The Songs That Haunt Us

The Songs That Haunt Us, Halloween, Spooky
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

It’s the end of October, and our music writing staff is getting into the spooky spirit! Read along as the team takes you through 18 of the songs that haunt us.
 

THE RAMONES - “PET SEMATARY”

From the eerie, supernatural lyrics to the catchy rock sound, the Ramones hit the nail on the head with “Pet Sematary,” made for the soundtrack of the film adaptation of Steven King’s novel of the same name. The story goes that King invited the group to his home in Bangor, Maine where Dee Dee Ramone went to the basement and emerged with the lyrics only an hour later. “Pet Sematary” continues to be one of the Ramones' most listened to songs and its high energy is the perfect complement to any fun Halloween festivities

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator
 

THE ANIMALS - “HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN”

Recorded in one haunting take, the Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun” is timeless perfection. The powerful, deep vocals of Eric Burdon, the moving organ played by Alan Price, and the beautifully melodic plucked chord progression all helped the song make its mark, topping charts in 1964 and inspiring many more versions to come. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator
 

MOTHER MOTHER - “GHOSTING”

Even when it’s not spooky season, “Ghosting” by Mother Mother pulls at my heartstrings in all the right ways. The song begins with an ominous clash of cello, violin, and guitar plucks before breaking into its earnest vocal delivery. Using the image of a classic white sheet ghost lurking in someone’s house, the indie-rock group from Vancouver builds a Halloween-inspired song with a poignant twist.

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator
 

THE CRANBERRIES - “ZOMBIE”

Topping tracks in several different countries including Billboard’s Modern Rock chart, “Zombie” by the Cranberries is a super fitting title for Halloween! While this song at its roots is a protest song, it has an alternative suspenseful sound to it. 

- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant
 

SOCCER MOMMY - “FEED”

Featured in the horror film The Turning, Soccer Mommy’s song, “Feed” features all of the most amazing eerie aspects a song could possibly have! It’s the perfect song for a ‘ghoul’ time!

- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant
 

LANA DEL REY - “SEASON OF THE WITCH”

Written for the 2019 film Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, Lana Del Rey writes a haunting melody that is catchy at the same time with “Season of the Witch.” The spooky guitar and her ghostly voice create a truly eerie atmosphere!

- Christina Casper, Staff Writer
 

ALICE PHOEBE LOU - “WITCHES”

This upbeat song incorporates creepy elements such as a higher-pitched guitar on top of Alice Phoebe Lou’s voice, which is haunting already. This single release is something that’s always stuck in my head.

- Christina Casper, Staff Writer
 

PATIENCE & PRUDENCE - “TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME”

With the ghostly voices of a children’s chorus singing the words, this simple song from 1956 is a creepy song featured in American Horror Story. The melody of Patience & Prudence’s “Tonight You Belong To Me” is something that continues to haunt me still.

- Christina Casper, Staff Writer
 

CLASSICS IV - “SPOOKY”

Cute, funky, and ghastly, this 1968 hit stole the charts then and will be sure to steal hearts again at your upcoming Halloween party. Complete with eerie sound effects and howls, “Spooky” by the Classics IV is a sure-fire way to get into the spirit of the Great Pumpkin.

- Mason Standish, Staff Writer
 

PIXIES - “MR. GRIEVES”

Wildly unpredictable and utterly mischievous, you’ll surely “believe in Mr. Grieves” after a listen or two of this Pixies track. Recorded on Halloween night of 1988 here in Boston, the unique stylings of “Mr. Grieves will satisfy both your spooky and local music itch. 

- Mason Standish, Staff Writer
 

ORVILLE PECK - “DEAD OF NIGHT”

There are few things more haunting than the "strange canyon road," yet Orville Peck’s masterful echo leads us to fear something far worse. Strange and desolate, “Dead of Night,” is a chilling alt-folk-country blend, plenty eerie for this Halloween. 

- Sam Goodman, Staff Writer
 

VAMPIRE BEACH BABES - “GOTHIC SURF-A-RAMA”

Grab your beach balls, wide-brim hats, and extra, extra strength sunblock ‘cause we’re hitting the sand and ridin’ the waves Nosferatu style with the Vampire Beach Babes’ “Gothic Surf-a-Rama.” This 60s-esque, psychedelic-rock track is the perfect bop for any midnight beach bash and a great addition to every Halloween playlist.

- Sam Goodman, Staff Writer
 

PHOEBE BRIDGERS - “I KNOW THE END”

From her album, Punisher, “I Know The End” by Phoebe Bridgers is the perfect angsty Halloween tune. It will be sure to have your skin crawling by the end! 

- Kelsey Sidman, Staff Writer
 

CRUMB - “GHOSTRIDE”

From the album Jinx, Crumb’s “Ghostride” brings listeners on a spooky journey involving all different sorts of sounds that remind me of a Halloween night!

- Kelsey Sidman, Staff Writer
 

MUSE - “SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE”

Muse brings rock and terror together in their song “Supermassive Black Hole,” which happened to be in the first Twilight movie (which always reminds me of Halloween). The part that scares me the most is the voice that seems to crawl its way through the song to growl the title of the song.

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator
 

PHOEBE BRIDGERS - “HALLOWEEN”

Phoebe Bridgers merges disguises and personas so cleverly in her song “Halloween.” I love the simple, yet eerie nature of the instrumentation; it really pulls you into her story like a ghost story would at a sleepover as a child.

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator
 

TALKING HEADS - “PSYCHO KILLER”

The classic song by the Talking Heads is inspired by the serial killer Norman Bates in the movie Psycho. The new wave-indie song is a perfect addition to any Halloween playlist! 

- Amber Garcia, Staff Writer
 

KIM PETRAS - “TELL ME IT’S A NIGHTMARE”

From the Turn Off the Light, Vol 1 EP, it’s a Halloween-themed mixtape by Kim Petras. The EP is perfect for any Halloween party, and gets you in the Halloween spirit!

- Amber Garcia, Staff Writer
 

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