25 Really Scary Songs (2023)

As Halloween approaches,Feel free to ignore "Monster Mash" in favor of these more modest coolers: Retro Murder Ballad, Dissonant Classic Backbone, Psychedelic Weird, Shock Rock, Southern Gothic Alternative Rock Darkness, Art Noise Wasteland and But.

  • Carolina Buddies, The Lawson Family Murders (περίπου 1930)

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    like this murderThe ballad became a folk standard, most famously recorded by the Stanley Brothers in 1956, and the events it recounts became dim legend. But when the struggling trio first sang those words in 1930, their Charlie Lawson story was pulled from the headlines. Just a year ago on Christmas Day, Lawson murdered his wife and six of his seven children, put their heads on a stone pillow, and killed himself. (The seventh child was on a mission at the time.) The best friends sing in a calm and languid resignation that acknowledges but doesn't glorify the horrors of violence that lurk in everyday life. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the idea that a man might one day lash out without explanation and destroy his family and himself is all the more tragic, showing that even domesticity offered no refuge from the economic desperation of the time. .

  • Louvin Brothers, The Knoxville Girl (1956)

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    perhaps the most well knownAppalachian Murder Ballad is the first-person account of a seemingly ordinary Tennessee boyfriend who inexplicably finds time to walk with his beloved and clubs her to death despite her heartbroken protests. About their recording for their debut LP in 1956sad song of life(which would later become a country song), Ira and Charlie Louvin harmonize a fast, easy waltz rhythm with grim bluntness, which adds to the doom of its stark moral ending, and the violent creep that disappears in prison. (Though really, a murderer doesn't feel any more remorse in prison than when he throws his murdered girlfriend into the river and goes home to bed.) "The Knoxville Girl" was recorded in its recognizable modern form for the first time In the 1920s, it was actually drawn from centuries-old material dating back to an actual murder in Wetham, England, in the 17th century. Over the years, the titular victims have come from various towns and cities - from Oxford, England, to Wexford, Ireland - and it's frightening enough to suggest that nearly every region has at least one bloodthirsty female killer to sing about.

  • Krzysztof Penderecki, Meditation for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960)

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    Music Scholars AppealThis seminal 20th-century piece of classical music is a prime example of "chorus"—but this 52-string cloud is more simply described as controlled anarchy. Instruments were struck, bows were sawed off, bows were sawed off when they should not have been, and the whole orchestra hummed like a swarm of angry bees. Of course, the voice of the Polish composer has become synonymous with tension and psychological suffocation in the film:The Shiningandson of manUse this piece. his music influenced jonny greenwood's soundtrackthere will be bloodshedand Mica Levi's scoreunder the skin"For some productions, like 'Threnody,' I prefer to have young people perform because they are still willing to learn," Penderecki said.resident advisor says"Some of the notation I invented at the time is common now, but there are still special techniques, different types of vibrato, played at the end of the bridge, played behind the bridge. Those things are unusual, even 50 years later .For so-called regular symphony orchestras, I sometimes refuse to include this piece in the program because it requires too much rehearsal. Some of the older orchestral musicians don't want to learn anything new."

  • György Ligeti, "Organ Roll" (1962)

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    hungarian composer gyorgyLigeti manipulates sound clusters to create space-filling chaos and motion blur. ofroll, a solo instrument, begins with the player's forearms resting on the keys - the infamous motor of the Gothenburg organ catches fire. While the song is more about "colours" than notes, "Volumina" is downright disturbing with its lengthy dissonant passages and a duration that hovers around the 15-minute mark.

  • The Door, "The End" (1967)

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    the clock is onNearly 12 minutes long, Jim Morrison's epic "The End" is a wicked ride that ends in a wild, surprising conclusion. The psychedelic rock epic has been widely interpreted as a farewell to childhood innocence, and Morrison echoed that sentiment in interviews. It begins peacefully, with the singer saying goodbye to his only friend, and finally, begging the listener to "ride the snake" and "ride the highway west" before the lyric turns into wilder verses. The final section retells the story of Oedipus in spoken narration, with the narrator telling his father that he wants to kill him and his mother that he wants to have sex with her, and then descends into a chain of chaos "Fucking of"". small. "The End" was written during the group's stint as a band on Whiskey a Go Go, when Morrison improvised the song's raucous ending after pouring acid. They were fired the next day.

