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Personalities: Huron Native Candace Hilligoss on Her 1962 Cult Film Classic, "Carnival of Souls"

Candace Hilligoss in "Carnival of Souls"

Candace Hilligoss grew up in Huron during the 1940s and 1950s and graduated from Huron high school. After three years at the University of Iowa, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting and theater. She enrolled in the prestigious Actors Studio, paying her way with money she earned as a dancer at the legendary Copacabana night club.

Candace Hilligoss in "Carnival of Souls"
Candace Hilligoss in "Carnival of Souls"

In 1962, Hilligoss took the leading roll in "Carnival of Souls," a low-budget film shot in Kansas. The film didn't make a lot of money but it did become a cult classic, earning praise from mainstream directors like Wes Craven and Martin Scorcese. 

Radio host Chuck Anderson interviewed Candace and her two daughters during a visit to Huron in the 1990s. (Anderson and Hilligoss were classmates in middle school.) 

In this vintage audio clip, Hilligoss describes the plot of "Carnival of Souls" and talks about its lasting impact on the horror genre.

Earlier in then interview, Hilligoss talks about what it was like to move from Huron to New York City in the 1950s. Later in clip, talks about some of her more recent work, including a screenplay set in South Dakota during the Great Depression.

Listen to the full interview (48:47)

Entire interview.

Also in the interview, Hilligoss talks about her marriage to actor Nicolas Coster, and their decision to shift her focus from acting to motherhood and raising their two daughters.

Watch Leonard Maltin's review of "Carnival of Souls"

"Carnival of Souls" on YouTube 


For Chuck Anderson's full interview with Candice Hilligoss, listen here.

Chuck Anderson's full interview with Candice Hilligoss