter. I could have rented it yesterday.
Mary is looking around, her face does not show any emotions.
The landlady shows Mary the room.

Mary: Oh, it's fine. Just about, what I expected.
Landlady: I knew you'd like it. There ain't no regular room in that house. I only got you and Mr Lyndon across the hall. Each room got its own private bathroom, too. You can take as much bath as you want, I am not one of those who discuss about things like that.

The landlady goes into the bathroom, Mary is looking after her, the landlady comes out of the bathroom with a 'Ajax' - bottle.
Mary: I'll be quite comfortable.
Landlady: Well, hope you stay a while.
I am downstairs in the backpart of the house. So, if there's anything else you need I guess you have to wait until morning. Good night.
Mary: Good night Mrs Harbin.

The landlady leaves. Mary locks the door.
Mary brings one of her suitecases to bed, unpacks it. Then, suddenly she sees the face of the 'ghost man' again in the window. Shocked she goes to the window, removes the curtain, and she sees her own distorted face in the window. She closes the curtain and reads a book with organ partitures ('Great Organ Classics').

In the next morning Mary enters a church.

Priest: And this Mrs Henry is our pride and joy.
Mary: You know this was made in the same town where I ve been studying.
Priest: Of course. That's why we heart about you.
Oh by the way, you have found a place to stay.
Mary: Yes, I have a room.
Priest: Good. Well, we hope you are going to like it here.
We are not the largest church in this area, of course, but we have a nice congregation. We are going to have some sort of reception. They all want to meet you.
Mary: Couldn't we just skip that.
Priest: Skip that.
I don't suppose it is an absolute necessity, but I don't know, what some of the ladys will saying.
Mary: If they say I am a fine organist it should be enough, shouldn't it?
Priest: Well. Yes of course. We'll let it go like that for the time being. But, my dear, you cannot live in isolation from the human race.
Mary (pointing at the organ): Mind if I try this now.
Priest: I want you to.

Mary puts her book 'Great Organ Classics' on the organ and starts playing. The priest looks satisfied.
Priest: I'll be next door a few minutes if you need me.

Man working in the garden, woman cleaning the house, hear Mary playing and listen with joy.

Priest (to cleaning woman): We have an organist who puts in her playing her soul.

Again the music looses its melody, strange tones mingle into the music. The structures of the church seems to be threatening. We get close ups of painted figures on the glas window, the face of a man, closed eyes. A man enters the church, goes slowly through the behind part of the church. His face turns into the picture, it is again the 'ghost face'. We do not see here something from Mary's subjective point of view. Mary does not see the man at all!

Mary standing at the window watching at painted figures on the glass. The priest approaches from behind.
Priest: What do you see?
Mary: Nothing. Nothing at all. I practised all afternoon and it got me in the mood.
Mary looks happy. {Playing the organ, doing something she knows perfectly, gives her strength.}
Priest: 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. Mary: You know that old pavillion up there.
Priest: Mhm.
Mary: Will we pass it?
Priest: Go right by. Stop and look at it if you like.
Mary: I would, with you along.
Priest: Good.

The car on the road to the pavillion, on the right side of the street a railroad. There are cracks in the asphalt and gras is growing between the sleepers of the railway line. A fence with the sign 'Keep out'.
Priest: This used to be quite a place. It's been deserted for a long time now.
Mary: Will you take me in.
Priest (laughing): Goodness no, it isn't save out there any more. That's why they put up this barrier. Mary: It would be very easy to sap around it.
Priest: What attraction could there be for you out there.
Mary: I am not sure. I am a reasonable person, I don't know.
Maybe I wanna satisfy myself that the place is nothing more than it appears to be. Would you take me out there.
Priest: No. A law has placed it out limits. It would not be very seemly for a minister to break the law, isn't it. Mary: No. Maybe I can come back some other time.
Priest: Shall we ... go along now.
They go with Mary's car, the chevrolet 'BB5399'. Back in the pavillion the ghostly man in a window. The priest drives the car, they do not speak any more.

