10. "Waltzinblack" by the Stranglers - The opening salvo from the Stranglers' 1981 oddball sci-fi opus, The Gospel According to the Meninblack, this hypnotic instrumental sets the stage for the `Glers' strange tale of an alien infestation, but it would also make for excellent music to polish butcher knives by, as you cackle-along with the legions of chipmunked-voiced martians whose maniacal giggling threatens to overtake the latter half of the track. Sublimely evil sounding.
9. "Saturday Night Special" by Fad Gadget - A creepy little ditty about shooting people played on the devil's calliope.
8."22 Going on 23" by the Butthole Surfers - From the Locust Abortion Technician album, this track is a dreadfully depressing exchange between a distraught caller and a radio talk show host about the emotional fallout after a sexual assualt, set to a plodding, tuneless dirge. Disorienting bad trip music.
7."Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus - A bit of a cliche? Certainly, but they just don't come any Halloweenier than this dark gem. Hard to believe that this was the band's first single (some might argue that they'd never go onto better it). Though more celebrated for Peter Murphy's portentious hollering and Daniel Ash's effects-laden guitar, I've always found Kevin Haskins' relentless woodblock-tapping and David J's sternum-quaking bass pluckings to be the creepy star of this show. That said, when Ash fully breaks into that signature, lilting riff (at exactly 02:19 on the studio version), a thousand bats wake from their deathly slumber to deliciously blacken the skies. Perfection.
6."11 Moustachioed Daughters" by the Bonzo Dog Band - I must credit the great Ned Raggett from the ILX boards for hipping me to this groovily creepy invokation of Satan from the Bonzos' gloriously silly 1969 album, Urban Spaceman. Sure, it's as giddy and goofy as the band's standard fare, but there is the slightest, disconcerting whiff of brimstone just beneath the surface.
5."Let There Be More Darkness" by Robyn Hitchcock - Though more renowned for his penchant for quirky pop, ex-Soft Boys vocalist Robyn Hitchcock can also apply his surrealist wit to malevolent effect, as on this atmospheric sketch of a song (played with what sounds like bongos, a distorted bass guitar and peculiar snippets of found-sound). It's rather hard to describe. So click here to hear it for yourself.
4. "Epilogue" by Skinny Puppy - You could really choose just about any song by this band for inclusion, as it was generally their business to be jarring and creepy and distasteful at every turn. This particular track, however, always appealed to me. Clocking in at only a minute and ten seconds, this gloomy sound collage samples some ruminations about the Shroud of Turin (presumably from a film. Anyone?) to uneasy efffect, before turning your speakers into Satan's waiting jaws, gaping open to consume your unwitting soul.
3. "Frankie Tear Drop" by Suicide - Another quasi-predictable choice, but Suicide's dismal tale of a hopeless factory worker who kills his own family then goes to Hell is disquieting in its abject suffering, especially as Alan Vega starts to scream like a tortured soul.
2."The Tenderness of Wolves" by Coil - You could really pick any track off this album, Scatology, as the entire record makes for entirely uneasy listening (a fine runner-up selection might the unspeakably distasteful creep-out, "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party"). What makes "The Tenderness of Wolves" so disturbing for me, however, is the baying and crying in the intro before Gavin Friday starts to sing, conjuring to mind the "baby" in David Lynch's "Eraserhead". Unsettling.
1."Hamburger Lady" by Throbbing Gristle - I work two overnight shifts a week here at the office, and for much of the shift, I'm the only person on the floor. I'll usually put on some music to help pass the time, but this track (off D.O.A.:The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle) is STRICTLY VERBOTTEN, as it never fails to completely creep the bejesus out of me. It arrives slowly like a viscous liquid seeping under your door, punctuated by ominous electronic humming and what sounds like strangled weeping. Gristler Genesis P_Orridge then starts to tell the tale of a woman in a hospital burn unit who is completely charred from the waist up. Both utterly harrowing and strangely compelling.