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Horrifying hits

Halloween playlists to terrify this season

October 20, 2021

Everyone knows the Halloween hits. “Thriller,” “The Monster Mash,” “Ghostbusters.” Some of us love these timeless classics. And then there are those who desire something more, something fresh and sensational. I’ve got your back. I created Spotify playlists featuring songs that could be the Halloween hits of tomorrow. These tunes are so spooky and groovy that we won’t be able to sleep out of fear and sheer funk.

 

Halloween Party

This is an average Halloween party playlist, except it’s more hair-raising. It’s a blend of modern and vintage, as shown by “Maniac” by Conan Gray and “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads. One of the creepiest pop rock songs, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, is a must-listen during this season. And there’s no party without Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald crooning away with “Witchcraft” and “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” respectively.

Trick or Treat

Trick-or-treating is something many high schoolers think they’re too old for. But sometimes we get a little nostalgic. Blast this mixtape while strolling the streets in search of sweets or while reliving the glory days of childhood. “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran makes a person feel like a prowler desperate for sweets while “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles paints a psychedelic image for a night students will never forget.

 

Haunted Mansion

This one is probably my favorite. This playlist is the soundtrack to an experience in a creaky, bloodcurdling mansion. It features ‘30s to ‘50s jazz and the occasional ‘60s tune. “It’s All Forgotten Now” by Al Bowlly is so ghostly it was included in the classic horror movie “The Shining.” “The Way I Feel Inside” is a bone chilling track by the Zombies, and what Halloween themed playlist is complete without a song by a group of that name?  

Groovin’ Graveyard

If you’re one to ditch the conventional Halloween social activities, this is the playlist for you. Sneaking around graveyards and trying to catch ghosts in the act may be a more underground sport (get it?), but the vibes are still far-out. “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac is perfect for dressing up witchy to conjure spirits. “Creep” by mxmtoon is a magical cover of Radiohead’s hit that feels like a spell has been cast over you. And I just had to include “Thriller” by Michael Jackson because that iconic music video is literally bringing people back from the dead with its funk.

Haunting history

Trick-or-Treating

Most people don’t know why we trick-or-treat, carve pumpkins or even dress up for halloween. 

Many don’t know that Halloween, and many of the traditions that come with it, started with the Celts, a group of people who lived in present day Ireland, the United Kingdom, and parts of France 2000 years ago.

The Celts celebrated the new year, the end of harvest and beginning of winter, on Nov. 1.

Celebrations began on Oct. 31, or what was known as All Hallow’s Eve. They celebrated with feasts, gatherings and bonfires. It was believed that, on this day, the boundary between the living world and the world of the dead acted as a portal for spirits to cause trouble on earth.

This festival was called Samhain. During this festival, people would wear masks and costumes made of animal skins to ward off the spirits visiting earth. They would set up banquets of food to appease spirits.

Overtime, this tradition evolved. The spread of Christianity led to Nov. 2 becoming All Souls’ Day, a day for honoring the dead. People would go from door to door of wealthier homes asking for ales and foods and promising to pray for the souls of the families’ loved ones in exchange.

The yearly tradition soon became the Halloween we know today, with kids dressing in costumes as obscure as dinosaurs or astronauts, and head door to door asking for candy from strangers.

Carving Pumpkins

The tradition of pumpkin carving comes from the legend of Stingy Jack, an Irish myth about a man who repeatedly tricked the devil. 

First, Jack invited the devil to have a drink with him but Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink. He convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to pay for his drink.

But Jack doubled down on his stinginess, putting his coin in his pocket and protecting it with a silver cross, so that the devil couldn’t return to his original form. 

Eventually the devil was freed under the condition of sparing Jack’s soul for a year.

Once a year was over, Jack tricked the devil into climbing up a tree, and trapped him there with a cross he carved in the bark. The conditions of the devil’s freedom were that he could not bother Jack for another ten years.

Jack then roamed the earth using a coal in a turnip he carved to guide him. People then began carving their own turnips and pumpkins. The term “Jack of the Lantern” was born, and evolved into, “Jack o’ lantern.”  (Graphic by Saloni Mistry)

In those ten years, Jack died and was not allowed to enter hell because of the deal he made with the devil, and he couldn’t enter heaven because of his trickery. Jack then roamed the earth using a coal in a turnip he carved to guide him. People then began carving their own turnips and pumpkins. The term “Jack of the Lantern” was born, and evolved into, “Jack o’ lantern.” 

Omens

Owls

Owls have long been associated with Halloween because of their nocturnal nature. They come out exclusively at night, and hunt stealthily, giving them a reputation of mystery. There is a myth that owls are the messengers of witches, earning them the title of a bad omen. 

Black Cats

Another bad omen, a black cat, can be traced back to witches. During the Salem witch trials, black cats owned by suspected witches would be blamed for their owner’s witchcraft. People thought that the witches could transform into black cats, and use them for witchcraft. This led to a lot of violence towards the animal, and the reputation that they are omens of death.

Bats

Bats are associated with Halloween because of their bloodsucking nature. The myth began that bats were vampires, and they became a bad omen. Their usual victims are sleeping cattle and horses, making people associate them with power, because of their capability of taking on bigger animals.

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Scary flicks

I love a good horror movie. They’re engaging, they have character, they have emotion and if done right, they can be so much fun.

My favorite movie experiences are watching horror movies with friends. That mild trauma can be so fun to share , but I love watching horror movies alone just as much.

Around Halloween, I’ll watch as many horror movies as I can fit into my free time, ranging from classics that I love to new releases that I know nothing about. If you are in need of some recommendations,here are three that I believe are worthy of your time.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is one of my favorite movies ever made. It’s terrifying, it’s suspenseful, and it perfectly executes a simple concept that any horror fan can get behind. Teens are driving through a small town in Texas and they run out of gas in an area that just so happens to be home to a family of cannibals. That’s straightforward, yet still gives a deeply disturbing and engaging viewing experience that is unlike any other.

Many believe this film to be disgusting, violent and gory, but it is surprisingly tame. The gore is mostly implied, but the atmosphere is so tense and the setting and style are so repulsive that people remember this movie as being much more violent than it is. It’s often misunderstood as being cheap and hacky when it’s far more complex than that in reality.

On top of being a great example of a tense and terrifying slasher, it has deeper tones woven throughout it about class inequality, the ethics of the meat industry, and the war in Vietnam. This film is so much more than its reputation.I highly recommend it.

“Evil Dead II” is a completely different kind of masterpiece. It is as goofy and campy as it gets, but it knows it. It’s a genre bend of horror and slapstick comedy that gives a funny yet engaging horror viewing experience unlike any other movie I’ve seen. 

This movie is downright weird and much of that uniqueness comes from the direction by Sam Raimi and the amazing performance by Bruce Campbell in the lead role. 

You don’t even need to watch the first “Evil Dead” movie because the first 20 minutes of this film is basically a remake of the first movie. This movie is perfect for a light, not-too-intense Halloween horror experience.

““Evil Dead II” is a completely different kind of masterpiece. It is as goofy and campy as it gets, but it knows it.” (Courtesy of Renaissance Pictures)

If you’re looking for a newer film, or one that’s currently in theaters, the best choice by far is the new James Wan movie, “Malignant.” This movie is made for fans of the genre and if you enjoy the supernatural horror found in movies like “The Conjuring” or “Sinister,” you’ll love this movie.

I don’t want to give too much detail about this movie because I went into it not knowing anything about it, and it was so nice to not have any aspects of the plot or scares spoiled for me. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you are a horror fan, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

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