I love Halloween. It's a holiday where you get to dress up and eat yummy treats without all the stress of wrapping family presents and wrangling family members for dinner. Plus, it satisfies my inner morbid 8-year-old that used to quake under the covers at night while reading Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark with a flashlight. I love being scared and therefore have all kinds of fun with a holiday that is all about the scary and the ghoulish. Combine that with my love of music and it's no surprise that I have a large amount of music that I compile into a playlist for the days leading up to Halloween, handing out treats or adding to rotation of songs at the infrequent Halloween party I attend.
1. Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
The most famous song by what many critics consider to be the seminal Goth band and a definite shoo-in for a Halloween playlist. Bats, classic film horror stars, the word "undead" wailed over and over - what more could you ask for in a Halloween song?
Yes, another Bauhaus. I could have done a whole list just on their music. On first listen, this song is a little unnerving. Something about the bass line and Peter Murphy's baritone creep in and unsettle you. And it doesn't really let up with subsequent listens. (Also, seeing it performed live will melt your face off.) You can rock out at a party while your skin crawls.
Us wily women with our temptress ways and unnecessarily scanty Halloween costumes. Listen to this as your getting into your Sexy Devil costume...or whatever costume you have chosen.
The lyrics to this song are the stuff of nightmares. Play it for trick-or-treaters and tell them to close their closet doors or the Spiderman will have them for dinner. Tonight.
For the past ten years, this album has been on my Halloween day rotation. I tried to choose just one song to put on this list, but there are so many perfect Halloween songs. With lyrics like "Halloween Jack was a real cool cat", "Tod Brownings' freaks they was", "Oh, dress yourself my urchin one", and the entire song Chant of the Ever-Circling Skeletal Family this album was practically made for Halloween.
Based on the actual events of Joe Orton's murder, this is a nice little polka ditty about killing a lover with a hammer in a fit of jealous rage and then ending it all with an entire bottle of Nembutal. Play it when your friend walks up dressed as Mike Myers.
Follow one gruesome song with another to really set the mood on Halloween? Okay! The Shankill Butchers were a gang of murderous, bigoted psychopaths in 1970s Ireland that would stalk and hideously kill random Catholics. The song retells the story of the Shankill Butchers as a cautionary tale, used to keep wakeful children in their beds at night. Sweet dreams after gorging yourself into a sugar coma on Halloween candy.
Who even cares what the song is about? It's loud, aggressive Geman industrial and it just sounds scary. Songs at a Halloween party sometimes just need to sound frightening.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Stay tuned for Part 2!