  • Pink Floyd, "Eugene, Watch Out for the Axe" (1969)

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    its psychedelicsThe '60s transformed its dire imaginings into ominous sonic swirls, echoes of bad travel seeping into the listeners' wormy subconscious. But in its final form - a live version of Pink FloydUma GumaLP - "Handle That Ax Carefully, Eugene" isn't so much moody rock 'n' roll as it is a closed haunted house that opens your judgment door to door. At first, Richard Wright's organ and Nick Mason's cymbals vibrate, soft and distant moans heralding doom. Then the title was whispered, and Roger Waters screamed repeatedly in the terrified confusion before the danger it suggested had a chance to emerge. David Gilmour's guitar begins to respond wildly, but soon the music returns to its quiet, eerie calm before the violent break. Terrible things have happened that have yet to be imagined.

  • Brad Rock, "D.O.A." (1971)

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    One Hit Miracle BloodrockUnbelievable, with a horrific 8 1/2 minutes of first-time death accounts, it made the top 40. The hard rock band's music sounded like a British ambulance siren, with lyrics describing the tragic aftermath of first responders caring for a man after a plane crash. He felt "something warm running through his fingers", tried to move his hand, but when he looked there was "nothing there". He looks for his girlfriend and when she looks away she sees her face covered in blood. Finally, he presented a couplet: "The bed sheet is red and wet / God in the sky taught me to die." It ends with the sound of an American siren. Keyboardist Steve Hill said: "I thought maybe the whole thing as a package [music and lyrics] freaked out people, and sirens."In an interview in 2010"FCC banned 'D.O.A.' A lot of stations didn't play that because people thought they had an ambulance behind them so they pulled over."

  • Leonard Cohen, "Avalanche" (1971)

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    love songand hateThis might be Leonard Cohen's most depraved album, and that says a lot. Narratives of suicide (“Dress Rehearsal Rag”) and infidelity (“The Famous Blue Raincoat”) leave an undeniable sting, but the 1971 LP’s most chilling moment comes on opener “Avalanche,” where Cohen He played his classic Styx bard to the fullest. Over rolling flamenco guitars and swollen strings, he paints a hunchback living at the bottom of a gold mine: "Your laws do not compel me / To kneel grotesque and nude," he quipped. Even as the song spirals into dark obsession and eventually turns into pure horror (“It’s Your Turn Honey / I’m Wearing Your Flesh”), Cohen’s voice maintains a trancelike composure. No wonder award-winning bluesy rock poet Nick Cave has been covering the song for over 30 years.

  • Alice Cooper, "I Love the Dead" (1973)

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    impact rock is the largestThe bill could add any number of songs to the list of truly horrible songs -- "Dead Babies" (about child neglect), "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" (an insider's take on madness), "Sick Things" (disgusting stuff) — but it’s one of at least three (!) Alice Cooper necrophilic anthems, and remains his creepiest. The recorded version of "I Love the Dead" has a disturbing honesty - Bmillion dollar baby"Gothic and occasionally grandiose closing track—beyond irony: 'When friends and lovers mourn your foolish grave/I have other uses for you, my love.' Only on stage does the song become Cooper The prelude to the guillotine beheading at night, it becomes Camp. In2014 Rolling Stone interview, Alice Cooper was unimpressed with how powerful the piece was. "To me, anyone who takes it seriously ... yes," he concluded. "I don't think you can shock the audience anymore [today]. If I chop off my hand and eat it, well, that would be a shock. But you can only do it twice."

