13 Halloween Hair Raisers

13 Halloween Hair Raisers

robert smith
Robert Smith. Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images.

The supernatural and superstitious, magic, spirits, the devil, hell, evil – these are some of rock and roll’s most treasured themes. From wild shock rockers to quiet creepers, rock dives willingly; visually, lyrically and sonically allowing us to whet our appetite for the dark and dangerous, the sombre and the shocking... even if just for a few minutes.

In the spirit of the season, here are 13 Halloween hair-raisers for the spookiest night of the year!

1. Alice Cooper | ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’

Could we really start anywhere else?

Full-time horror enthusiast, Alice Cooper is more or less the Santa Claus of Halloween. Somehow it seems a whole lot scarier having Alice care whether or not you’ve been naughty or nice.

2. Duran Duran | ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ 

There are few things scarier than a hungry wolf, except maybe the sort of Sri Lankan jungle stomach virus Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor landed himself in hospital with after ingesting too much lagoon water shooting this classic clip. 

3. Van Halen | ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ 

Some people think the lyrics of this song are satanic, others believe it’s a metaphor for life on the road, i.e. the words "Runnin' with the devil" are a reference to freedom. Either way, it's a hair-raiser. 

4. Ramones | ‘Pet Sematary’

The spooky theme song from the Stephen King cult classic horror movie of the same name, about a cursed cemetery that reincarnates the dead... but wrong – it's the perfect Halloween party starter!

5. David Bowie | ‘Scares Monsters (and Super Creeps)’

If there was one thing David Bowie loved, it’s a costume party. It’d be wrong not to include this hair-raising pursuit chant that literally sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

6. Talking Heads | ‘Psycho Killer’

Psycho Killer was rumoured to have been written about the serial killer Son of Sam but arrived too early for that to be true. David Byrne’s subject remains a mystery… creepy. 

7. The Cranberries | ‘Zombie’ 

While Zombie is obviously not about reincarnating the dead, it is a hell of an anthem. 

8. Black Sabbath | ‘Children of the Grave’ 

This Master of Reality pounder from another full-time Halloween enthusiast, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath is cut from its own special brand of anthemic horror. 

9. Smashing Pumpkins | ‘Ava Adore’ 

Billy Corgan stalking his way through a mental institution, hemmed by his bandmates looking disoriented and surreal – even for the oft-gloomy Corgan and co., this one is an eerie entry!

10. Joy Division | ‘Dead Souls’ 

Bleakness oozes from the very core of Joy Division's music, so triumphantly melancholic, it's pure romance. 

11. Siouxsie & The Banshees | ‘Spellbound’

It's not a competition, but when it comes to full-time horror enthusiasts, you could say Siouxsie wears it best.

12. The Cure | ‘Lovesong’

Speaking of celebrating every day like it's Halloween, it wouldn't be a spooky list without The Cure. Pretty much every one of their songs belongs on the list but we went with Lovesong because a) every playlist needs one and b) not many come with a creepy as hell music video like this one.

2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | ‘Red Right Hand’ 

No one writes a murder ballad like Nick Cave… and gets away with it so elegantly. To varying degrees, almost all of Nick Cave's catalogue sounds like a dance with the devil, which seems like the perfect place to leave you. Stream below!  

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