It’s that time of year again where you eat too much candy and watch Nightmare Before Christmas for the third time because there’s nothing else on TV. Whether you just want the candy or you liked getting scared, everyone loves Halloween, but the holiday is not just for movies; music videos can get in on the action too. Last year I looked at creepy videos perfect for a Halloween night. This time I’m counting down Halloween themed videos. These clips may not be scary, most of them are cheesy, but they’re all great for watching on the night with a big bowl of candy by your side.
13. Ghostbusters- Ray Parker Jr.
The only thing that’s scary about this video are the “special effects,” but a song about busting ghosts cannot be left off a Halloween list. To be fair, the only ghost in this video are the ones featured in the clips from the film. I guess Parker is supposed to be a ghost, but it’s not exactly clear throughout the clip. Also, I’m not sure what’s up with this chick’s neon apartment. It’s kind of cool, but kind of lame at the same time. Either way, it doesn’t stop the ghosts from messing with her. It’s cheesy no doubt, but a classic fun song perfect for this time of year.
12. Torture- The Jacksons
There is so much wrong with this video, I don’t even know where to begin. At times it’s genuinely creepy, most of the time it’s just stupid. One thing you will notice is that Michael is not present. The story goes that he had prior commitments to make, but I think he knew the outcome of the video and didn’t want a part of it. They try to make up for his absence by not only having a wax figure that doesn’t even look like him stand in his place but by having the brothers recreate his look. Pathetic. For some reason, the brothers are trapped in a low-budget Hell where they are threatened by giant spider ladies, mysterious waving hands, eyeballs growing out of their hands, and dancing skeletons. The only part that’s really creepy is when they take off their sunglasses to reveal they are faceless. It’s a small detail, but just enough to unnerve you.
11. Somebody’s Watching Me- Rockwell
I’m not sure why Rockwell was so paranoid since he wasn’t popular enough to have anyone stalk him. This video tries to be creepy, but ends up being confusing instead. There are creepy guys in towels standing in his yard, a pig in his house for some reason, a gravestone bearing his name, and shower water turning into blood. I guess these things can be scary, but tossed together in this clip it becomes laughable. What’s worse is there are no explanations for any of these events. Why is he standing over his comically oversized grave? Why did he let the pig in the house? Why is he going to greet the mailman in a towel? All of this is easy to ignore when you remember that Michael Jackson is the reason the song is memorable.
10. Are You Ready for Freddy?- The Fat Boys
There was a time when Freddy Kruger was someone to actually fear, but as the sequels began piling up Freddy became a hot commodity and a joke. That’s the only possible explanation for this song that has three fat guys rapping about how scary Freddy is. I don’t know what’s worse, the entire song itself or the fact that they actually made Freddy Kruger rap. Just think about that. How scary can a horror movie monster be if he’s performing cheesy raps? The premise of the video is equally ridiculous. It’s the classic plot of in order to inherit this money you have to spend the night in this spooky mansion deal. It’s like they ripped it from Scooby Doo. It’s so awful you have to watch it to understand just how bad it is.
9. 3 AM- Eminem
This freaky Eminem video is a mini slasher flick in itself. It features Em slaughtering random citizens throughout the night and the clip does not spare in the gore department. Dismembered fingers, sporadic movements, Eminem sitting in a bathtub full of blood, and lots of twitchy images is enough to get under your skin. There also seems to be some reference to classic horror movies. Throughout the video a lone naked mannequin is shown and at one point Eminem gives it a kiss. Whether or not it was intentional, it’s similar to the mannequins in the 1980 flick Maniac. Also, there’s a line where Eminem says “She puts the lotion in the bucket/it puts the lotion on it’s skin/or else it gets the hose again,” which is an infamous line from Silence of the Lambs. It may not be the best Eminem track, but the video is perfect for horror enthusiasts.
8. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)- Backstreet Boys
The video starts off with the boys’ bus breaking down, so what’s the most logical thing to do than stay in a creepy castle that seemed to be waiting for them? Throughout the night they turn into monsters and proceed to have a funky party. While some of the guys turn into classic horror monsters, Nick’s a mummy, Brian’s a werewolf, and Howie’s a vampire, the director seems to have gotten creative with the other two. AJ is the Phantom of the opera…I think. That’s what he looks like, but I don’t recall him being scary. Kevin’s transform is more confusing. He’s some sort of fish man. I’m not sure why it’s supposed to be scary, but I guess he pulls it off well. What I did notice in the video is that everyone has their own monster girlfriends except Kevin and Brian. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been that hard to find chicks for them. Instead, Brian flips throughout most of the video. And since this is a boy band video, there is the obligatory dance break where the guys look like they can’t even be bothered doing the moves.
