The 12 Days of Halloween

The best time of year is upon us and it is time to celebrate all things spooky.

Watching horror films and putting up macabre decorations is a good start to getting into that Halloween spirit, but we find it’s just as important to have a spooky soundtrack to boot. So until Hallow’s Eve graces us on the 31st of October Transistor will be bringing the spook in early with the 12 days of Halloween.

Each day we’ll be updating this piece to post some of the darkest and eeriest sounds that have been committed to music from a variety of different genres and styles but all with the same shared goal: to create music that unsettles the listener, explores the occult and in general, conjures the Halloween spirit into the listener. – liam toner (@tonerliam)

Day 12 – Static Age by The Misfits

At the end of the day, it’s night. But also, at the end of the day there’s only one band you need to listen to on Halloween and that’s the Misfits. Misfits were a punk band formed 1977 in New Jersey and would become internationally loved as a cult band thanks to marrying of punk music with horror themes. Early in their career, their dedication to horror would have them arrested for grave-robbing after a gig. Although over the years The Misfits would go through a plethora of members with several good albums under the belt there best album would be 1996’s Static Age. Although released in 1996 Static Age should have been their debut as it was recorded in 1978 but no labels wanted to put it out which is such a missed opportunity as Static Age stands as one of the greatest punk albums of all time.

There are many reasons to why this album stands out as their best and one of those reasons is consistency. Listening to the album is such a thrill as were giving anthem after anthem with probably only Theme for a Jackal being a missable track. As the album features the bands early material they’re still wearing their influences on their sleeves but unlike other punk bands of the time Misfits influences added up to a very interesting sound. Many of the compositions (all by vocalist Danzig) take riff and chord progressions from rock and roll, rockabilly and doo-wop and mixed with Danzig’s vocal’s sounding like a gritty mish-mash between Jim Morrison and Elvis make for a potent combination. The icing on the cake for the band is, of course, the morbid, b-movie inspired lyrics.
The track Hybrid Moments which is essentially a punked up 50s song with a twist shows the band at their most infectious with hooks-a-plenty and a song that is just emanating raw energy throughout the tracks brief length.

Another fan favourite would be Last Caress. This song stands out as one of the most Ramones sounding songs the band has done but it’s Danzig’s vocal work on the track that makes the track so exciting. Although the lyrical approach of the track was apparently to be as edgy as possible it’s the juxtaposition between abhorrent lyrical themes mixed with high energy poppy punk that makes this track downright amazing. It’s hard to listen to the vocal break near the end where Danzig bellows out the track title without getting chills down your spine.

 

Day 11 – Christian Death’s Only Theatre of Pain

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In the late 70s/early 80s goth rock music would be pioneered in England with bands such as Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy but across the pond a similar sound would be developing under the moniker Deathrock, where Californian band Christian Death would influence and inspire the whole scene thanks to their debut album Only Theatre of Pain.

Whereas the UK goth scene favoured low baritone singing to create moods, vocalist Rozz Williams’ vocal style would be much more whining and manic and at times Williams would create tortured soundscapes by layering his pained moans. While the modus operandi of the group would be anti-Christianity, lyrics would also allude to graveyards, Satan and necrophilia amongst other antagonistic topics which creates a lot of chilling imagery in the band’s work. The other thing that made the band really special was the guitar work from Rikk Agnew. Agnew originally played with punk band The Adolescents but the approach he had to guitar in Christian Death would perhaps be his most powerful. Making use of guitar effects regularly Agnew would create all sorts of haunting atmospheres with weird lead lines, solos and guitar manipulations. His unique style is particularly good on the track Spiritual Cramp a song based around a punkish dirge with a completely eerie and strange solo.

Following from Spiritual Cramp comes Christian Death’s most renown song Romeo’s Distress. The song has a morbid pop sensibility to it that makes the track totally infectious but still retains an evil spooky quality that makes it essential listening for the Halloween period.

Day 10 – Obscure and Forgotten Horror Rock of the 60s

There was a weird time in the early to mid-60s where (mostly) American rock and roll bands decided to make songs about monsters, horror clichés and in general, Halloween flavoured topics. A lot of the examples of these songs were made by small bands that only ever released singles here and there. Fortunately, in today’s day and age, we have Youtube, a platform for all of these forgotten gems. This spooky phenomenon was very scattered and doesn’t seem to originate from anything or anywhere in particular and as such a lot of these types of songs vary in style. In this playlist we have for you today you’ll get a blend of surf rock, rockabilly, blues, garage and rock and roll all related by their ghoulish themes.

