HOUSTON, TX - October 29, 2011 - Nothing creates a spooky atmosphere like scary music. Carve as many pumpkins as you like, polish your plastic skeletons until they’re shiny, fill your fog machine with the thickest solution, and strew a hundred cotton spider webs across your front porch – your haunted Halloween house still won’t be as spooky as it could be… without some terrifying tunes.
Our Top 10 Halloween faves appear below. From individual songs to entire motion picture soundtracks, there’s no silly or cliché music listed here, just nifty little ditties to curdle the blood and chill the bones. In fact, we’d venture to say it’s the ultimate Halloween playlist. Every title is linked to Amazon MP3 Downloads, where you can easily download your favorites and compile them into one killer Samhain soundtrack for your iPod or CD player.
10. The Wizard Of Oz, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: While “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” may be the first song you think of when contemplating The Wizard of Oz, don’t forget the “Haunted Forest” or “Attack of the Winged Monkeys.” These thematic compositions can create an effective, nostalgic medley where green witches curse, flying apes capture, and “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
9. Napoleon XIV: They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!: If you’re going for deranged, this is your anthem. While morbidly funny, this song is disturbing to say the least, and may inspire trick-or-treaters to bring their parents with them up to your door. Come to think of it, this song would perfectly complement an evil clown costume, or maybe a straitjacket.
8. Marilyn Manson: Cryptorchid / The Beautiful People / Sweet Dreams: It’s true, pretty much any Manson song will likely fulfill your darkest audio desires, but “Cryptorchid” is particularly special. Droning and atmospheric, it’s about as creepy as pop music gets. Of course, “The Beautiful People” is always a classic horror-ditty, and “Sweet Dreams” is a twisted take on the retro Eurythmics hit.
7. Jill Tracy: Haunted By The Thought Of You / Evil Night Together: Like Manson, pretty much any songs by Jill Tracy will serve to send shivers down your spine. In fact, we’d like to officially dub her “the diva of darkness.” Her vampire voice is gothic-ornate in its eeriness, yet ravishing in its chilling charm. Trust us, you’ll be making double sure your doors are locked on October 31.
6. The Harry Potter Original Motion Picture Soundtracks: Halloween cannot be complete without a hint of Harry. The nostalgic and furtive “Prologue” from “The Sorcerer’s Stone” is one the kids will love. Another great spooky movement is “Diagon Alley and The Gringotts Vault.” Each Harry Potter soundtrack is divided according to its movie (so there are eight of them). While “The Sorcerer’s Stone” is our favorite music-wise, “The Prisoner Of Azkaban” soundtrack boasts “The Dementors Converge,” and “The Deathly Hallows: Part 1” includes the eerie “Death Eaters” dirge. “Part 2” also features some incredibly dark melodies, so if you’re a Potter fan, be sure to explore each one.
5. The Lord Of The Rings Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Howard Shore: Shelob’s Lair / Gollum’s Song (Emiliana Torrini): Spiders are scary. Giant spiders (and we’re talking giant demonic spiders that maliciously ensnare you before devouring you alive) are particularly disturbing. Whether you’ve got arachnophobia or not, the terrifyingly unhinged piece, “Shelob’s Lair,” will give you the heebie-jeebies. As for the morbidly tragic and pensive, “Gollum’s Song,” you won’t find a more ghostly requiem anywhere. “Where once was light, now darkness falls. Where once was love, love is no more … And you will weep when you face the end alone. You are lost. You can never go home.” Of course, there are many other tracks in The Lord Of The Rings which would complement your Halloween soundtrack, including “Mount Doom,” “The Land Of Shadow,” “The End Of All Things,” and “A Journey In The Dark.”
4. Two Star Symphony: An avant-garde goth-classical quartet from Houston, this band will leave even your trick-or-treater’s parents shaking in their boots. Haunting, mournful, ominous, and theatrical, Two Star Symphony specializes in the dark, dramatic, and dangerous. In fact, any of their music would make the perfect audio backdrop for your annual neighborhood zombie walk! “Goblin Attack” is a particular favorite and definitely an Allhallows must. However, their latest album, Titus Andronicus, is also horrifically pleasing.
3. The Others Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Alejandro Amenábar & Claudio Ianni: Want to give your neighbor’s kids nightmares? This is the ticket. Pensive, ghostly, demented, and perturbing, these compositions are what lend the notorious horror flick much of its terrifying power. You won’t be able to fall asleep with the closet door open after this darkly magical soundtrack plays, and you’ll be particularly paranoid about little girls in communion dresses.
2. Psycho: The Essential Alfred Hitchcock Collection: Everyone knows Alfred Hitchcock is the master of suspense. This musical collection of theme songs from his most iconic thrillers is frighteningly beautiful and hauntingly suspenseful. Even kids who have never seen his movies will be jumping. In fact, it’s safe to say that this brilliant compilation is the audio embodiment of Hitchcock’s most harrowing works. You’ve heard of vanilla extract? Well, this is Hitchcock extract, and it will add a nightmarishly hunted flavor to your Halloween happening. “Thirty-Nine Steps,” “Vertigo - Prelude Nightmare,” and “Psycho,” are absolutely mandatory for your playlist.
1. Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain: Nobody does scary like classical composers. The inspiration for this terrifying tone poem was literally a Witches’ Sabbath, although Disney gave it a much more apocalyptic interpretation. As the Fantasia narrator put it, “‘Bald Mountain’ according to tradition, is the gathering place of Satan and his followers.
Here, on Walpurgnisnacht, which is the equivalent of our own Halloween, the creatures of evil gather to worship their master. Under his spell, they dance furiously until the coming of dawn and the sounds of church bells send the infernal army slinking back into their abodes of darkness.”
Now, go download your trick-or-treat soundtrack, and have a happy, haunted, and harmonious Halloween!
About Jennifer Grassman:
Singer, songwriter and pianist, Jennifer Grassman is an award-winning recording artist based in Houston, Texas. Subscribe by RSS feed and read more from Jennifer at www.JenniferGrassman.com. You can follow Jennifer on @JGrassman or Facebook.com/JenniferGrassmanMusic
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