Top 5 Creepy and Haunting Songs
I’m a huge fan of the “best of” shows they have on cable television from time to time. Whether it’s a top 100 list of 80s tunes, the best rock songs, or America’s favorite movies, seeing how your favorites stack up is always a good time. Sometimes the music or films that you like the most do not rate as high as you think they should and then the debt begins. What does this have to do with haunting and creepy songs, you ask?
Not too long ago, I dusted off my collection of Pink Floyd CDs (I listen mainly to MP3s now) and listened to them all. While I was listening, I started looking about those “Best of” shows and realized that I’ve never seen one about weird songs. I’m sure there are lists out there, but I’ve never really seen them. I figured that this would be a great opportunity to start my own list, blog about it, and allow readers to offer input and add songs to that list.
What constituents a haunting and creepy song anyway? I believe the most important feature would be the song’s ability to stay with you after you listened to it. A really good, weird song should be able to draw the listener into playing it over and over again, like being in a trance. To have that trait, the song must at least have some strange lyrics, a lot of sharp / flat notes in the instrumentals, or some weird sound effects. Here are five songs that I believe have the right ingredients to be considered haunting and creepy.
- Sparks, “Moon Over Kentucky” – I was reintroduced to the band Sparks not too long ago while watching the movie “Rollercoaster.” I remembered how much I liked their music, especially a song called “Moon Over Kentucky.” The howling / yodeling and sinister sounding instrumentals are enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. The organ towards the end of the song is also a nice touch. YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msZU_3FA9Ho
- Pink Floyd, “What Do You Want From Me” – All Pink Floyd songs are pretty strange, but this one stands out because of the guitar play of David Gilmour. This, along with the desperate sense of longing and temptation gives this song an eerie flavor. The lyrics and music that lead up to the final chorus line are hypnotic to say the least. YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmeKSU6JMHQ
- Classics IV, “Spooky” – This song is a 60’s classic that almost everyone has heard before. Most people could not tell you who sings it, but they do know the familiar guitar riff that is often associated with Halloween and haunted houses. “Spooky” has a somber tone and the subject is a strange and devious woman. You do not get any creepier than that. YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAP84Zc_CYU
- Billy Idol, “Eyes Without a Face” – Les Yeux Sans Visage is this tune’s haunting chorus and the name of the 1959 horror film that this song is loosely based upon. The movie is about a plastic surgeon whose daughter’s face is seriously disfigured in a near fatal accident. This theme ties in with the song in that they are both about a lost love and disdain for a failure and callus society. The subject matter alone is enough to make this song creepy but it’s even more so when you add a lot of high to low notes and a rebellious rap-style interlude. YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OFpfTd0EIs
- System of a Down, “Aerials” – Much like Pink Floyd, most System of a Down songs are bizarre. System has a sound that is unlike any other band I’ve ever heard. Whenever I hear Serj Tankian sing, I think of the apocalypse. “Aerials” is the triple threat of creepy songs because it has strange lyrics, an eerie tone, and an extremely weird video. It even has a hidden whisper toward the end of the song. YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-iepu3EtyE
These are only a few of the tunes that, in my opinion, belong on a haunting and creepy song list. Having a debate about what makes a song weird and which ones belong on a favorites list can be a fun experience.