Appalachia Ghosts - Haints - Spooky Music

Scary Songs

Full moon ghost stories

Music is huge part of my life-that’s no surprise to anyone who reads the Blind Pig on a regular basis. Halloween parties often play songs like Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, and Thriller but today I’m going to share a list of songs I think are truly haunting.

I divided the haunting songs that came to mind into 3 different groups. I’m sure there are songs I didn’t think of-you can help me out by adding to the groups-or coming up with a new group.

Group 1

Appalachia is famous world wide for it’s murder ballads. Many of the oldest most horrific ballads originated in the British Isles and were brought here by the first Scot Irish settlers. I’ve wrote about the phenomenon before-how something so horrible could attract listeners year after year-generation after generation-including myself.

Here’s a list of murder ballads-each title is a link to a youtube video-be forewarned the songs are not for the faint at heart.

Group 2

Other songs that came to mind-seemed to reach across several genres of music-bluegrass-county-and even rock.

Group 3

Growing up in a Southern Baptist atmosphere the Devil and his host of demons are wrapped up in most of my fears. Those fears were supported by more than one religious warning song. You know songs that tell a story of what will happen if you stray from the straight and narrow. To me-these are the scariest eeriest songs. An interesting combination of spirituality and fear being intertwined so tightly you can’t really tell them apart.

Hope you enjoyed my list of haunting songs. Have you got one to add to the list?


Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in 2009.


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  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I can’t think of any truly scary songs. I remember the funny Halloween songs from the 60s, like Monster Mash, Purple Eater, Haunted House (John Fogarty – “He drank a hot coffee right from the spout, He ate the raw meat right from my hand, Drank the hot grease from the frying pan”), etc.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    That’s the cream of the crop in Group 1.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I think you pretty much compiled any that I might have thought about and then many more. I really never liked the more serious ones as you grouped very well, but I always enjoyed listening to Monster Mash and Ghostbusters. I think there is one named Witchy Woman that used to be played more around this time of the year. Can’t remember the artist, but vaguely remember the tune.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Tamela could this be it

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Darlin Corie/Katie Dear/Pretty Polly, who did you leave out? I’ll bet he perpetrates and/or perpetuates the majority of the scariness around Wilson holler.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Ed-how could I have forgotten Oh Those Tombs!!! Pap and Paul do that one too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    ‘Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble’-“Macbeth” ~Shakespeare~
    I love, (simply because it was popular the year I graduated from high school), now this is scary, 1958, the tune “Flying Purple People Eater”! Well, I thought it was a funny song, however not too scary!
    The theme song from “The Great Pumpkin”…I think, it is called the Great Pumpkin Waltz…is recognized by all Charlie Brown fans…LOL…No, not scary at all, but children know the tune immediately, yelling…”The Great Pumpkin” is on!
    I got a “gut chill” while reading and listening to your web site the other day…ON the play list #2 Gathering Flowers, etc. was just finishing as I clicked over and left your site, since I needed to check on something. I hear Paul singing the line in Long Black veil, well my computer was off the site and back to my desktop. What! I thought, and immediately logged back on to your website again and “Old Grey Cat” was playing as the site came on…BUT IN THE BACKGROUND Long Black Veil was mixing in with Old Grey Cat…OOOOOoooooo…I have never had that happen…very spooky and I had to shut down everything to get it all off…I was then thinking that “Long Black Veil” playing after shutting down your website and going back to my desktop, an omen of some sort? Or maybe just my computer playing a Halloween trick on me…You know they have a life of their own sometimes, it could not have been operator error, after all…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, loved this post and thanks for all your postings of the Halloween Haunting songs you listed.
    PS…I agree…”Hush” is a thought provoking and scary song!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

    To think of Johnny Cash as a singer is in and of itself scary. I read the other day where somebody said that the late Norman Wilson of the Primitive Quartet “yelled” his part. Well that’s exactly what Johnny Cash did. The difference being Johnny made his millions and Norman just made it home.
    My contribution to the list thus far is:
    1. Will the Circle Be Unbroken by everybody including myself.
    2. Oh Those Tombs by the same.
    3. Barbara Allen ditto
    How can I consider Knoxville Girl scary? My mother used to sing me to sleep with it.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The scariest song I can ever remember hearing is Laurie, (Strange Things Happen) by Dickie Lee. It’s about a guy who dropped his date off at home and returned when he found she had left her sweater in his car. Her parents told him their Laurie died a year ago today.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Haven’t had time to listen to the lot but wonder if anyone can tell me the lyrics or lead me to the music which is a story of two little babes lost in the wood. Part of it tells about how the animals of the woods try to tend to them and then finally “bury” the babes lost in the woods. I remember my granny ( Great granmother)singing it and always getting teary eyed. It made me so sad and I wondered why she sang it.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Great post. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 26, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Tip, I have never given thought to how many spooky songs there are out there. That first group of songs always bother me. I avoid them when possible. Their violence hurts my heart.
    The second group, is my favorite. I love anything that touches into the beyond.
    The third group usually puts me off because they seem so fond I telling me I’m going to hell.
    I love that picture, it fits right into the second group.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I always thought this version of Tom Dooley was pretty scary.
    “you know your bound to die”

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