Saltair’s spooky side shines in “Carnival of Souls”

15 Oct

I’ve written a lot about Saltair’s charm and history, but since it’s a crisp October Thursday I thought I’d tap the old resort’s spookier side.

Some of the best (and possibly only) extant video footage of Saltair before it was destroyed by fire in 1970 comes from the 1962 horror flick Carnival of Souls, starring the alarmingly buggy-eyed Candace Hilligoss.  The movie features a young organist who takes a job in Salt Lake City.  While there, she’s inexplicably drawn to the abandoned remains of Saltair II.  Saltair makes several appearances throughout the movie, but the old place really shines at the movie’s climax.

I found the following clip on YouTube (hat tip: Brian Butko/Lincoln Highway News). It starts with Hilligoss’ character saying spooky things in her psychiatrist’s office before getting scared and driving out to Saltair.  The Saltair footage starts at about 1:56 with Hilligoss driving the Saltair approach.  If you’re into Saltair, you’ll love this.  If you’re not, this low budget B-movie scene will at least amuse you and spark the spirit of Halloween.  Enjoy

You can watch the entire movie on Hulu for free.

See previous Saltair blogging here.


Posted by on October 15, 2009 in Ghost Towns, Holiday Related, Saltair


7 responses to “Saltair’s spooky side shines in “Carnival of Souls”

  1. Michelle Powell

    October 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    LOVE IT! Thanks for posting this! 🙂 Saltair continues to amaze and intrigue me, and I can’t get enough of it! Driving out there, there are so many whispers and a thickness in the air of ghosts and stories from the past waiting to be heard!

  2. Tiff

    October 16, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I still want to go out and see the remains some time. The one time I went with you it was muddy or something and everyone just waited out at the road for you. 🙂

  3. bonnevillemariner

    October 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    We should go again before it rains or snows too bad. I can’t remember why you guys stayed at the road.

  4. Kevin

    April 26, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Thanx for posting this stuff. I’ve been extremely fascinated by Saltair since I was very little. I actually went out there today for a good couple of hours and took pictures of the remains. I’ve found a ton of good pictures on the Utah Historical Society website as well.

  5. d. martinez

    September 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Im latina, born in 1958 in SLC, and never even once got to see the lake, let alone theme park. Facinated with the story. Want to visit with my children. When is the best time to visit the ruins. I had heard growing up that there was a motel and the flood came and drowned a lot of people while the people were in it. I was five years old when I heard that. Was scared silly but I will go visit before i leave this earth.Now in Nebr., Iowa.

  6. Jay Slaughter

    April 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I was on the SOS committee SAVE OUR SALTAIR back in the late 60’s and I was able to learn a great deal about the history and ownership of the resort. In fact their are a lot of
    Strange and spooky stories about Ashby Snow the last owner of Saltair. I have many stories I would love to tell the public about. If you are interest please just drop me a note and I will get back to you.

    • Anthony Ithurralde

      September 30, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Hi Jay. I am very interested to hear your stories about Saltair and the late owner Ashby Snow. I have found some great photos of the place from the late 1920’s and now it has sparked my curiosity about the second Saltair.


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