Day 9 – Drei Lieder op. 25 by Anton Webern

Anton Webern was an Austrian composer that in the first half of the 20th century would become known for his unsettling and avant-garde compositions. Webern was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and would take a lot from his teachings, but Webern would become most known for his use with the serialism technique. Serialism, as created by Schoenberg, is a guideline for creating atonal melodies. It is done by taking all 12 notes in an octave and arranging them in random orders without repeating any notes.

This means that the melody will never find a tonal centre as all notes are used equally. Drei Lieder op. 25 is made for two instruments: piano and female voice. Both the voice and the piano make use of the serialism technique and in doing so create a skin-crawling and creepy piece that would be the last thing you’d want to hear when exploring a graveyard at night.

Day 8 – Funeral Parade by Part 1

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Part 1 are a bit of a strange band. They came out of the UK’s late 70s/early 80s Anarcho-Punk scene, home to such overtly political bands such as Crass, Flux of Pink Indians and Conflict. Part 1 would be regulars to the Wapping Autonomy Centre (also known as The Anarchy Centre) where many of these bands spent their time and put on charity gigs. Despite all this, the band’s sound would be separated from all of their peers’ thanks to its macabre subject matter and ghostly sound.

The band never managed to get too much recorded in their short run but their EP Funeral Parade is a mostly forgotten goth-punk banger. The songs are held together by hypnotic post-punk basslines and at times the bass is the key melodic element. Throughout a great deal of the EP the guitars (soaked in chorus/flange effects) just scream with feedback like banshees; in fact, feedback is used fantastically as a compositional element throughout the EP and is what creates such an eerie vibe throughout. Reading the tracklist gives us an early indication of what type of sound the band is creating with tracks such as Graveyard Song, Ghost, and Salem. One of the only things that might be recognized as Anarcho Punk is the vocals, a gravelly bite which keeps the tracks aggressive and punky making the bands spooky tone sound downright evil.

Day 7 – King Night by Salem

Salem are an American group whose debut album King Night, released in 2010, would gather a lot of attention for being a pioneering album in the Witch House genre. Their sound would blend chopped and screwed samples, trap style beats, ethereal operatic vocal samples with synth-laden instrumentals. This blend of sounds creates very dense soundscapes expertly blending between darkness and pop sensibility that would make the album one of the most interesting releases of that year.

Although other artists in this style would go much deeper into the occult themes and imagery it’s fair to say that this album would be a starting point and level of excellence that witch house artists would aspire to reach. King Night most importantly has an overall spooky and arcane vibe yet in a very modern way that makes it ideal for this time of year.

 

Day 6 – Memphis Rap

Memphis in the 90s was home to one of rap music’s spookiest subgenres – Memphis Rap. The groups that would come to define the style favoured dark instrumentals, 808 drum kits and fast double time and triplet flows (Memphis Raps influence on modern trap music is understated but huge). Groups would regularly sample horror movie scores and a great deal of the music was laced with a chilling, ominous atmosphere.

Many Memphis groups struggled to get much recognition and as such acts quite often relied on a D.I.Y. ethic in order to put out mixtapes. This led to many of the classic releases of the time being lo-fi in nature. However, this lo-fi quality at times added an extra depth to the music and adding to the mystery.

Three 6 Mafia

Of all the Memphis groups Three 6 Mafia would become the most commercially successful in the scene thanks to their debut album Mystic Stylez. Boosted by higher production value and by radio play of the track Da Summa Three 6 Mafia would become the face of the Memphis rap sound and would help inspire many artists for years to come.

The instrumentals on Mystic Stylez are rife with creepy atmosphere with most of the group contributing to production. DJ Paul brings a special flare to some of keyboard and synth lines due to his background as church organ player.
The title track of the album is the best representation of the groups unique sound and Lord Infamous’ triplet flow verse would make Migos blush.

