Halloween is creeping up on you, and you've stocked up on fog machine juice, hung up the polyester cobwebs, splattered fake blood on anything that won't stain, and attempted appetizers that are at least supposed to look like mummy fingers and eyeballs, but something about this costume party is still haunting you.
There are much more horrifying things than having stale music in your crypt. There could be a TV demanding to eat your soul, a zombie that wants to date you, or a corpse that isn't really a corpse lurking in the shadows. People could be turning into snakes and lizards right before your disbelieving eyes. You could be transforming into a werewolf while confined in a straitjacket. You could also be chased by enormous teddy bears that could pass for hairy Teletubbies on steroids. This is not a horror movie. These unspeakable things all crawled out of music videos.
Reanimate your playlist for the night of October 31 with just as many music videos that hiss, bite, revive the dead, and engulf you in flames, and your guests may never sleep again.
Echo and the Bunnymen, The Killing Moon
Exactly what entity "will wait until you give yourself to him" is better left in the dark, but there is a haunting sort of beauty in this moonlight-shrouded phantasmagoria of empty rooms, hooded figures and an abandoned chandelier flickering its last gasps in the snow.
Lordi, Would You Love a Monsterman
Forget love — could you even be remotely attracted to someone (or something) that started off as a corpse in the more advanced stages of decay and morphed into something that vaguely resembled a zombie version of the Predator? Maybe if he gave you candy.
Type O Negative, Black No. 1
Peter Steele's voice is enough to echo in your nightmares, but he takes it to another circle of hell with this homage to black-and-white horror movies that transforms him into a vampire whose eyes randomly flash an undead green. Watching this is like loving the dead.
Aphex Twin, Come to Daddy
Don't look at the TV, because it wants to devour your soul. Child clones will then start running after you and holding that hideous TV with its gaping onscreen mouth right in your face, until a humanoid life-form with unnaturally sharp teeth emerges from it screaming.
Ozzy Osbourne, Back On Earth
Like a silent film resurrected from the dust, this video revives the unsettling sepia tones, blurred shots and creepy flashes of text from an era when you couldn’t hear the monsters coming. Ozzy rising from a coffin and being burned at the stake is just to be expected.
Rob Zombie, Living Dead Girl
Silent movies are obviously nightmare fodder, or Rob Zombie's one-man creepshow wouldn't have been inspired by vaudeville magic acts. He'd just rather be the mad doctor publicly raising a cadaver from the dead rather than making things disappear (because that's just boring).
The Victorians would take post-mortem photos of loved ones who died too soon if there was never a chance to capture them in life, but what if the spirit which escaped that body now inhabits the camera — and what if it sucks your soul in with it?
My Chemical Romance, Helena
This relic from my scene days had such an impact that I actually wore zombie makeup and an old ballet costume to be the corpse otherwise known as Helena for Halloween one year. You can't blame me, because there is nothing more horrorshow than emo theatrics at a funeral.
The Horrors, Sheena is a Parasite
This is what would happen if Regan from The Exorcist stopped vomiting for a moment and broke out into an insane dance in which she jerks her head so violently you think she's going to end up decapitating herself any second. Except she might sooner decapitate you with those teeth.
The Birthday Massacre, In the Dark
Imagine Alice falling down the wrong rabbit hole and landing in Horrorland. Instead of rabbits and pocket watches, she finds melting mirrors and clocks that keep spiraling maniacally backwards. Not to mention a doll that bleeds uncontrollably when she turns a key in its heart.
Michael Jackson, Thriller
There's a reason the King of Pop actually put a disclaimer on this video stating that it "in no way endorses a belief in the occult," because "Thriller" is crawling with the most talented zombie dancers ever. Even scarier is that it spawned the infamous Michael Jackson Popcorn Meme.
Drowning Pool, Bodies
Psychological horror can be just as nightmare-inducing as zombies, especially when you're locked in a room and forced to repeat there's nothing wrong with you after having the same thing screamed into your ear over and over. Revolt and you could be in for a ghastly medical procedure.
When a music video starts off with a funeral, you know it's Halloween material. When the deceased climbs out of the coffin, then it's definitely haunted house material. Those black sorcerer's robes and spells to the sound of electric guitars will make you think of Aleister Crowley with '80s hair.
Lordi, It Snows in Hell
The unholy union of horror metal and a Gothic Victorian romance gone horrifically wrong, this is the music video equivalent to Bram Stoker’s Dracula except for the official cause of death. It also doesn't get more awesome than monsters and screaming guitars in a haunted forest.
