5 Seriously Creepy Country Songs to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

When creating the perfect Halloween playlist, country music probably isn’t the first genre that comes to mind. But, from a song about Hank William’s ghost to one about a Voodoo witch, this list of 5 country songs might prevent you from getting a full night of beauty sleep. Listen/read/watch at your own risk…(cue evil laughter)

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1. “Midnight in Montgomery” (1992) – Alan Jackson

Written by Alan Jackson and Don Sampson, this song tells the story of a creepy encounter with Hank William’s ghost. Filled with imagery of a chilly and windy night, you can’t help but feel a slight urge to sleep with the lights on (and avoid Montgomery at all costs). The narrator questions whether the ghost “was ever really there” or just a figment of his imagination….I guess we’ll never know.

2. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (1979) – Charlie Daniels Band

Written and performed by the Charlie Daniels Band, this song recounts a fiddling contest between a boy named Johnny and the devil. It alludes to the classic motif of the deal with the devil. The intensity of the fiddles keeps you on your toes throughout the whole song. But (spoiler alert) thankfully Johnny wins the contest in the end so you can rest a little easier.

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3. “Marie Laveau” (1974) – Bobby Bare

Written by Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, this song is about Marie Laveau—a 19th century Voodoo practitioner. The upbeat tone of the song really contrasts the creepy story Bare tells. But, the hissing/howling sound that Bare makes as Laveau kills each victim is enough to make you cringe. This song is a warning for men: treat every woman well because you never know when she could actually turn out to be a witch…

4. “(Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone to Kill” (1978) – Johnny Paycheck

There’s no beating around the bush in this song composed by Johnny Paycheck and Aubrey Mayhew; his intentions are clear and concise. He sings about killing a man who took his woman away from him. He doesn’t care that he’ll “surely die” for committing this murder since he’s a “dead man anyhow” without her. Lesson learned, Johnny: don’t mess with a cowboy’s girl.

5. “Country Death Song” (1984) – Violent Femmes

With a name like Violent Femmes, it’s pretty obvious that this artist probably isn’t someone you want to take home to mom. In “Country Death Song”, Femmes tells the story of real event where a man intentionally threw his daughter into a well and then hung himself. Enough said.

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The storytelling nature of country music transforms these songs into “ghost stories” in a sense. If you remove the instruments/melody and simply read the lyrics aloud over the campfire in the woods…you’d probably make a few people wide-eyed and paranoid. If you’re looking for a last-minute Halloween costume, Hank William’s ghost or Marie Laveau might be the perfect fit. Party safe.

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Filed under Blog Post 3, Lists, Song Analysis

8 Responses to 5 Seriously Creepy Country Songs to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

  1. Matt Wills

    Hannah, this was a great idea for a blog post! Your song choice was really good too. It was fun to read, and you’re totally right. Even the music video for “Country Death Song” by the Violent Femmes was really creepy and unsettling. Usually I don’t equate country music with being scary or creepy, but your article definitely changed my mind. It just goes to show you that country music has an incredibly wide range and that it’s really not the two-dimensional genre that many critics of country music think it is. Overall, I thought this was a cool idea and definitely got me in the Halloween spirit!

  2. Claudia Boyd

    Wow! I had never researched country songs to put me in the Halloween spirit, but you really did a great job in showing us. I had no idea that certain songs contained hissing and howling sounds. That is so cool that even back in 1974 Bobby Bare introduced these creative techniques in order to convey eerie and creepy tones. This article is very timely since this weekend is Halloween so you did a great job in setting the mood for the week and getting me to think about one of my favorite holidays! I really enjoyed this unique and creative post, thanks for sharing!

  3. Stephanie Sebo

    I could not agree more with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”! I remember listening to this song when I was younger and it always gave me an unsettling feeling. I come from a religious family, too, so it made things even more eerie. I have never heard of “Country Death Song” until now, and it also made me feel very uneasy. I think the music video posted here contributed to the creepy vibes of the song. The way the song is sung is very on edge, too. “Started making plans to kill my own kind” is the icing on the cake

  4. Morgan Lohmeier

    This was a well-thought up post! I had never heard three of the songs on this list before, so it was interesting to hear of these old, creepy songs that I didn’t know existed. The one about the father throwing his daughter down a well and then hanging himself is pretty intense! You did a great job finding some great examples of haunting halloween-themed country songs to listen to as we gear up for the creepy holiday this coming weekend. Awesome job.

  5. Ginny Montalbano

    What a great idea for a blog post! Great timing with Halloween right around the corner! You introduced some perfectly selected songs. It was also a great read because a lot of these songs were older, and I had not heard them so it was very informative. I will definitely be sending some of these to my sisters. I think the one about Hank Williams’ ghost is definitely creepy- he died young etc., so I wasn’t surprised to see there had been a song like that written about him. He is still so present in country music (even in a scary way!) The song “Marie Laveau” I found interesting because Shel Silverstein wrote that, and my mom has several quotes/works by him that she really likes so I immediately recognized his name. Great post!

  6. Darah Welch

    Hannah this post is just what I need to get ready for Halloween. It’s so true that we don’t usually associate country music with scary themes such as voodoo and witchcraft (it seems like the more blog posts I read and the more songs we listen to in class, the more I realize how much variety of topics and themes there are in country music). I also appreciate that you brought up a Bobby Bare song now that we all know who he is after class today. After hearing his music it is easy to understand that he would sing about something kind of dark. I can’t wait to add these tunes to my Halloween play list!!!

  7. Kayla Miracle

    Hannah, this was such a creative idea for your blog post. I (like many of the people who have previously commented) have never thought about scary country songs. Often, the closest holidays to associate country music with are the Fourth of July and Christmas but you definitely showed how country music can also be listened to to get into the Halloween spirit. Honestly, it’s not a surprise though that country can be seen as scary – I feel like there’s a lot of country about death which is scary enough for me. I absolutely love the Charlie Daniels Band song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and it fits in this category so well. It used to be my all time favorite country song as a kid – it’s scary but it’s definitely a fun song. This list is definitely going to get me in the Halloween spirit this week. Thanks for posting!

  8. Alyssa Buchanan

    Hannah this was a fun read, and such a great blog post. The GIFs made it funny and helped the progression of it, and then the relevancy of this post made it all the better. I love that you found a way to tie in country music to halloween, before this post I may have thought that it couldn’t be done. In my Buzzfeed article I used the Johnny Paycheck song “(Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone to Kill” and that song is so creepy and fits perfectly here. Johnny Paycheck himself is also a little scary considering his history as a jail bird for actually shooting someone! Thanks for sharing.

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