I'm a scary pumpkin, and I approved this message.

Around this time of year, I dust off my old LP copy of Chilling, Thrilling Songs


Listen If You Dare: Ten Seriously Scary Songs For Halloween

I'm a scary pumpkin, and I approved this message.

Around this time of year, I dust off my old LP copy of Chilling, Thrilling Songs for the Haunted House (which has a great cover-- if you like what you see, you can check out a bunch of equally cool, Halloween-themed album art at Jive Time's Oldies but Ghoulies blog.) But despite the creaking doors, bubbling cauldrons, and cackling witches it offers, I end up more amused than scared. Same goes for that tired classic, "Monster Mash," and even Black Sabbath. Years of overplay have dulled the fear they used to inspire. When I need something really scary, I turn on the songs that follow. Listen at your own risk!

10. The Langley Schools Music Project: "Desperado"

I'm of the opinion that children's singing is creepy more often than not. Case in point: This cover of The Eagles' classic from The Langley Schools Music Project. Yes, she has a lovely voice, but a child singing about how an outlaw should come home to her is a bit much.

9. The Birthday Party: "Nick the Stripper"

Is he saying "insects" or "incest" at the beginning of the song? Either way, creepy. No Halloween list would be complete without a contribution from Nick Cave, who continues to terrify to the present day-- have you seen the video for Grinderman's song "Heathen Child"? It's disturbingly NSFW.

8. Kanye West: "Monster"

From Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver)'s menacing introduction to the disjointed, lurching backing track, this song is all about realizing the monster inside. It doesn't hurt that Jay-Z starts his verse with a list of every kind of demon and cryptid known (or unknown) to man.

7. Richard Thompson: "Season of the Witch"

Written by Donovan, guitar god Richard Thompson brings a pathos to the song missing from the original. Plus, he nearly doubles the length with an awesome, atmospheric guitar solo.

6. Aphex Twin: "Come to Daddy"

Disturbing lyrics? Check. Warped backing track? Check. Frantic use of the Amen break? You get the picture. The accompanying video is not for the faint of heart.

5. Insane Clown Posse (with Jack White): "Leck Mich Im Arsch"

This song plays in my nightmares. Why, Jack, why?

4. The Cure: "Subway Song"

There's nothing worse than the feeling that you're being followed. Let alone as a woman in London's subway tunnels. The Cure know how to do scary right.

3. Radiohead: "Like Spinning Plates"

The backwards instrumentation and indecipherable vocals on this song from Amnesiac always freak me out. It's not reassuring that the most clearly enunciated line in the whole song is "Our bodies floating down a muddy river."

2. David Lynch: "Crazy Clown Time"

It's called "Crazy Clown Time." It's by director David Lynch, the man behind Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. Need I say more?

And the most seriously scary song for Halloween is...

1. Scott Walker: "Jesse"

This is the scariest song I have ever come across. It's about Elvis' twin, Jesse, who died at birth. The out-of-tune guitars, heavy breathing, and Walker's operatic vocals give me chills every time.

What song scares you the most? Add it in the comments!

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