October Mix: ‘Haunting’ Songs For Halloween

There are all kinds of creeps and spooks to get excited for during Halloween-time (which is basically all of October, and if you don’t agree with that, then you and I will clearly never see eye-to-eye on anything). My favorite, however, are simple ghosts.

I’ve always been excited by the thought of haunted places and objects. Growing up, I used to make up ghost stories to tell my friends on the playground and at Girl Scout camp. They were so convincing, even I believed them. I watched haunted house specials on television and hoped to someday sleep in Lizzie Borden’s house which had since become a haunted bed and breakfast. Fairly often, I even dream about ghosts.

There’s just this thing about ghosts that’s so intriguing, in the same way that the Bermuda Triangle is intriguing, or that even an antique object is intriguing: It symbolizes something that exists outside of ourselves that we can never fully know, be it the past, an unsolved mystery and/or a life forgotten. These are things that make us feel curious and humble and even a little excited.

Vampires, zombies, werewolves and the like are frightening because they make you fear for your life. But ghosts incite a different type of fear: A fear of the unknown and of the entirely possible. A ghost isn’t likely to hurt you but that won’t stop it from terrorizing the shit out of you until it scares you away.

As Scooby Doo and his sexy friends learned, usually what you think is a ghost can be totally explained away by real world logic. “Oh hey, it was just Old Man McGregor chasing us around in a sheet,” Velma might say, “SILLY US,” as they all share a laugh, make a really obvious pun, and head out for bongs and burgers.

“It’s just the wind,” you might realize if you hear a ghostly sound or feel something breeze past you. If the lights flicker, you need a new bulb. If the house creaks, it’s just settling. If you see a strange figure in a photograph, it’s just an illusion caused by lighting or smoke or Photoshop. There’s almost always SOME explanation. THIS DICK tried to ruin some of my favorite Disneyland ghost videos:

WHAT A DICK.

As you can see, sometimes explanations are just stupid and don’t make sense and you have to say to yourself, “Hey, maybe IT’S A GHOST.” I’ve heard some EVP recordings and they’re pretty convincing. Just saying, people can try to ruin ghosts for me, but it’s just something my mind wants to believe in.

Here we have a playlist of “ghost” songs. They’re not all about ghosts (apparently “ghost” is a really popular metaphor for things like ex-girlfriends and memories) but that doesn’t mean they can’t still help you get into the Halloween spirit. Get it? SPIRIT?! Yeah, you get it. Of the many songs I have on my hard drive about ghosts (in some respect or another), this is just a handful of my favorites.

Casper the Friendly Ghost – Mike Doughty

Poltergeist – The Coasts

The Ghost of J.S. Bach – All Those Ships

We Are Ghost (Daytrotter Session) – James Vincent McMorrow

Ghost Woman Blues (Daytrotter Session) – The Low Anthem

Anyone’s Ghost – The National

Minnie Quay – Ben Collins

The Ghost Who Walks – Karen Elson

Ghost Train – Summer Camp

Haunted Pyramid – Miniature Tigers

Ghosts – Fanfarlo

Ghost Stories – The Proud Flesh

Ghost of Stephen Foster – Squirrel Nut Zippers

Ghost – Fefe Dobson

Ghost – Tupac

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