By Patrick Kelly

Yes, it’s Halloween time.  By now you have probably seen your fair share of ghosts and goblins in store windows, pumpkins on families’ front steps, and decorative tombstones on lawns.  And sure, I bet you’ve heard enough of the cliché Halloween songs that get played over and over again this time of year.

But, what about those songs that are truly scary?  Songs that creep you out and leave you feeling scared, not just because the band used an organ, but because the lyrics are eerie and the underlying music actually haunting?  Though you may not have stumbled across such songs just yet, do not believe that they are inexistent.  Here are five truly frightening songs to give your Halloween a unique twist.

“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”—Sufjan Stevens

A song that chillingly hits close to home.  John Wayne Gacy Jr. was one of the scariest serial killers in history, murdering at least thirty-three boys in his Norwood Park Township home in Chicago, IL.  Hardly anyone wants to talk about the “Killer Clown” that took so many lives, but Sufjan Stevens was bold enough to make a song about him on his album, Illinois.

“Black Sabbath”—Black Sabbath

Said to be inspired by an experience Geezer Butler had after hanging inverted crucifixes and housing a book on witchcraft (dropped off by Ozzy, mind you) in his apartment.  Butler awoke in the night to see a large dark figure standing at the edge of his bed staring at him.  The figure vanished, and when Butler got up to grab the book, it was gone.

“Country Death Song”—Violent Femmes

Sure, this song might just sound like an old-fashioned country song, but it goes to a darker and darker place the more the song goes on.  The story of a little girl and her father make this song title ring true.

“What’s He Building in There?”—Tom Waits

More like spoken word poetry with some eerie noises in the background, this Waits composition will surely creep you out.  Do you have a neighbor you’re suspicious of?

“Red Right Hand”—Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Though it has been disputed among listeners who the character with the red right hand is, one thing can be agreed upon: this song is scary and filled with seeming doom.  Check out the video, which adds to the frightening effect.

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