Ah, listen to them, the children of the night. What sweet music they make. Whether it is the howling whoas of punk rock or the dancey dissonance of goth or the aggressive anti-heroics of metal, music is what makes the autumn the spookiest of seasons. How scary would Halloween or The Exorcist or Suspira be without their respective scores? Its the music that makes our skin crawl.
Here, then, is a mix tape to serve as your soundtrack to the darkest, scariest day of the year: Halloween.
“Dungeon of Torture” – Paul N. J. Orrosson
Excerpt from Saw
“Pazi Sta Radis” – Sky Wikluh
“Halloween” – Helloween
“Wolfskin Killer” – Zombeast
“Return of the Fly” – The Misfits
“Draining Faces” – Skinny Puppy
Excerpt from Halloween
“Halloween 2007″ – Tyler Bates
“Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer” – Fantômas
“Monster” – L7
“Halloween” – Mudhoney
“Entry Into Vladi the Implaer’s Castle (Room of Haunted Souls)” – Paul N. J. Orrosson
Excerpt from Frankenstein
“I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
“Sweet Transvestite” – Tim Curry
“Main Title from The House of Frankenstein” – Dick Jacobs and his Orchestra
“The Headless Horseman” – Bing Crosby
“Mad Monster Party” – Ethel Ennis
“We Don’t Care” – Vampire Sound Inc.
“Nightmare on My Street” – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
“There’s No Matter” – Linda Lee
“A-Team Creeps” – The O>Matics
“Soul Dracula” – Hot Blood
Excerpt from The Re-Animator
“L’Alba Dei Morti Viventi” – Goblin
“Re-Animator” – Rigor Mortis
“The Black Widow” – Alice Cooper
“Poison Heart” – Ramones
“I Think of Demons” – Roky Erickson & the Aliens
“The Werewolf Forest” – Paul N. J. Orrosson
Excerpt from Hostel
“March of the Dead” / “Zombie Halloween” – Otto Von Schirach
“This is Halloween” – Marilyn Manson
“Bark at the Moon” – Ozzy Osbourne
“Everyday is Halloween” – Ministry
“Halloween” – Dropkick Murphys
Helloween’s “Halloween” is the (five minute edit of the thirteen minute) centerpiece of what is probably the greatest power metal album of all time. It starts off innocently enough: “Masquerade, masquerade, grab your mask and don’t be late.” But the song takes a dark turn soon enough…
– Don Becker
“Wolfskin Killer” is an old favorite from Arizona based horror-punk band Zombeast. It is as if the singer went to a vocal coach and said, “I have a band. I can write lyrics about monster movies. Teach me to sing like Danzig. It is my destiny.” The result is a blistering, 11-track Samhain revival. “Wolfskin Killer” is the first song I heard from them, and easily their best – a furious, menacing, wailing ode to lycanthropy (listen closely for the wolf howls during the chorus) that was my cell phone ringer for more years than I can remember.
– Stu Horvath
What is easily both Bing Crosby’s and Disney’s greatest contribution to the Halloweens of my childhood, the animated version of the classic Washington Irving tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a tradition. The slapstick and goofy charm of the first act, coupled with the darker tone of the second, is fully represented by Bing’s song “The Headless Horseman.” When Brom Bones gets Ichabod’s goat with the help of Bing’s golden pipes, I am instantly brought to a cold Sleepy Hollow night where the headless horseman is, “looking for a top to swap.” Though tongue and cheek and not necessarily scary, this is the perfect song to create your Halloween party’s atmosphere and break up some of the guts and gore. Just remember not to go for any horse-drawn joyrides in Tarrytown at the end of the month.
– Erik Weinbrecht
Two German composers decided to call themselves Vampires’ Sound Incorporation and record a trippy, end-of-the-’60s soundtrack to a 1971 movie with the incredibly fitting name Vampyros Lesbos. Just imagine shirtless ladies biting each other’s necks while this trumpet-and-sitar ditty works its mojo. I discovered this soundtrack at a used CD store in Dallas in 1998 and I was obsessed with it for a while. Really, the album is the used-CD equivalent of a pink polyester shirt at a thrift shop; you can understand why someone would get rid of it and you can also understand why a dumb 17-year-old kid from the ‘burbs would flip over it.
