Scary Songs that Scare Me

Music can evoke a range of emotions. While typically we associate music with happy feelings, some songs make us sad. Music can also be used to get people thinking about social issues.

Certain songs have a jarring, disturbing effect. Either the lyrics, the melody, or both, put us on edge, instilling some level of fear. In this hub I share a few examples of songs that have this effect on me.  

I welcome you to add your favorite scary songs, too.

 

No, don't turn it off! I love music that makes my hair stand on end!!
No, don't turn it off! I love music that makes my hair stand on end!!

Armageddon Meets Global Warming in 1969

"In the Year 2525" is the one-hit product of obscure duo Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list for six weeks, commencing July 12, 1969 and also reached number one in the UK the following month.

I'm not sure which affected me more, the ominous lyrics about the ultimate destruction of man and the earth, or the music that builds and builds with no chorus to break it up.

Here's a brief sample of the lyrics: "In the year 2525, If man is still alive, If woman can survive, They may find..." Worsening predictions follow for years 3535, 4545, etc. to "In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man is gonna be alive. He's taken everything this old Earth can give, and he ain't put back nothing ..."

Jim Morrison sings about "The End"

Jim Morrison wrote "The End" about breaking up with a long time girlfriend. It evolved through months of performances at Los Angeles' Whiskey-a-Go-Go into a nearly 12-minute opus. The band used to perform the song to close their last set. It was first released in January 1967. Gotta wonder if Morrison might somehow of known his own end would be coming only four years later, in 1971...

"The End" was ranked at #328 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004).

They said "Rapper" but I heard "Raper"

When this song came out I was an impressionable (and naïve) young lass. I had no experience with boys yet. I honestly did not know what they meant by "you know what he's after" but it sure put me on my guard!  

From the Jaggerz web site I learned the story behind this 1970 hit.  The band hailed from Beaver Falls, PA. In March of 1970 the band received a gold record for having the number one song in the country. Five years after the band formed, it was hard to escape "The Rapper" with its infectious, perky rhythms and smooth, almost bluesy vocal harmonics. With sales exceeding 5 million copies, "The Rapper" found itself being blasted all over the country.

 

"Eli's Coming" 3 Dog Night

Another song from 1969. In my boy-crazy/boy-terrified little brain I think Eli might have been the Rapper. I couldn't understand all the words, but knew that Eli was someone to run -- not walk away from.

Selected lyrics:

Walk but you'll never get away No, you'll never get away from the burnin' a-heartache I walked to Apollo by the bay Everywhere I go though, Eli's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Eli's a-comin' (she walked but she never got away) Eli's a-comin' and he's comin' to git ya (she walked but... she walked but...) Get down on your knees (she walked but she never got away)  

Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath

When I got turned onto this song and album in the mid '70s I knew nothing about Ozzy's on-stage antics involving live bats. I didn't even know there was an Ozzy Osbourne. I randomly picked this album off the shelf in radio station WZLY. Alone in the studio, I freaked myself out so thoroughly I just had to play Black Sabbath every week on my show!

Inside the creepy album jacket is the even creepier song Black Sabbath. Here are the lyrics:

What is this that stands before me? Figure in black which points at me Turn around quick, and start to run Find out I'm the chosen one - Oh no! Big black shape with eyes of fire Telling people their desire Satan's sitting there, he's smiling Watch those flames get higher and higher Oh no, no, please God help me!

Child cries out for his mother Mother's screaming in the fire Satan points at me again Opens the door to push me in Oh No! This is the end my friend Satan's coming 'round the bend people running 'cause they're scared You people better go and beware! No! No! Please! No!

Sounds from Silence of the Lambs

Goodbye Horses" is a song written and performed by William Garvey and sung by Q Lazzarus in 1988. We all know it as the "Buffalo Bill dancing in drag" song from "Silence of the Lambs."

I had never heard of this song and had to look up its name. Apparently it is also on the soundtrack to "Married to the Mob."

