Redbrick writers and editors come together to select their favourite spooky songs for Halloween 2022

Images by David Menidrey

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. 

Jess Parker

Released on the eighth of June 1984, ‘Ghostbusters’ serves as the main theme tune to the beloved Halloween favourite, Ghostbusters. Written and performed by Ray Parker Jr., the titular single to this supernatural comedy has been featured in every iteration of the Ghostbusters franchise since the very first movie.

Parker Jr.’s vocals are lively and exciting, capturing the energy of the Ghostbusters movie perfectly. The use of synthesizer overdubs throughout the track captures the synth/keyboard craze of the 1980s, providing a sense of nostalgia from the get-go. The single’s intro is instantly recognisable, taking listeners back in time as soon as they hit play.


In Every Dream Home A Heartache – Roxy Music 

Emma Gardner 

One of Roxy Music’s more ambitious endeavours, the song is a stark contrast to the usual upbeat, glamorous numbers that the band epitomise. The particular element that makes this song such a spooky classic is the unnerving organ that subtly circulates in the back, providing a luscious but disturbing backdrop to Bryan Ferry’s hazy vocals.

The song depicts the love story between a man and a blow up doll. At first glance, this might seem like a strange subject matter for a rock song, but the reality is far more sinister and musically brilliant.

The song serves as an ominous ode to the dark side of luxury and wealth

The song serves as an ominous ode to the dark side of luxury and wealth. Ferry’s monologue is certainly disquieting, and the listener will be glad when the line ‘I blew up your body, but you blew my mind’ serves as the spark for one of Phil Manzanera’s most memorable, face-melting solos.

The end to the song is particularly chilling, representing the use of phase-shifting techniques, to give the listener the impression that the song has ended. Yet, it bounces back, to finally prove why it will always be one of the most spine-chilling songs in the Roxy Music catalogue. Just take its use in the series Mindhunter, over the story of serial killer Dennis Rader. Enough said.


Halloween – Phoebe Bridgers

Faith Parker

Gracing the stage in a skeleton costume, Phoebe Bridgers is an artist who embraces Halloween. You don’t have to look far to see more evidence of this, notably the ghost on her first album’s cover. Whilst many see Halloween as a thrilling time of year, Bridgers views it in a slightly different light. For her, it is ‘the first holiday to usher in the end of the year, it’s always a bit melancholic’.

Her album Punisher perfectly captures this melancholia and it is eerily beautiful. ‘Halloween’ is a song about a fading relationship. The speaker sings ‘sick of the questions I keep asking you/ that make you live in the past’. They are clearly worried about how they have been acting; they may be anxious for Halloween in hope that it will resurrect the relationship.

Bridgers sings ‘Baby, it’s Halloween/ and we can be anything’. Whilst this can be interpreted as the speaker persuading her partner to pretend that everything is fine, it also exhibits the beauty of Halloween. The holiday allows people to play with their identity and be creative.

Though ‘Halloween’ is less spooky and more haunting, the ethereal nature of the song makes it the perfect soundtrack for a crisp Autumn walk. Bridgers embodies the aesthetic of Halloween both through her music and gentle vocals.


The End – The Doors 

Benjamin Oakden 

It’s quite amazing to think that ‘The End’ started off as a simple breakup song, given that it would turn into a deeply complex epic about the embrace of death. The raga-inspired instrumentation creates a creepy and disturbing atmosphere that elevates singer Jim Morrison’s darkly poetic musings. When asked about the meaning behind the song, Morrison said ‘life hurts a lot more than death … I guess [death] is a friend’.

…this poetic and visionary record is a piece of twisted genius

The lyrics start off with a frank discussion of this theme, describing death as ‘limitless and free’ before the song descends into a darkly psychedelic nightmare in which the listener is trapped in the shoes of a killer. Morrison launches into a Freudian, explicative-ridden breakdown, and the disturbing music crescendos, before we’re gradually taken out of the song with one final reflection on Morrison’s twisted vision of the beauty of death.

Perhaps ‘The End’ is so unsettling as it places us into Morrison’s headspace. Morrison was reportedly under the influence of LSD when The Doors first recorded the song, with the singer becoming obsessed with the Oedipus complex, leading to the spoken word section that makes the song even more disturbing. It’s no wonder then, that ‘The End’ is set up like a bad trip, with the listener left as a passenger being dragged through complex and unnerving themes that they may not be prepared to face. For that reason, this poetic and visionary record is a piece of twisted genius.

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