Long before the days of watching anything with the click of a finger on YouTube, I spent many hours as a kid hoping to see my favorite music videos on MTV. Growing up with a mom that read Stephen King novels and older siblings who liked to put on a horror film to try to scare me, I've always been attracted to the spooky side.
When I was younger, the best music video of all time was Michael Jackson's "Thriller," an epic short film in song form that would only air around Halloween and late at night. It was both scary and cool -- and Vincent Price's laugh at the end would haunt me to the point I'd cover my ears.
Fast forward to now, anything goes in the world of music videos. I've taken notice of some of my favorite artists releasing ones in the horror genre.
Here are 10 horror music videos I love:
Gorillaz - "Saturnz Barz (Spirit House)"
This animated video finds the 2-D Gorillaz gang at an abandoned house. You want to scream: "Don't go in!" But they do, and the video takes the characters on a trippy ride of what it's like to be lost in a digital world, a theme mirrored throughout the new album "Humanz." The house in the video is based on a real-life haunted house in Detroit (220 Hendrie Street - I Googled it)!
Marlon Williams - "Vampire Again"
New Zealand's Marlon Williams is one of my favorite music discoveries of the year. In fact, his song "Vampire Again" may be my favorite new Halloween song! I'm smitten over his swagger in this video, and even more so by his campy vampire portrayal based on the 1922 film "Nosferatu." He revealed that his love of horror films inspired this song when he was in Los Angeles for Halloween last year and needed to take a break from songwriting. He saw that the L.A. Opera was scoring "Nosferatu" so he decided to go dressed up as the beloved title character. He arrived late to the venue, but everyone else was dressed in formal wear rather than Halloween costumes.
itchy-O - "Gallow's Disco"
This music video debuted in front of a horror-loving audience at Telluride Horror Show. The response was as exciting as seeing this Denver band live: itchy-O is a 50-person band with extraordinary stage presence and this music video captures what it's like to attend one of its shows. The music is perfectly menacing to match the costumed group.
Mitski - "Happy"
The video tells the story of a husband who spoils his wife with lavish gifts that he (unbeknownst to her) gets from his many lovers. Once the secret is revealed, things quickly turn gruesome and there's a surprise twist ending that you're going to want to see!
Wolf Alice - "You're A Germ"
Probably the ultimate homage to slasher films, this music video centers around the band being chased by an axe-wielding psycho while camping in a remote cabin. And that's just the first of the horrific characters they meet. From its first drop of blood, this is a perfect music video for horror fans.
King Krule - Dum Surfer
The Guardian has called this new song by King Krule -- the stage name of British artist Archy Marshall -- a "modern day Monster Mash." You like zombies, right? Well get to watching this undead performance from Marshall and his band. Be sure to watch all the way to the end when the stretcher takes off on its own.
Japanese Breakfast - "Road Head"
This video stars frontwoman Michelle Zauner, who hangs out with a monster doing seemingly normal things like eating ramen, driving at night and cuddling. But after all this partying, will it end well?
Toro Y Moi - "How I Know"
The haunted house theme returns with this campy romp of a music video from Toro Y Moi. Gorgeous ghost twins trapped in the house haunt three friends who enter at their own risk.
Sharon Van Etten - "Every Time The Sun Comes Up"
Maybe it was my experience as a latchkey kid in second grade watching reruns of "The Munsters" every day after school, but this video that centers around a Grandpa Munster-looking aging vampire cuts deep. While the star of this video looks like the elder Munster, he seems to be more of an Elvira, a television host of cult horror films.
Shakey Graves - "Dearly Departed"
"Beetlejuice" meets "It Follows" in this raucous spooker of a video starring Denver's Esme Patterson along with Alejandro Rose-Garcia aka Shakey Graves as ghosts who lead a freshly broken up couple to the darkside. Patterson and Rose-Garcia wrote this song on Halloween morning in 2013 over coffee before their bands played a big show in Boulder at the Fox Theatre.
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