The Ramones, Pet Sematary
While I swore off anything from a movie soundtrack, this is an exception because the Ramones and other ghouls really get into character between flashes of the Stephen King film, from people making out in (and jumping out of) coffins to the band playing in an open grave.
Rammstein, Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart is Burning)
Those creepy kids in crudely drawn masks and bunny ears are enough to make you sleep with the light on, but Rammstein's house of horrors has many more rooms. The fires will consume you even if you can get past Til Lindemann still moving his mouth while impaled.
Ozzy Osbourne, Bark at the Moon
Ozzy might be the scariest incarnation of Jekyll and Hyde to have ever existed. Werewolf potion is just not something that should ever get into the hands of a scientist so twisted, even a straightjacket can't keep him from laughing diabolically as the fangs come out.
Children of Bodom, Transference
Fairy-tale nightmares happen when you find yourself locked in a dark room with nothing else but a knife, like a midnight rendezvous with the Grim Reaper, who wants to show you the corpse you will become through the lid of a glass coffin. You could also just end up with bleeding hands.
Alice Cooper, Hey Stoopid
If Alice Cooper owned a theme park, it would be the one in this video — flaming roller coasters with skull-shaped cars that speed straight towards the gaping mouth of a crocodile or a disembodied beating heart. Bonus points for Alice making a plastic skull sing along with him.
Lordi, Blood Red Sandman
This love song to Evil Dead has everything from the cabin to the tape recorder to the demonic entity that emerges from the abyss of the underworld when you hit 'Play' on said tape recorder. No boomstick can save you from Lordi's band of ghouls until you unplug that thing.
King Diamond, The Family Ghost
Not that King Diamond himself isn't already a specter himself with that vampire cape, ghoulish makeup and terrifyingly high vocals, but the cursed Medieval castle background with all its tarnished goblets and burning candles is instant ambience if you forgot to decorate.
Slipknot, The Devil in I
Slipknot really throws a hardcore monster party. When undead things aren't moshing in a 10th-century mansion, either a plague doctor is letting ravens peck him to death or people are blowing themselves up. No wonder this song shapeshifted into a sick Pennywise drum cover.
The Misfits, Scream!
Nothing that rolls into the emergency ward on a gurney with a sheet over its face is ever good news, especially when it's Michael Graves and his monster posse coughing up blood and trying to eat people. Where's the door that says 'Don't Open, Dead Inside' when you need it?
Rammstein, Du Riescht So Gut (You Smell So Good)
You do smell delicious to the bloodsucking undead, whose preternatural sense of smell can sense human blood from outside the castle walls, but it goes beyond blood and fangs. That scene in which the vampire morphs into a pack of ravenous wolves is just mind-blowing.
Greg Kihn Band, Jeopardy
You might think there's nothing more terrifying about this wedding than the prospect of in-laws — until things start getting weird. You can convince yourself you're hallucinating when the bride's face turns into a skull, but not so much when some glowing shark-thulhu life-form gets its tentacles on you.
Rob Zombie, Dragula
What do you get when you cross open-road drag racing with the undead? Psychedelic terror spliced with vintage shots of creepy clowns, homicidal robots and kids getting freaked out in a dark movie theater. His car is also totally badass — you know you want a skull shift.
Yes, Owner of a Lonely Heart
Everyone transfigures into things that go bump in the night in this Kafka-esque video — a raven, a black cat, a lizard, a venomous snake in the back of a car — which is nothing compared to uncontrollable visions of these creatures creeping up on you in bed.
Aphex Twin, Donkey Rhubarb
Neon teddies of terror could possibly be the worst nightmare fodder since those animatronic bears at the Funtime Pizza Circus (creepy childhood memories). Why do they all have the same face? Why does one of them keep gyrating? Do they crave Teletubbies? I'd rather not know.
The Prodigy, Breathe
Flashing lights make a haunted house even scarier, because you don't immediately notice all the disturbing things lurking in the shadows — roaches, a levitating shoe, sinister-looking medical instruments and the alligator under the bed — until you realize everything in one spastic flash. You might forget to breathe.
Korn feat. Corey Taylor, A Different World
You will never look at stop-motion animation the same way again after following the twisted adventures of a snail-human hybrid that encounters monstrous things as it struggles to find its way out of a labyrinth. Oh, and all this is going on in the mind of a doll.
You can't possibly ignore a song called Halloween by a band called Helloween when downloading your fright night playlist. This is like a heavy metal public service announcement not to go into the woods after dark, or you'll run into a pumpkinhead and things without faces.