The song sounds harmless enough out of context, but man oh man! When you hear it playing in the background as Jamie Gumm applies make-up and dances in front of a video camera it takes on a most sinister tone.

I must admit I have never felt quite the same about "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers after this movie, either. I refuse to sing it alone in my car...

More by this Author

  • Songs About Triumph Over Cancer
    27

    A compilation of uplifting, encouraging songs put together in tribute to a friend battling breast cancer. These songs -- lots of funk and groove from the '70s can't help but make you get up and dance. If you or someone...

  • Songs About Love and Loss
    38

    Love stinks, love hurts, love makes you cry. Sometimes when your heart is broken you need a song that lets you feel the pain. Patsy Cline, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Eric Clapton with Tracy Chapman,Righteous Brothers,...

  • How does an alcoholic ruin your life?
    134

    Alcoholism is a disease and the alcoholic's actions make no sense. The people around the alcholic become sick also as codependents.This hub helps anyone living with or loving an actively drinking alcoholic or using...


Comments 50 comments

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hope you enjoy my song selections. I am going to bed so will not be available for hubjacking tonight. Have fun, friends!


buddygallagher profile image

buddygallagher 7 years ago from manila, philippines

i agree with your list especially the doors' the end. even his voice is scare there. great hub MM


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hi MM! You have some great--and scary--songs here. You list the lyrics in Eli's Comin: " I walked to Apollo by the bay.." I never knew what they were saying, so I always sang, "I walk just about a mile a day." Funny what our brains will fill in the blanks with.

Fun hub!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

One my friend is singer, she has perfect voice. In the period while she was singing the blues, in her privete life she was extremely unhappy: she passed through the many sad experiences after singing about them. Music affects our life much more then we are aware.

Great Hub, MM. Thumbs up.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Every Breath You Take by the Police and The More You Ignore Me the Closer I get by Morrissey scare me. or it's just my paranoia! :D


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

Black Sabbath and Ozzy always scared me as a kid. My step-dad had a heavy metal band when I was a kid, and they played a lot of that sort of thing. The Eddie character from Iron Maiden always scared the crap out of me, along with the song, "Run to the Hills". Not really sure why the song scared me...just gave me the creeps.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I agree with Chris - Every Breath You Take is the ultimate stalker-song!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

thanks LondonGirl - now at least I know i'm not that paranoid! LOL and there's another song that just crossed my mind - Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell. :D


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I was a fan of Three Dog Night as a pre-teen and "Eli's Coming" was one of my faves - the vocal intro, I think.

The only song that ever truly scared me was, "They're Coming to Take Me Away. Ha Ha." I was pretty young and it very effectively creeped me out. Here's the vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXZMZ-XvvzI


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

MM

I hope you are aware that you reached a perfect HubScore! It's at 100 as I was typing this! Should I start a thread in the forum for you to celebrate this...? :D


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, Cris! Fame is fleeting, I'm afraid. By the time I logged on (3 hours after you left your message) I'm down to 97. But I notice you have 5 more fans than me and 5 more hubs than me (not that either of us is counting, mind you). Seriously, I appreciate you keeping an eye out. We hub-buddies got each other's backs. Isn't that right, Golden Toad:-)???


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I Should have taken a shot of that Hubscore! Darn!

LOL i don't do math either so there!

toady's in a happier place - who wouldn't if purged of all your lying ways! :D


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well drat. Now I'm down to 96 and I haven't even done anything except add another video capsule to my hub above! I do not understand how these Hub Scores work.

Saw that our little prevaricator has published another hub today. I will have to go check that out. I wonder if it is an apology to all the since people who genuinely thought they were talking him down from the ledge last night. Something told me... I've got A LOT of experience with lies and the lying liars who tell them:-)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

    Anything by the so called boy bands or Britney Spears scares me because I am scared that people would even listen to It ! And the dance routines are so lame !And also I have to Include HOW SOON IS NOW ! By one of my favorite bands The Smiths !And BLACK HOLE SUN by another great band Soundgarden .The video Is really strange !


