No Halloween party is complete without a spine-tingling soundtrack to set the mood for terror. However, you can quickly turn your delightfully creepy soiree into an actual nightmare if you stick with mundane tunes like Monster Mash or Time Warp (sorry Rocky Horror fans). Before you ask, yes Thriller must be played at least once – there’s always one guy at every Halloween party that’s been looking forward to showcasing his meticulously choreographed dance moves all year – but why not fill the rest of your playlist with something different? Your guests will appreciate the effort, and might overlook the fact that you’re using the exact same decorations you put up last year. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.
Red Right Hand (1994)
Album: Let Love In.
Hailing from the land down under, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds know a thing or two about terror. Seriously, have you seen the size of the spiders in Australia? If you go to rent Arachnophobia in that country, you’ll find it in the Children’s Entertainment Section. Nick Cave’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful and the rest of the band follows suit nicely, perhaps never more so than in this particular song.
Album: Hellbilly Deluxe
Nothing will get the blood flowing (hopefully figuratively speaking) like a Rob Zombie song at your Halloween party. The name of the song comes from Grandpa Munster’s drag car, and it’s by far one of Zombie’s most terrifying and crowd-pleasing hits.
All of Tool’s songs have a certain sinister quality that makes them stick with you long after listening. In this case, the video for Sober might actually be creepier than the song. If you can manage it, hook up a projector to your computer and play the videos for these songs along with the music. It’s a little more work (and possibly money) on your part, but it’ll take your party into levels of epicness your guests will never forget.
The Ballad of Buckethead (1999)
Album: Monsters and Robots
With vocals by Less Claypool (Primus), The Ballad of Buckethead tells the origin story of the fictional character Buckethead – real name Brian Patrick Carroll. If you haven’t heard of Buckethead, I highly suggest you check him out. Pageantry aside, he’s one of the greatest guitarists of all time. I was lucky enough to catch one of his shows in Pittsburgh, and it was beyond awesome. Not only can the man shred on the guitar, he can a wield nun-chucks with deadly grace, and at one point he just started throwing action figures into the crowd. It was one of the strangest, and coolest, nights of my life.
Come to Daddy (1997)
Album: Come to Daddy
Aphex Twins is actually just one person, Richard D. James, and he puts the creep in creepy. Actually, that’s not a nice thing to say. I’m sure he’s a very nice person, but everything about this song, from the lyrics, to the music, and even the cover art for the album, is just horrifying.
Sweet Dreams (1995)
Album: Smells Like Children
Marilyn Manson released this cover of a Eurythmic song in ’95. The original was creepy enough, and with Manson’s signature touch this song is sure to scare the pants off even the most courageous listener. I was just a kid when this song came out, and I still remember how terrifying I found this artist to be. Seriously, the only thing scarier than Marilyn Manson then, is Marilyn Manson now…gross.
No More Tears (1991)
Album: No More Tears
No Halloween soundtrack would be complete without the Prince of Darkness, himself. Ozzy has always been at the forefront of bone chilling music, but this song is definitely one of his creepier contributions. The heavy bass line seems to shake your very soul, and Ozzy’s almost ethereal vocals will take you to levels of terror you didn’t know existed.
Album: Middle of Nowhere
Nothing, and I mean nothing will send your guests running for the door faster than these three children of the corn. Play it at the end of the night when you want everyone to clear out, or lock the door and really give your guests a fright.