An organ playing in a minor key, the rumbling of thunder on a dark night, the animal growl of Tom Waits as he sings “The Black Rider,” the scream of the heroine in a favorite monster movie, slow and deep breathing on the other end of the phone, The Decemberists’ tale of the “Shankhill Butchers” coming to get you, footsteps coming from behind on an empty street, the thump-thump thump-thump of the tell-tale heart from under the floorboards, Stephin Merritt’s deep monotone as he tells us to scream and run away…
Sound has an uncanny ability to scare the bejeezus out of me. I think it’s human nature. That scratchy sound of a branch on my window on a windy fall night just naturally gives me goose bumps. A sudden knock on the door when I’m watching a scary movie will make me jump every time. In music it’s the same. A raspy, growly voice singing slowly in a minor key will make my hair stand on end. A slow, discordant organ playing in the background will always make me think of haunted houses and Boris Karloff movies. Even a sinisterly played accordion can give me the creepy-crawlies. It’s like magic.
I decided one day to make a station on Pandora whose sole purpose was to creep out the listener. Why? Because I actually like that creepy feeling sometimes. I’ve never liked slasher movies that use cheap thrills to make you jump out of your seat. I’ve always preferred Alfred Hitchcock-type films that prolong your suffering, that keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen, that make you gasp with fear even when you know what’s coming next. To me, that’s exquisite torture. And I hope this station replicates that feeling.
Curl up under a comforting blanket and check out my Scream and Run Away station.
You can find some other scary-themed stations and Halloween stations on Pandora, created by like-minded listeners. You’ll find some of them on these search pages:
Happy Halloween! Enjoy the creepy.
Pandora’s Ghoul Friday


  1. Jack Maxfield
    October 22, 2007 at 10:55am
    Y'all might enjoy my Halloween station, too: "N&I Halloween". ("N&I" is short for "New and Improved". I have a lot of "N&I" stations that are designed as better versions of all the stations on Sirius Radio or Launchcast.) At first I tried to edit out all the songs I'd get that didn't seem to fit the Halloween/horror theme; after paring this sucker down, consequently, to almost nothin', I decide to just go with whatever good music surfaced on it. After all, the reason you never see a 30-minute battle scene or a 30-minute sex scene in a movie is that you get tired after a while of feeling the same emotion. :-) Enjoy.

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