  • Suicide, 'Frankie Teardrop' (1977)

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    suicidal alan vegaFeaturing the main character, a 20-year-old factory worker struggling to support his family, breathless like he wants to break into "Be-Bop-A-Lula," but lives in a world too inhospitable to enjoy it A leisurely pleasure. Just in the middle of the nearly 10 and a half minute elegy, Frankie kills his family and himself, but not even death escapes—"Frankie is in hell, ’ insisted Vega. And there's no way out of the claustrophobic suicidal feeling either. Vega's screams aren't cathartic - at first they're half-choked with shame, then they're full-blown explosions, collapsing into sobs or shattering into infinity with lag. It would be mere melodrama if the story of Frankie Teardrop was set to the guitar and racing beats of CBGB compatriot Suicide, but against the electronic backdrop of Martin Rev, churning and grinding with the unsettling hum of household appliances during insomnia. Instead, it suggests a particularly modern vision of doom: not the raging fire of biblical descriptions, but the gray, weary static of eternal hopelessness.

  • Vibrating cartilage, «Lady Hamburg» (1978)

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    forever fetishEerie British noise/art group Throbbing Gristle reached their pinnacle in body horror with standout track "Hamburger Lady" from their 1978 albumD.O.A: Throbbing Gristle's third and final report.The lyrics are directly (and incorporated) from the written will of Blaster artist Al Ackerman - who worked as a doctor in Vietnam and later in the burn ward of a hospital caring for a woman with burns from waist to face. "Lady Hamburg," repeated a dead Genesis P-Orridge, "was dying, burnt from the waist up." More compelling than the words themselves were the ominous, mechanical roars of engines that hovered over the clinical White noise on background.

  • Birthday Party, "Dead Joe" (1982)

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    "Welcome to the-n-ocar crash,” screamed wildly 25-year-old Nick Cave. Horrible, you "can't tell a boy from a girl anymore" - an interesting publication diversion of the London punk scene. Written by Cave and his then-girlfriend Anita Lane, the song brings American southern gothic The tonal elements of the band were interspersed with raucous cartoon art rock. Although the band disbanded after only a year, Birthday Party influenced gothic rock by mixing different blues and rock sounds to eerie effect.

  • Bruce Springsteen, «Nebraska» (1982)

    25 Really Scary Songs (13)

    another springsteenSongs about boys, cars and girls. Except this time, the driver who offered to drive his girlfriend out of her loser-filled town was Charlie Starkweather, who ran the American West in the late 1950s with a "pretty baby" Two months of reality killers. Caril Ann Fugate, 14. Bruce has given voice to desperate souls before, but those are usually good people who fell when times got tough. He’s never sung about bums like them, and when his harmonica scrapes like a rusty weather vane atop an abandoned barn, his life takes on a suitably sociopathic weirdness. When Charlie's captor demands to know the reason for his cruelty, a moment all horror movie fans will recognize, the psychotherapy explanation comes. Starkweather's reasoning shrugged: "There's only one kind of evil in this world."

  • Metallica, "The One" (1989)

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    Although metal bands areUnderground trendsetters in the first half of the '80s, they burst into the mainstream consciousness in 1989 with "One," a single about a quadriplegic soldier begging to die. "When we writepuppet masteralbum, James [Hetfield] had an idea - what would it be like if you were in this state where you were a living consciousness, like a basket, and you couldn't reach out and communicate with anyone around you," Lars Ulrich once Said. "You have no arms, no legs, you obviously cannot see, hear or speak. They revisited the idea in the fall of 1987, when their manager cast them in Dalton Trumbo's anti-war novel and film.Johnny took his gun, which chronicled the ordeal of Joe Bonham, a patriotic American soldier in World War I, who woke up one day to find that a land mine had taken his limbs, eyes, ears and most of his mouth - yet he Still able to think and feel. He ends up typing Morse code into a pillow, asking his doctor to kill him. For Metallica, the story -- which ran for nearly eight minutes during a machine-gun riff -- garnered an unexpected Top 40 hit, a haunting music video, and film segments, and won grammy awards.

  • PJ Harvey, "By the Water" (1995)

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    a story to tellBy the highest ranking witches. On the lead single from her 1995 album,bring you my loveIn, Polly Jane Harvey transforms from a swampy underworld into a seductive, murderous mother beckoning to her drowning daughter from behind a river. Honestly, he struggled to surface, he saidto rotate, thanks to the weight of her heavy black wig. The chorus plays the otherwise innocuous "Salty Dog Blues," an American standard first recorded by New Orleans legend Charlie Jackson's dad: "Small fish, big fish in water," Harvey murmurs, "come back and put my daughter to me."