“Mystic Styles of the ancient mutilations
Torture chambers filled with corpses in my basement”

 

Tommy Wright III

Although never quite attaining the success of Three 6 Mafia, Tommy Wright III was, to many, just as significant as the former. Wright would also heavily flirt with satanic themes, lyrics about murder as well as with the rapid-fire flows and eerie beats that Three 6 would use. On the cover for his Ashes 2 Ashes Dust 2 Dust mixtape Tommy can be seen standing in a graveyard with a shovel in his hand as if he’d been out graverobbing and stopped for a quick photo. His track Gangsta Forever is a strong representation of his talents as a rapper and the instrumental is nothing short of spooky.


Criminal Mafia

Criminal Mafia never came anywhere close to the level of modest success that the two previous artists but their Crucifixion mixtape stands out particularly for its totally lo-fi sound. The grainy and dusty sound quality of the tape gives it a very mysterious aesthetic. The songs all sound ancient as if this was a tape that was discovered in the dark woods with nobody knowing it’s origin.

 

Day 5 – Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett

When it comes to Halloween music there’s nothing that’s quite as iconic as Monster Mash. The song is your generic 50s doo-wop dance song but with a totally campy Halloween twist. The lyrics tell a story from a mad scientist’s perspective (Dr. Frankenstein’s most likely) of a monster he created coming to life and dancing “The Monster Mash” a dance that would become a fad amongst all your classic horror monster tropes such as zombies, ghouls, and vampires. The Monster Mash even made Dracula himself jealous as it usurped his dance craze the Transylvania Twist. The production takes the song just a little further with added B-movie horror sound effects spread throughout the track.

There’s nothing deep or ground-breaking about this track but Monster Mash is undeniably just a lot of fun and to this day is still considered by many THE Halloween song.

Day 4 – Bauhaus

Bauhaus are forever remembered as the forefathers of the goth rock genre. Forming in the late 70s alongside the rise of post-punk, Bauhaus would take the sounds emerging at the time and push them into much darker more theatrical realms. Vocalist Peter Murphy’s voice (a sinister baritone) would be mimicked by a huge number of bands following in their footsteps.

The band would release four albums over their initial short career but their debut In the Flat Field would stand out as their best with songs such as Dark Entries being a standout track with its high energy minimalist riff, smutty lyrics and the great backing vocal chant in the second chorus.

Bauhaus are one of those bands who are known for starting out at their peak and deteriorating in quality as they progressed. It’s easy to see why people think this when you take into account their very first single Bela Lugosi’s Dead. The track is an almost 10-minute-long masterpiece.

It starts with the clicking of percussion that is manipulated with delay effects to create bizarre and eerie sounds and then is joined by the bass guitar. The bass plays a very simple creeping bassline that varies subtlety while the guitar slowly starts to join the mix. The song consists of this unsettling instrumental until 2:50 when Murphy’s vocals finally kick in and hen they do it’s completely worth the wait. His baritone voice sings of Bela Lugosi the Hungarian actor whose performance in the 1931 adaption of Dracula would become legendary, particularly for giving birth to the stereotypical accent that Dracula would forever be associated with.

This track is a true goth rock anthem and is probably one of the best songs ever written around vampiric themes. Perfect for Halloween.

 

Day 3 – Dracula’s Music Cabinet by The Vampires of Dartmoore

It’s hard to find much information about this strange band other than they were a German band blending elements of jazz, blues, surf rock and psychedelia and their album Dracula’s Music Cabinet would be there only known release. Despite this, the band would be remembered in some circles as a cult band of freaks who created a soundtrack to a non-existing horror film and would stand out as one of rock music’s best forgotten, spooky gems.

You won’t find this album on youtube but Spotify and Apple music listeners should be able to hear it in all its glory.

Day 2 – T.S.O.L.

T.S.O.L seemingly started as a standard American Hardcore band in the late 70s but their magnum opus would prove to be 1981s Dance With Me. Some found their transition from straight punk into more gothic/deathrock material jarring, but the early blooming of deathrock on this album would make this record standout above a lot of the other hardcore releases at the time.

Tracks such as Code Blue would have vocalist Jack Grisham sing about no longer trying to get off with the girls at school, but instead, Grisham now fantasises about Necrophilia and breaking into the mortuary to enact his morbid fantasies. Silent Scream with its dark post-punk stylings featured lyrics stating, “I’m the cobwebbed stairs, the ancient bones…I’m the demon cowering in the corner”.

