Halloween does not yet suffer from the same musical overload as Christmas. Mercifully we are spared endless repititions of the “Monster Mash” or “Let’s Do The Time Warp Again” as we search in Morrison’s for the perfect pumpkin. However, just in case there is a need for an antidote to Halloween kitsch, I have delved into my record collection to produce a selection of musical pieces that are scary, chilling or eerie enough to provide the soundtrack for an alternative:
Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath: The progenitors of Heavy Metal conjure up a gothic masterpiece redolent of Hammer Horror films, misty graveyards, and things that lurk in the night. “What is this I see before me?….”Oh No! Please God Help Me!”
The Cruel Mother – Greenwood Side, Cindy Mangsen: A chilling tale of betrayal, infanticide, ghosts and damnation.
King Ink – The Birthday Party: Nick Cave conjures up a perfect 5 minutes of paranoia, self hatred and horror. (“What’s in that House? What’s in that room?- aaaagh!”).
Thee Dweller – Psychic TV: Genesis P. Orridge channels his inner werewolf.
Jeannie’s Afraid of the Dark – Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner: But putting a light on top of the grave isn’t much use to poor Jeanie, is it?
Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem: The scariest piece of classical music ever? Verdi sonically describes the last judgement, and summons up the apocalypse in a maelstrom of trumpets, percussion and soaring voices. “Dies Irae! The Day of Wrath! We are all doomed”.