  • Scott Walker, "Farmers in the City" (1995)

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    low droneOpening Scott Walker's 1995 track "Farmer in the City" only hints at the articulate horror to come. The pop icon-turned-experimental miser’s voice defies simple terms like “haunting” or “funeral” — she calibrates the wail with vibrato, and black music released over the past two decades uses the voice, and his sullen expression, to capture the result. "Farmer in the City" is probably the closest he comes to a pop song of his later period, though it's still poignant. In a tense but terse arrangement by the London Symphony Orchestra, Walker mourns his abstract interpretation of the last thoughts of the Italian director and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini (murdered in 1975). “Paulo take me with you/It’s been the trip of a lifetime,” he whispers toward the end of the song, flashes of regretful self-reflection expressing the low-grade fear of not knowing when it’s over.

  • Ο Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Song of Joy" (1996)

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    almost every nickCave songs are scary. Few artists are as committed to bleakness and horror as the lead from Australian Bad Seeds. In the mid-90s, he wrote and recorded his self-titled albummurder ballad, whose songs claimed the lives of dozens of hapless fictional victims. Originally conceived as a follow-up to Keve Milton's favorite soundtrack, "Red Right Hand," his prolific song tells the determined story of a man who meets a "sweet, happy" girl named Joy, whom he eventually marries. She found out. A day later, she was "bound with electrical tape and gagged/She was stabbed repeatedly and placed in a sleeping bag." The killer also claimed the lives of the narrator's three other daughters. At the end of the song, it seems that the narrator knows more than he says. "They never caught that guy," Cave sings. "He's still free."

  • Diamanda Galás, 25 Minutes to Go (1998)

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    The famous Diamanda GalásFour octaves ahead of her. But on a 1998 cover of Shel Silverstein's seminal 1962 song "25 Minutes to Go," her voice seeped in in a quieter way. When Johnny Cash covered the song at Folsom Prison in 1965 and 1968, executioner versions of the song played the song's dark humor. Galás, on the other hand, sucks in the air from his cell, as if transforming into Mary Surratt. Her sinuous piano sound is almost feline, and it begins the song's 25-minute countdown with distorted circus percussion and ends with a slow clap of keys. Galás illuminates the bleakest lines. “Now listen to the missionary come save my soul / 13 minutes left,” she sings like her lungs are filling with fluid. Unlike the rocky ending in the ballad version (“There’s a minute left / Now I’m rocking, I’m going!”) Galás’ voice drops the last layer to dire effect, emphasizing the tragedy that inspired the comedy. The singer-songwriter made it clear on her blues cover albumpray and pray, in homage to the tradition of Maria Callas' anguished arias and dry-kill ballads.

  • Tom Waits, "Build What?" (1999)

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    this dramatic monologueFrom an Undiscerning Neighbor is set to a variety of eerie sounds—soft metal thumps, cheap electronics—that would make any haunted house designer envious. Once a creepy guy (no wonder Francis Ford Coppola cast him as a bug-eating Renfield in his portrayal of Dracula), Tom Waits hisses here, as if in his A flashlight flashed under his chin to scare away nervous Army scouts. In fact, the way he repeats, "What is he building there?" -- emphasizing the word "building" each time with a disconcerting urge -- ends up making the narrator sound more like the eccentric loner he's spying on. suspicious. At least until the disturbing coda, we ourselves hear the whistles coming from the eccentric construction worker's house.

  • Tori Amos, '97 Bonnie and Clyde (2001)

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    Eminem's Revenge Fantasy"'97 Bonnie And Clyde" is a cheerful but haunting track, with the bleach-blonde MC detailing a father-daughter trip to the beach and suggesting that the "mom" in the trunk wasn't entirely willing to go along. .reinvented Tori Amos for her 2001 cover albumweird little girlElevate the American Goth quotient with horror-movie strings, second-tier-store synth beats, and inversions of song perspective—the strangled delivery and parental tenderness make the monologue sound like it's coming from a victim as life bleeds instantly. she. "'Bonnie and Clyde' is a song that describes domestic violence very accurately, just right," AmosHe told MTV in 2001"I don't identify with the character she represents. There's one person who would never dance with that thing, and that's the woman in the trunk. She talks to me.  … [She grabs my arm and says, 'You have to hear this. Like I heard it.'

