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10 Creepy Christmas Songs That Are Actually Pretty Scary

All your happy christmas song memories are about to be destroyed..

By Jessica Sager 鈥 Last updated on Dec 19, 2022

person sitting behind a Christmas tree

Christmas music is a fun way to get into the spirit of the Christmas season (provided you don't work in retail, in which case you're probably sick of Christmas songs by December 2).

In the wise words of Buddy the Elf , 鈥淭he best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.鈥

The heartwarming Christmas group-sing is a staple in classic holiday movies from "The Grinch" to "A Charlie Brown Christmas," where breaking out in song has the power to instill the true meaning of the holiday in the hearts of some of the Christmas canon鈥檚 most iconic holiday skeptics.

From timeless tunes to more modern classic Christmas songs (鈥淎ll I Want For Christmas Is You鈥 will be on repeat from now until the New Year, thanks), these songs are fun to sing along with while you're wrapping gifts, decorating your tree, hanging your Christmas lights, or just chugging eggnog and rum from the carton on your couch. (Really, who are you to judge me?)

But seriously: Christmas songs are great, they're festive, they have those adorable jingle bells, and they only come along for about a month every year (unless, of course, you鈥檙e the kind of person who starts celebrating Christmas the second you take off your Halloween costume), so it's good to enjoy them while you can.

Whether you鈥檙e a seasoned caroler or your only audience is whoever happens to hear you through the shower curtain, it鈥檚 hard to resist the temptation to belt out a Christmas tune this time of year.

Still, enjoying Christmas music doesn't mean approving of the messages that all classic Christmas songs contain.

Would it even be Christmas without the annual debate over 鈥淏aby It鈥檚 Cold Outside鈥 and its deeply problematic yet casually catchy perpetuation of rape culture ? And let's be honest: Some messages of Christmas songs are downright horrifying when you really stop humming along to think about them.

RELATED:聽 30 Obscure Christmas Songs That Are So Underrated

These 10 creepy Christmas songs are a lot creepier than picturing your weird Aunt Edna lurking under the mistletoe on Christmas Eve, so you may want to wipe them clean from your holiday playlists.

Creepy Christmas Songs That Are Actually Pretty Scary

1. "santa baby".

If you're relying on Santa to bring you this many expensive Christmas gifts, what you really should be asking him for is a job. Or for a subscription to one of those creepy Seeking Arrangement sites .

2. "Let It Snow"

"Let It Snow" basically says, "Hey, as long as I get laid today, who cares about a potentially nuclear winter?" Spoiler alert: You will when you get your heating bill and realize there's widespread famine, you selfish jerk.

RELATED:聽 'Love Actually' Is Unhinged, Actually 鈥 6 Awful Things You May Have Overlooked In This Christmas Favorite

3. "The 12 Days of Christmas"

Oh, you want nine ladies dancing, huh? (And don't get me started on the eight maids-a-milking, you freak.)

4. "All I Want for Christmas is You"

We made slavery illegal a long time ago. We fought a war over it. So begging and pleading and wailing to another human being and demanding they do your bidding for Christmas is pretty sketchy.

Also, is that really all you want? What about peace on Earth and goodwill towards men? Or a PlayStation 4? If you're that selfish, why are you selling yourself so short?

5. "Little Drummer Boy"

As someone who previously dated a few drummers, I can assure you that, with possibly the exception of Dave Grohl, they really will never have any gifts to bring.

RELATED:聽 35 Best Merry Christmas Quotes To Get You Into The Holiday Spirit This Season

6. "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

A man is pleading with you to stay the night despite your repeatedly saying "no." At some point, you ask, "Say, what's in this drink?"

Seriously, this is probably Robin Thicke's favorite Christmas song . (We kid.)

7. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

You know how, whenever something traumatic happens to a child, we always ask, "Where are the parents?" This is where they are: Roleplaying and not paying attention to their kids.

Whoever penned this Christmas song is probably still using the royalties to pay for therapy.

RELATED:聽 11 Things It's Perfectly Okay To Hate About Christmas (We All Do)

8. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Don't act like this is okay. If an overweight, bearded man really sees kids when they're sleeping and knows when they're awake, you need to call the police.

9. "Nuttin' for Christmas"

Unless you're a squirrel, you shouldn't be getting nuttin' for Christmas. At least get a Dunkin' Donuts gift card or something with it.

10. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

You know what? Grandma probably didn't get run over by a reindeer. Chances are, Grandpa (or whoever else was listed first in her will or her life insurance policy) was up to something much more sinister and is trying to pin it on Donner and Blitzen.

RELATED:聽 Why Men Scientifically Love Christmas Way More Than Women Do

Jessica Sager is a writer and comic based in NYC.

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34 of the Best, Wackiest, and Weirdest Christmas Songs

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People, Retro style, Illustration, Vintage clothing, Headgear, Event, Family, Black-and-white, History, Style,

Is it just me or does the holiday season start earlier and earlier each year? Before the leaves change color, even before pumpkin spice products infiltrate every corner of my grocery story, it seems like I'm haunted by "Jingle Bells" and "Let It Snow" at the dentist office and at shopping malls鈥攁nd it doesn't let up until New Year's Eve. Don't get me wrong, I love a good classic Christmas tune as much as the next person. And though roasting chestnuts and dreaming of a winter wonderland is all fun at first, by the time Christmas actually rolls around, I'm so very ready to switch things up.

Instead of slinking into Scrooge-mode from exposure to the same Christmas carols over and over again, try adding some alternative songs to your holiday playlist this year. Here are 34 of the best, wackiest, and weirdest ones we could find.

Judy Garland, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

It's hard not to tear up when Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in the Vincente Minnelli musical Meet Me in St. Louis . The song distills the melancholia that can settle on even the jolliest soul during the holiday season otherwise known as #SadGirlFall and #CozyGirlWinter . While the words are cheerful (merry is literally in the title), Garland's performance is breathtaking and, yes, heartbreaking. Since its 1944 debut, the song has become a Christmas classic covered by contemporary greats like Sam Smith, Christina Aguilera, and Frank Sinatra, though few have surpassed Garland's tear-jerking performance.

Bessie Smith, "At the Christmas Ball"

It's no fun to get the blues at Christmas, unless Bessie Smith is singing them. The legendary blues singer gave a Christmas gift to the world with her song, "At the Christmas Ball." She recorded the song two years after she became a superstar thanks to her hit album Down-Hearted Blues . The song is a hearty ode to the season and all its merrymaking, with Smith offering sage advice like, "If your partner don't act fair, don't worry there's some more over there" and reminding listeners that "Christmas comes but once a year, and to me it brings good cheer/And to everyone who likes wine and beer." This is one of the best bittersweet Christmas songs of all time, and should be at the top of your holiday Spotify playlist.

John and Yoko, The Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

It's hard to believe this antiwar classic is almost 50 years old (!), but its resonance has not dimmed even in the slightest during that time. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono were engaging in various protest activities鈥攖hink their late '60s bed-ins鈥攖hey were also making beautiful and meaningful music designed to reach the masses, but also to convey a serious message. Layering Christmas wishes with a pointed desire for peace, the couple took aim at the Vietnam War and encouraged people to think about the greater global context at a time of sometimes ignorant celebration and indulgence.

The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York"

According to The Pogues' lead singer, Shane MacGowan, this anti-Christmas anthem started out as a bet. We love a good anti-Christmas anthem. Singer, songwriter, and producer Elvis Costello bet MacGowan he couldn't write a Christmas duet to sing with the band's bass player (and Costello's future wife) Cait O'Riordan. Costello may have lost his wager, but the world got "Fairytale in New York," a wistful song for anyone who has been lonely on Christmas Eve鈥攅ven those in, "in the drunk tank."

Bing Crosby, "White Christmas"

Irving Berlin penned "White Christmas" for the classic Christmas movie Holiday Inn , and Bing Crosby delivered a beautifully memorable, if slightly mournful, take on the tune. As an aside, if you haven't seen Holiday Inn , you must. Crosby got a second shot at the song on the set of White Christmas , where he knocked it out of the park (again). Since then the song has become a standard, performed by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Jim Carrey and, more recently, Michael Bubl茅 (featuring Shania Twain) . The nostalgic song is so popular that it holds the Guinness World Record as the best-selling single of all time.

Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis"

The 1987 Special Olympics charity album, A Very Special Christmas , had some incredible contributions from A-list artists like Madonna, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks. But their songs (mostly covers) were all overshadowed by the standout track "Christmas in Hollis" from upstarts Run-DMC. Of course, the hip hop group is behind smash hits like, "It's Tricky" and "Its' Like That." The Christmas song, based on the neighborhood of Hollis, Queens, sampled Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" (more on that below) and sounded unlike any other Christmas tune out there. While Run-DMC weren't the first group to make a Christmas rap song (that honor goes to Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin'"), they made a memorable, honest, and fun song. Or, as DMC himself put it , "The beat is dope. The flow is dope. The rhymes are dope." Plus, the video featured his mom.

