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The 10 Scariest Music Videos Ever

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Listen, are you throwing a Halloween party? Are you going to have music on in the background? Splendid. Just so you know it was recently made legal in Texas to beat people that play "Monster Mash" at Halloween parties to death with frying pans [citation needed]. Few areas in the world need updating more than Halloween party music.

Luckily, the world now allows you to stream a YouTube playlist through a video-game console in your living room, and what that means for you, dear readers, if that you can finally have some action on in the background that will rock and destroy the sanity of your guests. The good way, not the "this is the 15th time I've heard 'Purple People Eater' and I'm going to drown my host in the punch bowl" way.

Want some scary music videos? Let's start with...

10. Michael Jackson, "Thriller" OK, yes, I know I just said not to play the old standards, but hear me out. No. 1, this isn't the song "Thriller," this is the music video, and the music video is a work of unique art that's never really been done again. It's really a horror musical directed by acclaimed macabre auteur John Landis and featured make-up effects by Rick Baker that are still pretty freakin' terrifying to this day.

And you've got to open with the safe choice. It's like starting a jazz party with "In the Mood". Crap song, but it sets the tone something nice. Oh, fun fact I learned looking up John Landis' name for this entry. To qualify for an academy award a short has to be screened theatrically at least once, so they actually showed "Thriller" alongside freakin' Fantasia in 1983. That must have been an interesting parent/kid conversation.

9. Animal Collective, "Who Could Win a Rabbit?" If you actually read the Aesop fable of the tortoise and the hare, then you know it's not nearly as G-rated as Disney would have you believe. Animal Collective certainly knew it, and they and director Danny Perez went even further than the old master and added a nice bit of cannibalism in there as well. It's even colored like an old grindhouse film.

8. Depeche Mode, "Wrong" Holy crap, Depeche Mode! I know this is the band that wrote "Blasphemous Rumors," but this is a wholly different level of dark. It's essential a short story, and what a short story it is. With no explanation given, a man wakes up in a car that is careening unstoppably backwards down a hill at night.

There's nothing he can do about it because his hands are duct tapped together and a human skin mask has been taped to his face. I'm pretty sure that this was based on an actual night terror because I refused to believe a sober awake person thought it up.

7. Grinderman, "Heathen Child" No list of frightening music videos would ever be complete without Nick Cave, and you'll not catch me making that mistake, no sir. I've always listed "Heathen Child" as one of the most disturbing music videos ever done, and four years of nightmares have not ever dissuaded me from that.

6. Death In Vegas, "Dirt" How do you feel about children with mouths full of razors? Well, if that's the sort of thing you see coming for you in your sleep, then this video certainly will exacerbate that condition. Andrea Giacobbe directed it, and pretty much every moment will make you cringe away from it.

DYE "Fantasy" Official Video by JEREMIE PERIN from TIGERSUSHI on Vimeo.

5. Dye, "Fantasy" In advance, this is not even sort of safe for work. Jeremie Perin is the sicko behind this animated music video, and it would make even the most hardcore adult animation fan cringe. Part tentacle porn, part The Thing, and all mind-blowingly disturbing it follows what happens to four teens that break into a swimming pool are get exposed to a primal evil lurking inside. That warning gain, not safe. At all. For anything.

4. Tool, "Sober" Still a great example of how to make stop-motion utterly terrifying. There was no way I was going to leave it off the list.

Story continues on the next page.

3. Bloody Knives, "Peeling Away the Skin" This one is just a good old fashioned torture video. Plenty of nice close-ups of the brutal things the components of your average tool box can do to human tissue. It's actually not as gruesome as I make it sound, but it's still perfect for getting people to shift uncomfortably in their seats.

2. Every Time I Die, "Revival Mode" "Revival Mode" is like someone saw David Lynch's "Lost Highway" and said, "You know, this isn't nearly disturbing enough. Can we punch it up a bit?" The video is frighteningly simple, but extremely effective. A trio a men have murdered somebody and are off to find a place to bury the body. On a lonesome road they come across an obese man wrapped in bandages in a wheel chair in the middle of the street who asks them to take him to his home at the end of the lane. What happens next is deeply unsettling and will stay with you for days.

TOBACCO "Streaker" from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.

1. Tobacco, "Streaker Eric Wareheim directs this video, and he should probably be watched closely and not given any sharp objects after doing so. If it were possible for audio and visual to become screaming bat children then this would be the one that did. You know those Hell scenes in Event Horizon? This is what happens when you take cold medicine and watch them on slow motion. It's easily the most frightening music video ever made.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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