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Halloween Seventeen Playlist: Music to Scare By

    • 426 posts
    October 16, 2017 9:23 PM EDT

    Candy is awesome. Scary stories and movies are awesome. Costumes are awesome. Decking up the house with a string of ghost-and-pumpkin lights in the kitchen window, orange lights along the walkway, spider-web lights in the bedroom windows, eleven glowing jack o’ lanterns on the front porch (one for each family member), ghosts and bats and pumpkins hanging from trees and walls, and tombstones in the front yard illuminated with fluorescent paints and black lights is awesome. And candy is awesome—worth repeating.

    Even though it scared the living daylights out of me as a toddler, Halloween rapidly became one of my favorite holidays. I went trick-or-treating all throughout high school, was still trick-or-treating in college, and can neither confirm nor deny its occasional re-occurrence as a grown man with children (PM me, by the way, if you are interested in learning how an adult at 6 feet and four inches goes about trick-or-treating without getting the stink-eye from neighbors and doors slammed in his face—Pure. Dead. Brilliant xD).

    So, I guess what I’m saying is I really like Halloween. And the music is no exception either. I start looking for music that has a dark, scary, or Halloween themed vibe in late September and compile the annual playlist early in order to be ready when October 1st rolls around. And I start from scratch each year—for me, half the fun is rooting around finding songs to add to the playlist, but sometimes you just want to get that list right here, right now. That’s what this thread is all about:

    Let’s create a playlist of songs with a Halloween vibe for quick and easy access to all our members of the vault.

    ShinJin-friendly Content Policy

    Two things to remember: (a) when it comes to music, I am compulsively curious, and (b) I have kids at home—those two facts can be problematic. As a courtesy, if your song (or the video to it, should you include one) has content that isn’t considered family friendly, please give me a heads up so I can avoid damaging my fragile psyche, and most importantly avoid having to make difficult explanations and apologies to the Missus… you hold my life in your hands, dear reader xD

     

    UPDATE: We've got a pretty good list going, and because scrolling through a page with a lot of embeded video can take some time, I am also providing the playlist and links to the songs right here for quick and easy access (but I still encourage anyone interested to browse the entire list as well so you can read the various posters' thoughts and feelings about the songs they have included):

    This is Halloween (Nightmare Before Christmas)

    Reel Ten (The Plugz)

    I put a Spell on You (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

    Gravedigger (Dave Matthews Band)

    Halloween (Misfits)

    Every Day is Halloween (Ministry)

    Ghost Rider (Rollins Band)

    Red Right Hand (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)

    Out of Limits (The Markettes)

    The Killing Moon (Echo and the Bunnymen)

    The Creeper Returns (Little Sonny)

    Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)

    Ghost Town (The Specials)

    People are Strange (Echo and the Bunnymen)

    Bad Things (Jace Everett)

    Waiting ‘Round to Die (Townes Van Zandt)

    House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)

    Sympathy for the Devil (Fatboy Slim Remix)

    Piano Sonata #59 in E flat (Joseph Hayden)

    Diablo Rojo (Rodrigo y Gabriella)

    Dazed and Confused (Led Zeppelin)

    Night Prowler (AC/DC)

    Nightmares (Violent Femmes)

    Mr. Crowley (Ozzy Osbourne)

    Bark at the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne)

    Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden)

    Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden)

    Paranormal (Alice Cooper)

    Feed My Frankenstein (Alice Cooper)

    He's Back (Alice Cooper)

    Dragula (Rob Zombie)

    Living Dead Girl (Rob Zombie)

    Lords of Salem by Rob Zombie

    Dream Warriors (Dokken)

    Don't Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)

    Twilight Zone (Golden Earring)

    Nosferatu (Blue Oyster Cult)

    Goblins Are Better Than Trolls (Nekrogoblikon)

    Bewitched (Candlemass)

    Black Spell of Destruction (Burzum)

    Square Hammer (Ghost)

    Halloween (King Diamond)

    Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue)

    Runnin' with the Devil (Van Halen)

    Lonely is the Night (Billy Squier)

    Sweet Dreams (Marylin Manson)

    Vampires (Godsmack)

    Voodoo (Godsmack)

    Lost Boys (69 Eyes)

    Dead Souls (Nine Inch Nails)