Wham!, "Last Christmas"

Look, the holidays aren't a great time for everyone鈥攅specially when images of happy families and couples are continually thrust in your face, like, literally everywhere. Never mind though, because the '80s heartbreak stylings of Wham! will keep you comfort. From the attempts to show a brave face ("Tell me baby / Do you recognize me?") to the devastating letdown ("Well, it's been a year / It doesn't surprise me"), it's a full picture of romantic ups and downs. It may have been beaten to #1 in the U.K. by "Do They Know It's Christmas," but it's still number one for all you lovelorn.

Big Star, "Jesus Christ"

If you're looking for a Christmas song that you can play all year round鈥攐r just a jam that to gently remind you of what believers call "the reason for the season"鈥攍ook no further than Big Star's "Jesus Christ." The song was an incongruous presence on the highly influential band's summery third album, Third/Sister Lovers , featuring angels from the realms of glory and stars shining brightly on King David's city. There seemed to be no particular reason that the '70s Nashville rockers included an ode to the nativity in the middle of their final album, but we're sure glad they did.

David Bowie and Bing Crosby, "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth"

Traditionally, "Little Drummer Boy" is known as one of the most interminable Christmas carols. But then came David Bowie and Bing Crosby, who transformed the drudgery into a joyous and uplifting song. The unlikely pairing came about thanks to Bowie's mom, who loved Bing Crosby and convinced her son to perform on Crosby's 1977 TV special, Merrie Olde Christmas . Bowie loved his mom but drew the line at singing the dreaded "Little Drummer Boy," so some quick-thinking writers whipped together an entirely new song. The tune was called "Peace on Earth" and Bowie sang it in perfect counter-harmony to Crosby's "Little Drummer Boy." The result is beautiful.

Darlene Love, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"

In case you didn鈥檛 already know, Darlene Love is basically the queen of Christmas (sorry Mrs. Claus!). Just ask David Letterman, who had an annual tradition of inviting her on his show every year to perform this hit. Plenty of artists have covered it over the years, but there鈥檚 nothing like the original.

The Carpenters, "Merry Christmas Darling"

This song is a must for any chilled-out Christmas playlist. It鈥檚 the ideal soundtrack for unwinding in the family room bathed in the glow from the Christmas tree after all the holiday hoopla is done and you're conked out on the couch in a tryptophan coma. Just take a few minutes to enjoy this song while you bask in the spirit of the season.

Mariah Carey, "All I Want For Christmas is You "

The opening notes of Mariah鈥檚 1994 hit spread more Christmas cheer than every mall Santa combined. It鈥檚 nearly impossible not to smile (and do a little dance) whenever it comes on. Some might say it gets overplayed every year (impossible), but there鈥檚 nothing like the excitement you feel the first time you hear it every holiday season.

The Wackiest

Sufjan Stevens, "Christmas Unicorn"

Sufjan Stevens is clearly a Christmasholic: He's created a cottage industry of albums with all-Christmas songs featuring multilayered and gorgeously complex sounds and whimsical lyrics. In 2012, he released Silver & Gold: Songs For Christmas , which had a whopping 58 songs spread across five EPs. This song. One of the more interesting tracks in the collection even involves a Christmas unicorn with a beard and a pagan tree because why not.

Fat Daddy, "Fat Daddy (Is Santa Claus)"

This song by Paul "Fat Daddy" Johnson, Baltimore's self-anointed "300 Pound King of Soul," is featured on A John Waters Christmas , the eclectic holiday soundtrack curated by the apparently Christmas-loving director of Cry Baby and Pink Flamingos . Johnson hosted a radio hour back in the '50s and '60s, and inspired the, arguably, best character in Hairspray: Motormouth Maybelle. His ode to 'ole jolly St. Nick is a Christmas classic.

Beck, "The Little Drum Machine Boy"

It's not the holiday season until 808 beats begin to mingle with silver bells drifting through the air鈥攖hat is, according to Beck's Christmas oddity, "Little Drum Machine Boy." The carol (?) appeared on the 1996 Geffen compilation Just Say No毛l , which also featured a catchy tune from Sonic Youth called "Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope" and Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's "Christmastime."