The title track Dance With Me stands out as a perfect closing track. The bridge section of the song breaks down into a single note pulsing bass line backed up by chorus drenched minor chords from the guitar. This builds into a climax where the songs main lyrical theme returns:

Dance with me my dear
On a floor of bones and skulls
The music is our master
The devil controls our souls”

Despite half of the album’s songs not quite embracing the spooky vibe of some of the standout tracks on here it’s quite easy to see why Dance With Me can be considered a horror punk classic and an album perfect for Halloween. We’ll leave you with this quote from vocalist Jack Grisham.

Yeah, we dug up some graves, but we dug up graves even before the first record. All that crap, like breaking into mortuaries – we’d done that before. Look at the first TSOL record, it thanks to the church PA – we’d been busting into churches and desecrating the altars. We’d steal the PA and spraypaint the altars.” 

 

Day 1 – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins originally planned on becoming an opera singer, but when that didn’t work out for him he began to sing for blues bands. However, he took a lot of opera’s theatricality into his stage presence which would have him donning crazy stage clothes and macabre props.

His stage performances along with his wild roaring vocal style on the track I Put a Spell on You would have him considered the father of ‘shock rock’ and he would inspire countless artists from Alice Cooper to Marilyn Manson. These days, I Put a Spell on You is considered a Halloween anthem and has been covered by countless artists.

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Now that you’ve got enough music to soundtrack the day, fling your costumes on and go hit up the graveyard and, most of all, Happy Halloween!

 

Music’s Creepiest Covers

Words from Charlie Leach (@yungbuchan), Josh Adams (@jxshadams), Kieran Cannon (@kiercannon), Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr), Liam Toner (@tonerliam) & Oliver Butler (@notolibutler)

The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been used so frequently that it’s pretty much been done to death: while we shouldn’t judge work solely by what’s on the paper in front of it, it’s hard not to pay attention to it, maybe even admire it. Multiple albums have come along with artistic creations that have reached an iconic status while others find themselves memed beyond comprehension

We’re not talking about that today – it’s Halloween and therefore we need to get that spooky dial turned all the way up to eleven! Bashing our collective heads together, along with the help of the good folks over at Patrician Music Chartposting, we’ve comprised a feature full of album covers that are eerie, unsettling, creepy or a mish-mash of all the above. Amongst them is a wildcard to test your courage: continue…if you dare!

TW: Suicide, guts and other NSFW material

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Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

 

John Dwyer’s absurdist musical rollercoaster has encountered plenty of twists and turns throughout the course of his enigmatic career. Representing one of its highest peaks, Thee Oh SeesFloating Coffin – like its bizarre, unnerving album cover – bares its teeth, demonstrating the unique ability of Dwyer et al. to up the ante and produce an album packed with heavy-duty psychedelic-infused DIY tunes.

 

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Painkiller – Guts Of A Virgin

 

The artwork for Guts Of A Virgin by Painkiller is immediately horrifying. Initially banned by UK censors (leading to customs seizing and destroying the first shipment of the physical release), this cover art is a perfect representation of the horrors that await on a first listen to this manic EP.

The psychedelic pattern bordering the graphic photograph help illustrate the EP’s blend of the macabre with hypnotic soundscapes. A band lead by the crazy mind of John Zorn is well deserving of cover art such as this.

 

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Sd Laika – That’s Harakiri

 

How fitting for an album so unashamedly weird, messy and, well, creepy to have an artwork that gives off that vibe? That’s Harakiri is the result of a musician, Sd Laika, meshing rigid haunting rhythms and sounds together in a way that really shouldn’t work but somehow does: the same haunting presence the music evokes can be felt from the creepy smile and desolate black eyes that take up most of this cover.

 

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Xiu Xiu – A Promise

 

A naked man, void of expression, holding a contorted baby doll upside down? Yup, totally normal…

 

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Black Sabbath – S/T

Not necessarily the sp00kiest album cover you’ll ever see, but at the time was definitely more harrowing than your average album artwork. Just look at that dark figure in the foreground and the ominous house in the background. This caused the band to be dubbed satanist and attracts fans of the occult to boot, with the cover certainly contributing to their new reputation.

