Rattle your chains in rejoicing, ye haunted souls, for Jack Fear walks again among you, bearing sonic delights to freeze your skin, tickle your funny bone, and make you shaky in the hips. The Halloween Mixtape has returned once more!
As once again by the turning and the terrors of the year, we come to this, the spookiest of the seasons — ah, my children of the night, there is so much in this world right now to frighten us . . . even absent the seasonally appropriate haints, pookas, and bogles.
Some of that anxiety can’t help but seep into this year’s offering. What we’re making here is a creepshow for your ears, after all; and horror as a genre has always reflected and commented upon the fearful undercurrents of the time in which it was created.
It works the other way around, as well. The times have, on occasion, been shaped by fear fiction — sometimes consciously so. Some of the sounds you’ll hear on this very mixtape were created by the United States military for use in psychological warfare, the simulated wails of restless Viet Cong dead played from mobile speakers in the jungle in hopes of terrifying its adversaries into surrender. In other words, the U.S. Army conjured up a ghost story — a good old-fashioned radio play, in essence — to try to change the course of history.
So if this year’s mixtape is a bit more genuinely grim than usual, perhaps that’s an opportunity. Consider this a banishment — all the horrors of a horrible world distilled to 80 minutes, safely contained so we can get a handle on them.
For us Night People, Halloween is our all-in-all — our Mardi Gras, our Christmas, our Thanksgiving — certainly the culmination of the year, perhaps even our New Year’s Eve. Let us make a wish for the new year, then: From this All Saints to next All Souls, may all our terrors, ours and yours, be of the proper sort — the kind that vanish when you turn on the lights.
And so, as is annual tradition, a gift for you — our fifteenth seamless montage of music and sound, packed end-to-end with graveyard smashes, nostalgic obscurities, spoken word, found sound, and uncategorizable oddities — for your streaming and downloading pleasure. Add it to the previous installments in the series, and you’ve got enough uneasy listening to keep you on edge all day and well into the dark of night.
Enjoy, and until next time . . . take care. It’s a scary world out there.
Visit the archives for all previous Halloween mixtapes.
Halloween Mix 15 (Armies of Darkness) (1:19:11)
Run Nancy – Charles Bernstein (Nightmare on Elm Street OST)
(Laurie Anderson – Emergency Broadcast System test for KGSR-FM)
(Civil Defense radio spot)
The Attack of the Giant Ants – Blondie
Frankenstein – Phoebe Kreutz
The Mad Scientist – The Zanies
Do the Standing Still – The Table
Strange – Wire
No Costume, No Candy – The Swingin’ Neckbreakers
Dark Shadows theme
Bury a Friend – Billie Eilish
Tubular Bells / Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls (Regan’s House Medley) (edit) – Book of Love
The Devil With the Devil – Larry Clinton and His Orchestra with Ford Leary and Chorus
House of Mirrors – David McCallum
(montage: excerpt from The Haunting of Hill House)
Baby, You’re A Haunted House – Gerard Way
The Halloween Song – Bing Crosby with Boris Karloff and Victor Moore
All Tomorrow’s Parties (single mix) – The Velvet Underground with Nico
Through the Mirror – John Carpenter and Alan Howarth (Prince of Darkness OST)
The Blood of the Thing, parts I & II – Sam Waymon (Ganja and Hess OST)
Nothing Is Safe – Clipping
Possum Kingdom – The Toadies
Souls Demise – Mannheim Steamroller
(montage: U.S. Army 6th PsyOp Battalion, Ghost Tape #10 – Operation Wandering Soul, 1970)
No One Lives Forever – Oingo Boingo
Dust to Dust – John Kirkpatrick
Thanks, as always, to Dan Russo, Andrew Weiss, Chris Healey, Dylan Todd, and all Night People everywhere. Special thanks this year to Phoebe Kreutz, Marisa Sandlin, and to Jeffrey Cranor and Cecil Baldwin of Random Number Generator Horror Podcast #9.