Shonen Knife, "Space Christmas"

The Osaka-based band toured with Nirvana and the Breeders back in the '90s. They're still making music today. The grrrrl group is also influenced by the Supremes, the Ramones, and the Beach Boys. You can hear it all in their delightfully strange holiday song, "Space Christmas." The song, released in 1991, asks Santa to please bring a space ship while riding a "bison sleigh." If you think about it, honestly, bison are just as unlikely as flying reindeer. So it all makes sense. Right?

Brenda Lee, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus"

When Brenda Lee was just nine years old, she threatened, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus." Because why not? This merry tune offers a very bizarre lesson in Santa kidnapping, as Lee promises to "pop, pop Santa Claus with [her] water pistol gun." Unlike greedy Gayla Peevey, who wanted a hippopotamus all for herself, Lee's got a bit of a Robin Hood streak. In "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Clause," she promises to "take his bags of toys and run and bring to all the kids who don't have none." This wasn't Lee's only Christmas tune, however. Four years later, at the age of 13, she became the first artist to record a little song called "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

Akim and the Teddy Vann Production Company, "Santa Claus Is a Black Man"

Another gem from the John Waters Christmas compilation, "Santa Claus Is a Black Man," features songwriter Teddy Vann and his daughter Akim on the track.

AC/DC, "Mistress for Christmas"

There was no good reason for rock legends AC/DC to put out a Christmas song and yet we have "Mistress for Christmas." While some people might want a diamond ring or their two front teeth for Christmas (or, also, peace on Earth), AC/DC wants Santa to schlepp them a side chick. You know, to get funky with under the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, this is also a one way ticket to the naughty list.

Fat Les, "Naughty Christmas (Goblin in the Office)"

Set down your punch, because Fat Les is serving up a cautionary tale about drinking too much at an office Christmas party. This onetime strange supergroup consisted of Blur's bass player, Alex James, actor Keith Allen, and artist Damien Hirst. Pop singer Lily Allen provided extra vocals for background and Lisa Moorish sings about everything that could possibly go wrong after one too any eggnogs at work.

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Christmas Playlist: 8 Holiday Songs for the Horror Fan!

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Horror fans love the holidays too, if the ever-growing catalog of holiday horror movies is any indication. But the endless loop of the same holiday songs playing in the department stores has long grown stale, and it lacks that macabre twist anyhow.

Specifically for horror fans, here are 8 songs to add to your holiday playlist!

Misfits 鈥 鈥淵ou鈥檙e a Mean One, Mr. Grinch鈥

The original song was created for the 1966 cartoon based on Dr. Seuss鈥 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas , and Seuss wrote the lyrics himself. I suppose a family Christmas cartoon doesn鈥檛 exactly scream horror, but the lyrics are one endless stream of insults. Catchy and mean! It鈥檚 even catchier as a cover by horror punk band Misfits, released on their EP Horror Xmas .

Christopher Lee 鈥 鈥淛ingle Hell鈥

At nearly 92 years old, horror icon Christopher Lee became the oldest living performer to enter the Billboard music charts, and with a heavy metal take on a Christmas classic no less. His second Christmas album A Heavy Metal Christmas Too , features another round of rousing metal covers of well-known holiday songs, but 鈥淛ingle Hell鈥 is a great place to start. 聽Lee began his music career singing on The Wicker Man soundtrack, but who knew he鈥檇 eventually melt Santa鈥檚 face off with heavy guitar riffs?

Tales from the Crypt 鈥 鈥淗ave Yourself a Scary Little Christmas鈥

Remember when the Cryptkeeper released a holiday album, titled Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas ? Released in 1994 and now long out of print, it was full of spoofs and puns of popular holiday songs sung by John Kassir as the Cryptkeeper. This means that the entire album is appropriate for your holiday horror playlist, but this song in particular features a dramatic reenactment over the song of horror comic story 鈥淎nd All Through the House鈥 that accompanied the comic reprint in the CD鈥檚 booklet.

Anna and the Apocalypse 鈥 鈥淚t鈥檚 That Time of Year鈥

The entire soundtrack for this Christmas set zombie musical is worth a listen, but 鈥淚t鈥檚 That Time of Year鈥 sung by actress Marli Siu is a holiday standout. It鈥檚 a tongue-in-cheek Christmas song in the vein of 鈥淪anta Baby,鈥 and it鈥檚 dripping with sexual innuendo. Once you see it performed in the film, the comical number will forever be etched in your brain.

