When you say the term “scary songs” to people, it sometimes conjures an inaccurate representation. Songs like The Monster Mash or Thriller, which are based on supernatural ideas but are not in the least bit scary to listen to. When I say scary songs, I mean songs that genuinely unsettle you when you hear them, whether it is the odd melodies or lyrics that speak of atrocious and dark acts, there are plenty of songs out there that are scary, but most people wouldn’t make the association. It is with that very thought in mind that I decided to assemble this list of 8 songs that are genuinely unsettling for one reason or another, just in time for Halloween.
Listen at your own caution. Most of these songs don’t play around.
1) No One Believes Me by Kid Cudi
A song that was featured on the Fright Night remake soundtrack, No One Believes Me focuses on the story of a man wandering a place where he knows something is off, there is evil in the air, yet anyone he tells just scoffs at him.
What makes the song work outside of the crunchy guitar and thick drum beat is the fact that the song slowly builds and builds, starting out sort of mellow and building into a far more ominous beast by the end.
Extra points for the amazing video seen above that accompanies the track.
2) Monster by Kanye West, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj
“B*tch I’m a monster, no good blood sucker, fat muthaf*cker now see who’s in trouble, as you run through my jungle all you hear is rumbles, Kanye West samples, here’s one for example.”
From Rick Ross’ HARD opening verse to Nicki Minaj spitting her best verse of all time, Monster is a beast of a song that kicks down your door and let’s you know it’s taking up residence with you, whether you like it or not.
Plus, not to repeat myself, but that music video takes it to new heights of terror with its disturbing and striking imagery.
3) Halloween Theme by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
So on Friday the 13th of this year Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails and MANY great soundtracks) and his genius musical partner Atticus Ross (who scores The Walking Dead show) put out a sick remake of John Carpenter’s theme from the Halloween movie.
What was once a very sparse song with limited piano and ambient background noise becomes something much larger and more creepy when these two get their hands on it.
And the crunchy sound they got on the synth for this track is just perfect. Makes you feel like you need to look over your shoulder while listening.
4) Kim/3 a.m. by Eminem
This one was tough because Mr. Marshall Mathers has recorded some creepy and disturbing songs since his very first album. For me, it was a toss up between Kim and 3 a.m.
Kim, as most of you know, is a song that is a fictional telling of the story of him killing his wife’s new man, his wife’s man’s kid, and then his former wife by slashing her throat. It is no holds barred, and by the end, you feel kind of exhausted and sick.
3 a.m. on the other hand is more like what you would expect to hear playing in the headphones of the man who commits the act in the Kim song. 3 a.m. focuses on being awake and insane and feeling the creeping terror of your own uncertain mind taking over.
Both creepy as hell for different reasons, which is why this entry is a tie.
5) Miste by The Haxan Cloak
It is very hard to explain this song using words, as the tones and noises in the song evoke something primal in the listener. The song feels like psychosis crawling in from the walls and surrounding you like spilled black ink.
No lyrics, Miste is an instrumental that plays like a trip to Hell and back, there is just something overtly eerie about the whole thing.
Doesn’t hurt that the name of the artist sounds like some cursed item from a horror movie, either.
6) I Never Knew You by Cage
Honestly, anything by Cage could have made the list (seriously), but this song in particular tells a downright bone chilling take of a stalker who takes his long-distance adoration a bit too close and ends up breaking into the house of the woman he is stalking and assaulting and killing her because she fights back.
The song itself is as heavy as a blow to the stomach, and the slow-twisted-piano melody that accompanies the song truly makes it sound like something out of a horror movie.
In Cage’s own words, horror movies for the blind. Speaking of which, it doesn’t get much more horrifying than….
7) Dance With the Devil by Immortal Technique
Oh man, this one's a doozy so you may want to grab a quick drink before diving in.
Dance with the Devil plays off the old urban legend of the gang that initiates people by making them sexually assault strangers to prove their worth. The new kid in the gang who is desperate to prove himself has his turn and they snatch up a girl off the streets late one night, wrap a t-shirt over her face, and they go to town on her in the worst ways possible. I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you the reveal so stop reading now it you don’t want this horrific song spoiled for you.
The shirt slips off the victim’s face after he assaulted her and right before he is about to blow her head off and it’s his own Mother.
Please excuse me while I go throw up and cry forever. That is AS dark as songwriting gets, for real.
One more, though, just to wash the bad taste leftover from the last song out of your mouth.
8) If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray
Well-known for being the opening theme to the show Vikings, If I Had a Heart MIGHT just be the most ominous and haunting song ever made. The song sounds like it is being played as you are being ferried to Hell.
The three note structure of the song is deceptively simple, but the looming ferocity of those three notes let you know, this is the musical equivalent of walking down a dark alley in the middle of the night, praying no one is waiting in the shadows.
And as you can see above, much like a lot of the tracks on this list, the music video only makes the song that much creepier.
Dead bodies and kids. Eh, not the most comforting match, but a decent note to end the list on.
So what scary songs did we miss? Take to the comments and let us know, maybe we will write a follow-up with your suggestions!