In the books, whenever Count Olaf needed a hint as to where the Baudelaires were, he went to the Carnival to speak to its owner, Madame Lulu (Olivia Caliban). In the TV series, it is Olaf's first time at the carnival and his first time meeting Olivia/Madame Lulu.
Madame Lulu is aware that Caligari Carnival may close if they do not get enough customers, due to the declining popularity of the carnival. This should not be surprising, as the concept of building a carnival in the middle of nowhere is not the best idea.
The carnival was burnt down by Count Olaf, the Baudelaires and his associates at the end of the book.
Points of interest
There are many attractions at the Carnival, including Madame Lulu's Fortune Telling Tent, The House of Freaks, and the Lions' Pit.
Madame Lulu's Fortune Telling Tent
Madame Lulu's Fortune Telling Tent is run by Olivia Caliban, disguised as a fortune teller named Madame Lulu. In this tent, Olivia provides Count Olaf information as to where the Baudelaire orphans are. Although he believes she is using her fortune-telling abilities to locate the children, she actually uses a library (called Caligari Cabinet in the TV show) under her table to research information regarding the children's' whereabouts. The tent also includes a contraption designed to make whirring noises and reflect the morning sun to give the appearance of a lightning bolt in the tent.
House of Freaks
The House of Freaks is an attraction at the Carnival in which the Freaks Colette the Contortionist, Hugo the Hunchback, and Kevin the Ambidextrous Person, are shown to the audience and then ridiculed. During their stay at the Carnival, Violet and Klaus dressed up as a two-headed freak named Beverly and Elliot while Sunny dressed up as Chabo the Wolf Baby. Visitors to this attraction receive a free cold beverage. Visitors watch Kevin write his name with both hands, Colette contort her body, Hugo put on a coat, Beverly and Elliot eat corn, and Chabo growl.
This attraction was the idea of Count Olaf. He transported what were once a group of noble Volunteer Feline Detectives to a large pit near the House of Freaks, and whipped and starved the lions. He was then going to "randomly" choose one of the Freaks to be pushed into the pit in front of a crowd of people. Although Violet and Klaus, dressed as Beverly and Eliot, were chosen to be pushed into the pit, the siblings were able to escape this fate, and instead, Olivia Caliban and the Bald Man with the Long Nose (or only Olivia in the TV series) accidentally fell into the pit and were devoured by the lions (Olivia was intentionally murdered by Olaf in the TV series).
Caligari Carnival's solitary roller coaster was out of order for quite some time, and had been grown over by poison ivy. The Baudelaire siblings and Madame Lulu had planned to use the carts of the roller coaster to escape the Carnival. Their plot, however, failed.
There is a Gift Caravan at the Carnival that is said to have had lousy souvenirs that guests chose to buy anyway (one of them, a figurine, contained an important piece of evidence hidden by VFD.). Although she declined, Count Olaf asked the woman who ran this attraction to join his troupe.
The Guest Caravan at the Carnival houses any guests of Madame Lulu's. Count Olaf, Esmé Squalor, and their associates stayed in this caravan during their stay at Caligari Carnival. It is revealed that Jacques and Lemony Snicket also stayed here once.
There is one known concession stand at the Carnival, near the Lions' Pit, which was run by one of the white-faced women.
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- The Carnival was likely named after the 1920 German Horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari which is often cited as one of the first horror movies ever made.