Five Spooky, Creepy Songs For Halloween

Even though many people partied this weekend to celebrate Halloween, those of us who are purists don't care what day of the week All Hallow's Eve lands on, the 31st is the 31st.

So there's still time to find another costume, gather tricks and treats, and most importantly curate the perfect playlist.

For those who want to branch out a bit from the typical "Monster Mash" and "This is Halloween" staples, here are a half dozen devilish delights to spice up your mix.

"If You Have Ghosts (You Have Everything)" by Roky Erickson and the Aliens

Roky Erickson led the 13th Floor Elevators who were the first band to call their music "psychedelic rock," and their Top 50 1966 single "You're Gonna Miss Me" is definitely that.

In 1979 Erickson put together his first solo album, a creepy collection of tunes about vampires, zombies and ghosts. Produced by the former bassist of CCR, Roky Erickson and the Aliens crafted the groovy album The Evil One which if you can find on vinyl, it'll add a kick to any Halloween party.

But the song you're going to want to hear is "If You Have Ghosts" which the beautifully weird Ghost has been known to cover. At 290 times, no one has covered this spooky yet soothing tune more than them.

"Night Prowler" by AC/DC

Highway to Hell was Bon Scott's last album with AC/DC and "Night Prowler" was the last song on the 1979 classic.

Turn down the lights on Halloween and put on this unusually slow, grooving, eerie jam from the Aussies who usually shove it down your throats. This is both Bon and Angus Young's sweet spots. Bon can just ease the lyrics out, Angus has time and space for his guitar accents. And listen to the band singing background. It's utterly spooky when you pay attention to the words.

A rat runs down the alley
And a chill runs down your spine
And someone walks across your grave
And you wish the sun would shine
'Cause no one's going to warn you
And no one's going to yell, "Attack!"
And you don't feel the steel
Till it's hanging out your back

Fun fact: AC/DC has never performed it live. They didn't even play it during their Highway to Hell Tour.

The Afghan Whigs have been brave enough to play it. And their singer Greg Dulli belted it out with podcast superstar Marc Maron on guitar along with others in Hollywood in 2018 as a tribute to Bon.

When you hear the talented Dulli struggle with the high notes maybe we can assume why Brian Johnson doesn't do it with AC/DC these days. Though what a jam for Angus.

“Knoxville Girl” by The Louvin Brothers

Wanna turn your Halloween party truly dark? Put away the Ouija board and tarot cards, enter the rabbit hole of Murder Ballads.

Back in the olden times troubadours and balladeers would travel the countryside telling stories, legends, and tragic news via detailed and sometimes startling songs.

One of the most famous murder ballads described the 17th century brutal slaying of an unmarried young woman who had either just given birth or was to deliver a baby. Her assailant was the father of the child. Not only was the kid born but the story was told for centuries in England as "The Bloody Miller or Hanged I Shall Be" and then in Ireland in the 1800s as "The Wexford Girl."

When immigrants settled from the UK to the US Appalachians, a slightly reworked version of the tune (where the man gets his just desserts) was made famous by the Louvin Brothers in 1956. It's since been covered by the likes of Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, The Lemonheads.

Sing it into a mirror if you dare.

"Pet Sematary" by The Ramones

There are few scarier writers than Stephen King, who just like many men with two ears loved The Ramones. While on tour in Maine in the late '80s, the author invited the punk legends to crash at his house.

King reportedly handed bassist Dee Dee Ramone a copy of his 1983 novel Pet Sematary. The songwriter of "Chinese Rock" and "My Brain is Hanging Upside Down" casually strolled down into Stephen King's basement and an hour later emerged with the song that would eventually hit #3 on the Alternative charts, one of the biggest hits of the band in their later years.

King used the song as the theme of the film and decades later Starcrawler was asked to covered it for the 2019 remake.

After playing it about a dozen times live in '19, they performed it at Jack White's Third Man Records on Devil's Night in Detroit.

What's Devil's Night?

Tonight is Devil's Night mwahahahahaha.

"Wrapped Around Your Finger" by The Police

In the '80s rockers like AC/DC, Ozzy, Judas Priest and even Twisted Sister had to deal with concerned parents, some of whom were very well connected, who thought their children shouldn't be listening to their so-called Devil Music.

Meanwhile the ridiculously handsome Sting was dancing around on MTV surrounded by spirals of tall candles singing a tune about a young man who somehow learns the secrets of Satan and miraculously steals away with his soul in tack.

"Wrapped Around Your Finger" was just as creepy as the stalkerish "Every Breath You Take" and the mystical "Tea in the Sahara" from 1983's Synchronicity. But because it's being delivered by the photogenic Sting, often with his shirt unbuttoned, Tipper Gore and the PMRC just sighed and set their sights towards the Heavy Metal crews.

Sting, who is on a very brief hiatus galavanting around the world, last performed this devilish tune in April in Vegas.

Will he put it back in his My Songs Tour set? Europeans will find out next month. Get your tickets on Sting's website.

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Last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 20:07 Etc/UTC