Better Off Dread: 5 Great Spine-Chilling Songs For Halloween

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I dunno if you’re like me, but when it comes to chills and thrills, I’m old school. I can’t really stand the modern “torture porn” brand of horror. Gratuitous gore although shocking, is not particularly scary, it’s just kind of gross, and ultimately laughable.

Sure, there’s a lot to be said for the immediate shock of something brutal and nasty, but it doesn’t make a lasting impression like the first time you watch Nosferatu emerge from the darkness or the first time you hear the synthesized strains of Berlioz as the Torrance’s are driving up to the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.

Those moments don’t shock as much as create a profound and inexplicable sense of unease, a feeling that something has gone, is going, and will continue to go wrong. That feeling of dread is the stuff of true horror.

Dread is the reason we unreasonably leave lights on in new spaces, and why even though we know no one will ever come into our hotel shower and stab us to death, we have this irrational fear of it happening.

Around Halloween people tend to pull out the typical Halloween mixtapes with all the screams and howls and Thriller. And although it’s all well and good to Monster Mash and listen to the same heavy Alice Cooper/Black Sabbath/Marilyn Manson jams…I just wanna share a handful of tracks that have gotten under my skin and still shake me up a little every time. Good thing too is these spine-chilling, dread-inducing jams work their disconcerting effect year round, but now’s a good a time as any to let’em in.

Although I have distinct feelings about each of these, and as tracks they have intriguing back-stories…better to just let them…do what they do. Happy Halloween.

1. Throbbing Gristle: Hamburger Lady

2. The Walker Brothers: The Electrician

3.  Suicide: Mr. Ray

4. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Greyhound Pt. II (feat. Killah Priest)

5. Top Drawer: Song of a Sinner

If you have any dreadful favorites…treat us to ’em…