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Haha! I think everyone knew what was up, eovery played it beautiful too, what's the name of your kids? that was great!

Mightymom, if somehow I can rig that score back up to a hundred, I would.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Tony, I hear ya. How about this blast from the past? Worst song EVER! Why did it even get any radio play?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJo2c0GjZv0

The Smiths were scary. Period. Morrissey -- I think he is a vampire. I love that Soundgarden song, tho. I don't find it scary.

Godsmack's Voodoo is pretty scary, too. I hadn't seen the video until I went to include it here. I haven't shot heroin, but that's what I always assume they're talking about when they say, "I'm not the one who's so far away when I feel the snake bite enter my veins, never did I wanna be here again and I don't remember why I came..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vp3Sa7Fc2w


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Nice Inserts there Mighty Mom ! I remember that Minnie Ripperton song very well ! As long as we are throwing some worst songs out there I would like to submit LIVING LA VIDA LOCA that one will make you grind your teeth from the annoyance !


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Tony, you weren't saying you hated that song at the strip club.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

By the way MM, somebody emailed me that my medal for "views" was "awarded" this morning. Of course I didn't see it. Had to backpedal the milestones to see for myself! :D


MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

There was this one song I heard by some unknown independent band called 'watching melissa'. It freaked me out because it was about a guy who stalked a girl named melissa.

My ex used to play me the song, lol... crazy shit about watching me in bushes outside my house and stuff. lol. That one song always creeped me.


DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 7 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

The lamest attempt at scary in my book was "Crazy in the Night (Barking at Airplanes" by Kim Carnes. It is so lame that it is scary.

The lamest stalker song of all-time is "Obscene Phone Caller" by Rockwell.

Great songs for Halloween:

I Put a Spell on You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Thriller - Michael Jackson

One Way or Another - Blondie

Creep - Radiohead

Monster Mash & The Purple People Eater are NOT scary but are classics.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Cris -- I denied your comment so that little stat will be just between us. Woo hoo for you!

DJFunk -- Hey, good to see you! I thought you left HP for good. Glad to see you. I love your song ideas. Will have to keep them handy for October:-). BTW, I adore the song "Creep" by Radiohead. It is definitely sick, but beautiful, too.

Here's something scary. I cannot turn off Black Sabbath! It will simply NOT turn off! Oh God no! Oh no! Oh nooooooo.... Help me someone! I don't want to spend my morning with Ozzy!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

MM

Yeah i know thanks! :D


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

I love Godsmacks Voodoo for some reason or other but when I was a young Mom what really worried me was the Beasty Boys stuff...I was so wooried my kids would get into that kind of crap music... but the weird thing is that listening to them now their music (if you want to call it that) is really mild compared to some of the garbage being listened to now.

In the year 2525 is still one of my favorites... that song was big when we immigrated to Canada in '69. I had the record playing day in and day out.

Nice hub MightyMom, greetings Zsuzsy


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Great hub, Mighty Mom! My scariest song is also from Silence of the Lambs: "American Girl", which the girl was singing along to in the car right in the beginning. The movie was the first place I ever heard the song, and all it means to me is "SOMETHING BAD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO YOU! RUN!!!!!" :P


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I never thought of these songs as scarey, but you're right, MM! Like Zsuzsy, In The Year 2525 has a favourable nostalgic feeling to it, I like it a lot.

Now, the song that I find scarey is 'Lovin' You' that you linked to. I absolutely hate that song. It sort of scrapes across my eardrums painfully.

Seriously, I notice an absence of Marilyn Manson songs. Here's a couple for your scarey amusement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdf1Q5__uvg&fea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEYY-Wl_VMk&fea...

Monster Mash and Purple People Eater may not make the list, but I love those songs from my childhood.

Great hub, MM! Oh, did you know that your Doors vid is not working?


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

Cool hub! I got one..."Steven" by Alice Cooper. Cool song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUFNYMaI_tM


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hey all, thanks for the additions. I totally forgot about Marilyn Manson. While I love Sweet Dreams Are Made of This when sung by Annie Lennox, old Marilyn makes it sound ominous as hell.