Back in Mary's appartment.
Landlady (coming down the stairs): Oh I thought that it will be you.
Mary (passes her climbing up the stairs): Good evening.
Landlady: Organ playing must take a long time. You've gone almost the whole day.
Mary: I went for a long drive in the country with my new boss. An elderly minister.
Landlady: Oh. That must have been a kick in the head.
I learned that from my other boarder, Mr Lyndon.
Did you get your supper.
Mary: Oh, I forgot.
Landlady: This ain't no boarding-house but, I got some coffee and the sandwitch making left. I'll bring you some up after a while.
Mary: Good. I'll be taking one of those bathes you are so generous with.
Landlady: Take as many as you want. I don't want to make a (...) about a thing like that.

Mary is taking a bath. Subjective camera, water is running inside the bath tube, you see Mary's feet and her hands grabbing the soap. Someone is knocking at the door. Mary is grabbing a bath towel.

Mary: Come in Mrs Thomas. (The door is locked by a chain) Just a minute.
(Mary comes out of the bath, pushes some clothes behind a curtain, she tries very hard to impress anyone by her tidyness) (Mary opens the door.)
Oooh. I thought you were Mrs Thomas.
Mr Lyndon: Oh, yeah, I wondered, when you asked me in.
(He puts his foot in the door and presse himself into the room)
I am John Lyndon, I am your neigthbour right across the hall.
Mary: Nice to meet you, but now just excuse me.
Mr Lyndon: Hey, I just wondering ...
Mary: I just get... Stand right there.

Mary dresses herself, Mr Lyndon watches her through the gap in the door. {Somehow strange, if you consider, that the whole story just exists in Mary's brain}.
Mary: I forgot to introduce myself. I am Mary Henry.
Mr Lyndon: Oh, yeah, I know.
I heard you told Mrs Thomas you haven't ate a thing jet.
I just thought ... be enable ... in all ...
I don't have eaten anything either.
I just thought we ask her to go for a dinner.
Mary (Mary is somehow pushing the door and Mr Lyndon out of her room): That's very thoughtful from you but I cann't accept.
Mr Lyndon: Oh no, no, no. You have no matter anything yet.
Mary: I am sorry, you have to excuse me.
Mr Lyndon: What this...
I know a nice restaurant right down the street.
I am just the kind of guy who doesn't like to eat by himself.
Mary: I have to arrange my room tonight.
Mr Lyndon: I have ... If you change your mind into ... so long.
I just get along ... so ...
Mary: Good night Mr. Lyndon.

Mary goes out to the staircase, sees the ghostly man a floor beneath her in a position like the tower scene in hitchcocks 'vertigo', returns frightened.
Heavy steps coming up the stairs. Mary additionaly chains the door. Somebody is knocking at the door.

Landlady: Mrs Henry. It's Mrs Thomas.
(Mary lets Mrs Thomas in, who carries a tablet with a thermos, locks the door behind her carefully.)
Mary: Who's the man in the hall Landlady: Oh, you must mean Mr Lyndon. He has the room across the hall.
Mary: No. I mean the other one.
Landlady: There is no other. Me and you and Mr Lyndon, us three is all there is in this house.
Mary: But you must have passed him out there.
Landlady: You're needing this food. Haven't eaten makes you jumpy sometimes. Maybe you heard the boards pop or something. This old house Mary: I didn't hear you, Mrs Thomas. I saw him.
Landlady: Now look up that way.
I don't sleep so good as the deers. Is this old house ... It's big enough ... You can hide a man in every corner. You just got an black imagination run away with you.
Mary: Are you going out there.
Landlady: Of course.
(Landlady goes out to the hall, looks around)
There is nobody there. Are you just go and eat the sandwitch I made for you. Don't dink the coffee if coffee keeps you awake.
Mary: It won't. (The landlady closes the door)
Coffee never keeps me awake.

Mary lies in the bed, her eyes open, she leaves the bed, looks out of the window, the picture is jumping to the pavillion and inside the pavillion

The alarmclock showing 7:15 is ringing.
Mary's hand stops the alarm clock.
Mr Lyndon is standing in front of the door, hearing the alarm clock he waits a bit, then knocks on the door. Mary comes out of her bed, dresses herself with a morning gown, opens the door for Mr Lyndon.
She laughs and looks happy.
The whole sequence is dominated by bright colours.