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Dark Throne – A Blaze In The Northern Sky

When A Blaze In The Northern Sky was released in 1991 – it became a pivotal album, breaking away from the brutal sounding Death Metal that was popular in metal at the time to a completely cold and eerie take on extreme music. The album would be considered as the first Norwegian Black Metal album.

Not just breaking ground musically the band abandoned the painted, colourful covers that you’d see on metal albums and went for a grainy, black and white photograph of guitarist Zephyrous; in corpsepaint, in the dark looking nothing short of a ghost. One can only imagine how this would have stood out sitting on a record shelf amongst the other bright album covers.

 

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Arca – Mutant

Described by Justin Moran as “one-part insect, one-part alien and one-part satan”, the mutant that stares blankly into the beholder’s eyes on Arca‘s sophomore LP is simultaneously stunning and startling. Resembling something out of an SCP Foundation short story, everything about this monstrous creation gives off a weird essence, from the black, devilish horns to the rubbery red texture of its body.

 

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Coil – The Age of Naples

An album cover that by itself is pretty odd but becomes all the more apt and eerie when brought into context. On the 13th of November 2004, John Balance fell from a two-story balcony, killing him at the age of 42. The twisted up, unusual shape of the figure in this artwork’s body, along with the bloody red that covers the face and torso, resemble injuries that such a death would cause, leading this to be subtle but spooky nonetheless. 

 

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Nickelback – Feed The Machine

 

Look at it. Just fucking look at it. If the thought of our mechanical spawn rising up and instigating their physical and intellectual superiority via the controlling of our political leaders like pulling the strings of decrepit, dancing puppets doesn’t terrify you, then listen to the content inside… IF YOU DARE.

 

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Peter Sotos – Buyers Market

Six degrees of separation time: Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu considers Peter Sotos, this album’s creator, as a major influence of theirs! While the artwork itself is nothing horrifying, much like the Coil cover it is given new life when some info is brought to the table. Now Peter Sotos is a bit of a weird one: in his books, Sotos examines sadistic sexual criminals and sexually violent pornography, particularly involving…children.

It’s all in order to examine media hypocrisy on such issues but it doesn’t make it any less chilling and the way this album is constructed is quite sick: Buyers Market consists of sound collages of spoken word samples from parents, law-enforcement officers, and victims of sex crimes. Of course, this is for far more than shock value but looking at the face on this cover, it’s hard not to see it in a new light when you find this out.

 

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The Paper Chase – Now You Are One Of Us

 

 

Kinda self-explanatory this one: a naked man hanging himself in what may be the most bare-bones room imaginable reeks of misery.

 

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Jandek – Ready For The House

You know that way when you see something that looks so simple that it’s just kinda offputting? This Jandek record has a cover that fits that description perfectly: people other than myself have pointed out just how there’s some sort of aura about this artwork that makes them feel…uneasy. The album itself is out of tune and feels like it could have been crafted by a deluded individual, a kind of unnerving charm I guess, but even without listening to it, there’s an undeniable offness about this artwork.

 

Jake’s Movie Picks #2

Jake, here again, watched another horror film this week so without further interruption lets get cracking… PSYCHE, HONOURABLE MENTION BITCH!

Brawl In Cell Block 99

This is an honourable mention because it’s not a horror but it IS an incredibly good film. “Brawl…” Stars Vince Vaughn as an ex-boxer turned drug runner who ends up in the jail after a shootout with the popo. Aye… Vince Vaughn is the main star of this brutal, pulpy, 70s inspired grindhouse-like film and let me tell you something ladies and gentlefolk, he absolutely fucking KILLS IT. He is SO good at being an absolute nutter. An absolute revelation of a performance.

As for the film itself, it’s an absolute corker. Quite straightforward in it’s writing and direction (like writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s first feature film, the excellent Bone Tomahawk) but it doesn’t need to be complex. The action is choreographed and directed flawlessly, with Zahler choosing to keep the camera static throughout the occasionally disgusting action sequences. You’ll find no shaky cam here, and it’s better for it. Even when the violence borderlines on cartoonish, they fight scenes seem far more real without the camera freaking the fuck out constantly. Can we get #LetsStopShakyCam trending please? Cheers guys.

