Spooky Sounds for Halloween
I never thought Iíd be writing this in a music column...but...Martha Stewart has the perfect album for you for this Halloween.
Spooky Scary Sounds for Halloween is a single-track, 40-minute CD that is made specifically for one purpose: to play at your doorway on October 31 as Halloween trick-or-treaters come waltzing up the path in their Freddy Krueger and Casper the Friendly Ghost costumes.
Stewart describes it best in the liner notes: "deranged laughter, hooting owls, crashing thunder, creaking doors...these are the scary sounds that send shivers down your spine and conjure up haunting images in your head. Personally, I love to create spooky environments to celebrate Halloween, and sound effects are a big part of the fun."
She continues, "This specially collection of authentic, eerie effects was originally created to scare trick-or-treaters at my own front door. The movie quality sounds of the howling winds, the sharpening of knives, the beating of hearts, and the rattling of chains will help set the scene for your own chilling costume party and will keep neighborhood kids coming back to trick-or-treat at your haunted house again and again."
The disc is grounded by segments that include the chirping of crickets and locusts and other "night" insects in the background, as witches cackle and hootowls hoot in the foreground. There are screeching doors and throaty laughs, but it all segues together as if youíre listening to the sounds of a creepy forest with deadly denizens nearby.
Will it scare adults?
Probably not...some of the Brew-ha-ha-has are a bit laughable, and the hoot owls and chiming clocks and witchís cackles do get repetitive rather than creepy after awhile. But it would be perfect to keep this running in a haunted house, or at the doorway of your scary trick-or-treat alcove. Kudos to Martha and Rhino for putting it together.
The disc also includes excerpts from Stewartís book Living, describing ways to hold a pumpkin carving party or to create spooky effects with mirrors and translucent material, just in case you need more ideas for the season.
Tales From The Crypt: Monsters of Metal
(The Right Stuff)
OK, there really isnít anything all that Halloween-related here other than a cover photo and a handful of voiceovers from the popular "Cryptkeeper" puppet from HBOís Tales From The Crypt series (oh, and two of these songs were used in the soundtracks to the Tales movies).
While many metal bands certainly have some occultish overtones, this disc is more guitar "assaultive" than creepy. The Cryptkeeper offers five introductions between the 15 songs, taken from Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Armored Saint, Pantera, Queensryche, Dio and Anthrax, among others. He also offers his usual cryptic humor..."death is natureís way of saying you partied too hard" and "hear that kiddies, those are mad dogs outside. People ask me, why donít I shoot them?...I did shoot them, thatís what made them so mad!"
Itís heavy, and the titles are creepy ("Five Magics,""Cemetery Gates,""Dead Inside,""The Bell Witch") but metal fans would probably enjoy it more without the Cryptkeeper interrupting the flow, and Tales from the Crypt fans might enjoy something a little more overtly scary.