Creepy Songs You Can't Listen To More Than Once

Most songs are about nice things — love, friendships, joy, dancing the Macarena, all that fun stuff. But some songs are so disturbing, so horrifying, you'll regret ever listening to them in the first place. Here are some of the best (worst?) of the creepy song bunch. Enjoy!

Queen: 'The Show Must Go On'

Since God first farted and created music, Queen has been one of the best bands to perform it, ever. There's almost no song that Queen has made that you can't listen to over and over, except for one. The Show Must Go On, undeniably one of their most famous and awesome hits, is also incredibly depressing.

See, Freddie Mercury is dead (spoiler alert). He died of AIDS, but he didn't die fast, although he kept it well-hidden. When he recorded The Show Must Go On, he was basically a corpse, albeit a rather lively one. The song, written by Brian May, is basically about Mercury's state of mind as strove to keep on performing, despite inching closer and closer to that great epic mustache in the sky with every breath.

Legend has it that Mercury was so ravaged by disease at that point, May thought he'd be unable to perform the song. But he swigged some vodka and belted the entire (extremely difficult to sing) song in one take, because Freddie Mercury is the closest thing any of us have ever seen to a god. He died shortly thereafter, leaving this song as basically his beautiful, sad, rather uncomfortable eulogy to himself.

Sarah McLachlan: 'Possession'

Sarah McLachlan's 1993 song "Possession" sounds like a beautiful, sexy ballad, until you read the lyrics and realize it's about a creepy stalker-turned-rapist. The chorus goes "I would be the one / to hold you down / kiss you so hard / I'll take your breath away / and after, I'd wipe away the tears / just close your eyes, dear." Later, she sings, "Nothing stands between us here / and I won't be denied," to really drive home that this couldn't be less of a love song.

Worse, the song's based on real people. According to an interview with Rolling Stone, McLachlan had been receiving multiple letters from creepy guys who felt they should be with her. She, as an artist, wrote a song based on those letters. But one of the alleged stalkers sued McLachlan for $250,000, citing "breach of confidence and breach of moral rights." Basically, he admitted — in legal documents — to writing two years' worth of unsolicited letters to someone he didn't know, then accused McLachlan of betraying his trust by writing about them. For the record, this is not how you win over a woman (or any human being).

The case never went to court because Vandrei killed himself in 1995. While everything turned out OK for McLachlan, the song is still incredibly difficult to listen to once you know the whole story.

Eminem: 'Kim'


Most of Eminem's lyrics, even the vulgar ones, are ultimately tame. Even his attempts at being shocking like, "wanna see me drive nine inch nails through both of my eyelids" simply makes one think of a really bad cartoon. One of his songs, however goes straight past that and into, "Okay, this man is genuinely dangerous" territory.

Like many angry white boy songs, Kim is about a woman. Like many of Eminem's angry songs, it's about his on-again-off-again partner/wife/ex-wife/mother of his daughter, Kim. The song's a great ride if you're twisted enough to enjoy hearing rap songs about murdering women. If you're not, it's pretty tough to get through even once. The song details Eminem playing with his baby before revealing that he broke into Kim's house, and has her tied up. He then takes her in a car, screams about every wrong she supposedly did him, wraps it all in a neat little bow with the Shakespeare-esque copulet "BLEED B**** / BLEEEEEEDDDDDD!!" and then brutally kills her.

This would be squirm-in-your-seats-bad enough if it was an entirely fictional tale, but it might not be — well, he obviously didn't kill her, but Eminem has quite the alleged history of abusing Kim. Even if he hasn't, he's still not the nicest guy to her. One time — get this — she attended one of his shows, and he told her he wasn't going to play Kim. Then, with her there, he played the song, AND he assaulted a blow-up doll in her image as the crowd screamed with approval. Wow, what a laugh-riot that Eminem is!

Kim says she tried to kill herself after the show, and it's sadly not hard to imagine why.

Harry McClintock: 'Big Rock Candy Mountain'

There's a lost verse in Harry McClintock's classic folk tune "Big Rock Candy Mountain," one even the folksiest of folk aficionados might not know about. It describes an apparent epidemic among hobos at the time: picking up kids, enticing them with romantic tales of the vagabond life, and then raping them.

