Horror stories involving music

Horror fiction does not often feature music as a plot element. True, the two are not a natural or obvious pair. But considering the omnipresence of music in our lives, this represents untapped potential. That seems to be changing with a spate of works published since 2016. For those of us who enjoy our horror and music together, I’ve compiled the list below, which I will periodically update. Whether music is the backdrop (The Shatter Point), the key to the story (Violin), or an element that adds atmosphere and mystery (The Willows) varies according to the work. I welcome your feedback. Continue reading →

10 best movies featuring a ghost story

Movie poster for Gothic ghost story Crimson PeakI love a good ghost story. Movies abound in the horror and slasher genres, some with quite effective soundtracks. Fewer films, however, qualify as a legitimate ghost story. That may be because it’s more challenging to subtly create dread than to shock with jump shots and gore. The 10 movies listed below don’t simply scare us. They use ghosts to explore themes of greed, guilt, loyalty, hubris, jealousy… Whether American, Spanish, British, Australian, Thai, or Japanese, these movies play with our sense of what is real. The characters themselves don’t quite know what to believe, but all of them must ultimately confront something fundamental about themselves or the world. The soundtracks, all using different approaches, effectively enhance the atmosphere. Continue reading →

Your ultimate Halloween haunt playlist

Image for Dark Soundscape of Fear playlistYesterday I shared my playlist for Halloween parties. Today’s playlist is geared toward a Halloween haunt. This “Dark Soundscape of Fear” playlist features dark, ambient tracks interspersed with subtly creepy rhythms and strange sounds. A surprising amount of dark, ambient music exists, much of it rather effective. But to save you the trouble of wading through so much music, I created this playlist for Halloween haunts or wherever there is a need for a spooky atmosphere. Continue reading →

Your ultimate Halloween party playlist

Image for Halloween Party PlaylistAre you dissatisfied with the Halloween party playlists you come across? I certainly am. Too short, or too many songs that are only marginally appropriate. That’s why I created a playlist on Spotify that includes well-known favorites (like “Thriller,” of course) and lesser-known gems (“Burn the Witch” by Radiohead). The compilation currently fills just under 3 hours of music. Most are popular songs but I’ve thrown in a few TV and movie themes as well. Continue reading →