    I walked with a Zombie( Wednesday 13)

    Hellraiser (Motorhead)

    Bat Country (Avenged Sevenfold)

    Spooky Scary Skeletons (Andrew Gold)

    Danse Macabre (Camille Saint-Saens)

    Devil went down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels... Muppet version)

    Ghost Riders in the Sky (Duane Eddy)

    The Isle of the Dead (Rachmaninov)

    Night on Bald Mountain (Mussorgsky)

    Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach)

    Thriller (Michael Jackson)

    Monster Mash (Bobby Pickett

    Ain't No Grave (Johnny Cash)

     

     

    I’ll begin with 13 songs that make it without fail on my playlist each year (I’m terrible at ‘best of’ lists, so these are in no particular order):

    13. “This is Halloween” from the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack

    Straight from the first movie I dust off in my collection each October… the first song I play to inaugurate the season. Marilyn Manson has their own version, but my oldest daughter absolutely detests the MM rendition, and I prefer the classic anyhow.

     

    12. “Reel Ten” by the Plugz

    A surf-guitar inspired instrumental that I first heard on the Repo Man soundtrack. It’s got a rather eerie vibe that feels right for the occasion, and I just plain love hearing the song anyhow

     

    11. “I Put a Spell on You” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

    I know I’m supposed to list the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins original or Nina Simone version (both of which are fantastic), but dang it, I just really, really love  CCR's spin on it. Feel free to replace it with a version of your choice (there are many), or even better, add them all! :D

     

    10. “Gravedigger” by the Dave Matthews Band

    Nothing supernatural here, just a simple reminder that death is coming for us all. If you’re in the mood for something a little less acoustic sounding, Willie Nelson does a fantastic rendition that, aesthetically, I like even more than the original. The Dave Matthews acoustic version, however, is more haunting and forlorn, so it takes my spot here on a list geared for Halloween.

     

    9. “Halloween” by Misfits

    Nostalgic and disturbing all at the same time… just like candy apples and razor blades.

     

    8. “Every Day Is Halloween” by Ministry

    Okay. Obviously it mentions Halloween… a lot. But it’s also a polite nod to all you superfreaks who aren’t afraid to approach life as if every day was Halloween, instead of posers like me who simply dedicate one month a year to the concept ;D

     

    7. “Ghost Rider” by Rollins Band on The Crow soundtrack

    The movie, The Crow, is set around Halloween, and frankly, almost any of the songs on this soundtrack could easily make it on a Halloween playlist (some other favorites are the tracks from The Cure and Nine Inch Nails). But this one makes my list mainly because Henry Rollins cracks me up. The few things I’ve heard from him: the music; the spoken word rants; some of the small parts he’s played in movies--I just like the guy. The song’s slow, heavy, hard-driving pace, and Rollins’ screaming vocals reminiscent of his work with Black Flag all appeal to me. Add to this the fact that I used to collect Ghost Rider comic books in the early nineties, and little wonder this song makes my list.

     

    6. “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    Bell tolls, thunderous booms, an eerie organ solo, and spooky musical saw in the background. Even without lyrics this one easily makes it into the list. Sprinkle in the ominous and threatening lyrics, and it rises above justification.

     

     

    5. “Out of Limits” by the Marketts

    Yup, another spooky surf-guitar instrumental makes it into the rotation. The fact that this one sounds an awful lot like the Twilight Zone theme song doesn’t hurt either, neh?

     

    4. “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

    It’s been, what, thirty years since I first heard this song, and I still have no idea what it’s about, but beautiful as this song is, it’s got a dark undercurrent to it. I don’t know why, but I always think of vampires whenever I hear it. One way or the other, if a song titled ‘The Killing Moon’ doesn’t belong in a Halloween playlist, I really don’t know what does xD

     

    3. “The Creeper Returns” by Little Sonny

    The only full-on blues song on my list. I’ve got no idea what or who ‘the creeper’ is, but it sounds ominous. The song’s got a seriously relentless drive, like nothing can stop it, and if ‘the creeper’ is as unstoppable as this bluesy jam, I’d be very, very afraid ;D

     

    2. “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon

    Gotta give the lycanthropes a little love on this list. With its fun, almost absurdist silliness, the contrasting (and frighteningly casual) violence is unsettling… Awooooo!