Mr Lyndon (entering her room): Well, I heard your alarm and it gets me up.
Mary: I cann't imagine.
Mr Lyndon: Just what it takes to start a day off right.
(showing her a can of coffee and cups) I made it in my room.
Then I heard your alarm and get dressed up. I thought, when I get dressed I can get here anyway.
Mary: Oh, looks just like what I need.
Mr Lyndon: Well. And two cups of coffee coming up.
(They sit on a couch at a small table, from the window behind the shining of the bright new day)
Say, I guess you it took it wrong last night about me, come at your door. No ...
Mary: I am not a very sociable person over and then.
How can I resist (seductions) like this.
(She sits down on the couch, near to Mr Lyndon)
Mr Lyndon: I don't know all these big words. I am just an ordinary guy working in a warehouse. That's all. But I make pretty good money there. (Pulling out a small bottle of booth)
Hey look, I just got a little of (whiskey) left over from last night. You want a little bit in yours. Mary: No - it's not the recommended breakfast for a church organist.
Mr Lyndon: Oh, that's what you do. Hey - they pay someone to play the organ in church.
Mary: Some churches do.
Mr Lyndon: Hey, I hope you don't mind about this (pointing at the bottle), I did not know you are a church woman. Mary: To me a church is just a place of business.
Mr Lyndon: What a funny way to look at.
Mary: Why - people seem shot because I took a job in a church and ... I regard it.
I am a professional organist and I play for pay.
Mr Lyndon: Thinking like that something does not give you nightmares.
Mary: Strange you should say that. As a matter of fact, not for that reason, mind you, I have the strangest feeling last night.
Mr Lyndon: I have a kind of a lost night myself.
Mary: It'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 in his place again.
Let's have no more nights.
(You could say she is flirting with him)
Mr Lyndon: Let's make them more interesting - Heh.
Say, how you get to be a church organist.
Mary: I studied it in college.
Mr Lyndon: I could have gone to college.
Well, I played pretty good football, but they wanted me to pick a lot of classes and things you know. Mary: Well, they are that way.
Mr Lyndon: Well, I was just as smart as the next guy.
Yeah, I just didn't dig with their teaching at school.
The things I hated most were principle products.
Mary: Principle products?
Mr Lyndon: Yeah, you know ... The principle products of Brazil are ... coffee, beans, snake oil, you know like that. Now at school I did care less. Everything I cared about was girls.
Mary: Didn't they offer a course in that.
Mr Lyndon: If they would have done that I would have graduated. (Pouring himself more booth in the coffee.) Mary: What's the matter? Can you still taste the coffee.
Mr Lyndon: Come on, what do you mean, I am an alcoholic? I just want to start the day off in a goof mood. Mary: You must be hilarious by noon.
Mr Lyndon: I am just the kind of guy employeed as once. You know, the happy worker. Come on, come on, did I make your morning happy.
Mary: This morning you were exactly what I needed.
Mr Lyndon: You gonna need me in the evening too, you just don't know ...
Mary (standing up): I gonna wash up those cups.
Mr Lyndon: Just spoils the flavour for tomorrow.
Mary: I thank you for the coffee, it was insanitary but delicious.
Mr Lyndon: Well should have pur some of the germ killer inside.
Well I hate to leave so early.
Mary (Mary is caressing the door with her right hand): I think you can get through the door.
Mr Lyndon: You know, you got the wrong impression from me.
Mary: Well, I mean, because you have so many things to carry.
Mr Lyndon: Ah. Like I said, I have to leave.
Mary: Well, it has been a pleasure Mr Lyndon, but I am sure you have to go to work.
Mr Lyndon: Oh, don't you?
Mary: No, I have the whole day free for shopping.

Mary closes the door, smiling, looking absolutly happy.

(Inside a shopping house.)

