Creepy Music Collections: Songs to Match Your Favorite Horror Sub-Genre

When you’re awakened in the dead of night by a sound outside your door, what’s the first horrifying vision that floods your brain?

That’s the idea behind Shudder — think Netflix for horror films — with thoughtful curation and genius Collections that group films together by horror sub-genre. Are you in the mood to be spooked specifically by Psychos and Madmen, Haunted Habitations, or Alien Intruders? Shudder’s got you covered, though they can’t keep you safe.

Inspired by Shudder and everything that keeps us up at night, here are Collections of albums fitting various flavors of horror to put you in the Halloween spirit. Listen on and hope you make it out alive.

UPDATE: If you’re short on time, I’ve created a handy Halloween Spotify playlist with all the artists on this list in the order they’re presented. Share and enjoy, thank you for reading and listening!

HEX GIRLFRIEND: Witchy Women

Yeah, everyone you know is suddenly suuuper into crystals, nature’s divinity, energies, magick, and moon cycles within the past few months, but one friend in particular seems to be taking it a little more seriously… and spending much more time in the woods.

Coven, “Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls”

While Coven resembles your least-favorite theatre kids, their groundbreaking debut LP is full of catchy late-’60s psych rock, as well as real occult ties, the first recorded Satanic mass, and the first use of the now-ubiquitous “devil horns.” [Spotify / Apple Music]

electric citizen, “Sateen”

Imagine a ’60s motorcycle witch, and you’ve got this album. Laura Dolan’s entrancing voice is the psychedelic frosting atop this half-Jethro, half-Sabbath cake. [Spotify / Bandcamp / Apple Music / Merch]

oOoOO, “oOoOO”

There’s a lot to explore in witch-house music as a genre, but this album’s energy and cover art will give you an idea of what witchcraft you’re getting yourself into. [Spotify / Soundcloud]

EXTRA CREDIT: Acid Witch, “Witchtanic Hellucinations”

Self-described as “Halloween Influenced Horror Soundtrack Doom Crust Metal Stuff,” Acid Witch is campy, gross, fun stoner brutality that’s equally good a soundtrack for stirring a cauldron as it is for packing a bowl. This one’s extra credit because, while fun, it can also take its toll on your ear drums. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

RAISING HELL: Deals with the Devil

The vintage ouija board you picked up from that eastern-European lady at the flea market was a hit at the Halloween party, but even though all your friends have left, something—or someone—dark has decided to stick around.

Ghost B.C., “Opus Eponymous”

Forget playing old rock records backwards to find satanic messages—Ghost doesn’t make you work any harder than the first two minutes of their incredible debut LP. This spooky album’s so catchy even your dad will like it, and you’ll momentarily forget you’re singing along about human sacrifice. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch / Site]

Venom, “Welcome to Hell”

Of the evil tree of the black metal genre, Venom’s debut is its deepest root, with zero subtlety in its demonic content or raw aggression. And yet, “In League With Satan” burrows itself into your brain just like a top-40 pop song. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch / Site]

Electric Wizard, “Black Masses”

Toke and invoke something evil with the down-tuned doomy stoner incantations of “the heaviest band in the universe.” If you listen to this at exactly 4:20 a.m., you get to smoke weed with Satan himself. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch / Site]

EXTRA CREDIT: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire”

In addition to being a progenitor of corpse paint, Arthur Brown crafted some of the most incredible freaky-white-guy dance moves in this performance of “Fire.” If you’re short on time, jump straight to 2:10 for the good stuff.

AUTUMN WINDS BLOW: Fall Rituals

You can feel the changing of the seasons bringing new colors, feelings, energies, and rituals. Autumn’s entrance brings such beauty — but just like every autumn before it, it also brings cold, darkness, and death.

Earth, “Primitive and Deadly”

Earth’s 2014 release bathes you in the beauty of zodiacal light, speaking to the animal inside you and warning you of an ancient darkness coming your way. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Demon Head, “Ride the Wilderness”

Charming, catchy, and accessible folk doom, this album’s timeless autumnal ethos feels like the songs were written in a small country cottage beneath wintry clouds of Ireland’s Heather Hills because, well… it was. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Wolves in the Throne Room, “Celestite”

Steeped in the majesty, beauty, and darkness of Cascadian evergreens, WITTR synthesizes the power of black metal into a starry soundscape that crawls up your spine and leads you toward the trees for an autumnal forest ritual. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

MALT SHOP MURDERS: Vintage Americana Creep

You were supposed to have your old man’s car back an hour ago, but Lover’s Lookout with Betty from the cheer team has completely stolen your sense of time. Hearing the faint sound of metal scraping against the car between smooches, you suddenly remember the town curfew from after those bodies turned up.

Tiger Army, “II: Power of Moonlite”

Halloween’s energy thrives in the ’50s aesthetic of Tiger Army’s 2001 release, as the slap bass and Nick 13’s mourning wail create the feeling of standing in a country apple orchard beneath an especially full moon. [Spotify / Apple Music]

Misfits, “Collection 2"

A Halloween without Misfits is a Halloween incomplete. Danzig’s signature croon belting out horror lyrics over the creepy fuzz of lo-fi guitars make you feel like the slasher in that drive-in movie might be more real than you think. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Vince Ray & the Boneshakers, “Boneshaker Baby”

Grab yourself a tiki cocktail—once you’re hypno-tranced by Vince Ray’s rockabilly voodoo, you’ll be lindyhopping your way straight to hell. [Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud]

STALKING THEIR PREY: Slashers in the Shadows

“I’ll be fiiine, I only live a couple blocks away” you tell your friends as you stumble out of the bar. Tonight’s darker and quieter than usual, making for a peaceful stroll. But is your boozy mind playing tricks on you, or are those shadows near the street light moving a little unnaturally?

