Songs For The Spooky Season

Partner content from Folk Alley

Werewolf (300)
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The house makes weird noises at night. Shadowy figures stand at the foot of your bed. There's something in your closet. In honor of Halloween, FolkAlley.com has compiled a five-hour stream of music featuring ghost stories, witch songs, tales of the weird, vampire legends and, of course, murder ballads. If you're the least bit squeamish, afraid of the dark or living with an impressionable child, DO NOT LISTEN to this music stream. You've been warned.

Here are some highlights from FolkAlley.com's Halloween Scream Stream:

Folk Alley Picks Songs For The

Cover for It's Just the Night

The Del McCoury Band

  • Artist: The Del McCoury Band
  • Album: It's Just the Night
  • Song: It's Just the Night

Walking in the woods alone at night can be terrifying. An owl hooting in the distance sounds like a signal from hell. Trees look like creatures under the moonlight. Not to fear, though: Bluegrass legend Del McCoury will walk you home.

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Song
It's Just the Night
Album
It's Just the Night
Artist
The Del McCoury Band
Label
McCoury Music

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cover for Gambling Eden

Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem

  • Artist: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
  • Album: Gambling Eden
  • Song: O Death

Pleading for your life to Death himself may or may not help you in the end. "O Death" is found in both white and black folklore from Texas to the Georgia Sea Islands. Some say the words are those of a dying slave beaten by a cruel plantation mistress, while others claim that it comes from a Kentucky hill-preacher stricken by the Lord for ignoring His call. "I am Death, no one can excel / I open the doors to heaven and hell."

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Song
O Death
Album
Gambling Eden
Artist
Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Label
Signature
Released
2003

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Cover for Sunny Spells & Scattered Showers

Solas

  • Artist: Solas
  • Album: Sunny Spells & Scattered Showers
  • Song: Unquiet Grave

Mourning for your dead lover is fine, but when you hang out by the gravesite for "twelvemonth and a day," weird things begin to happen. When your lover's ghost rises from the ground, you may want to kiss its cold clay lips. Not a good idea. This ballad comes from a highly important work by English scholar Francis James Child (1825-1896), from his English and Scottish Popular Ballads collection -- he included seven different variations on the text. Even the oddball rock band Ween recorded a version of this song. This is Child Ballad #78.

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Song
Unquiet Grave
Album
Sunny Spells & Scattered Showers
Artist
Solas
Label
Shanachie
Released
1997

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Cover for Oh Boy! O'Boy!

Tim O'Brien & O'Boys

  • Artist: Tim O'Brien & O'Boys
  • Album: Oh Boy! O'Boy!
  • Song: He Had a Long Chain On

You're lying in bed at night when a man appears in your window with a long chain wrapped around his body. He makes a mournful sound. He's hungry. You feed him. You ask to set him free. He thankfully declines your offer and leaves, never to be seen again, but his chains still rattle around your house. Written by Jimmie Driftwood in 1960, this song has been covered by Odetta and Peter, Paul & Mary, and most recently by Robert Earl Keen.

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Song
He Had a Long Chain On
Album
Oh Boy! O'Boy!
Artist
Tim O'Brien & O'Boys
Label
Sugar Hill
Released
1993

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cover of 'First Utterance'

Comus

  • Artist: Comus
  • Album: First Utterance
  • Song: Diana

Rumored to be a crazed cult worshipping the evil god Comus, this band recorded what may be the most sinister, demonic and morbid all-acoustic albums ever released: 1971's First Utterance. The truth isn't so horrid, though -- they were art students. While other bands at the time were singing about peace and love, Comus sang of ritual sacrifice. The group reunited in 2008.

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Song
Diana
Album
First Utterance
Artist
Comus
Label
DIW
Released
1971

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Chris Boros is operations director for FolkAlley.com and music host for WKSU-FM in Kent, Ohio. He compiled Folk Alley's special Halloween Scream Stream.

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