Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Octoberfest Five: 5 Creepy Old-Timey Horror Tunes

There’s something about old timey tunes that just give you the creeps, am I right? Maybe it’s the hiss and click of a vinyl record, or the echoed recording voices. Sometimes it’s the lyrics—a sinister connotation sung in a mocking, cheerful voice. For a lot of us horror fans, it’s the association with have with horror movies that have incorporated these songs.

Whether they were intended to be or not, I think we can all agree that these five old songs are spooky as hell!

1. “Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Boogeyman” by Henry Hall

Recorded in 1932 by Henry Hall, this song has been used at the end credits of Jeepers Creepers and the trailer for Sinister 2.
When you actually listen to the lyrics, it isn’t so scary as much as just a silly song for children, but when paired with visuals of monsters like Bughuul and the Creeper, it can be pretty damn effective.

2. “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes

This 1954 hit has been included in dozens of films and television shows, but horror fans may remember it from Halloween II and more recently in an episode of Bates Motel.
While I really do love this song, there’s something undeniably haunting about it, as if playing it on a lonely October night might summon some figure up to your bedside…

3. “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There” by Glenn Miller

The lyrics of this 1939 song were taken from a poem by Hughes Mearns called “Antigonish”. The poem was inspired by reported ghost sightings in a house in Nova Scotia.
While the song has yet to be featured in any horror films, the poem is recited in A Haunting in Connecticut. The tune is delightfully spooky and even a little catchy, you may find yourself humming it around your (hopefully not haunted) house at night.

4. “Jeepers Creepers” by Harry Warren

Although this song was originally intended to be romantic—as you can tell from the cheesy lyrics—it has gained a reputation for being creepy after playing a key part in the movie Jeepers Creepers. In the film, if you hear the song, “You run like hell!” because that means the Creeper is coming your way.
So, if you’re driving down a country lane and this song mysteriously comes on, check your mirror for an old black truck driving up behind you…

5. "O Willow-Waly" written by Georges Auric and Paul Dehn

Used generously in the 1961 gothic classic, The Innocents, this haunting tune is sung by Scottish singer Isla Cameron in the film but has been covered by vocalists and has been used in other movies, generally to evoke an eerie mood - which it does amazingly well.  The sadness that pours from the lyrics is palpable:

We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow.
But now alone I lie and weep beside the tree.

Singing "Oh willow waly" by the tree that weeps with me.
Singing "Oh willow waly" till my lover returns to me.

We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow.
But now alone I lie... Oh willow I die, oh willow I die.


GIOVANNI said...

Good post!
"The little man who wasn't there" was in "Sapphire & Steel" first, in the veeeeeery creepy SERIAL 4 (the episodes have no titles) of this very weird TV series (UK Sci-Fi is usually strange, this one is also disturbing). Check it out!

Christine Hadden said...

Thanks Giovanni! We will be sure to check that series out!