The supporting guest are nothing to sniff at either, everyone hamming it up to fuck (in keeping with the films hammier/grindhouse aesthetics). Don Johnson is in particular scene chewing form as the cunty as they come Warden Tuggs. But as I mentioned before, this is very much Vaughn’s film, giving a surprisingly subdued (for the most part) and emotional performance as Bradley Thomas.

S. Craig Zahler is two for two then. This is an often brutal but always brilliant character study of a man who will do anything for his family, and you’ll be hard pressed find a more upset Korean abortionist in any other film you see this year.

rating 9

The Ghoul

I didn’t really get a chance to see a lot of horror films this week, sadly. However, I did catch The Ghoul starring Tom Meeten, probably best known for portraying Andy Warhol in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and Dan Renton Skinner (or Angelos Epithemiou from Shooting Stars). It was pretty darn good: I’m here for this new wave of modern, smart British horror that was more or less kickstarted by Ben Wheatley (who exec. produces this film) with 2011’s brilliant Kill List (in which The Ghoul director Gareth Tunley has a small role. THE MORE YOU KNOW!). The Ghoul, whilst not belonging to the same sub-genre of horror as Kill List, continues the trend that Wheatley started – that trend being horror THAT MAKES YA GO “HMMMMM”.

Meeten plays homicide detective Chris, who’s given an absolutely bizarre case. A couple were shot a total of 5 times by an unknown perp, and they didn’t go down. What follows is a man losing his fucking mind. Chris goes undercover, posing as a mentally ill man and begins therapy with a very suspect pair of “mental health experts” (played expertly by Niamh Cusack and the absolutely bloody wonderful Geoffrey McGivern). He basically goes absolutely bloody mental and falls into a world of satanisim and the occult. Also Alice Lowe is there, and it’s just nice to see Alice Lowe in things isn’t it? She’s well good.

This is becoming a theme with my horror reviews, but I suppose it comes with the territory. There’s not much more I can say about this film without ruining some tasty twists and turns. Just know that this film is a bloody cracking slice of surrealist horror, and that this is an absolutely star making performance by Tom Meeten. God almighty he’s good in this, i’ve already started a petition to get him roles in every film that ever gets made from now on. There’s only 3 signatures though and the other two are from my mum and dad 😞.

On the real though, Meeten is absolutely different class in this film. Portraying the potentially mentally ill Chris with grace and aplomb. Having been mostly known for his comedic roles in the past you’d be forgiven for being apprehensive of him taking a stab at a serious role, but he knocks it out of the park.

In short, this is a lovely wee film and is well worth checking out. And you can! It’s being shown on Film4 on Monday the 30th of October as part of their FilmFear series. So you’ve no bloody excuse not to seek this wee number out!

rating 7
That’s all from me this week. I’ll be back before halloween with a comprehensive horror viewing guide if my editor allows me to ever write again. Toodle-pip!

TOP 5: Scariest Video Games Of All Time

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

While horror films are all well and good at sending shivers down your spine, there’s a certain edge video-games have always had over them: interactivity. When you’re watching a movie and it’s all getting too much, just covering your eyes with your hand is enough to help make you feel somewhat safe. Pick up a controller and stick on a horror game however and you’ve got no other option but to traverse and encounter whatever hellish environments and creatures it has to throw at you, less you find yourself stuck in the same place for all eternity. What follows is a list of games that not only gives Hollywood a run for its money but solidifies gaming as the one stop shop for proper horrifying entertainment: readers beware, you’re in for a scare.

(And remember, if there’s a game you find terrifying that isn’t included then tweet me @blinkclyro and I’ll consider doing a reader feedback follow up piece)

Silent Hill 2

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Let’s start things off with a PS2 classic that has stood the test of time. Despite the series having several hit or miss sequels as well as having its own abysmal big screen adaptation; Konami’s sophomore effort was its pinnacle, managing to combine great storytelling with even better character design. As you find yourself walking anxiously through the titular town as James Sunderland, arriving there in search of his deceased wife, you’ll find yourself dreading every step through the mist infested location. Featuring undoubtedly one of the creepiest video game villains of all time in the form of Pyramid Head, no need to imagine he’s exactly what you think he looks like, as well as some devilishly tricky puzzles, it’s ironic how much you’ll love spending time in a town full of such horrors.