  • Eminem, "Kim" (2000)

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    rap oneThe creepiest song is Eminem's rhyme about the moment an abusive relationship turns deadly. When his relationship with ex-wife Kim Scott was at its worst, the rapper murdered Kim's husband and stepson while abusing her from her home to her car until she eventually took her own life. He screams the entire song, even mimicking King's voice as he contradicts his statement. "If I were her, I'd run as soon as I heard that shit," says mentor Dr. DreHe told Rolling Stone magazine in 1999. "It was over the top—the whole song screamed. It was good though. Kim gave him an idea."

  • Khanate, "Reduced Sentence" (2003)

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    "Extreme" wordIn metal, now denotes a sub-genre rather than a measure of true strength. But in the first decade of the 2000s, the sound of the now-defunct New York quartet lived up to the hype, reaching a rare level of formidable sadness. "The music is pure experimentation in structure, a blatant attempt to alter mood through dissonance and temporal relaxation," said guitarist Stephen O'Malley, also of Sunn O))) in 2001. A tense epic like this 19-minute behemoth. O'Malley's sour chords dance softly, Tim Wyskida's bass drum thumps peacefully, and singer Alan Dubin croons, Sounds like a real-time description of what it's like to lose your mind: "Oh my gosh/smile/sneeze/that talk.  …" When the whole band finally erupts in a series of raw, stumbling climaxes, that shocking feeling is pictureThe ShiningDanny Torrance watched in horror at the twins in the hallway of the Overlook Hotel.

  • Sufjan Stevens, "John Wayne Gacy Jr." (2005)

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    stevens ambitionIllinoisSeveral moments in the state's history are tackled, including the haunting story of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. - also known as "The Killer Clown" - buried the bodies of 26 teenagers he sexually assaulted and murdered in the cramped quarters of his home. "I felt overwhelming sympathy for his actions rather than for who he was, and I couldn't admit it, as horrible as it sounds," she explained.in the interviewAround the time of the album's release, he noted elsewhere that Gacy was a foil to the more upbeat Illinois figures he had explored, such as Abraham Lincoln and Carl Sandburg. Stevens' understated musical style—singing softly under soft guitar strums—made his almost tender sympathy for Gacy all the more chilling.

  • Haxan Cloak, "The Mist" (2013)

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    As Hassan's cloak,Bobby Krlic's music, which has won critical acclaim, pulsates like underground techno but has a tingling, nauseatingly tense texture that seems straight out of the dense sonic world of horror-movie foley. despite being a groundbreaking albumto digFilled with ominous screams, buzzes, and pulses, "Miste" is the scariest yet, thanks to (spoiler alert!) starting off with a good old fashioned jump scare. Once that screech hits the opening, it circles and echoes, implanting itself in the track's skin before giving way to alarming waves. "I don't find the dark depressing. In fact, I find it very uplifting and cathartic," KrlitzHe said, "Quiet.""At certain points, I challenge myself and try to make myself as uncomfortable as possible. It's not because I'm a dark person; it's like an adrenaline rush."

  • Wolf Eyes, Youth Asbestos (2015)

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    detroit scuzz-wallopers wolfFor the better part of 20 years, Eyes has left a legacy of searing distortion, throat-ripping screams, and shovel-dragging noises in more than 250 releases. But their latest album for Third Man Records enters a new horror territory,i am a problem: broken heart.They stripped the bass for a noisier, haunting, desolate feel, full of errant trash and wailing woodwinds. or, like john olsonHe told Pop Matters: "It's not as dystopian as our other records. ... We're older guys, the youngest guy in the band Jim [Baljo] is a laid-back rocker, you know we're all hippies at heart ...we don't feel the need to wipe out everything in our path. Talk less, talk more, you know? Watch more and attack less as you get older." Youth Asbestos may not attack per se, but it will, like John Carpenter's soundtrack kept crawling until he hid in the tool shed.

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