The Songs That Scare You

A skeleton band performs at the North Portico of the White House in Washington on Oct. 31, 2009. i i
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
A skeleton band performs at the North Portico of the White House in Washington on Oct. 31, 2009.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Have you ever had a song that scared the pants off you? Is there a song lingering deep in your psyche that sends chills right through you?

Here in Washington, D.C., there's a crisp chill in the air, and the leaves are changing color. It's fall, and Halloween is creeping steadily toward us.

In the spirit of the season, we want to know your favorite Halloween songs — no, not "The Monster Mash," but songs that make you want to shut your eyes and huddle under a blanket in fear; songs that make you check the dark corners of your room twice before falling asleep. We're talking about seriously, bone-chillingly scary music.

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Take Sufjan Stevens' "John Wayne Gacy Jr.," for example. It scares the bejesus out of both me and Bob Boilen. On the surface, it's a gorgeous acoustic guitar ballad. But beneath the soft veneer of folk music and Stevens' hushed voice, it's a truly horrifying song. Stevens' gentle whisper stops sounding so achingly beautiful once you realize, as the title indicates, that the song is about the "Killer Clown" who murdered approximately 30 young men in Chicago in the 1970s and buried them under his house. It's a seriously disturbing song.

Now it's your turn. Tell us about the scariest songs you've ever heard. In the comments section, give us your first name, where you're from, the name of the song and why it has you shaking in your boots.

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