Rock songs for a spooky Halloween


Caroline Richards ’22

Artistic editor

Anemone by the Brian Jonestown Massacre

One of the most disturbing and poignant songs ever written in my opinion. It builds itself like the archetypal A24 horror movie: slowly, grimly, and beautifully. Psychedelic rock at its best. Will give you chills. Will also be stuck in the back of your head whispering to you for the rest of your life.

Love buzz by Nirvana

There is already an ominous element in Nirvana’s music given the nature of Kurt Cobain’s death, but even before his death his lyrics were haunting and characterized by their apocalyptic and disturbing imagery. ‘Love Buzz’ from their 1989 album Bleach is no exception. Angry. Intense. Ax murder.

Heaven beside you by Alice In Chains

Alice In Chains’ music is ghostly and eccentric as it is, but “Heaven Beside You” is particularly unnerving. Lyrically, it’s both manic and repetitive, making it seem like someone is singing for you; but in the end the ‘I’ has become ‘you’ and it is very disturbing. Twisted. Bloody ballad.

Jim Morrison’s Ghost Song, The Doors

Extract from the 1978 collaborative album An american prayer, the voices are mysterious and monotonous; it looks like the frightening recitation of a poem with unknown meanings. Why is it called a “ghost song”? Who knows. You can make assumptions. Off-center and, well, ghostly.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery sung by Father John Misty

Writes about Misty’s experience at her grandfather’s funeral, but it’s more about death, loss and grief. Lyrically both disturbing and profound. The final repetition of “someone has to help me dig” always scares me. Tragic. Full of worldly terror.

Love is Jack White’s blindness

You might recognize this one from the Great Gatsby soundtrack. Love Is Blindness is lyrically the epitome of a lover’s existential ramblings. It is brooding, uncompromising and full of anguish. Jack White is Spookiness’s darkest and defeated cousin. Listen to this when you inevitably hate your Halloween costume and feel emo about it. Or when you are ghosted and / or left reading.

Young Lust by Pink Floyd

Many Pink Floyd songs belong to this list: Time, Brain Damage, Comfortably Numb. But for some reason, this is the one that came to my mind when deciding on a scary list. I can’t describe exactly why, but it sounds Halloweenie. Really scary and toxic lyrics. There is something gritty and frightening about its composition; something about the way the voices seem to resonate behind the instruments. Supernatural and bewitching.

Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones

A classic. He had to be on the list. If you don’t already know all the traditions surrounding the production of this song, you should look into it, it will make you panic. Full of disturbing images and this spellbinding iconic guitar. Plus the voice of Merry Clayton. Very strange. Bursting with apocalyptic undertones.

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