Whatever your plans this Halloween, we’ve compiled this list of the all-time spookiest music videos, a list that is sure to get you in the mood this season.
Going trick or treating? Have a scary movie marathon planned? Or maybe you’re like me and are binge-watching ‘Stranger Things 2‘ on Netflix. Whatever your plans this Halloween, we’ve compiled this list of the all-time spookiest music videos, a list that is sure to get you in the mood for the season and may even give you thrills and send chills down your spine.
10. Marilyn Manson “Sweet Dreams”
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” was a song written and performed originally by Eurythmics in early 1983. Then came along Marilyn Manson, and released a cover version of the song as the first single from the 1995 EP, Smells Like Children.
This version became an MTV staple and helped to establish the band in the mainstream with the soundtrack being featured in the films House on Haunted Hill (1999), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), the BBC drama Luther, to name a few. In 2010 the music video was rated the “Scariest music video ever made” by Billboard, beating Michael Jackson’s Thriller for the top spot.
Marilyn Manson sings the songs while dressed in a variety of horrific costumes including wedding dress, all black paint, and a ballerina tutu. Go figure!
9. Fever Ray “If I Had a Heart”
“If I Had a Heart” is featured in the opening credits sequence of the television series Vikings and has also been used in episodes of Breaking Bad, Misfits, Person of Interest and a few more TV series. What makes it so hauntingly special is the song’s dark undertone.
Performed, written and produced by Swedish recording artist Fever Ray, the song takes on a generally unconventional, dark and experimental style with its slow tempo, organ backing, repetitive synth beat and distinct vocals. The video serves as an interpretative film that tries to understand greed, immorality, and lust for power, in its own morbid way. The video, high on theatrics, leaves good room for interpretations of one’s own. Watch it and tell me what conclusion you draw from it?
8. Metallica “Until it Sleeps”
Until It Sleeps, the first music video released by Metallica for their album Load, was significantly different from any of the previous music videos that they had released up until then. And although at that time it caused a lot of backlash and controversy from fans, the video of the song won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 1996, and the song won a 1996 Metal Edge Readers’ Choice Award for Song of the Year.
I find the symbolism in the song and the lyrics quite befitting for Halloween. Taking visual inspiration from the infamous Hieronymus Bosch painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, the video depicts surreal concepts dealing with fall of a human. Do check out the video!
7. Aphex Twin “Come to Daddy”
Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy”, is the only music video in the top 50 of ‘The 100 Greatest Scary Moments’ as voted by Channel 4 viewers in 2003!
Need I say more?
Directed by Chris Cunningham, Come to Daddy is a narrative music video where a television set unleashes hell in a deserted housing block. Distorted faces and bodies aren’t the only things that are scary. The real horror comes in the latter half.
“I will eat your soul”, the lyrics go. And it does.
6. Evanescence “Going Under”
Evanescence is one of my favorite bands. Let me confess, I am biased towards Amy Lee. Have you heard her, she is amazing! Strong and powerful, yet ethereal and soothing, her voice does wonders. But, I am digressing.
The music video features the band performing the song live, while spectators from the audience turn into zombies and water in which lead singer Lee drowns, illustrating the song’s lyrics of sinking.
While it may not be the creepiest videos doing the rounds on Halloween, Evanescence has poured bits of metal and goth into the mix with Amy Lee’s vocals – and once you watch this, you’ll understand why it makes to the list.
5. Skrillex “First of the Year (Equinox)”
This music video by American electronic music producer Skrillex was nominated for Best Short Form Music Video at the 54th Grammy Awards and won the award for Best Visual Effects in a Video at 2012 MTV Video
Music Awards. The video carries a message for child predators and hell! one will never dare to mess with a kid after watching this.
P.S. It also features dolls. Watch it and let me know who is the scariest of them all – the dolls, the girl or the predator?
4. Ray Parker Jr. “Ghostbusters”
Halloween doesn’t always need to be scary. It can be fun and yes, nostalgic. That’s what this ‘80s song brings – nostalgia.
I was watching Stranger Things yesterday and the four friends dress up as Ghostbusters for Halloween and go trick-or-treating. The fun playful tone, originally composed as the theme to the film of the same name (1984), never ever gets dull. Interesting fact – After watching late night TV, Parker inspired by the cheesy commercials that were on during those hours wrote this song as a ‘pseudo-advertising jingle’.
The song was a major hit and went on to get a nomination at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Original Song.
Perfect for Halloween and that much-needed dose of nostalgia!
3. 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill”
Stay out of Room 6277, reads the note at the hotel, where the band “take a little time off, relax, get lost”. But you can’t stay away, can you? At least not, Shannon Leto. On opening the door, what happens and how each band member confronts with a version of themselves, is what the music video is about.
The video is a homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining based on the Stephen King novel. Several scenes are based on the film, such as when Shannon Leto enters Room 6277 and encounters the woman in the bathroom and another when Matt Wachter is served drinks at the bar by a doppelgänger apparition.
I like the way “The Kill” sounds – the vocals, the drums and the music video! It makes creepy, cool!
2. Backstreet Boys, “Everybody”
Growing up in the ‘90s, I was a die-hard fan of the boy band, Backstreet Boys. I know I wasn’t the only one crushing on Nick Carter! Released in 1997, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” was the leading single to the band’s sophomore album Backstreet’s Back. From the monsters to the mini-movie quality to Brian’s Wolfman get-up to the masquerade ball dance sequence, I think the boys did take a lot of inspiration from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
The song definitely has a hook and is perfect for Halloween with the boys dressed up in your favorite spooky character – Howie as Dracula; Kevin as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Brian as the Wolfman; A.J. as The Phantom of the Opera; and Nick as the Mummy.
1. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
This has got to be on the Halloween playlist. Thriller was Michael Jackson’s most successful album – According to RIAA, it is the best-selling studio album in U.S. history with 29 million sold. As a music video, it transformed and inspired many artists to innovate and create a mini-movie in form of a music video. Thriller can be said in the same breath as Halloween – the creepy sound effects, wolf howls, slamming doors, not to mention the featuring of zombies and Vincent Price! It is all the scary you need with the body-grooving beats!
Do yourself a favor, learn the group zombie dance that forms the centerpiece of ‘Thriller’ and that’s all you’ll need to celebrate Halloween.
Spooked yet? Have a hell of a Halloween, you all! I hope these music videos helped set the mood!
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