The long-forgotten verse goes: "The punk rolled up his big blue eyes / And said to the jocker, 'Sandy / I've hiked and hiked and wandered, too, / But I ain't seen any candy / I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore / I'll be damned if I hike any more / To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore / In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.'" The "punk" is a young kid, and the "jocker" is the creepy hobo looking for sexual favors. It's not a surprise this verse has been dropped, is it?

McClintock apparently wrote the song in the early 1900s based on popular hobo tales, but the final verse didn't go into most recordings. The song had been copyrighted in 1906 by two others, but McClintock eventually won the rights by producing postcards he'd sent out to radio listeners in the early days. Great for him, but good luck hearing kids sing this song and not shuddering every time.

Rammstein: 'Mein Teil'

Every Rammstein songs sounds angry and scary, but "Mein Teil" might be the scariest of all. It's easy to ignore the lyrics because they're in German, but once you learn them, you'll probably want to stick with "Du Hast" and "Amerika" forevermore.

In English, "Mein Teil" translates to "My Part" or the more suggestive "My Piece." That's because, according to a 2004 MTV interview with the band members, the song is about Armin Meiwes, a German cannibal. In 2001, Meiwes cooked and ate various parts of Bernd Juergen Brandes' body — including his "piece" — before murdering him. That's disgusting enough, but Brandes actually wanted it to happen. Meiwes had put out an internet ad looking for a "well-built man ... for slaughter." Brandes answered with "I offer myself to you and will let you dine from my live body. Not butchery, dining!!" Not only did he allow himself to be eaten, he even partook in the dining, eating himself like a human Ouroboros. Here's the end of the paragraph so you can go throw up quick.

It actually could've been worse, as Rammstein initially wanted the song's video to show the actual dinner. Meiwes and Brandes taped their rendezvous, and the band thought showing snippets of a real-life guy butchering, cooking, eating, and killing another person would be perfect for Total Request Live, but the police weren't interested in releasing it for the purposes of shock rock. Too bad for Rammstein; a huge relief for everybody else.

Beach Boys: 'Never Learn Not to Love' (written by Charles Manson)

Charles Manson's infamy is impossible to separate from pop culture, specifically music. His murders were supposedly inspired by the Beatles song Helter Skelter (which is actually about a damned children's slide) and he was a failed singer-songwriter, himself. That said, one band actually played one of his songs, and you might have heard of them: the Beach Boys.

Of all the bands that could possibly have a Charles Manson single, the Beach Boys — the "Fun Fun Fun" guys — are among the last you'd suspect. But there you go. Never Learn Not to Love is a slightly altered version of Manson's Cease to Exist (such a happy title). As the story goes, Dennis Wilson was a friend of Manson's at one point. The Beach Boys heard Manson's music and said he was a unique talent — but they meant it in a good way, because the murders had not started yet. So the group took his song, changed around a few words, and the rest is horrible, horrible history.

Honestly, even though they changed some lyrics, the fact that Charles Manson gets credit is enough for us to giddy up our 409 and drive as far away from anyone playing this song as humanly possible.

Zach Sobiech: 'Clouds' (the Cancer Kid song)

Clouds isn't a song you'll want to listen to over and over, but the creepiness isn't exactly lyrical — it's more ... existential. On its own, it's a slowish, pop-rock song that's about saying goodbye. The lyrics are pretty good and the melody and vocals are pretty enough in a Jack Johnson sort of way. Oh, yeah, and it was written by Zach Sobiech, a teenager who had terminal cancer, as his farewell song to the world. He's dead now. Aaand, you're sad now.

Sobiech wrote Clouds specifically about his life and his journey, going through the process of being a literal child who knew he was going to die. So if you, for some reason, are the type of person who delights in listening to a teenager who — again — is dead now, singing a song about how he knows he'll be dead soon, go right ahead and listen to it more than once. Meanwhile, we couldn't even get through The Fault in Our Stars more than once, so we're gonna take a hard pass here.

Ted Nugent: 'Jailbait'

Ted Nugent has a rather creepy vibe to him. But it's not just a typical "weird rock star" vibe — it's actually a "keep this guy away from your kids" vibe. In none of his songs is that more clear than the perfectly titled "Jailbait." Guess what it's about. Go on. Guess.

"Jailbait" features such catchy lyrics as "I've got no inhibitions" and "I don't care if you're just thirteen." Sing along as Nugent crones to his barely-teenage paramour, "There's one lil' thing I got to do to you," and see if you can make it through without uncontrollably vomiting. If you couldn't, maybe his singing "got this craving for the underage" will finally push all that excess bile out your throat.