Krampus 鈥 鈥淜arol of the Bells鈥

Composer Douglas Pipes gave a haunting twist to popular Christmas song 鈥淐arol of the Bells鈥 for the holiday horror-comedy鈥檚 end credits. But director Michael Dougherty wanted to include a children鈥檚 choir so he added lyrics that served as a cautionary tale and called upon his nephew鈥檚 show choir at California’s聽Brea Olinda High School to record it. Thus, 鈥淜arol of the Bells鈥 superior horror twist to a familiar Christmas tune was born.

A Christmas Horror Story 鈥 鈥淚t鈥檚 Christmas Eve鈥

Alex Khaskin鈥檚 opening theme to holiday horror anthology A Christmas Horror Story begins as seemingly normal Christmas music, with saccharine vocals and light-hearted instrumentals. Even the lyrics are traditional. But then the music gets heavier and more ominous, and the chanting kicks in. The lyrics also take a decidedly dark turn, making references to the changelings, demons, and dark spirits in the film.

The Nightmare Before Christmas 鈥 鈥淢aking Christmas鈥

Tim Burton鈥檚 stop-motion animation feature that sees the gothic, monstrous residents of Halloween Town attempt to take over Christmas is a holiday classic. It helps that the music by Danny Elfman is extremely catchy. 鈥淢aking Christmas鈥 perfectly encapsulates the spooky holiday tone, in which the town gets to work creating creepy holiday toys and d茅cor. As an alternative to the movie鈥檚 version of this song, Rise Against covered the song for Disney鈥檚 cover album Nightmare Revisited .

The Gremlins 鈥 鈥淭he Gremlin Rag鈥

One of six songs composed by Jerry Goldsmith for the soundtrack, 鈥淭he Gremlin Rag鈥 is the main theme song to this seminal holiday horror movie written by Chris Columbus and directed by Joe Dante. The theme will embed itself in your head on its own, but this clip from the movie that shows the pint-sized terrors caroling to their own theme song is the best.

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Horror journalist, RT Top Critic, and Critics Choice Association member. Co-Host of the Bloody Disgusting Podcast. Has appeared on PBS series' Monstrum, served on the SXSW Midnighter shorts jury, and moderated horror panels for WonderCon and SeriesFest.

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Technology giveth and taketh away. We can watch most movies with the click of a button from our couch but no longer have the joy of going out to the video rental store. We can also buy and digitally 鈥渙wn鈥 any movie at a moment鈥檚 notice, but more and more, physical copies of movies aren鈥檛 even being made (looking at you, Barbarian ).

The movie theater has stayed the course, however. Through Covid-19 shutdowns, insane movie budgets followed by box office disasters, the rise of quality TV shows like聽 Game of Thrones , streaming,聽 The Flash 鈥 theaters have survived, thank God. That being said, each year, more movies conveniently grace us with their presence at home and only at home.

It鈥檚 not always a bad thing for films to skip movie theaters entirely. But I鈥檇 be lying if I said it wouldn鈥檛 have been nice to have the option to see the following films in the theater in 2023.

Surrounded by loud popcorn chewers, seat kickers and all鈥

Cobweb trailer

Perhaps the most baffling of all on our list is Director Samuel Bodin鈥檚聽 Cobweb . A movie that had an extremely limited theatrical release in July but then was released digitally for rent during the spooky season with almost no fanfare or marketing whatsoever. A film that is absolutely drenched in a gothic Halloween atmosphere that would have likely had a Friday night wide release horror crowd in the palm of its hand during the Halloween season.

The film boasted a well-known cast featuring Lizzy Caplan ( Cloverfield ) and Antony Starr ( The Boys ), complimented by a聽 Barbarian -esque plot that was full of genre pivots and surprises. One of those films best experienced while knowing as little as possible about it. Good thing for us they didn鈥檛 market it at all, eh?!

If you鈥檝e seen聽 Cobweb , whether you enjoyed its wild unraveling or not, you probably agree it would have at the very least had folks talking had they known it existed. Just like original scary films like聽 Barbarian, It Follows 聽or聽 Smile 聽before it. I have no doubt in my mind that聽 Cobweb聽 wouldn鈥檛 only have been fun to experience with an audience in a packed theater but that it could have been a box office success just like the original horror movies previously mentioned.

NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU

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We watched this (nearly) dialogue-free alien home invasion thriller at home on Hulu at the tail end of my daughter鈥檚 fourteenth birthday party. The reason I鈥檓 weirdly sharing this much information with you is because聽 you should have seen 聽their reaction. Full on screaming and jumping in their seats and pointing and yelling at characters and covering their eyes. It was a blast. The opening of聽 Scream 2 聽was basically happening in my living room. Sans, you know, the murder part.

Aside from the talking aspect (we live in a society, after all), this was the experience that No One Will Save You should have provided the world in a wide release format. It would have been an absolute ride to see this movie with a packed Friday night audience and Dolby surround sound. From the tense home invasion scenes to the wild shit escalating outside, it would have been hilarious to watch a packed audience react in real time. Not to mention, it would have just been nice to see all this unfold on the big screen in the highest quality possible.

Here’s hoping we at least get a physical media release this year.

Sick

It feels like Sick released years ago and in fact it premiered at TIFF back in September of 2022 but only became accessible for us little people in January of 2023 on Peacock streaming. Scope and size wise,聽 Sick fits as a straight to video movie. There鈥檚 no arguing that. Still, with the right marketing and framing in today鈥檚 horror appreciative society, I鈥檇 argue Sick 聽could have been a box office success. It鈥檚 a stripped-down teen slasher film in 2023 written by the guy who wrote聽 Scream 聽and聽 I Know What You Did Last Summer 聽for crying out loud (Kevin Williamson along with Katelyn Crabb)! This thing sells itself.

John Hyams (the son of the great Peter Hyams, who probably directed one of your favorite Jean Claude Van Damme films) directed the hell out of this small scale, remote slasher. The film uses the Covid-19 pandemic to isolate our teens from the world as a killer with an unknown motive stalks them and picks them off one by one. The film follows many of the classic Scream tropes in the best of ways. An opening kill that sets the tone, a group of friends with history, an unknown killer and ultimately their motive-revealing monologue. You could argue the pandemic angle will date the film but I find it as more of a time capsule in a good way. Besides, Scream wasn鈥檛 without its 鈥渄ated鈥 moments, either. 鈥淚t鈥檚 the millennium! Motives are incidental!鈥

It鈥檚 been long enough for the teen slasher sub-genre that I believe a theatrical introduction updated for today鈥檚 youth would have been received with open arms rather than an eye roll.

TOTALLY KILLER

Sweet Sixteen Killer

Seriously, what鈥檚 the deal with teen slashers going straight to digital? In this case, someone better ask Blumhouse. Nahnatchka Khan鈥檚聽 Totally Killer 聽takes the聽 Scream 聽concept and mates it with聽 Back to the Future . It鈥檚 a bold concept, Cotton. Let鈥檚 see if it pays off!

This is the聽 one film on this list that I will admit probably worked best as a direct to digital film BUT with the caveat that its bold ideas just needed more faith from its studios. The ideas and cast were big screen capable where necessary financial support just wasn鈥檛. Kiernan Shipka is an excellent final girl who goes back in time (to the 80鈥檚) to stop a mystery serial killer before he gets started. Much like聽 Sick, 聽the entire film is a charismatic and loveable throwback to the聽 Scream聽 days, with a聽 Hot Tub Time Machine 聽twist. But whereas聽 Sick 聽was purposefully stripped down to match the isolation of its time,聽 Totally Killer is tasked with not only time travel but the re-creation of the 80鈥檚. A tall task for a short budget.

The script was sharp, witty, and funny. The actors were well cast and all-in on the wacky premise. The slasher mask was creative and looked like a Beavis and Butthead 聽version of the masks from the聽 Point Break robberies (this is a positive). And the chase scenes were on point.

In the end all of these aspects still felt like they needed something more , if we’re being completely honest here, but Totally Killer still could’ve been a hit in theaters all the same.

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Spooky Christmas music comes to life on “Christmas A Ghostly Gathering”

spooky christmas music

Spooky Christmas music abounds on Midnight Syndicate’s haunting holiday music classic, Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering .聽 The album isn’t as much a collection of dark Christmas music, as it is darkly beautiful Christmas music with a haunting touch. For those not familiar with the album, we encourage you to listen to the hauntingly creepy spin on Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on YouTube . The image above is Jules Tavernier’s 1871 painting, A Christmas Dream. It first appeared in the magazine, Harper’s Weekly in the 19th century. “This image by Tavernier, captures the essence of what I was going for with my interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s classic,” said Midnight Syndicate’s Edward Douglas. “It’s both beautiful and incredibly creepy.”

