Halloween Playlist: Predators and Prey Edition

jerryonlyPerhaps I shouldn’t have started this article when alone… in the middle of the night… because this list is all about ways to die, and the people afraid to die! What else says ‘Halloween’ than songs that depict how someone is going to hunt you and kill you?! Better yet, are songs about being scared, and keeping one eye open.


Ah yes, first up we have Gin Wingmore. If you read my last article, I talked about this Aussie rocker with fondness. She has a great sound and a raspy yet somehow soft voice. You’ll be so busy listening to her you won’t mind being her ‘Kill of The Night’.

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So, here’s the part where I put in 3, yes 3, Misfits songs. Here is the other part where I duck and hide because these songs are all ‘new school’ Misfits songs. The Misfits pioneered horror punk and many of their songs are applicable on this list. I chose newer-school stuff because of the cohesion on this list. These songs are catchy, well produced, and simply great to sing along to. I know that’s not how one would describe all Misfits music, but that’s the beauty of personal taste. Released in 1997 ‘Dig Up Her Bones’ features font man Michael Graves. In fact, all three of these songs feature him instead of the infamous initial singer/songwriter Danzig. ‘Scream!’ and ‘Saturday Night’ are both songs from The Misfits 1999 release Famous Monsters. I know Misfits fans will be divided on which Misfits is better, but hell they’re both good for different reasons. One thing is true for all iterations of Misfits – Halloween and Misfits go hand in hand. And, the ‘Scream!’ video was directed by Night Of The Living Dead‘s George A. Romero!

Next, we have a harbinger of horror from head to toe, Rob Zombie. While I’m not sure what slamming into the back of his Dragula actually means, one thing is for sure – if you’re a witch, you should run. What is there to say about Rob Zombie that you don’t know which gives him even more street cred when it comes to being a master of creeping people out? A musician and movie maker, this song definitely makes you feel like someone is comin’ to get you.

Popularized as the theme song for HBO’s dip into the vampire-craze True Blood, this little tune does indeed give me the idea that my time is neigh. I don’t know whether to run, or submit to the sultry and naughty nature of this song.

So, this late 70’s song from the album Talking Heads: 77 is pretty straight-forward in the not at straight-forward way of being creepy. The only part of this song which implies that something is wrong, is the upbeat chorus which tell us, “Psycho Killer / Qu’est-ce que c’est / Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better / Run run run run run run run away”. Since I don’t speak French, my impression is, “oh no!.. what? run? You got it.” It’s kind of cool how (assuming you don’t speak French) this song is disorienting and weird. After comparing various translations of the French in the song, I found the following to be the most commonly accepted:

What I did, that evening

What she said, that evening

Fulfilling my hope

Headlong I go for glory… OK

Which guess what? STILL DOESN’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE which is fantastically creepy. Looking at the lyrics as a whole, I get the impression of someone aware of their own dangerousness could’ve written these. Sometimes, less is more!

From Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds 1992 released Henry’s Dream comes a song with a mixed signal of both love and hate and something sinister mixed inbetween. His girl calls him Jack the Ripper when he comes in for a kiss, but then there’s the verse that talks about a ‘viper hanging in bunches from the roof’ and something about sleeping in a bed full of butcher knives. I love the fact that the metaphor is also creepy when taken literally.

I’m not sure how dancing until your dead is going to do anyone any good, but the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ascertain that if you don’t, they’ll ensure that your head will roll. Sounds like your damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. If I’m going out, I’m going out dancing.

This is the perfect song to bridge the transition from predator to prey. The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory, and the sound of the song is oddly close and familiar in a way that’s hard to explain. What I like about this song, especially in this list, is the Mona Lisa quality of the song – is Jim Morrison trying to say that people are strange to him and he’s feeling wary, or that he is describing himself as the odd and strange one in a tongue-in-cheek way?


With lyrics depicting a decent into madness, our ‘Prey’ list starts off with Black Sabbath keeping us ‘Paranoid’.

One of the best, THE BEST songs which implies real fear, existential fear, fear of the unknown… really you can interpret the song any way you wish. You’ll find this song on their 1992 album Fear of The Dark. I adore Iron Maiden because they have this great way of sounding ‘old’, without sounding like an imitation, and this song is a stellar example of dark imagery without being over stated or kitschy. In other words, this is fantastic song writing.

RIP David Bowie, first and foremost. This song came to be on Bowie’s 1997 release Earthlings, and was then made into this music video featuring Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails also made a remix of this song, which intensified the eeriness that could be perceived from the lyrics “I’m afraid of the world.” While I think the song is more of a commentary society and politics, taking this song at face value lands it on our prey list.

You knew this was coming, right? The quintessential paranoia song. ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ is a Halloween STANDARD at this point. Featuring Michael Jackson’s voice in the chorus (and his brother Jermaine for backup vocals), this song propelled into the top charts in 1984. It is a slice of everything I love about Halloween – it’s campy, it’s creepy, it’s silly, and it definitely crowns our ‘prey’ playlist.

What songs say predator and prey to you? Comment below! XOXO Temmie

Photo: Jerry Only of The Misfits; By Adriano Agulló from Elche, España (Jerry Only, Misfits) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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