Caroline Richards ’22
Anemone by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
One of the most unnerving, harrowing songs ever written in my opinion. It builds like the archetypical A24 horror movie: slowly, ominously, and beautifully. Psychedelic rock at its finest. Will give you shivers. Will also be stuck in the back of your head whispering to you for the rest of your life.
Love Buzz by Nirvana
Nirvana’s music already has an element of eeriness built into it given the nature of Kurt Cobain’s death, but even before he died his lyrics were haunting and characterized by their apocalyptic and disturbing images. ‘Love Buzz’ from their 1989 album Bleach is no exception. Angry. Intense. Axe-murdering.
Heaven Beside You by Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains’ music is ghostly and eccentric as is, but ‘Heaven Beside You’ is especially unnerving. Lyrically it’s both manic and repetitive, making it sound as though someone unhinged is singing to you; but in the end the ‘I’s become ‘You’s and it’s all very unsettling. Twisted. Bloody ballad.
Ghost Song by Jim Morrison, The Doors
From the 1978 collaborative album An American Prayer, the vocals are mysterious and monotone; it sounds like the creepy recitation of a poem with unknown meanings. Why is it called ‘Ghost Song’? Who knows. You can hypothesize. Off-center, and, well, ghostly.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings by Father John Misty
Written about Misty’s experience attending his grandfather’s funeral, but it’s more so about death, loss, and grief. Lyrically both disquieting and profound. The ending repetition of “someone’s got to help me dig” always freaks me out. Tragic. Full of worldly dread.
Love Is Blindness by Jack White
You might recognize this one from the Great Gatsby soundtrack. Love Is Blindness is lyrically the epitome of a lover’s existential ramblings. It’s brooding, uncompromising, and full of angst. Jack White is the darker, defeated cousin of Spookiness. Listen to this when you inevitably hate your Halloween costume and feel emo about it. Or when you get ghosted and/or left on read.
Young Lust by Pink Floyd
A lot of Pink Floyd songs belong on this list: Time, Brain Damage, Comfortably Numb. But for some reason this was the one that popped into my head when I decided on a spooky list. I can’t describe exactly why but it sounds Halloweenie. Really creepy, toxic lyrics. There’s something gritty and chilling about its composition; something about the way the vocals seem to echo behind the instruments. Supernatural and entrancing.
Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
A classic. It had to be on the list. If you don’t already know all the lore surrounding the production of this song you should look into it, it will freak you out. Full of disturbing images and that haunting, iconic guitar. Plus Merry Clayton’s vocals. Very eerie. Brimming with apocalyptic undertones.