Mary: Does the hem hang right in the back.
Clerk: We might change the hem line a little.
The drive is just fine. Otherwise it looks very nice.
Mary: I am sure it is not very (...) to take a second dress but I like it.
Clerk: We are also change a little here to make it straight all the way around.
31 go back to your dressing room.
(Mary undresses. Black, decorated underwear. Permanently a bell is chiming. The chiming stops, organ music begins. She tries to open the door, the door remains closed. After a few tries the door opens.)
Mary: I believe I have you delivered a dress if you don't mind.
(The clerk is ignoring Mary, as if she is not there)
I did say, I take it.
(Mary sees an old woman talking, but the whole scene remains absolutly silent)
What's the matter with her.
What's the matter with everyone, why don't you answer me.
(Mary leaves the clerkhouse, many people, escalator, the only thing, that can be heard are her footsteps. Streetworkers - sign on the machine "JOY".
She hears a bird singing, she hears the traffic.
She drinks water at a fountain, the black shadow of a man, she jumps up frightend and runs into Doctor Samuels. He holds her quite tight by her arms ...)
Doctor: What is it.
Mary: The man.
The man (an elderly man, dressed in black, his face does not show emotion, he looks as if just talking a text learned by heart - a scary effect): I did not mean any harm, I just stop to get a drink.
Mary: No, no, it was that man, that man. There was someone else there. There's a strange man who was there. Doctor: Look, look, you have a fright. You stare as if you do see anything, not control yourself.
Look, I am doctor Samuels.
My office is right accross the street there.
You had a shock. If you like my assistance I would be glad to offer it. (a cut in the middle of the scene) Mary (very calm and somehow rational): Thank you, could I come with you now.
Doctor: Certainly.
(To the man) I take her over to my office, just to see she is allright.

(Doctor Samuels office)
Mary: It was more than just not being able to hear anything.
I mean contact with anyone.
It was 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.
Doctor (on a leather chair, from behind, picture, of what I assume to be his wife on the left): And then you saw this man?
Mary: Yes.
Doctor (turning around): You excuse my back but I want to get some of that written down.
Mary: I must have been talking for an hour.
Doctor: Anything else, anything you haven't told me.
Mary: That's all there is, that's the whole story.
He's been following me, that's all.
Doctor: It isn't, that's simple though, is it.
Mary: What do you mean?
Doctor: He could hardly been in the park this afternoon, but one of us men would have seen him.
And that man in the hallway. You said yourself the landlady came up a minute later and she didn't see him, well did she?
Mary: What are you driving at?
Doctor: It spent less than a week since you were in a car, that crashed into the river.
How you get out of it noone seems to know.
But that experience must have been a serious emotional shock.
Mary: You think I imagine all of it, don't you.
You think I am insane.
Doctor: I didn't say that. I don't mean that.
Mary: I am a competent person. I am a realist and I am not given to imagine anything.
Doctor: Hard watch. All of us imagine things. Have you ever heart two men talking behind your back and imagine, they were talking about you.
Mary: Nay ...
Doctor: Have you ever imagined you saw someone you knew and walk up to him and found he were a perfect stranger.
Mary: I don't see, what it has to do with it.
Doctor: The point is this: Our imagination is fictionous.
They often misinterpret, what we see and hear. Do you agree?
Mary: I suppose so.
Doctor: The fact can happen in ordinary times. Go a step further.
Look what can happen in high fever or following a serious emotional shock.
Mary: It doesn't seem possible, that I could have imagined all of it.
Doctor: Does this man, this figure, resemble anyone, you ever known. An acquaintance, with your father.
Mary: Nooooo.
Doctor: You have a boy friend, here or back home?
Mary: No and I have no desire for one.
Doctor: Never?
Mary: No. I am surprised of myself saying that, but it is true.
I have no desire for the close company of other people.
Doctor: Have you always thought this way?
Mary (seems not to be able to find a correct answer): I - I don't know.
Doctor: Don't you want to join in the things, that other people do?
Share the experiences of other people?
Mary: I don't seem to be capable of being very close to people.
I ... I don't feel ... perhaps trying to reach out for ... those other things.
Doctor: Do you feel guilty wanting them.
Mary: I don't understand you.
Doctor: I am not a psychiatrist. And perhaps I am being clumsy at all of this.
But I am suggesting, that perhaps this figure represents a guilt feeling.
Mary: Oh, that's ridiculous.
Doctor: Maybe. Frankly I don't know.
Mary: Well, I know one thing.
My imagination is playing tricks on me. I am going to put a stop on it.
Doctor: You are a very strong will person, aren't you?
Mary: I survive. That's what you mean.
Doctor: That old pavillion up by the lake, somehow you assotiate it with all, don't you?
Mary: I could go out there. I could put an end on that too. I could go out ...
Doctor: Now, don't be hasty.
Mary: If it is all in my imagination I could put a stop to it.
Doctor: Maybe, but at least someone should be with you. Now I ...
Mary: I am a person with a strong will.
And the time to go out there is now.
And if I have to, I can go alone.
(Mary stands up, leaves, the doctor remains sitting, looking behind her ...)

