Halloween Music

As many people do, I get into the Halloween spirit from watching horror films and reading stories about the paranormal and supernatural. Yet what seems to get me most in the mood for the season is listening to creepy, unsettling atmospheric music. Most of the perfect examples of this kind of music comes from the scores from horror and thriller films. I think my love for this sound all started for me after catching the Netherworld episode of Hearts of Space on the radio late one Halloween night, while laying alone in my room in the dark. It featured the likes of Jill Tracy, Alejandro Amenabar, Mandible Chatter and many others.  Ever since then, every October, I find myself hunting down great horror soundtracks, dark ambient albums and other songs that are macabre and ghostly.

After a few years of this, I’ve put together several mixes featuring the best material from my ever growing collection and published them onto 8tracks.

This is the first one I did in this style. It features James Bernard, Phillip Glass, Jill Tracy and the Malcontent Orchestra and the like

The next year, I did a few differently themed mixes for the holiday, but this one featured the works of Coil, Les Baxter, and Magnet. It also features tracks from what are now some of my all time favorite horror soundtracks, like the score from Blood on Satan’s Claw and Rick Wilkins’ frightening themes from The Changeling (the ghost film, not the Clint Eastwood film).

One of the other mixes I did that year was an attempt to use mainly unrelated atmospheric and darkly ambient songs that conjured up frightening and eerie images and environments together instead of music that was not inherently connected to a film. Instead of reminding the listener of a movie that they’ve seen, I thought it would be interesting to string together a collection of unnerving impressionistic music to leave it to the listener’s imagination to create the scene. This featured the likes of Giles Corey (famously named after the Salem resident who was crushed to death during the witch trials in an attempt to force him to confess to his devilry), Brian Eno, Faust, Landing, Bocksholm, United Bible Studies, etc.

So this year, I tried to combine these last two mix ideas into one. So this one featured both music from soundtracks as well as darkly ambient, expressionistic music with the likes of John Williams, Goblin, Ennio Morricone, Comus, Delia Derbyshire, etc.

Hopefully these will help you to get into the Halloween spirit a little more, wherever you are. May you all have a great, creepy All Hallows Eve. 


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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