Alice Cooper -- good one, Imadork! I don't think I've ever heard that particular AC song. And know what? I don't think I was missing much:-).

Keep the additions and comments coming!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

MM This is strange, different connotations evoked by music. For me the scary did not play a role. It was more a call back the past and I felt that "one night in Bangkok" kind a belonged there. I enjoyed the hub and the vids.Great work.


Reynolds_Writing profile image

Reynolds_Writing 7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

First.. Great monkey picture for your Hub. That drew me in! I am totally with you on the Silence of the Lambs tune. And, one song that always evokes emotion from me is Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen. Something about the whole build up.. and knowing how it ties to the movie.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Sixty! Great to see you. One Night in Bangkog is pretty evocative, I agree.

ReynoldsWriting -- Yes, that is my newest glam photo (I'm trying to outdo Gwendymom, LOL). Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen. Haunting. It's impossible to listen to without thinking of the movie. Tom Hanks did an amazing job in that role. Heartbreaking. And yes, scary to think of how that law firm treated him. So there are all kinds of scary!


Adam B 7 years ago

I love the songs Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. One night I convinced my band to play it while I wore a black hooded robe and had only one spot light on the stage and...well we played it perfectly but the song went over like a lead balloon.

Turns out it's not so much a fan favotite.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

AdamB -- Great story! Not knowing what kind of music your band plays (assume it's classic rock per your top faves list hub) I am a bit surprised the crowd didn't love your rendition of Black Sabbath. I think it's scary as hell. Maybe if you do it again you should do it a) on Halloween and/or b) wearing a "Scream" mask in addition to the robe!


phillips butts 6 years ago

boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello Phillips Butts. I don't know who you are so it's hard to put your comment in context. Are you saying that every one of the songs on my list is bad?

Or are you saying that my list excites you?

Either way, I appreciate your taking the time to come by and post. Happy hubbing!!! MM


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 5 years ago from California

My favorite on this list is "The End," which certainly had its scary moments, and its inclusion in the soundtrack for "Apocalypse Now" was a masterstroke.

Incidentally, congratulations on being interviewed by HP. You certainly deserve it. Your ratio of followers to hubs is about 15 to 1, the highest I've seen. Later!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Kosmo.Yes, that is one freaky song. Jim Morrison was a genius -- a too bright star who could not help but flame out too soon.

Thanks for the interview comment. Had not noticed that ratio. Must be my forum posts that are attracting followers. But it's also a good nudge to get off my duff an hub, hub, hub!

Happy holidays to you. Thanks again. MM


DannyBoyO))) 5 years ago

Side 2 of 'Tubular Bells' gave me the creeps as a kid


LewSethics profile image

LewSethics 4 years ago

"Ceremony' by Spooky Tooth, an album that came out about 1971 or so. If you're not familiar with it it is a really creepy sounding Christian album, probably the first rock all christian album. Spooky Tooth was famous for songs like 'Stone Cold Fever' and 'I Don't Need No Doctor', and my favorite, also kind of eerie, is their hit 'Strange Days', a hippie culture tune if there ever was one.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Any band experimenting with Christian rock in 1971 is bound to give a chill. I couldn't find Ceremony itself but did have a lovely walk down memory lane, as Spooky Tooth search also brought up some other classics (Humble Pie, Gary Wright, Jethro Tull, and my hubby chimed in with Edgar Winter). Nice to start the morning with a blast from my lurid past. Thanks!! MM


LewSethics profile image

LewSethics 4 years ago

It seems I have mixed up some Spooky Tooth with some Humble Pie. Gary Wright was with Spooky Tooth, with 'better by you, better than me' being their 'big' hit.

Ceremony was published in 1970, those other songs I mentioned were all Humble Pie.

(And I thought that the knees were the first thing to go).


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Spooky Tooth. Humble Pie. Two bands from the same era with two words to their name.

