The Scariest Songs Ever (Part II)
With Halloween fast approaching, “scary” songs are becoming ubiquitous on the radio, in stores, and on TV. However, while holiday themed songs like “Monster Mash,” are fun, they aren’t exactly scary. On the contrary, for this feature we asked seven contributors to name the songs that they actually found frightening to listen to. Here are their answers. (Check out Part I here)
Maybe not the “scariest” song in the world sure, but certainly an incredibly creepy first person song about the singer going mad after his wife leaves him and preparing to be taken away to the insane asylum.
What’s that you say? An instrumental can’t be considered all that scary? Mr. Waits and I would beg to differ.
This one is probably pretty obvious and cliche since Nick Cave is the master of the macabre, but it’s one of the first Nick Cave songs I ever heard and the vibe + lyrics of it have always made me feel a bit creeped out.
While this song might have been most famous by Nine Inch Nails cover version that appeared on the soundtrack to The Crow in 1994, the original version definitely outcreeps Mr. Reznor’s angsty take on the song.
Again, another one that might be obvious based on the title alone, but CCR’s cover of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic just screams Halloween to me and it definitely doesn’t seem like the love song it was originally intended as.
Mike Watton (Haunted House)
Of all the songs on this list, this passes the “driving on a gravel road in the country at night” test with the flyingest of colors. Some of the sharpest doom vision they ever reached, and never tried to do anything else.
With the lyrics and the video, it’s one of the only hip hop songs that has made me truly worry about the rapper.
The hills have eyes and they can’t tune a guitar either.
Charles had been in jail for several months by the time this song, which he wrote, was recorded by those he left behind in the Family, but it’s still got a pretty disturbing aura to it.
This represents Sonic Youth at its early darkest, before they had figured out how to make anything resembling pop and when they recorded their albums in a walk-in meat freezer.
Alex Gaterud (Radio K)
Being executed has never been so musical.
Likewise, having an arm amputated gets the David Yow treatment.
This was the first Nine Inch Nails song I ever heard and it scared me away for a few months before I went back for a second listen. The infamous video probably played a huge part in my fear of this track.
For me, Springsteen’s always been a songwriter par excellence in terms of inserting dread into what are otherwise “normal” songs. As early as “Lost in the Flood,” he was creating these great mood pieces, but “Nebraska” has always been the pinnacle of his dark songwriting.
While this is theoretically a love song, it never fails to make me uneasy. Is it the droning? The creepy mantras? Angus Andrew’s intensity? I don’t know, but it works.