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Ayers Effect: The Songs of Halloween

October 31, 2011

A Column by Kelson Ayers

As we approach my favorite time of year, which is of course, Halloween, we reminisce of the sights and sounds of this hallow night. The feelings you get when you walk around, the golden leaves on the ground, the smell of amber in the wind and on the edge of your frigid nose and the spooky black night beside the full moon. This day is all about costumes, scares, horror films and of course, music. Therefore, I have decided to compose my list of five Halloween songs fit for the spookiest playlist. Let these songs put a chill up the back of your neck as you walk around the streets on this hell night.

5. “Dead Mans Party” — Oingo Boingo

Danny Elfman in 1985 leading a new wave electro rock band? Scary enough as that is, these boys did produce the memorable Dead Mans Party album. The studio effort quickly raised them to the roof of success, but more importantly raised their popularity among the film world, where this song can now be caught in the 1980s classic Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield. This number brings a lightness and swift groove to any Zombie’s step, making it one for the party. After all is said and done, it will be a dead man’s party and who could ask for more?

Rob Zombie is contributing to our Halloween lists both musically and visually, for his frightening visual work in movies such as "Halloween" and "The Devil's Rejects."

4. “I Put a Spell On You” — Creedence Clearwater Revival

This 1973 classic has been a Halloween classic for years. What’s more creepy than middle-aged men putting a spell on an innocent beauty? It’s a creepy ambiance of swaying in its dark, yet sarcastic tone. This song has been covered more then any of the others, leaving you to pick freely your favorite, although I must stick to the original. Some might recognize it thanks to Disney’s scarriest witch Bette Middler, when she covers it in the film Hocus Pocus. Something about creepy old women singing this is very off-putting. Either way it’s fun to pretend we are in a spell of dark romance from our significant other right?

3. “Dont Fear the Reaper” — Blue Oyster Cult

This 1976 hit will not only leaving you wanting more cowbell, but also visions of a grim tale. While not a song directly related to Halloween, it’s subject matter of suicide and violence impacted the music world upon the time of its release. A glance at the lyrics, “Dont fear the reaper/it’s okay/come with him to your death/everyone is doing it”  Yeah….a little scary. Thanks to rock and roll director Rob Zombie, this song has been revitalized in Halloween culture after its appearance in Zombie’s  2009 Halloween remake. Makes you want to stay away from the grave yards this weekend, although I say you put this one on walking down the dark road soon for a good scare.

2. “Dragula” — Rob Zombie

Speaking of Rob Zombie…Digging way back to his awesome 1999 hit “Dragula.” One of Zombie’s more secular hits, this man makes it clear from the beginning that he is a demon hunter and he does not fuck around. Zombie is of course known for his grotesque appearence and dark horror rock. Say what you want about the man, but he is one scary dude who knows horror. It will leave you in a dimmed dose of adrenaline and make no mistake…. that is what Zombie has planned for you. He wants your monster to come out and play with him. Take a chance, put this one on and embrace your inner dead.

1. “Thriller” — Michael Jackson

Well of course I had to make this number one…I mean nothing says Halloween more these days then the sensation of dancing zombies. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is not only the best selling album of all-time, but also the main reason we are reminded that it’s about having fun during this hallow night. Forget you are a human for one second and embrace this holiday. Put your ego aside, dress up and grab a beer and dance the night away. Putting Thriller at the top well because… it’s the best for this time of year and will be the perfect ending to a thrilling playlist.

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