Gary Wright? You mean he had a life before "Dreamweaver?" and "My Love Is Alive"???

Who knew?

This does bring back memories and perhaps a "name that 70s band" forum thread is in order....

I admire your honesty.

I myself never would have known the difference :-).

My knees have been shot for awhile now... MM


LewSethics profile image

LewSethics 4 years ago

'Wrong Time, Wrong Place' was my favorite Spooky Tooth tune.

Iron Butterfly did a tune called 'The Time of our Lives' which was dismal sounding but very cool.

'Ralph the Rapper'? haha, those were the good old days when 'rapping' meant talking to your friends, and some people even called each other 'rappies', haha.

But 'Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath was absolutely groundbreaking stuff. One of my favorite albums of all time (I actually know all the words to the whole album, fercryinoutloud), but the bat thing was oversold. Ozzie thought someone threw a plastic bat on stage so he took a bite out of it before he realized it was real. Ugh! But you gotta hand it to him, he continued the show (all those drugs probably helped).

The Doors actually sounded pretty good in spite of the fact that they were a teeny bopper band, and 'The End' is one of their best efforts, in spite of Jim Morrison showboating his way to the 'Other Side". Somehow over the years Morrison became a music icon, but most people considered him an asshole before he entered Rock Heaven, or wherever he went after he overdosed on himself.

Sorry I'm babbling. I couldn't sleep (its 4 am) so I made a pot of coffee and turned the computer on.

I'll go haunt something else now.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hey my new music-loving-from-the-same-era friend with the way cool hubber name!

I'm honored to be "haunted" by you. Very fitting, given the subject of this hub. Wish I'd known you were up as I was also up at 4am. Didn't think to make coffee but did fall asleep with my laptop burning my thighs:-).

This is all really good stuff. I think YOU should write a hub about 60s/70s bands.

I was very affected by the movie "The Doors." Val Kilmer did a stellar channeling of JM. I see Jim as a classic alcoholic poet. Luckily I was too young to understand the sexual connotation of his antics. Naughty, crazy boy!

Black Sabbath. That album cover has burned a hole in my brain. It is sooo scary. For me, a big part of its impact is the context of my introduction to the album. I associate it with the WZLY (college) radio studio. Night. Alone. Me and the witch. Spooky beyond belief.

Didn't know that bit of bat trivia about Ozzy. I imagine the drugs helped a lot:-).

MM


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

That song that goes "Arms that can barely lift a spoon, everyone's gone to the moon". Yikes what a prediction of doom. But really catchy. I loved this hub and remember most of the songs from high school. Ewww. Old.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello PegCole17.Thanks for the addition. At first I thought you were talking about Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" but then I found the song you are referring too. Yikes. That's a real downer, for sure. I think I prefer Nina Simone's "A Little Sugar In My Bowl" -- she's got a haunting voice, for sure.

Thanks again. MM

Nina Simone Everyone's Gone To The Moon Lyrics

Everyone's gone to the moon

Streets full of people, all alone

Roads full of houses, never home

A church full of singing, out of tune

Everyone's gone to the moon

Eyes full of sorrow, never wet

Hands full of money, all in debt

Sun coming out in the middle of June

Everyone's gone to the moon

You see a long time ago life had begun

Everyone went to the sun

Parks full of motors, painted green

Mouths full of chocolate-covered cream

Arms that can only lift a spoon

You see everyone's gone

Everybody's gone

Everyone's gone to the moon

Everyone's gone to the moon

What will happen now

Everyone's gone to the moon

There's nobody left

Everyone's gone to the moon


megan 4 years ago

I love this post! Last time the movie grease came on i realized that the very first song in the movie by the beegees is kind of a downer & depressing. though the scariest ever(for me) was "hey devil" by tobymac(sure didn't sound christian...) it brought back scary memories of childhood nightmares while i was driving to work! I can totally agree with some of your choices too!


Yvonne 2 years ago

Obeah Woman by Nina Simone! Why?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working