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Experience Carnival of Darkness

Welcome to the official information page for the fifth-annual Carnival of Darkness: The Haunted Pamlico Film (and Halloween) Festival. The festival runs from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 22 at Raised in a Barn Farm, 2100 N.C. Highway 33, Chocowinity, N.C.; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23 at the historic Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St., Washington, N.C. We'll accept film entries via the Carnival of Darkness page on from May 1-Aug. 1. Our free-entry period runs from May 1-10. After that date, entries will cost $7 each. We keep submission fees low because we know how expensive the festival circuit can be. To gain entry to 12 hours of entertainment over two days, each patron may buy an all-access pass; alternatively, join us for a single day with a ticket of lesser cost.  Tickets will be available at the gate or online through Arts of the Pamlico, our local arts council, at Special guest artists/speakers or filmmakers whose films are featured during the festival will receive two free passes each. For ticket information, please refer back to this page or follow Haunted Pamlico on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. All proceeds from the festival go to our arts nonprofit, Alternative Stage/Haunted Pamlico, a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Washington, N.C. 


Sponsors of Carnival of Darkness include Nights of Fright/Raised in a Barn Farm; Haunted Pamlico/Alternative Stage, our developing nonprofit; Ken and Marj Harrington; Russ and Robin Woolard; Pamela Anderson/AdMix Agency; McCabe's Costumes of Winterville and anonymous donors. The festival is supported through box-office and marketing services by Arts of the Pamlico and the Turnage Theater. Our partners include Rock the Pamlico and the Pamlico Writers Group. Our festival is staffed by actors, directors, makeup artists, screenwriters, and technicians who have been involved in theater and independent filmmaking for many years. Some of Haunted Pamlico's short films have enjoyed viral success and have been seen at festivals from Canada to Wilmington, N.C. We co-produce films by sci-fi, horror, and suspense filmmakers living in eastern North Carolina. We host screenings of original work. With our parent organization, Alternative Stage, we've presented original plays that have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for area charities. We are honored to bring you a festival that supports the films of artists the world over.


For five years, we have brought you a festival that has drawn hundreds of film entries from across the globe, and has welcomed thousands of participants online and in person. We've hosted actors, authors, directors, cosplayers, makeup artists, fire spinners, and dozens of other entertainers virtually and in the flesh at our venues. This year, we're bringing you even more sprawling and inclusive events within the overall festival. Scheduled happenings include film screenings, the Filmmakers Forum, a music festival, the Haunted Pamlico Folklore Festival, the Fright Photo Contest, the Haunt Season Writing Competition, "The Horror Show III" live performance, vendors, concessions, the Paranormal Experience Tour, and other attractions to be announced.


Filmmakers: We're pleased that you discovered us, and that you're willing to learn more about Carnival of Darkness. Even if we aren't able to select your film, we thank you for your interest in our festival. And we encourage you to keep doing your finest work. You'll find more information through our Carnival of Darkness page on FilmFreeway. If you have questions, please send them to


Break a leg,

Haunted Pamlico

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