Happy Halloween! This week we asked readers to vote for the scariest song stories of all time We didn't realise it would be one of the hardest articles we've ever had to write - and that's really saying something, after past Halloweens. The stories in this list are both shocking, surprising and even gruesome - with some really stomach turning content. You have been warned.
10. Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
Jimmy Page bought Aleister Crowley's house where he performed his rituals. it was also built where a church had burned down. He wrote "Stairway to Heaven" there and Robert Plant suddenly just wrote lyrics that started coming to him. Not to mention all the theories of it having Satanic subliminal messages played backwards. Here's a sample of the song backwards so you can decide for yourself:
9. "Gloomy Sunday (The Hungarian Suicide song)"
The song was composed by the Hungarian songwriter Rezso Seress while living in Paris in late 1932. Seress wrote the song at the time of the Great Depression and increasing fascist influence in the writer's native Hungary, although sources differ as to the degree to which his song was motivated by personal melancholy rather than concerns about the future of the world. There have been several urban legends regarding the song over the years, mostly involving it being allegedly connected with various numbers of suicides, and radio networks reacting by purportedly banning the song. Press reports in the 1930s associated at least 19 suicides, both in Hungary and America, with "Gloomy Sunday." However, most of these claims are unsubstantiated. In January 1968, some 35 years after writing the song, its composer Rezso Seress did commit suicide. He survived jumping out of a window in Budapest, but later in the hospital choked himself to death with a wire. We just want to post the Diamanda Gallas version to picture how depressing it is. But be warned - it's quite hard thing to listen to! We will also attach the Billie Holiday and Sarah Brightman versions.
8. Annihilator "Alison Hell"
A true story about a little girl named Alison in Montreal who feared seeing the bogey man every night. Her parents ignored her, but the poor girl eventually went crazy with fear - this song tells the story of what happened.
7. The Cure "Lullaby"
This one is supposedly about a recurring nightmare singer Robert Smith used to have about a bogey man (which he calls the Spider Man) which visits him in the night. There's all sorts of creepy sexual connotations in this track; "His arms are all around me and his tongue in my eyes, be still be calm be quiet now my precious boy, don't struggle like that or I will only love you more" - hopefully this really was just based on a bad dream and not some tragic real experience.
6. Immortal Technique "Dance With the Devil"
If you think there's no place for rap on a song like this, you're about to be proven wrong. The lyrics to this song are undoubtedly some of the most unpleasant you'll ever read. It's a long story, but it's about a greedy young gangster who wants to move on to a bigger nastier gang. They say he has to rape and kill someone to join their gang, so they capture someone and mask her, almost killing her in the process (I told you it was nasty). They proceed to dome something rather unpleasant to her, and just and the young gangster is about to shoot her and seal his place in the gang, he recognizes her as his mother and jumps off a roof. The rapper then swears the song is true, because he was in the gang and is followed by the devil to this day. Mighty storytelling with a big reveal, if not the kind of thing that would make any sane person feel sick.
5. Korn "Pretty"
Singer Jonathan Davis: "It's a story about this little girl that came into the coroner's office when I was working there and she was f--ked by her dad. She was an 11 month old little baby girl. Her legs were broken back behind her and he just f--ked her like a toy doll and chucked her in the bathroom. It was the most heinous thing I've ever seen in my life and I still have nightmares about it." Scary, right?
4. Rammstein "Mein Teil"
The true story of how, in 2001, two men with cannibal tendencies in their '40s arranged to meet each other for a dinner you'll never forget. One man called Brandes had his penis cut off, which they both sat and ate politely, before the other called Meiwes was given permission to kill Brandes and eat his remains. The band were "fascinated, shocked and amused at the same time" and wrote a song about it.
3. Nine Inch Nails "Downward Spiral"
A simple song about suicide. It was recorded in the Sharon Tate house (where the Charles Manson murders occurred). It's worth mentioning that there is advice and help for anyone who ever gets suicidal thoughts and feelings - check out the link at the end for support.
2. Slayer "Angel of Death"
Late Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman was fascinated with Nazi history, and wrote this about the awful Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland which killed countless Jews in World War II. The "Angel of Death" in question is Nazi physician Josef Mengele whose surgical experiments on Jews were some of the cruellest things ever to be done to humans in modern history.
1. Black Sabbath "Black Sabbath"
Rock legend says that bassist Geezer Butler's obsession with black magic and satanism had singer Ozzy lend him a book on witchcraft. Putting it on a shelf in his room adorned with pictures of satan, Geezer went to bed and thought nothing of it. Little did he know that in the night a black figure would awaken him, stand eerily at the end of his bed, before disappearing into thin air. When Geezer went to get the book from its place on the shelf, it too had disappeared. This also marks the second week in a row that this very song has topped an Ultimate Guitar poll. But it's brilliant, so there's no surprise there.
That's the end of our scariest song stories list, and probably the most unpleasant list we've ever posted. Happy Halloween and be careful! If you or anyone you know has experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings, help is available for dealing with these feelings. Visit HelpGuide.org for more advice.