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

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While by no means recent, having been released back in 1995 almost 30 years after the short story that it is based on was published, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream manages to create fear in the same way shows like The Twilight Zone mastered all those years ago. Following the tale of the last five humans on earth being punished by a self-aware super computer, the horrific torture and subsequent attempt to escape manages to flood with dread from every pore. Touching on subjects like rape, insanity, paranoia and genocide, the evil and good choices you are able to make adds another layer of horror to this already petrifying old school gem.


Dead Space

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In space no one can hear you scream though anyone unfortunate to be living with you will once you play Dead Space. Set in, surprise surprise, space, you take on the role of ships engineer Isaac Clarke who is sent in to investigate a distress signal on the USG Ishimura with his crew. As things go to shit from 0-100, you’re left to fight your way through the ship against some of the most ghastly monsters you’ll ever come across, who have a nice tendency to rip your limbs off, as well as finding audio logs along the way that shed light on the dark and menacing history of the Ishimura prior to your arrival. Developed by Visceral Games, the death animations are aptly gory and will be sure to etch themselves into your nightmares, as will every waking second the decent sized campaign will offer.

Bioshock

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Going now from the heights of space to the deep trenches of the sea, Bioshock starts off mysterious and never stops making you second guess. Taking place in the underwater city of Rapture, you find yourself arriving a bit late to the party as everything has, to put it simply, gone to shit. The once prosperous utopia has become a grizzly bloodbath with the inhabitants becoming deranged and you unfortunately finding yourself in their way. Despite being granted superhuman abilities thanks to ADAM, a substance which scattered audio logs will inform you about, you never feel truly safe in Rapture, especially not after your first encounter with a Big Daddy. A huge hulking creature with a massive drill for an arm, you can either build up the courage to fight or, sensibly, flee. Crying while doing so is optional but recommended.

Until Dawn

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To finish things off we have a 2015 surprise hit going by the name of Until Dawn. Essentially a choose your adventure style game but with a horror twist, Until Dawn is full of all the tropes and clichés you’ve came to love from your favourite slasher films which all manage to cross the line between tribute and knock off. With every choice you make affecting the chemistry between characters, all tremendously performed by some top class actors such as Mr Robot’s Rami Malek, you can very well end up finishing the game with every character six feet under. Quick reaction times, good intuition and a lot of courage is what will help you conquer what these snow drenched mountains are packing.

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Halloween 2015: The Best Creepypastas! 

Halloween is fast approaching. Time to drench yourself in blood (hopefully fake) and get your spook on. Just like a male MP thinking about tampons, this time of the year is full of horror, whether it be watching Nightmare On Elm Street for the 50th time or drinking so much that your liver is no longer amongst the living.

All jokes aside, and in a non social justice warrior way, it’s 2015: movies are no longer the main source of scares. The horror genre has been filled with jump scare filled flicks that rely too much on shaky cam, meaning you’ll be running to the bathroom due to motion sickness before you let out a scream. Nope, the greatest scares can be found right here. No, not on my blog, although you might find my posts scarily bad, they can be found on the internet.

Creepypastas have boomed in popularity, no doubt due to the appeal of telling your favourite camp-site horror stories around the world’s biggest camp-fire. Whether or not any of them are true, the paranoia that takes place makes it too hard not to read  There’s terrible ones and there’s good ones but here at BLINKCLYRO, we’ve chosen the best there is so readers beware, you’re in for a scare (don’t sue me R.L. Stine).

1999

Whereas most lists will gradually work their way up to the best, I’m gonna come out here and say it: 1999 is my favourite creepypasta. There’s so many things that just put it up on its unreachable pedestal, whether it be the simple blog style that the story is told via or how the dark subject matter slowly drips out rather than how most stories on the internet go from 0-100.

It’s definitely one of the biggest creepypastas, in fact it could be considered a short story in its own right, but it totally justifies every single word. 1999 follows Elliot, a young adult who is trying to find out about a TV channel he used to watch when he was younger called Caledon Local 21. What starts out as an innocent enough station, albeit badly produced, becomes more sinister with every update. I won’t go into any more detail since spoiling this story would be a crime, just bare in mind that the name Mr Bear will etch itself into the back of your mind.