– Sam Machkovech
In the 1980’s, nothing was scarier to a grade-schooler like me than Freddy Krueger. One year, I dressed as Freddy for Halloween, complete with a melted-flesh mask, a glove with knives for fingers and even a sweater with a hole burned into the front that my friend Aaron’s mom gave me. No matter that it was green and black striped instead of red and black – it had actually been kissed by real fire and that made it singularly awesome. Around this time, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were about as cool as a 10-year-old’s cassette collection could get. And, as it turned out, Freddy and the Fresh Prince went together like a blindfold and a bowl of cooked spaghetti.
– Matt Marrone
“There’s No Matter,” by Linda Lee, appears in the film Zombi by Lucio Fulci. Zombi is the quintessential zombie movie for all zombie film lovers and is slowly gaining the props it deserves, recently appearing in the windows 7 TV commercial (the zombi vs. shark scene). This is hands down the darkest, most evil gut muncher of them all. It was originally released as an unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead and bears an equally amazing soundtrack score with this piece of rarely sighted dico/pop/dub/rock. A barely noticeable gem that creeps into the picture as uncredited incidental music, seemingly coming from a radio in a nighttime scene down at the New York City harbor, is now available by the grace of the Internet and YouTube. Happy Italian masquerade ball 1980!
– Bill Hellfire, Alternative Cinema
Yeah, my pick is by my own band, The O>Matics, sorry if that’s lame. I was searching through my music library and I passed by some of our old albums. I remembered we did a creepy Halloweenish song inspired by the A-Team theme. It screamed Unwinnable to me, so I’m submitting it. This isn’t a TRICK to get you to buy O>Matics albums. No sir, this TREAT is out of print. It’s only available right here.
– Mark Mariano
I almost went with “Pazi Sta Radis,” the credit song from A Serbian Film, but decided I wanted to stick with a song I have loved for years. My choice is “L’Alba Dei Morti Viventi,” by Goblin, which translates to Dawn of the Dead. I first heard Goblin when I had a chance to view the European cut of Dawn of the Dead. While I love the whole soundtrack, this song sticks out as my favorite. It appears in the movie as the survivors discover the mall and they make their first run to take it over for their shelter. Goblin has gone on to produce numerous albums, most associated with Dario Argento horror movies, and is one of the few bands left that I would love to see live in concert. That is if they actually ever come over to this side of the pond.
– Kenneth J. Lucas
It is almost cheating to cherry pick one metal song inspired by horror movies out of the thousands upon thousands that found inspiration in their low-budget scares, but I will cheat because the thrash band Rigor Mortis goes largely unappreciated despite appearing in Penelope Spheris’ Decline of Western Civiliation II: The Metal Years and featuring members who would go on to play with Ministry and GWAR. Or maybe that’s why they fell into obscurity. Regardless, here’s “Re-Animator,” from the band’s self-titled 1988 (thrash ground zero) major label. If you haven’t seen and don’t love the movie it was inspired by we can’t be friends.
– Gus Mastrapa
“Poison Heart,” by The Ramones, is not necessarily a Halloween song, but I figure having been included on the Pet Semetery 2 soundtrack allows it to qualify. From the 1992 album Mondo Bizzaro, the song has a unique sound that shows of Joey’s matured deep voice. With a slower pace that was trying to keep up with early 90’s alternative sound, “Poison Heart” takes on almost a gothic vibe reminiscent of The Damned and Nick Cave. Depending on who you ask, “Poison Heart” is a classic written by Dee Dee Ramone, or was actually a song from Lords of the New Church and Dead Boys front man Stiv Bators. Stiv was hit by a bus in 1990, and Mondo Bizzaro was released in 1992; however the song shows up on the posthumously released Stiv Bators solo album Last Race. Both versions of the song are good but, personally, I like the Ramones version best, as it is nice to hear Joey actually sing a little bit.
– Charles Francis Moran VI
Roky Erickson has been an influential cult favorite in the music industry for over four decades. A founding member of the psychedelic movement with the 13th Floor Elevators, Erickson would be brought up on drug charges and legally committed to an insane asylum in 1969, after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He emerged from the asylum in 1972 and form a hard rock band called Roky Erickson & The Aliens, singing songs about monsters, ghosts, demons and aliens. In real life, Erickson was plagued by his own demons made real as a result of his mental illness. “I Think of Demons” is a song that is not only him singing of a day to day life plagued by demons caused by mental illness, but also him triumphantly using these demons as a muse for his songwriting, as is evident by the lyrics: “I think of demons, for you.”
– Michael Edwards
This mix was constructed using Algoriddim’s djay for iOS.