Carnival Of Souls (1962)

One of my favorite films is Herk Harvey's tragically under-appreciated Carnival Of Souls. It's surprisingly beautiful and innovative for a cheap "B" horror flick, though that very low-budget quality gives it an authentic oddness no expensive Hollywood production could ever approach. Shot in grainy black-and-white, it presents a stark and frightening version of midcentury Americana. Permeated by an unsettling atmosphere of strangeness and loneliness, and the most haunting organ score, the film is so profoundly eerie. Indeed, despite all the spine-tingling suspense, I've found it lends itself well to rewatching, just for the dreamlike spookiness it evokes. And I am simply fascinated by the decadent wreck of an amusement park that haunts the heroine.

Here are some [blurry] screenshots I've snapped......

Apparently the pavilion scenes were shot on location; it's a real place, called the Saltair Pavilion!
{ Source }
Unfortunately, the building we see in the film burned down in the '70s, and although replaced by a new one, it does not seem to be quite so charming:

"In 2005 several investors from the music industry pooled together to purchase the building and are now holding regular concerts there.... On February 18, 2011, Ke$ha performed to a sold out crowd on her Get Sleazy Tour." (Wikipedia)

What a shame, I'd have loved to visit it in its glory days (or in its state of glorious decay).

Have you seen Carnival of Souls? Isn't it marvelously creepy? 
If you haven't yet, it is available in public domain and  can be found for free just about everywhere (Netflix, YouTube, Archive.org). I throughly recommend giving it a watch this weekend!!

♥ ♥ ♥


maple leaf rags

Hey there, hi there, ho there folks. 
Though it may be Winter by the calendar, it is truly starting to feel Springtime here in the Green Mountains. I welcomed the warm winds with a bright spot o' gingham last weekend, when I was still at home on March Holiday. 

 {'60s squaredancing dress, '70s boots, thrifted shirt, my late grandmother's silver cuff}

One of the best parts of March is MAPLE SUGARING!!!
Seeing the curls of smoke from all the little sugar houses is the surest sign of Spring in Vermont. How I love hearing the drip-drop of sweet sap in little tin buckets as I walk along the roads. And best of all is tasting that fresh-boiled maple syrup on a stack of pancakes, mmm. We've had an unusually mild winter, so I couldn't indulge in my favorite treat of sugar on snow this year, but you can bet I'll be having some sugar on vanilla ice cream this weekend ;)

Ahh, sap buckets outside an abandoned farmhouse...

Well, dear readers, I hope the weather is just as beautiful wherever you are.


attic treasure

Recently I got a call from a family friend who has just bought herself a new house. She said there was some "old stuff" in the attic, and would I like to take a look before she threw it out?

This is what awaited me:

And inside of that unassuming li'l box: 

Yes, a stunning old wedding gown! It's made from a lovely cream satin, embellished with a flocked velvet floral design, and sporting quite the magnificent train:

It came with its original beaded tiara and silk slip, too: 

I just love the Trillco label on the slip:

Smart bride... she wore dress shields to protect this darling gown! How I love little details like this.

The labels on the box, from a long-gone local store and the original dressmaker:

If there are any vintage wedding dress experts in the house, do feel free to take a stab at dating it!
The house was built in 1947, and owned by the same couple from then 'til now (they are dead now). I could easily see this dress being from the WWII-era, which would make a good deal of sense.
But doesn't the slip seem older? Perhaps it was her "something old"!

It's rather tragic that the heirs left this stunning piece of history behind when cleaning out the house. Ah well, I am happy to be giving it a safe place to stay, nestled in a cozy bed of acid-free tissue paper. It's a good thing I got it when I did, as the cardboard box it was in was giving way to mold. The gown, however, remains in marvelous shape!! As marriage is not exactly in my near future, I'll probably be selling this beauty soon so a modern bride may bring it back to life.

✯ ✯ ✯



This beautiful 1880s velvet bonnet, a gift from my dear aunt, is among my favorite treasures. What makes it especially delightful, aside from the obvious aesthetic charm, is that it came with the original owner's (or milliner's?) label:

Mrs. F. P. Leonard
3335 West Lapham St.
West A--- [Allis?] 14 Wisconsin

I have several pieces with name tags, but this is the first time I've had an address to go on. Naturally, I did a bit of stalking sleuthing, and procured an image from Google Earth of what may’ve been Mrs. Leonard’s residence:

Hmm, I wonder if that is indeed it? This is not the exact address, though, but an "approximate match", suggesting there could've been an older home here once... perhaps this is the former site of some stately Victorian mansion (I'd like to think so anyway). A Google search also revealed that a Mrs. F. P. Leonard of West Allis, WI served as a chapter regent for the D.A.R in 1929. I guess I'll never know the whole story, but it's thrilling to have a little window into this woman's life!

At any rate, I feel honored to have Mrs. Leonard’s fine hat! It is such a darling piece, bedecked in bows and violets…

Oh, and here’s a sneak-peek at some lovely new finds I’ve snapped up lately:

That aqua number in the middle is the sweetest little 1940s linen suit; I simply can’t wait until the days are warm enough to wear it out!