Ghosts - Haints - Spooky Music

Singing Scary Songs

foggy trees that look spooky

This time of the year folks start hunting up music to play at Halloween parties and festivals. Songs like Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, and Thriller are usually at the top of the list.

Seems surprising, but we do several songs that are scary, or at least they are to me.

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.

Here’s two ballads done by Pap and Paul.

Another song that could be considered a modern day ballad.

Growing up in a Southern Baptist atmosphere the Devil and his host of demons are wrapped up in all of my spooky thoughts. Songs which tell the story of what will happen if you stray from the straight and narrow have always been the scariest songs to me. Here’s two from The Wilson Brothers.

Hope you enjoyed this post about a few of the songs that are on my scary list.


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  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    November 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Tipper sing and old song Polly Pretty Polly

  • Reply
    Melinda Kessler
    October 29, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Thank you for the wonderful music! You have a terrific musical family & your work lets us share them.

    Especially enjoyed ‘Long Black Veil’ – I think it was Paul singing. His good mellow voice is great! Do you have that/him on a CD for sale? He’s my new heartthrob (now, at 77 that amounts to wishing he were my grandson ❤️) but as Mom used to say, ‘if wishes were horses then beggars would ride’. I’ll just have to listen to his nice voice.

    Keep up the good work

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 27, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Knoxville Girl is a lullaby to me. I can remember my mother holding me while singing that song to get me to sleep. At the time I wouldn’t have understood the words or their connotation. As I grew I began to understand but the song still conveyed a feeling of comfort that only a mother’s arms can impart. I am approaching 70 now and that snugness still remains when I hear it.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 27, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for all those Spooky Songs today. Who would’ve thought that the Girls would someday follow this tradition? Durwin Chastein was at Carol Clark’s Funeral, I spoke with him. He is a good man, and I understand that You use to baby-sit his boy, Andrew. They speak Highly of You.

    Ray is the only one I don’t know. I’m very Impressed with His and Pap’s singing and I can just imagine how he misses Pap, kinda like I miss Harold. We played together, hunted together, and when we were young, sang together. I loved all my brothers but Harold was the closest to me.

    I am the Last of Daddy and Mama’s Generation, and I’ll see them all someday. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken r in SW. Missouri
    October 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

    After listening to the Wilson Brothers videos I had to go to YouTube to listen to the Wilson Brothers radio show videos. Not because they are scary but because they are great to listen …

  • Reply
    October 27, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Oh my goodness, I sure remember my Mother singing “Knoxville Girl.” My Mother had a beautiful Alto voice but as a young girl I thought that it was awful to sing about a poor murdered girl. I remember Tom Dooley too but I don’t remember the other songs. One I do like and have heard recently is that “Long Black Train,” and I’m a telling ya I sure don’t want to go riding on that Long Black Train, so I will try my best to stay on the straight and narrow path.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 27, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Wow, Tip, that’s sure a walk down memory lane. I remember the songs, I remember the big black round records, I remember Pap’s sweet, sweet voice! It’s that time of year and as I look out my window this morning it looks exactly like your picture with all the fog!
    Thanks for the memory!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2019 at 6:17 am

    We always called them cadaver songs. I seem to remember another one about a murder in East Tennessee or east virginia. They were a hit with the crowd when we picked them this time of year.

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