Appalachia Music

Spooky Songs

Songs for halloween


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. A few 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. So what song do you think is spooky?


Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in October of 2010.

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  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 3:13 am

    I remember my mother being cross with me for singing Tom Dooley when I was five years old! It was a big hit at the time. Here’s a couple of spooky songs from the UK which I’ve always loved and which can be found on YouTube:
    The Famous Flower Of Serving Men by Martin Carthy
    Clyde Water by Nic Jones.
    Both are traditional songs which the respective singers have taken and “knocked into shape”.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    and Ed…I have heard NC family speak of Brown Mountain lights all my life…Scary!
    I also saw montain lights too when I was a little girl…My Aunt said, “Oh those are just hunters up there on the mountain!”
    OH sure, I then heard her telling my Uncle and parents about the strange lights!…Wasn’t no car lights, cause there weren’t no road that way…Plus they seemed to just bounce around! I’ll never forget it!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    We would sometimes have “Tacky Parties” at our church during the fall. Everyone would dress up tacky like hobos and we would always sing and there was a song called “Florella”…Look down that long green valley
    Where sweet the flowers bloom
    T’was there my sweet Florellie
    Lies molding in her tomb.
    Now doesn’t that conjure up a horror picture in your imagination!
    Its a tale about two lovers and the guy thinks she cheated on him so he killed her and she says…Oh Willie, I forgive you
    was her last and dying breath.
    I never did deceive you
    And she closed her eyes in death.
    I cannot remember all the verses, but I can just hear your girls singing it. hahaha

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Those eerie flickering moving Brown Mountain lights are seen not too far from my home. My grandkids live even closer. They go by the overlook where the light are most often spotted every time they go to see their other grandparents in Newland. Their name is Brown. I don’t know if there is a family connection to the mountain. Their maternal grandmother’s maiden name is Wilson. Guess what the creek that flows at the western base of Brown Mountain is called? Right! Wilson’s Creek! Connection? I don’t know, yet.
    Wilson’s Creek ran high this past summer because of all the rain and three people drowned. A 48 year old man and his girlfriend’s 10 year old daughter disappeared while swimming in the swollen creek. Kayakers found the little girl the evening of the same day. The man wasn’t found until the afternoon of the next day. The third victim was a 21 year old man from Guatemala who was just trying to swim across the creek. Wilson’s Creek is just that, a creek. But when the mountains above get heavy rain like we got this year, it becomes a raging river. None of this years victims were from the area and couldn’t have understood how dangerous it is to play there. Especially when the creek is up.
    I wonder if there three are more lights flitting about up there on the mountain now.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    October 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    It’s Just the Night is scariest to me. Didn’t I see some of those back-up singer in “Oh Brother” movie? The Cave is also spooky. Those minor chords tend to send a shiver down your spine?

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I always thought The Wall by Johnny Cash was an eery song.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Knoxville Girl is just a lullaby to me. My mother used to rock me in her lap and sing it when I was sick or scared.
    The Green Green Grass of Home is a haunting song. I can sing it if I don’t think about the story it tells. It chokes me up when I get to the part when he wakes up and it is his execution day and it has all been a dream.

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    October 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    The fourth group of Spooky Songs: Silly Songs. This is me, but I didn’t write the song, I only STOLE it!

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    October 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I remember when Tom Dooley was a big hit. Ruth, I remember Flying Purple People when I was a little girl. I had the 45. Very popular. Was he purple or did he eat purple people?lol. I’ve never liked skeletons. When I was little, I was afraid there might be one in my closet or the hall closet at night. Maybe I saw it in a movie. Don’t like seeing them hanging in yards now. I look the other way.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I don’t know which group the following songs fall in, they are just spooky. “Laura” by Dickie Lee gives me cold chills every time I hear it. A date with a ghost! How about Reba McIntyre’s “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”. Porter Wagner had a few spooky death songs also. One was “Cold Hard Facts Of Life”. A song about a man returning from a trip early to find his wife with someone else. The saddest, spookiest and most bone-chilling song ever recorded was Porter and Dolly’s “Jeannie’s Afraid Of The Dark”. I’m not sure how to spell her name, could be Genie.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 8:07 am

    It’s that time of the year where some eery songs come back to mind. I think the Monster Mash was always a favorite of mine and I really didn’t find it too scary, especially when used at a get together. I vaguely remember the Everly Brothers song. I personally liked Wake Up Little Suzie. I had to listen to the one you mentioned as I must have tucked it into the back of my head until I listened to it. I will also take some time to listen to others you have provided. Time to learn something new!

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    October 27, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I agree with b. Ruth about O Death! But I do love to hear it. Also In the Pines.
    I was flipping thru the music channels on TV yesterday and one of them is sounds of the season. They were playing The Blob! I thought of the old movie.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 27, 2013 at 7:42 am

    The Long Black Veil is my favorite.
    Still looking for the words to a song from childhood about a girl that meets her lover, and leaves with him 3 hours before day. only to be betrayed. If anyone knows anything about this song, please contact me @[email protected]

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 7:37 am

    The Long Black Limousine is a favorite of mine, several recorded it but my favorite is Bradley Walker and the Trinity Mountain boys, they did a version that plays regular @ our local radio stations..I quess the next recording would be Merle Haggard’s version..

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 27, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Good morning….I agree wholly about “Oh, Death.” It is plum scary and goes deep into your soul of thought! ooooooh
    My favorite comical song of a monster is…”One Eyed, One horned, Flying Purple People Eater!” I have the lyrics in one of my memory books somewhere. Typical song of the fifties, I suppose. Cute and funny at the same time…Especially when he joins and that is all he wants is to join a rock-n-roll band!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Great post as usual…

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