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, “Blood Lust”

Aptly described as “if the Beatles were fronted by Charles Manson,” Uncle Acid and “Blood Lust” grab you with a catchy creep and never let you go. Submit yourself to the trance of occult killers, dark rituals, and witch hunts. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, “The Night Creeper”

Surprise! Uncle Acid gets this horror-music category to themselves, simply because they’re the best at this particular niche of the macabre. Walk the dark and rainy gutters of London with UA’s stellar 2015 release — but know you’re being watched. [Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

THEY CAME FROM WORLDS UNKNOWN: Horrors from the Outer Reaches

We all celebrated the historic news of true first contact with extraterrestrial life, but as their messages start to take a different tone and distant shapes get closer in the sky, you begin to wonder if we should have ever let them know we’re here.

The Faceless, “Planetary Duality”

When otherworldly shapeshifting beings start posing as your loved ones and an ancient prophesied interplanetary evil comes to brood on Earth, this is what it’ll sound like. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Vektor, “Outer Isolation”

Vektor’s technical space thrash is an astounding feat of musicianship and storytelling, and David DiSanto’s inimitable alien-esque vocals make them one of modern music’s most unique and ambitious undertakings. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

GORE GALORE: Brutal Body Horror

It started out as a pretty normal Craigslist meetup, but upon waking up hanging by chains on your feet, the cracking and chopping in the other room doesn’t seem too encouraging.

Carcass, “Surgical Steel”

Pioneers of grindcore — specifically goregrind, themed on mutilation, body horror, and surgical procedures — and melodic death metal, Carcass’s 2013 release is the bloody, brutal, beautiful lovechild of both genres, and one of the most solid and listenable metal albums of the last decade. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

The Black Dahlia Murder, “Unhallowed”

With an album intro and outro reciting passages from the book “Butchering the Human Carcass for Human Consumption” (strangely unavailable on Amazon), this crushingly dark and behemothly important album is (de)composed of all the right stuff: gore, zombies, cannibalism, and metal. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

EXTRA CREDIT: Cattle Decapitation, “Forced Gender Reassignment” music video (NSFW, NSFL)

I won’t link it here, but if you feel like watching the shock-equivalent of 100 body-horror films condensed into five-and-a-half minutes, peep this music video on an empty stomach. I do not endorse or condone any of the contents of the video; it is presented solely as thematically relevant political art. On second thought, maybe don’t watch it.


THE END IS NIGH: Tales of the Apocalypse

We should have listened. We should have heeded the warnings, but now it’s too late. The thick air coats your lungs in soot. The contaminated water burns to drink. The scorched soil may never bear crops again. What have we done? And what do the remaining of us do now?

Cattle Decapitation, “The Anthropocene Extinction”

As we run full-steam ahead toward irreversible climate change in the name of capitalism and “progress,” Cattle Decap’s sensational 2015 album fast forwards 50 years ahead into the thick of the eco-apocalypse. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Anaal Nathrakh, “The Whole of the Law”

Anaal Nathrakh’s is “the soundtrack for armageddon, the audial essence of evil, hatred and violence, the true spirit of necro taken to its musical extremes,” and their soundscape of a hopeless, Godless future does not miss the mark. [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!”

This album feels like day 42 after the bomb dropped; you’re lucky to have survived, but your isolation in the desolate, whispering landscape is causing your mind to slip into madness and question: Is this truly any better than if I’d gone in the blast? [Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch]

HAUNTED & HARROWING: Ghostly Visitations

“Stop messing around,” she nervously laughs, “this place is scary enough without your creepy whispers on my neck.” As her boyfriend flushes the toilet down the hall, she feels the empty covers start to move beside her.

Zeal and Ardor, “Devil is Fine”

Combining the most evil part of United States history with music’s darkest genre, Manuel Gagneux blends slavery-era Negro spiritual blues with black metal for challenging, haunting, and outstandingly unique music. This will make you feel like you’ve walked into something you shouldn’t have seen. (Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Merch)

Ghost Bath, “Moonlover”

While damning controversy surrounds Ghost Bath, their debut album is a deeply haunting wail of a modern black metal experience — the tragic wane to Deafheaven’s optimistic wax. (Spotify / Apple Music / Merch)

CREATURE FEATURE: Movie Soundtracks

It’s always scary to come back to an empty house after seeing a horror movie on the big screen; it’s even scarier when you’re not as alone as you think.

“The Witch” (2016) Original Soundtrack

The soundtrack to one of 2016’s best films gives a grey, eerie, and haunting aural backdrop to swelling fear and paranoia about the evil in the wood. [Amazon Video]

Disasterpiece, “It Follows” (2015) Original Soundtrack

Disasterpiece’s tense original soundtrack for the smothering 2015 horror masterpiece “It Follows” will synthesize the creeps directly into the base of your skull and the background of your Halloween party. [Amazon Video]

Various Artists, “28 Days Later” (2002) Soundtrack

With a balance of chilling ambience and rage-infected intensity, the “28 Days Later” soundtrack combines original scores with works from Brian Eno, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and more, conveying the full emotional range of being the last survivors of an epidemic apocalypse. [Amazon Video]
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