Listen to Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering on Spotify or on our Dark Christmas playlist on YouTube .

This version of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 聽was featured in it’s entirety during a memorable sequence on the television show, Happy! 聽(Season 1, Episode 3, When Christmas Was Christmas ).

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We are looking forward to 2024 and wish you and yours all the best in the new year! Thank you for all of your support in 2023! ... See More See Less

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51 Comments Comment on Facebook

Thank you all so much for your support and the wonderful comments. You are the best!

Happy New Year, Ed & Gavin!

Happy New Year Sirs!!

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

That was my Husband/Soulmate's FAVORITE song by you guys (he passed away unexpectedly Jan 2022). He would have ADORED that little video--thank you for doing that--kind of makes me feel like it was a "sign" from him....Wishing you guys a safe and happy year....

Awesome! Happy New year!!!

Happy new year and hope that this year is just as good as last year was.

Happy New Year!

Happy new year!

Happy new year !

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you guys, keep up your wonderful music and entertainment for us! Enjoyed listening to your Christmas music which kept me sane this holiday season, it's wonderful

Happy new year

Happy New Year you guys

Happy new year's

Wishing u guys all the best in 24!

Happy New Year guys!

Happy New Year Gentlemen

My favorite album is.. (Green cover) "Realm Of Shadows"

Happy New Year 馃帄馃帄馃帄

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ABOUT MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE

For over two decades, composers聽 Edward Douglas 聽and聽 Gavin Goszka 聽have been known as Midnight Syndicate, creating symphonic soundtracks to imaginary films that facilitate a transcendental and adventurous escape into the secret dimensions of the mind鈥檚 eye. To many of their fans, they are horror music pioneers brewing a signature blend of instrumental orchestral gothic music and movie-style sound effects. To others, they remain the first 鈥 haunted house band 鈥 that forever changed the Halloween music genre and became a staple of the October holiday season.聽 Still others, know them for their contributions to the use of music in the roleplaying and board game industries.

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All I Want For Christmas is Halloween: A Playlist

Before I started Spooky Little Halloween, I wrote a music blog called The Good Groupie - the entire point was to celebrate genuinely loving music without all the drama and hype.

spooky christmas music

This post was originally published in December 2018 and last updated in November 2022. December blog posts are part of the 13 Days of Creepmas .聽

In other words, I was writing a blog about music I love without trying to be a snob about it. I believe in unapologetically loving the music that moves you.

But there was ONE genre of music I could get pretty snobby about: Christmas music.

If I’m honest, Christmas music isn’t my favorite…mostly because I think the classics are all we need. Or they’re all I need, anyway.

But Halloween Christmas music? Now that’s a subgenre I can totally get behind. Today I’m sharing a little playlist I created for the holiday season…plus two more killer holiday playlists from The Spooky Vegan and Mr. and Mrs. Halloween for you to listen to!

May I present…

All I Want for Christmas is Halloween

All the songs I’ve picked are either fun kitschy tunes, parodies or holiday songs that are a bit more spooky or macabre. It’s an eclectic聽mix I hope you enjoy.

And just in case Spotify is not your preferred method for streaming music, here is the complete playlist so you can create it yourself:

spooky christmas music

Want more Halloween Christmas music? You’re in luck!

The Spooky Vegan has a wonderful Gothic Christmas playlist you can listen to, and Mr. and Mrs. Halloween put together a massive Creepy Christmas playlist as well.

spooky christmas music

What is your favorite spooky holiday tune?

Share it in the comments – I’d love to add more songs to my playlist.

spooky christmas music

The Best of Spooky Little Halloween | Halloween 2022

October 28, 2022, why i celebrate spooky christmas, november 29, 2022.

spooky christmas music

Miranda | Spooky Little Halloween

Miranda is the Minneapolis-based writer, blogger, and Halloween lover behind Spooky Little Halloween, the blog celebrating October 31st all year long. Her favorite Halloween things include pumpkin guts, chocolate bars in her trick-or-treat pail, real haunted houses, and historic cemeteries.