(Mary drives alone to the pavillion.
She walks through the deserted building.
Some rooms seemed to be left in the middle of a party.
She throws a stone into the water, the picture is following the way of the stone, about 30 centimeters under the water again the 'ghostly man'. She does not see him, somehow again she looks relaxed, even happy, playful).

(Back in the town, Mary is entering her house together with Mr Lyndon)
Mr Lyndon (to Mary): Say, I don't want to get turned down again.
I was thinking to ask you go for dinner.
Mary: I stopped for a bite eat on the way in ...
Anyway, I have to practice at the church this evening.
Mr Lyndon (as ever, permanently smiling, moving like a snake ...): Look, I thought ... pick up, go someplace, dance or something.
Mary: I am not much for dancing.
Mr Lyndon: Hey, you mind, if I ask you a question.
Mary: I don't know, until I hear it.
Mr Lyndon: Oh, you're afraid of men?
Mary: No, I'm not afraid of men.
Mr Lyndon (Mr Lyndon somehow is caressing the banisters): You seem so cold ... different then when I brought you coffee. Mary: Oh, this morning I needed company.
Mr Lyndon: Maybe you need company tonight. It's better than walking home alone.
Mary: Yes, it is. I should be finished around nine, is that allright.
Mr Lyndon: It's okay by me.
Say ... See you in church ...

(Mary playing the organ at the church. Subscript under one of the pictures on the glas: "CAST OUT DEVILS". Mary's body, her hands, start making movements like some passive body in the waves of the sea.
She is playing barefoot.
Sunset at the pavillion on the dryed lake. Full moon behind the clouds. A body of a man in his evening gown in shallow water - the 'ghostly man'. Mary seems to play in the dark, the lights in the church went out ... The 'ghostly man' comes out of the water, smiling, the smile of Mr Lyndon. A hand comes out of the water - in later zombie movies this becomes an icon. People dancing at the pavillion - double speed, obviously it is Mary who provides the music for them. The dancing slows down, the 'ghostly man' comes out, goes straight towards the camera, arms stretched out, hands, like going to choke someone, again a gesture used later in zombie movies.
Two hands block Mary's hands in playing the organ.
The priest.)

Priest: Profane! seculaire! What are you playing in this church.
Have you no respect.
Do you feel no reference.
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 assume, they did to you.
But without this awareness I am afraid you cannot be our organist.
In consequence I must ask you to resign.

(Mary's face shows desperation, more than ever before or later. She stands up slowly and climbs down the stairs. The priest is talking behind her)
Priest: That does not mean, I am abandoning you, nor should you turn your back on the church. There is help here and I urge you to accept it.

(Mr Lyndon smoking a cigarette in front of the walls of the church, dark bushes, a stonewall without pattern in the stones. Mary is coming out of the church, Mr Lyndon is throwing the cigarette away.)

Mr Lyndon: I have waited an awfull long time for you. My car is just out there. I know just the right place to go.

(a musicbox, early sixty instrumental music, Mary and Mr Lyndon at a table, Mr Lyndon drinking beer, Mary sits in front of her full glas. Mr Lyndon sitting relaxed, somehow he looks bored, Mary looks concerned.
The music is over, people leave the dance floor.)

