Halloween revolves around all things eerie. TV programs, movies and soundtracks tend to steal the show and music videos usually take a back seat when it comes to hair-raising thrills. But are we underestimating them? I dared to scour YouTube and found seven scary music videos that will make you think twice the next time you’re alone in the dark.
Michael Jackson, “Thriller” (1983)
There are music videos and then there are Michael Jackson music videos. These 13 minutes characterize werewolves, zombies and monsters in the most horrific way imaginable. It’s left an intangible mark in the record industry and after 34 years hasn’t lost its magic (or dance moves).
Rockwell, “Somebody’s Watching Me” (1984)
Sometimes paranoia can be our greatest demise. The haunted house inspired theme includes imagery of floating heads, ravens, graveyards and shower scenes referencing Psycho. Plot twist: what if it was actually all in your head?
The Cure, “Lullaby” (1989)
Caution: arachnophobic’s do not watch. Lead singer Robert Smith is tormented by a shadowy creature referred to as “the Spiderman.” Smith then grows an extra set of limbs and is ravaged by a giant arachnid.
Mr. Bungle, “Quote Unquote” (1991)
Think trippy and psychedelic to the ultimate level. There are sinister dolls and masked men but the most controversial part is the extended shot of the band members (dressed in costumes and masks) suspended, lifeless on meat hooks. It was so daunting, the video was banned from MTV.
Nine-Inch Nails, “Closer” (1994)
Put this into perspective, the video originally had to be edited for television because of the magnitude of ominous figures on screen. It begins with a scene of an anatomic heart profusely beating and gets more gruesome with a monkey tied to a crucifix, cockroaches, a hanging bull skull and an open carcass.
Aphex Twin, “Come to Daddy” (1997)
Dance with horror, only if you can stomach it. This British techno maven executes pulsating rhythms that feature a creepy gang of children terrorizing the town and a strident demon born from a television. Consider yourself warned.
The Prodigy, “Breathe” (1997)
Welcome to the epicenter of paranormal activity. The video takes place in an abandoned apartment complex where the band members experience various aural, visual and psychological phenomena. Crocodiles, millipedes and cockroaches appear on screen to evoke havoc.