Scary music. Can you imagine a horror movie or Halloween party without it? It’s essential, right? Let’s talk scary music, but let’s NOT talk about film scores, or “Monster Mash”, or anything by Alice Cooper or Jessica Simpson. Let’s instead talk about music that gives you the creeps or downright freaks you out, and any genre is game (though, really, Norwegian black metal is just too obvious).
I am not a fan of being scared, I have to admit. I gave up horror movies and horror novels years ago. (What I see, I can’t unsee. What I read, I can’t forget. That’s a problem for an insomniac.) However, music doesn’t affect me in the same way. I can get the heebie-jeebies and feel uncomfortable and creeped out while listening to a song or a score, but rarely do I wake up in the middle of the night with “Tubular Bells” running in a loop in my head. (If I just jinxed myself, you WILL hear about it.)
So, here’s my list of Songs that Creep Me the Hell Out:
1. “Tubular Bells” – Mike Oldfield: If any song is any more entwined with the film it was featured in, I don’t know what it is. This song = Linda Blair’s rotating head. Period.
2. “The End” – The Doors: I love The Doors and ol’ Jimmy boy, but this is a heavy, death-y song. Jim might have had issues. Just a gues.
3. “Down By the Water” – PJ Harvey: She’s brilliant. BRILLIANT. And here? She’s spooky, man. This song is – to me, anyway – clearly about a crazy mother who drowns her daughter. Eek. Eek. Eek.
4. “Stinkfist” – Tool: Had I not simultaneously heard this song AND seen the video, perhaps I wouldn’t feel freaky about it, but alas, that’s not how it happened, so it’s on the list. For good.
5. “Polly” – Amanda Palmer: I just discovered this song – a cover of Nirvana’s “Polly” – and it’s ghoulish and creepy, and I love it. I might even like it better than the original. (Forgive me, Kurt.)
I toodled around the Interwebs, and here is a list compiled from several sources, all songs I’m not familiar with, but all considered scary/creepy/freaky. I’ll pop a couple of these on the buffet today for us all to enjoy (or avoid forever after):
1. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” – Sufjan Stevens: Based on the title, I’ll give this one a “No duh”.
2. “When This is Over” – Hayden: A song about the sweet little boys who were drowned by their evil mother, Susan Smith. Sung from son Michael Smith’s POV. Not sure if I’m ready to hear this one.
3. “D.O.A.” – Bloodrock: Car crash, bloody limbs, death. It’s on everyone’s list. Why don’t I know this horrific classic?
4. “Black Eyed Dog” – Nick Drake: I know Drake, but not this song. I’ve read it described as something like “Oh, hey – death is at the door for you”. Great. Probably not ready for this one either.
5. “Gallows” – Cocorosie: A band named Cocorosie (Coco! Rosie!) should be singing songs about pina coladas, and festivals, and drinking too much rum, and partying in South Beach, but they’re not. Apparently, they’re singing about hanging someone.
So, Easy Company, help me out. After whipping this up, I realize that I don’t know THAT many scary tunes. Have I not heard many? Have I blocked them out? Does it take too much to musically creep me out? What makes your list of scariest/creepiest/most ghoulish songs?
My thoughts about Halloween usually aren’t very deep. (Candy. Candy. Candy.) I’m not someone who puts any stock in the idea that malevolent spirits spontaneously (and totally without your permission) invade your body if you dress up as a frightening critter, or watch a scary movie, or use a Ouija board, or anything else that gets some people all worked up about accidentally doing Satan’s bidding. Frankly, I think we manage to screw things up just fine on our own without outside assistance. In a nutshell? I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
So, that got me thinking: what am I really afraid of? What makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end? What sends that icy trickle of sweat down the middle of my back? What punts me right into panic attack territory?
Here’s my list of Things I Sincerely Am Afraid Of (Even If They’re Stupid):
1. Flying: Terrified. I do it anyway because I can’t drive to Playa del Carmen (something I consider even more terrifying than flying – no Mexican drug lord is gonna put MY head on a stake, dammit), but it mentally wrecks me. Consuming large quantities of alcohol before I board helps a little, but I can’t drink TOO much, because then I’d have to pee several times during the flight, and if the plane goes down, I do not want to be trapped alone in the bathroom. (See? I’ve really thought this out.) My husband doubts my physical strength until I once again crush his hand into pea gravel upon every take-off and landing.
2. Flying cockroaches: The big ones. You know the kind I’m talking about. They’re the size of jalapenos, and I would rip off my own head if one landed in my hair.
3. Dentists: No, I didn’t see “Marathon Man” one too many times. I was the subject of a lot of dental and orthodontic work as a kid, including facial reconstructive surgery, and I don’t care if I never see the inside of a dental office ever again. Unfortunately, I was forced to see one last year because of a small infection in my gum, and even before I walked into the torture chamber, er, I mean dental office, I felt weak, sweaty, and incapable of appropriate verbal communication (whimpering is untranslatable, as it turns out). I won’t ignore an emergency, but my teeth currently are white, shiny, cavity-free (they checked me out when they addressed the gum issue – I withheld my desire to throw myself out of the chair) and generally in excellent health, so unless I begin to look like Austin Powers, I’m steering clear.