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If you like this, try: Candle Coveanother story about petrifying television with a plot twist you’ll not see coming.

Squidward’s Suicide

Right this is a bit of a safe choice but seeing as it’s the first creepypasta I’ve ever read, I’m allowed to wear my rose tinted glasses for this. Squidward’s Suicide is undoubtedly the most famous Lost Episode creepypasta, stories that can only be classed as “childhood ruiners”. Unlike cartoon theories, which have to rely heavily on evidence shown by the show to try and make any disturbing revelation, lost episode creepypastas are free to do as they want. Although there are a lot of terrible ones, the truly great ones stick with you.

I don’t know if it’s possible to spoil a story that has its conclusion in the title but what makes me admire this creepypasta the most is even though it tells you what’s going to happen before you even glance at the intro, it manages to shock you. It features some graphic descriptions that even the mere mention of them made my skin crawl all over. It may have inspired a lot of copycats who use the term “hyper realistic blood” like it’s going out of style but nothing will ever have the same effect as me as the vivid account of screams and crying.

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If you like this, try; Suicidemouse.avi, the grandfather of the Lost Episode genre which is arguably just as disturbing as its successors.

The Devil Game

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Oaft. Ritual creepypastas are a common sight on the internet, acting like a guide you’d see on a baking site but instead of lovely cakes or biscuits, you’re creating something that’s capable of killing someone. So basically you’ll become the worst Great British Bake Off contestant of all time. The Devil Game does exactly what you’d expect it to and explains how to summon Satan himself. This is no doubt one of my favourite creepypastas due to the extreme detail the narrator goes into about the repercussions as well as the tiniest little bits of info for the guide. There’s one thing that makes this as amazing as it is.

The aforementioned thing I love so much about this one in particular is that as soon as you’re finished it, you want to read it all over again. No, not to follow the steps it details. Have you ever seen Fight Club that famous David Fincher movie with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt? Then you get one of cinemas greatest revelations half way through? If the answer is aye then you’ve no doubt analysed every scene before that twist, thinking how stupid you were not to notice it. That’s what The Devil game is, the creepypasta version of Fight Club. Just less explosions, more sacrificing your soul.

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If you like this, try; One Man Hide And Seek, like The Devil Game it does exactly what it says on the tin. Just, whatever you do, don’t try it out.

Abandoned by Disney

The greatest creepypastas make you think to yourself: was that real? Of course anything involving some 7 limbed creature is a bit difficult to believe but when they’re as simple and justified as Abandoned By Disney’s, you can’t help but feel a bit paranoid.

Yes, of course Disney would do something like this. They’re one of the world’s biggest companies and constantly try to capitalise on their franchises so it makes sense they’d open a resort based on Jungle Book, one of their most beloved franchises. As the story progresses, you start to feel paranoid. What could possibly be left in this desolate place? The state of the surroundings is something that makes this story stand out as to this day, I can still remember the writer describing the inside of the palace as so bare, he thinks people had stolen the molding off the walls. Absolutely immersive and the pacing, for a creepypasta, is great, building up to a pleasing conclusion, though that’s probably the wrong choice of words. Check this story out for yourself to find out.

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If you like this, try; Russian Sleep Experiment, again one of the most popular creepypastas on the web but one that’s still disturbing as all hell.

11 Miles

Last but certainly not least and fortunately for fans of The Devil Game, it’s another ritual. This time though, it’s even more terrifying which is a pretty big feat considering the whole, yeno, Devil thing.

What makes this one of the best creepypasta? To put it simply, it has a brilliant concept and an even better execution. As each mile of your journey passes and you get closer to your desire, you also get closer to a fate worse than death. The fear that strikes you gradually ramps up to such a level that you want to get out the car yourself and run away. i’d definitely suggest this as any newcomer to creepypasta’s starting off point: simple and most importantly scary.

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If you like this, try; The Rake, told in a timeline style that tells the tale of the eponymously named horrifying creature. Read with the lights on.

So that’s that. The most spine-chilling creepypastas to keep you scared this halloween and you know what the best part is? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. There’s even more stories like this on the internet, perhaps you’ve already read some and feel dissapointed like they missed out on this list. Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me at @blinkclyro for more spooky ramblings. Oh and before I forget.

Happy Halloween!

Big love, Liam x