     

    1. “Ghost Town” by The Specials

    In the early 80’s I naturally found myself drawn to ska… it was like happy punk rock with a band ensemble. But this song sealed the deal. The ominous police sirens that open and close it, the bass drum’s ‘lub-dubbing’ in the background like a heart, the spooky organ that (oddly enough) seems to push the whole song through, and the very fact that these guys were able to take a song where all the action is happening on the upbeat but still make it feel sinister; that was when I was like, “Okay, you’ve gotta take this genre seriously now.”

     

    That's it from me... what makes it to your list? ;D

     


    This post was edited by ShinJin at October 23, 2017 2:45 PM EDT
    • 1437 posts
    October 17, 2017 1:27 AM EDT

    Man, you've got me all misty-eyed :D Ghost Town? I Put a Spell on You? Echo and the Bunnymen? Freakn' sweet!

    I'm going to have to add:

    People are Strange by Echo and The Bunnymen - Because The Lost Boys has the best soundtrack ever:

     

    Bad Things by Jace Everett - I never watched True Blood, but I always stopped to listen to the theme song:

    Waiting Around to Die - Townse Van Zandt. Halloween? Maybe, maybe not. Dark af.

    House of the Rising Sun - The Animals. Same as above :D It suits this time of year. Any time of year, in fact.

    Sympathy for the Devil - Stones. Interview With the Vampire also had a killer soundtrack, and this playing in the final scene was just so cool.

    Piano Sonata 59 - Haydn. Remember Lestat playing this in Interview? Piano does not reach as lightened heights or plumb darker depths than this.

    Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriella. The devil's rollercoaster. Halloween? Dunno, but it rocks the devils dong.

    • 426 posts
    October 17, 2017 10:37 AM EDT

    Right on! I was hoping someone would throw some Lost Boys soundtrack into the list, and anything by Eric Burdon and the Animals gets a +1 from me, but especially "House of the Rising Sun" (in high school I wore that track out on my cassette deck... you could see through the tape xD)

    You know what's awesome about your selections is that they are not obvious Halloween songs at first glance, but they each have evocative associations with the season. You get the dual bonus feeling Halloween when you hear them during the season, but don't feel weird playing them in say, April... can't really say the same thing about "Monster Mash," you know? ;D

    • Moderator
    • 710 posts
    October 17, 2017 11:48 AM EDT

    Between you and Phil, there's not much I can add.

    Dazed and Confused - Deliberately made to be a bit eerie. The solo is amazing.

    Night Prowler: The lyrics say it all.

    • 426 posts
    October 17, 2017 12:02 PM EDT

    Oh yeah! I remember being introduced to Nightprowler here at The Vault in one of the many music discussions floating around... definitely belongs on a Halloween playlist (creepy, creepy lyrics xD)

    • 426 posts
    October 17, 2017 12:07 PM EDT

    Dang it! I wanted to keep my contribution to 13 lucky Halloween songs, but I feel I'd be rimiss if I didn't give a nod to the Violent Femmes' "Nightmares"

    • 483 posts
    October 17, 2017 12:15 PM EDT

    Man I never thought I'd see Echo and the Bunnymen mentioned here, what are the odds eh?

    As for my contribution I've got nada, but I predict lots of screamy stuff incoming, especially with the results of the previous music threads.

    • Moderator
    • 710 posts
    October 17, 2017 12:18 PM EDT

    ShinJin said:

    Oh yeah! I remember being introduced to Nightprowler here at The Vault in one of the many music discussions floating around... definitely belongs on a Halloween playlist (creepy, creepy lyrics xD)

    I meant to mention that. It's an unofficial tradition to have Shin's music threads always include Night Prowler. Lol

    • 45 posts
    • 404 posts
    October 17, 2017 8:36 PM EDT

    My German teacher showed us this song before right before we watched the film Nosferatu. Thank you, Dr. Canon. 

    Goblins are better than trolls makes a good silly Halloween song.

    Nothing scarier or more Halloweenie than getting bewitched. Epic solo included.

    This is one evil-sounding song. The lyrics are a spell that the vocalist is casting. Fair warning Shinjin: There isn't explicit lyrics, but vocals sound rather hellish.