Mr Lyndon: What's the matter, don't you drink either.
Mary: Not really.
Mr Lyndon (a little drunken, speaking with a loud voice in the ): Not really. How was this - eh. If you don't drink really - answer me that. Me - I not only drink really, I really drink.
What's the matter - you like the music either.
Mary: I like it fine.
Mr Lyndon: You don't like it. You don't loike to dance and you don't like to drink and you don't like for a man to hold you close. That's it, isn't it.
Mary: I didn't say that.
Mr Lyndon: You didn't say anything all evening.
(standing up, angryly) I'm gonna play that song again, you like it so much.
Another guy: Hey Johnny, who's the doll?
Mr Lyndon: Nobody you know, Chic. (Smiling, suddenly in a good mood)
Guy: Come on now, you've been holding oput on me.
That's not the kind of chick' you usually drive around.
Mr Lyndon: You could lick in your jobs. She is out of your class.
Guy: You know that.
Mr Lyndon: Play off. I got something on the stow there, man.
Guy: Well, listen, I help you put it over.
Mr Lyndon: I don't want her to think I even know creeps like you.
Guy: Good luck.
Mary (smiling, trying to look happy): Meet someone you know?
Mr Lyndon: Yeah, he is a college fellow.
He told me about this girl who has been wanting to meet me.
Want to meet her either.
Mary: What you tell him.
Mr Lyndon: I said, how could I, you're my date, you know.
Say, you didn't seem to enjoy my company much.
Mary: That's not true. I really appreciate you're taking me out this evening.
I had a miserable night if you hadn't.
Mr Lyndon: Forget it. Here. (Pours in the some beer in her full glas) Join the party. Drink up.
(Mary again brings the glas to her lips without drinking something)
I paid good money for that stuff. It ain't poisoned.
Mary: I am sorry, if I annoy you.
Mr Lyndon: No, I don't get you.
First you stand me off, that's okay, that's class. You got so me just hjolding back.
Now, everything I say is okay, you're a mouse.
Mary: Yesterday I didn't care. This night I wanna be with you.
Mr Lyndon: Me or just with anybody.
Mary: With you.
Mr Lyndon (grabbing Mary's hand): Why don't you saw out.
Well, maybe you wanna be alone, then be alone, if that's what you want.
Mary: I like being with you, really I do.
I don't wanna be alone tonight. I wanna be near you. (She looks desperate)
Mr Lyndon: You mean that.
Mary: Yes.
Mr Lyndon: Why don't you and me get out of here. You know, my room is only a couple of feet from yours. (They leave)
(In the staircase. Mr Lyndon has a fall, laughing.)
Mary: Shhhh. We awake Mrs Thomas. (Mary is looking calm and reasonable again)
Mr Lyndon: Ehhhh, the old girl is not bad ...
(Mary opens her door. Mr Lyndon takes her, holding her tight)
Honey. You don't wanna go in there all by yourself, don't you.
It's dark and it's lonely in there.
You don't have to be alone tonight.
Just a word and I stay with you - hmm.
Don't want to be alone, do you? (Mary breaks away)
Mary: No. (Mr Lyndon kisses her. She lights the room)
I'm sorry, I can't.
Mr Lyndon: Yes, me neither.
Just like me a little.
(Mary goes to the mirror, she looks tired, Mr Lyndon follows her. He touches her from behind, she sees his face in the mirror, it's the face of the 'ghostly man'. She cries up and turns around. Mr Lyndon stands 3 meters behind her, he did not have touched her.)
Mr Lyndon: He, what's the matter with you? What's going on around here. What's the matter with you?
Mary: That man is after me.
You got to stop him, he's after me again. (Mary grabs the arm of Mr Lyndon)
Mr Lyndon: Not me sister. That's just what I need. Get mixed up with some girl who's ... (running out of the room)
Mary: I don't wanna be left alone.

