What is it about carnivals and theme parks that makes them such a popular element in horror films? Is it the adrenaline rush that comes from the feeling that you might die when you get on some of the rides? Is it the carnies? The coulrophobia? Is it the cultural memory of the bygone freak shows? The first nightmare I remember in detail,which I dreamt in ’80 or ’81, centered around a funhouse ride. That feeling has stuck with me for thirty years. And unless I hit my head riding the Gravitron when the carnival comes through town the next time, it will probably be with me for thirty more.

So let’s meet back here on the first day of summer to take a look at the dark side of the fun park. Just make a post celebrating any horror or thriller film that centers around, features a pivotal scene in, or contains some dark imagery from a theme park or carnival. Here’s the banner ad…
If you’re feeling generous, go ahead and link to this post with the banner. Your June 21 entry doesn’t even have to be a horror film, as long as it’s dark. Hell, if you want to deconstruct the tenebrous elements in the carnival at the end of Grease, knock yourself out. You could even tell us about the ghost you encountered at Six Flags.

You can leave me a comment here, on Facebook or at initforthekills@yahoo.com in the meantime to let me know what you’d like to contribute to the Carnival of Blood. You can link to existing content or write something new between now and June 21, but I will share all the links on that day.

A list of movies to get you started:

The Funhouse

Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

Carnival of Souls

The Other

Killer Klowns From Outer Space


The Lost Boys



The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies

Final Destination 3

Sleeping With The Enemy