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Halloween for Grownups

Creepy classic rock songs

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These are the songs that you DON'T want to listen to on a dark night when you're all alone (especially if it's raining, which tends to heighten the effect, at least in the movies).

Don't say I didn't warn you.

"The Ghost Song" - The Doors

Rhino/Elektra
Jim Morrison's lyrics often reflected his fascination with the spirit world of ancient Native Americans.
The music and voices are all around us.
Choose, they croon, the ancient ones.
The time has come again.
Choose now, they croon,
Beneath the moon,
Beside an ancient lake

"The Battle of Evermore" - Led Zeppelin

Atlantic Records
Given Jimmy Page's well known interest in the occult, it isn't unusual that a Led Zep song would make it onto this list.
The drums will shake the castle wall,
the ringwraiths ride in black, Ride on ...

Oh dance in the dark of night,
Sing to the morning light.
The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back.

"Sympathy For The Devil" - Rolling Stones

ABKCO Records

The devil is in Mick Jagger's lyric, written from Lucifer's own perspective. The opening track on 1968's Beggars Banquet has since been covered often, notably by Blood Sweat & Tears (my personal favorite version,) Ozzy Osbourne, and Guns N' Roses.

But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game.
Just as every cop is a criminal,
And all the sinners saints,
As heads is tails,
Just call me Lucifer
'cause I'm in need of some restraint.
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste.
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste


Who wouldn't be creeped out?

"This House Is Haunted" - Alice Cooper

Eagle Records
I don't know about you, but, metaphorical though it may be, I think I can actually feel that cold wind, especially when I close my eyes and remember what ol' Coop looks like without his makeup on ...
I was sitting in my room, dark and gray and crying
Someone in my life, I fear, was at the point of dying
A cold wind blew right up my spine, it was the break of dawn
A little voice way deep inside told me she was gone

"Wicked Annabella" - The Kinks

Reprise Records

Credit for this one goes to Classic Rock Forum member Schol49, who says, "the one which scared me most was the dark hints behind the lyrics of 'Wicked Annabella'" which is on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. No kidding!

In a dark and misty house,
Where no Christian man has been,
Wicked Annabella mixes a brew
That no one's ever seen.

Don't go into woods tonight,
'Cause underneath the sticks and stones
Are lots of little demons enslaved by Annabella
Waiting just to carry you home
Hey, did anybody else feel that cold chill just now ...?

"Black Sabbath" - Black Sabbath

Warner Bros Records
Thanks to Classic Rock Forum member SaxMan91 for reminding me of this one. How could I have forgotten? The group, the song, and the album all have the same name. That alone should signify something evil, don't you think?
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 ...

Child cries out for his mother
Mother's screaming in the fire
Satan points at me again
Opens the door to push me in

"Swamp Witch" - Jim Stafford

UMVD Special Markets
The fact that the lyrics are spoken rather than sung makes for an especially eerie effect. This one gave me chills when I first heard it 30+ years ago. It still does.
Blackwater Hattie lived back in the swamp
where the strange green reptiles crawl.
Snakes hang thick from the cypress trees
like sausage on a smokehouse wall;

Where the swamp is alive with a thousand eyes
and all of 'em watchin' you;
Stay off the track of Hattie's shack
in the back of the Black Bayou.

"Legend Of Wooley Swamp" - Charlie Daniels Band

Epic Nashville
Another swamp, another haunting scenario, another cautionary tale. Thanks to reader Matt Johnson for this one.

 

There's things out there in the middle of them woods
That make a strong man die from fright.
Things that crawl and things that fly
And things that creep around on the ground.
And they say the ghost of Lucius Clay gets up and he walks around.

The moral of this story: be careful who you rob and kill when you're near a swamp in a place with a name like Booger Woods.

"Werewolves of London" - Warren Zevon

Elektra Records
In typical Zevon fashion, while the music is relatively light, the lyrics are decidedly dark.
I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain ...

Better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim

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