4. Powerful ocean waves: I grew up on the Gulf Coast, spent many a summer body surfing and boogie-boarding in the Galveston waves, and then I tried to body surf a wave in Tulum, Mexico. It didn’t go well. My husband still laughs about it. I’m sure that I still have grains of sand imbedded in my face.
5. Fire: I don’t run screaming from gas stoves, campfires, or Bic lighters, so don’t get me wrong. I mean BIG fires. I saw 2 houses burn during my stint in Denton, and those images are still with me. Watching and hearing about the wildfires in Texas this summer made my skin crawl. Please, oh please, don’t let me die in a fire. (Damn. Did I unplug my flat iron this morning?)
Now it’s your turn. What gives you the shivers? Haunts your dreams? Traps the scream in your throat? We want to hear about your boogeymen! Muahahahahaha!
Here’s the plan: The morning of Thursday, November 3, we’ll post some questions and in comments you guys can lay down your thoughts and we’ll continue to moderate until the conversation wraps. We’ll let you know on Facebook, Twitter and via email when the discussion is ready to roll.
Tip: If you plan to take part in the discussion, please COMMENT ON THIS POST NOW and remember the name and email address you comment with. Once we approve that comment, you’ll be “pre-approved” to comment anytime on Swiss Army Wives. Otherwise, you might be drumming your fingers waiting for your comment to pop up and we don’t want that to happen!
Also, if you haven’t signed up yet, please do so now at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan on attending and haven’t RSVP’d for Laura’s book club shindig, kindly note that October 29th is the deadline.
Oh, y’all. I got a wee tad excited about Halloween this year. Specifically, I got a little fixated on carving a jack-o-lantern, and imagined it would be BIG FUN for our little family. Wherein, I learned momming lessons #127,892, #127, 893, and #127,894 (for those of you scoring at home).
On a beautiful Sunday, we officially make it a family affair and headed to the local pumpkin patch. Side note for the Dallas-area born-and-raised: It’s on the graveyard of the one-and-only Penny Whistle Park. (OMG! I know! Right?) The “welcome” sign is STILL there, I really want it bad. I’m working on it. I digress. As usual.
After careful scrutiny and an in-depth selection process which centered around, “Which one do you like, Andy?” We took our bounty home. At that point, Andy was pretty much underwhelmed and was off to play “lasso!!!!” with a wooden spoon. Matt and I enjoyed ourselves.
Once it was carved and the seeds were roasted. It was both pretty(!) and yummy(!).
Not so fast there, partner.
My good lookin’ husband said the seeds were like “eating raw vegetation” (not the good kind, apparently). And, then, for the love of Pete, we watched the ding-dong jack-o-lantern decompose. Pour one out for our homie, Pumpkin #1. We hardly knew ye.
I’m nothing if not resourceful, right? Time to make lemonade out of lemons, or in this case a (non-organic) pumpkin out of a big-ass jar. Like thus:
It turned out a’ight. Not one of my better jobbies, but when Andy saw it assembled and lit, he yelled “PUNKIN’!!!!” So, mission accomplished. But kind of like when Bush was on that big ship with the banner behind him. Yeah. Like that.
STILL highly motivated and optimistic, I plan on making this for a soirée this weekend. I just hope it doesn’t go the way of Pumpkin #1.
So help me out (for next year), Easy Company. Did I just get a bad gourd or do you have some tricks or treats (groan) for keeping a jack-o-lantern “alive” for more than a day?
Until today, I thought Pablo Cruise was one of the guys in the band. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, KELLY, YOU ENORMOUS EEEE-DEE-UHT! Pablo Cruise is the name of the band, and the band members have very boring names like David and Larry. I’m feeling a little miffed right now.
I cannot NOT sing along, and I cannot NOT writhe my torso back and forth in my chair, and I cannot NOT think about things like our old crappy shag carpeting, avocado green appliances, busily patterned linoleum flooring, and the sofa that was patterned with…well, I think it was a bunch of brown flowers and brown horse-drawn carriages. Oh, and it was velour. Damn cushions would slide right out from under you. Maybe not as bad as this, but really, really close.
We're a little bit country. We're a little bit rock 'n' roll. Swiss Army Wives will tell you where you can go, what you can do with yourself, and how to look good, smell nice, be well-fed, and keep your house clean while doing it. Man up, Nancy.
Nearly twenty years later, two girlfriends from college use their Wonder Twin powers to activate a blog. We're two busy moms (+friends) who blog about life, kids, marriage, family, careers, politics, social issues, music, books, movies, food and drink, entertaining and other domestic travails, and our thoughts on looking and feeling good.