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The business of Christmas music and why some songs become classics

John Yang

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  • Copy URL https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-business-of-christmas-music-and-why-some-songs-become-classics

Christmas music is a big part of the music industry. John Yang speaks with Nate Sloan, an assistant professor of musicology at the USC Thornton School of Music and co-host of the podcast Switched On Pop, about what makes Christmas music so popular at this time of year and the staying power of these holiday hits.

Read the Full Transcript

Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Right now Christmas music seems to be everywhere on the radio in stores and in waiting rooms but if history is any guide it will essentially disappear on Tuesday even though it's The radio in stores and in waiting rooms, but if history is any guide, it will essentially disappear on Tuesday. Even though its lifespan is the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Christmas music is a big part of the music industry.

Nate Sloan is an assistant professor of Musicology at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. He's also the co-host of a podcast called Switched on Pop.

Nate, what is it about Christmas music that makes it so popular that makes people love it so?

Nate Sloan, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music: I think the main thing is that it sounds different from the things that you hear the rest of the year on radio. Christmas music is nostalgic. It's from a different era. It uses acoustic instruments. You hear voices like Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee. It stands out from business as usual in the American music industry.

I mean, you mentioned Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee, I mean, that brings up another point is that so much of the Christmas music is old. Is comes from like the 40s or 50s. The top five records on the Billboard Hot 100. This past week, are all Christmas songs. Three of them are performed by artists who are no longer living.

Why is that? Is it that new music isn't being written, it just doesn't measure up?

Nate Sloan:

The oldness of this music is part of its appeal. Because Christmas, the holidays. This is a time when you crave familiarity and comfort. And so the fact that these artists are the same ones that you've been hearing your entire life is exactly why they've retained such popularity.

And it seems like every artist feels the need or has to do a Christmas album. I mean, when I look back, there was a heavy metal album with Alice Cooper. There was a hip hop album was Snoop Dogg. And of course a few years ago, there was a Bob Dylan album.

Why do the artists feel the need to do this? Or why do they do it?

Well, as you said, John, it's very difficult to join this exclusive club of Christmas hitmakers. But if you're able to do so, this can be a very lucrative proposition. Because it means that year after year, people will be listening to downloading streaming, playing on radio, your music. And if you are able to join that club, that's a really great place to be as an artist.

Well, we can't talk about year after year without talking about Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You.

This is a song that was written almost three decades ago. And it's number one on the Billboard Top 100. What's it — what explains it staying power?

Well, I think there's a few things with Mariah Carey song. I think one thing is you have to credit her as a songwriter. And as a performer. Her vocals are incredible. She's able to reach these stratospheric notes that few other singers can.

Also, the song was used in a really popular film Love Actually that was released in 2003. So people watch that film, and that reinforces the popularity of the song. And I think third, the song has so many hallmarks of classic Christmas music in terms of its instrumentation, in terms of its harmonies. So it really fits comfortably alongside Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby and all these other Christmas greats.

You're a musicologist and I think we've talked about a lot of little bits and pieces here. But pull it all together. What makes a great Christmas song?

Okay, I think you need a few essential elements. One is there should be some sleigh bells in there. It also helps if you have a nice string orchestra, some lush orchestral accompaniment, and then you want to have more complex harmonies than you usually hear on the popular music charts. The kind of harmonies that people like Irving Berlin wrote in his song White Christmas.

That really sends you back to this era of the Great American Songbook, when many of these Christmas classics were written.

That's the classics. Are there any new songs or newer Christmas songs that have drawn your attention?

Well, I've been noting that Kelly Clarkson's 2013 hit Underneath the Tree is currently at number 11 on the Billboard charts.

So after a decade of growing popularity, I think Kelly Clarkson is poised to join this this pantheon of Christmas hitmakers.

Nate what's your favorite Christmas song?

I'm partial to Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. To me this song is all about deceptive simplicity. It's so easy to sing. It rolls off the tongue.

Once you start to play it on piano, and I'm a piano, so I love to play during the holidays. You notice Oh, there's some really clever harmonies and rhythms here. And I think that keeps us coming back to that song year after year.

Nate Sloan of the University of Southern California. Thank you very much.

Thanks for having me.

Listen to this Segment

Christmas installation of a grotto with figures standing amid rubble, is displayed on Manger Square in Bethlehem

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John Yang is the anchor of PBS News Weekend and a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He covered the first year of the Trump administration and is currently reporting on major national issues from Washington, DC, and across the country.

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