(The door closes, Mary starts shifting the furniture through the room. {The unreal, that infiltrated Mary's life meanwhile has destructed her job and even her sexual attractivity, things she could be absolute sure at the beginning})

(The landlady is sitting in the hall, the doctor is descending the stairs.)
Landlady: What you finding out doctor?
Doctor: Not very much, I'm afraid.
Landlady: I am sure glad, that you just have beeen around.
I just wanted to call somebody, but I was afraid, that I have to pay the bill.
Doctor: I came on purpose. I was thinking about her ever since she left my office yesterday.
What she been up to.
Landlady: Only the devil knows that.
I heard her moving things around that room all over the night.
Never heard such going on and she wouldn't let me in the room this morning.
Doctor: She is a strange one.
She absolutly refuses my help. I cann't say ....
there is something about her that completly baffles me.
I feel she needs help and I hope she will call upon me.
Landlady: I cann't let her stay in this house.
Doctor: You wont have to worry about that. She is determined to leave the city and she wants to get away as soon as possible.
Landlady: I hope she does leave.
Doctor: I hope she can. (Doctor is leaving)

(Mary is packing her things - it looks very tidy.)
Landlady: Seems as if you leave, or are you going. I get one week rent if you go off like that.

(Mary enters her Chevrolet, the motor makes strange noises. Mary drives the car into a garage of a gasoline station.)
Waiter: Sounds like the transmission. Can you pull it up on the ramp.
(Mary drives the car up.)
Okay, fine.
Mary: Will it take long.
Waiter (opens her door): I have to check it first. Will you get out.
Mary (closes her door again): May I just sit here.
Waiter (a little annoyed): Sure.

(The car is lifted, a bell chimes, the waiter has to go out ...
Mary is falling asleep in the car. She wakes up, the 'ghostly man' is entering the scene. Mary is closing the windows and locks the doors. Then she runs away, on the streets. She enters the bus station noone takes notice of her.)
Mary: When is the next bus leaving?
(Mary is totally ignored. Another customer comes, buys a ticket)
Mary: I wanna get out of here. I want to get away from here.

Strange voice (from a loudspeaker, the other scene is completly silent): Eastbound bus, now loading, gate nine.

(Mary runs out, the only thing you can hear are her footsteps. Mary enters the bus, the people in the bus have the same 'ghostly', white faces, laughing, frightened Mary runs away.
She nearly gets knocked down by a car, which simply ignores her. "They cann't see me. I cann't be seen." A policeman and a taxi driver are ignoring her. Again she is in the park and again she hears a bird.)

(Mary is in Doctor Samuels office)
Mary: I don't belong in the world. That's what it is. (The doctor is sitting with his back towards Mary.) Something seperates me from other people. Everywhere, they are everywhere. They are not going to let me go.
Everywhere I turn, there is something, that is blocking my escape.
It's trying to prevent me from living. He is trying to take me back somewhere.
I cann't fight anymore, I don't know, what's real anymore.
I came to you, doctor, because you are my last hope.
If you don't help me, I have to go back there, he's trying to take me back somewhere.
Doctor, you've got to tell me what to do.
(The doctor turns around, it is the 'ghostly man'. Mary runs away frightened. Then she wakes up in her car.)
(Mary starts her car and leaves the garage. The waiter is looking behind her he looks astonished.)

LOST SOULS (1:15:20)
(Mary is on the way to the pavillion.)
(Mary in the deserted pavillion, wind can be haeart and is moving her hair and her clothes.)
(At dusk people come out of the water, come together in the hall, starting a slow dance, puppetlike. Mary is watching the dance, she recognizes, that one of the dancers is herself, dancoing with the 'ghostly man'.)
(When she cries out loud, and runs away, the dancers follow her, like children. She tries to hide, but again and again a face or a figure emerges out of somewhere. Running away she breaks down in the sand, the faces come nearer to her.)

(Policeman, Priest, Doctor and some other man come to the place where she was caught by the 'ghosts'. The Policeman interprets her traces in the sand.)
Policeman: Then the footprints leading up to here and then nothing.

(The pavillion surrounded by water, a high mountain peak in the background.)

(At the place of the accident.)
Man in the boat: Right down there, winding all up.
(The car is drawn out of the river by a crane, some men run to the car, looking inside, seeing there the three dead girls, including Mary. The camera zooms at Mary. Last picture is again the pavillion.)

THE END (1:22:17)

Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"


Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

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