Can you hear the crunching leaves under your boots? Can you hear your cardigans singing praises of reunion? Can you smell the roasted pumpkin seeds, just pulled from the oven and salted?

The arrival of December is always exciting because there's an arsenal of seasonal songs - but what about October and November? And don't even think of saying, "But what about Monster Mash?" That song is awful.

October isn't only about Halloween. It's about a celebration of harvest. It's an excuse to dress as someone besides yourself, and it's a chance to listen to some great tunes to match the weather.

The first thing that came to my mind was my favorite music moments in television in films. Years ago I went through my horror movie phase - but that's long gone and it's the suspense of dramas and thrillers that I really love. Often it's a song mixed with a climactic scene that leaves you breathless, stunned, and wanting to watch it again. NOT MONSTER MASH.

So, without further ado, my own little chilling playlist to bolster the ambience of your Halloween party.

(If you'd rather just get to the playlist and skip the commentary, listen to it on Spotify)

1. Make This Go On Forever, Snow Patrol (Grey's Anatomy)
You may think you're finished with Grey's Anatomy, but then Shonda Rhimes comes up with some controversial and outrageous plot that makes Jodi Piccoult novels look like child play. In the episode "Walk on Water," this song was playing when Meredith fell into the water and didn't swim. The little mute blonde girl stood solemnly and we all said, "WHY WON'T SHE TELL SOMEONE, AND WHAT IS THIS SONG?" It still gives me chills.

2. My Funny Valentine, Matt Damon (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
This movie scares the bejoobles out of me (that's a word I made up, and use as frequently as possible). The cast is amazing, the location is dreamy, and it's terrifying. Matt Damon knows just the right amount of creep, and when he sings it in the small smoky bar, his voice was haunting. It's hard to tell whether you should be charmed or startled.

3. Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones (Flight)
Have you seen the trailer for this movie? First, I know we'll all see it because of Sir Denzel Washington (I just knighted him by my own accord). The movie isn't even out yet, but clearly I am invested because it's my job and everyone's fear. Plane crashing. Not only does the plane crash, but Denzel manages to land it UPSIDE DOWN. I now request this song to be played should I ever find myself in a similar circumstance. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen. Here's to loving this song.

4. River Waltz, Alexandre Desplat (The Painted Veil)
If you have not seen this movie, shut your computer (after you read this whole post), and go watch it. It's one of my favorites. The cinematography is gorgeous (China in the 1920's), the cast is superb, and the story is honorable and good - a story of forgiveness, and fidelity. This particular scene is the prettiest - ending on an ominous note as cholera plagues the region.

5. Seven Devils, Florence + the Machine (Revenge) 
“It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear.” HOW DRAMATIC IS THAT? It's Florence's own words about her music. In the season finale of Revenge, this Florence song was playing as Madeleine Stow and Amber Valetta boarded a plane. And then something happened. (Dun dun dun).

6. All I Want Is You, U2 (Contagion)
By this point in the movie I was still recovering from seeing Gwyneth Paltrow's skull, and I was officially convinced to never go out in public again, lest I become infected by the germs that were everywhere, destroying the planet. It's sweet because Matt Damon loves his daughter and wants her to have a moment of normalcy in the midst of chaos. It's sad because he has no guarantee of how things will end, and he's grieving the loss of his wife and son - but Bono just sings on.

7. You'll Find a Way, Santigold (Fame)
This movie isn't even remotely scary, but it has great dance numbers, this one is a close second to the Black and Gold number.

8. Wake Up, Arcade Fire (Where the Wild Things Are)
So many of us grew up loving this book, and so many still are. When the trailer came out, it was so exciting to see the characters alive, and this song was a perfect fit.The movie interpretation was sweet, but I think just as much sad in a lot of moments which I'm still undecided about. The island of wild things has that bare quality the end of fall brings. Not to mention, Max lives in his costume.

Honorable Mentions:

9. Day-O (Banana Boat Song), Harry Belafonte (Beetlejuice)
Catherine O'Hara and monster lobsters? Yes.

10. Head Over Heels, Tears for Fears, (Donnie Darko)
Mesmerizing scene and without ever understanding exactly why.

11. Three Little Birds, Bob Marley (I Am Legend)
Zombie apocalypse. Enough said.

12. Kissing You, Des'ree (Romeo+Juliet)
Tragedy. Not what you'd consider for October, but we all know how it ends.

There you have it, Happy Friday!

What are some of your favorite chilling movie songs?

(I added a few extra songs to the playlist for good measure. Heavy on the Florence. You understand).


  1. I saw Contagion while I was living in South Korea. Worst idea ever. I was perpetually fearful of the kids who were coming to school in masks!

    1. That's terrifying. I think that when passengers wear masks on the plane. It makes me feel like I am in Contagion and would be billed as, "Flight Attendant #1." Probably the first one to die. It's fine.

  2. I just stumbled across your blog and now I'm hooked {love when that happens}. Wish I had more time to read ALL your posts, but for now I'll settle for downloading some of your chilling tunes... I'm maybe heard of 3 of them {that's how un-musical I am}. xo

    1. Hooray! You're right, those are the best when you find kindred blogs. I am jealous that you live in Canada. For real!

      I hope you like the playlist. There will be more where that came from. Sharing music is my favorite. I didn't even mean to sound like Buddy the Elf when I said that.

  3. Where the Wild Things are is the saddest movie. I wanted to love it so bad, but i just hate it. But I am excited for your playlist. going to listen now!

  4. I Matt Damon's version of "My Funny Valentine"
    You might want to check out another haunting Grey's Anatomy song... Season 6... Episode 1. Wade in the Water by Sweet Honey in the Rock.