     

    • 426 posts
    October 17, 2017 10:51 PM EDT

    @The Postman--that's a pretty impressive collection of songs! For me, it's a tie between Golden Earring and Rob Zombie's "Dragula"... and Blue Oyster Cult... and Alice Cooper's "Feed My Frankenstein"... and... xD

    @John Goblikon--I was wondering when you going to chime in and throw in some Nekrogoblikon! xD

    Also, I had never heard "Nosferartu" before... that's a sweet track! :D

    These have been great additions so far! If I get a bit of time this week, I'll try to post them all at the beginning of this thread with links provided so as to get quick and easy access to them all

    • 426 posts
    October 19, 2017 10:21 AM EDT

    @Gwen "Voodoo" and "Dead Souls" were both on my long list for this post... I'm glad you got them here :D

    Also, "Square Hammer" has been getting a lot of radio play as of late (at least where I live), but I've hadn't been able to figure out the name of the song or who it was by, so you have answered a question that has subtley been driving me crazy for the last month or two xD

    • 426 posts
    October 19, 2017 2:46 PM EDT

    I've compiled each song suggested so far, and have listed them all (with their links) in order to make access to the music easier :D


    This post was edited by ShinJin at October 19, 2017 2:46 PM EDT
    • 45 posts
    October 19, 2017 2:54 PM EDT

    ShinJin said:

    @Gwen "Voodoo" and "Dead Souls" were both on my long list for this post... I'm glad you got them here :D

    Also, "Square Hammer" has been getting a lot of radio play as of late (at least where I live), but I've hadn't been able to figure out the name of the song or who it was by, so you have answered a question that has subtley been driving me crazy for the last month or two xD

    Ghost is a great band to listen and I would highly recommend you to listen to their new CD as it is great itself.

    • 426 posts
    October 19, 2017 6:17 PM EDT

    The Postman said:

    Ghost is a great band to listen and I would highly recommend you to listen to their new CD as it is great itself.

    If the rest of it is anything at all like "Square Hammer," I'd have to agree ;D

    • 45 posts
    October 19, 2017 6:18 PM EDT

    ShinJin said:

    The Postman said:

    Ghost is a great band to listen and I would highly recommend you to listen to their new CD as it is great itself.

    If the rest of it is anything at all like "Square Hammer," I'd have to agree ;D

    Most of their songs are, but some do differ a little.

    • 1437 posts
    October 21, 2017 8:27 AM EDT

    A few more for this massive list:

    Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saens. C'mon, this is the great grand-daddy of Halloween music.

    The Devil Went Down to Georgia - The Charlie Daniels Band (Muppets version). Everyone knows it, everyone loves it.

    Riders in the Sky - Stan Jones (Duane Eddy version). Man, Duane Eddy. I mean, this song has had so many covers, but to me this one beats the Johnny Cash cover.

    Isle of the Dead - Rachmaninoff. Yeah, classic and country overkill?

    • 1437 posts
    October 21, 2017 8:34 AM EDT

    A few more for this massive list:

    Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saens. C'mon, this is the great grand-daddy of Halloween music.

    The Devil Went Down to Georgia - The Charlie Daniels Band (Muppets version). Everyone knows it, everyone loves it.

    Riders in the Sky - Stan Jones (Duane Eddy version). Man, Duane Eddy. I mean, this song has had so many covers, but to me this one beats the Johnny Cash cover.

    Isle of the Dead - Rachmaninoff. Yeah, classic and country overkill?

    • 45 posts
    October 22, 2017 12:01 AM EDT
    • 1437 posts
    October 22, 2017 5:42 PM EDT

    Night on Bald Mountain may have been my next selection :D 

    That, and Ain't No Grave to keep the classics and country theme strong.

    • 426 posts
    October 23, 2017 12:51 PM EDT

    @Paws--Ahhhh! I remember watching that episode of The Muppets when I was a kid... the Muppet version scared me a bit when I was a kid, although I can't for the life of me figure out why now. BTW--love Duane Eddy (when I was in high school I bought a 12" single of his take on the Peter Gunn theme--played the heck out of that track)

    @Postman--I was hoping someone would throw in "Night on Bald Mountain" (the song that opened the door to classical music for me) and "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" (Bach was the composer that pushed his foot in the door to classical music, and kept it from closing) :D

    I'll add these to the list later on today during lunch!