7. The Kill (Bury Me)- Thirty Seconds to Mars
This video is a pretty faithful take on the classic horror movie The Shining. Jared Leto and crew decide to stay in a huge hotel where they are the only guests or so they thought. As they begin running into their twins or doppelgangers, scenes from the movie are recreated, such as the bathtub scene and the creepy, unsettling furry giving a BJ scene. It all ends with the party scene where everyone has their own double. They’re not the first band to base their video after the movie, but it’s among one of the best.
6. Bark at the Moon- Ozzy Osbourne
This is the video to see if you ever wanted to see Ozzy as a werewolf. Since he’s the Prince of Darkness, it’s no surprise that he would have a creepy video like this, but since this was made in the 80’s it’s not really scary. In fact, Ozzy looks more like a big shaggy dog or Cousin It on acid, rather than a dangerous werewolf. But you have to admit he plays the role of mad scientist really well. There are countless videos of his that could be on this list, but this is his most memorable and the best one suited for this time of year.
5. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)- Marilyn Manson
Manson is a guy who knows how to make a good creepy video and while this isn’t his most unsettling, it’s still creepy enough to complete the perfect Halloween night. The point of this video seems to be to freak out as many people as possible. It’s hard to describe what you even see here because half of it is distorted thanks to the camera work. What you can make out is not any better: Manson stalking around in freaky makeup and a ripped tutu, Manson roaming around on stilts, and just his behavior in general. The setting is also pretty disturbing. I’m not sure if they’re in a church or mansion, but wherever they are it’s dilapidated and looks like ghosts are ready to attack from every corner.
4. Evil Eye- Franz Ferdinand
This video is an homage to b-horror movies. It even looks like something you would check out at 2 AM while browsing Netflix. It actually has a good amount of blood and guts. Even though the effects are low budget, there’s still something about them that’s a little unsettling. This video is not for the squeamish. The creepiest scene is when singer Alex Kapranos‘ face is super imposed on a heavy set guy with a drooping stomach. It’s even worse as we are forced to watch him scratch his butt and pick his nose. The end shows someone wielding an ax and splitting a person in half and yes, we get to see the gooey aftermath. Franz Ferdinand usually have odd videos, but this has to be their most unsettling.
3. Spit it Out- Slipknot
Here Slipknot provides their own take on The Shining, but they focus on the most popular or famous scenes from the movie: riding the tricycle in the hall, the bathtub scene again, “Here’s Johnny” scene, Wendy threatening Jack with the bat on the stairwell, and even the ending with the winter maze. There’s even a quick glimpse of the furry scene, though it’s not as detailed as the Thirty Seconds to Mars rendition, which is probably a good thing. The iconic scenes are even creepier thanks to the band’s standard masks, especially the clown one. It’s way too unsettling.
2. Return of the Phantom Stranger- Rob Zombie
Just about all of Rob Zombie’s videos could make this list, but there’s something about this one that really feels perfect for the season. Zombie and his ghoulish mates are performing in a graveyard dressed in skeleton costumes, while a creepy looking monster, probably the phantom stranger, roams around in an eerie manner. The beginning is really unsettling; it’s nothing but someone playing the organ in black robes and a creepy skeleton mask just staring at the camera. No matter how much he moves, his eyes are always on you and it’s unnerving. When it comes to ghouls, ghosts, the occult, and horror Rob Zombie is the best.
1. Thriller- Michael Jackson
There’s a reason why this is the greatest video of all time; it’s a classic that still holds up to this day. This video has all the elements of a good Halloween clip: monsters, zombies, blood, and dancing. Admit it, the part when Jackson says “GO AWAY!” still creeps you out. The transformation and the special effects are pretty amazing and still look good to this day. There are so many great moments in this video that it’s hard to pick one: Jackson dancing with the zombies, the transformation, and the ending still with Jackson’s creepy contacts and smile. The one thing that still creeps me out is the close up of the zombie with blood dripping out of its mouth. That’s something I can never get over. Plus, the dancing is unforgettable. Whenever it comes on, you have to get up and try to do it no matter how stupid you look.