"Oh, but the man goes to jail at the end of the song," you're saying. True, but here's the thing though: Nugent didn't invent this creepy song out of whole cloth — he might actually be singing about himself. He's openly admitted to preferring the younger (as in, illegally younger) ladies, and has even been accused of raping a twelve-year old girl — that's even younger than the girl in the song. Also, that girl grew up to be Courtney Love, which somehow makes the whole thing even weirder.

Amazingly, that's only tied for the creepiest Uncle Nuge story out there — the gold medal goes to the time he adopted a seventeen-year-old girl, presumably so he could legally know her biblically. Isn't a weird old guy trying to legally get with a kid the plot of A Series of Unfortunate Events? Ted Nugent is literally a children's book villain, only worse, because he's real. Also, the Events guy was simply after money. Nuge's motivations? Way more evil.

Pearl Jam: 'Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me (Stupid Mop)'

What's the easiest way to compose a song? Simple — don't do it at all. That's gotta be what Pearl Jam was thinking when composing Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me or, as is much easier to say, Stupid Mop.

Mop has no real lyrics. All those voices you hear are real, actual mental patients being let out of hospitals, forced to live out their confused and hard lives on the street, due to lack of funding. See, Pearl Jam frontman and all-around weird dude, Eddie Vedder, saw a show about mental patients being released, and recorded it. Due to how, you know, absolutely horrifying it is that America was letting people who could not comprehend their own actions out on the streets, it was something that he kept thinking about. Eventually, he decided to make a song that was about the mental patients' state of mind and thus we got Hey Foxyblahblahyakketyschmakkety.

The song is kinda hard to listen to in the first place, but when you realize what's it about, and what those speakers are going on about, it becomes way, way harder to stomach. But keep it in mind next time you see an old woman mumbling to herself on a sidewalk. She might have once appeared in a famous rock song.

Stalaggh's entire Projekt Misanthropia album

There's some messed up stories around metal musicians, but this one might take the "Oh lord, how could you do that?" cake.

The story behind Stalaggh's Projekt Misanthropia is nothing but terrifying. The entire album was created with the "help" of mentally ill patients who were abducted from their asylum, and forced to work on terrible black metal. At that point, a lobotomy might seem preferable. See, one of the members of Stalaggh — perhaps inspired by their World War II concentration camp name (Stalag) — decided to use mentally ill people from the hospital he worked at in the album. Many of them were homicidal, and some were suicidal — one, in fact, killed himself shortly after "recording" his vocals for the album. But hey — anything for music?

To be honest, it barely qualifies as music — it's basically a 35-minute wall of noise. But when you add in the screams of terrified, demented people stuck there against their will, it puts this tunage all the way into "elevator music from Hell" territory. Now, Stalaggh (the extra gh stands for Global Holocaust, for realsies) has said that all of the people working on the album consented but ... weren't they locked in an asylum because they can't be held responsible for their own actions? That's the opposite of being able to consent!

The band hates to be called "artists," saying "Art is creative, we are destructive." Damn, we kinda agree.

Rezso Seress: 'Gloomy Sunday' (the Hungarian Suicide Song)

Horror movies have done a pretty good job at making monsters out of everything you can imagine, but even they wouldn't dare use a song as a villain. But reality would — "Gloomy Sunday" killed people. So for this one, you might literally not be able to listen to it more than once, because after it, you might not be able to listen to anything at all, ever again.

The history of Gloomy Sunday is so infamous that, to some people, it's better known as the Hungarian Suicide Song. People have killed themselves while listening to it on repeat, or while holding sheet music, or even while writing a note with quotes from it. Heck, the composer himself committed suicide (and then, presumably, became a ghost haunting all those who listened to the song). Because curiosity didn't kill the cat, but rather the human, once news of its connection to suicide spread, so did the song — it got dozens and dozens of covers. More and more people listened to it and, as it spread, so did the suicides. At least one hundred suicides have been linked to this one song.

The maker, at least, seems to agree with our assessment of it as cursed, saying, "I cried all of the disappointments of my heart into this song, and it seems that others with feelings like mine have found their own hurt in it." So listen to the above song, with extreme caution. And then call a friend. Very likely, you'll need the company.

Daniel Bukvich: 'In Memoriam Dresden'

"In Memoriam Dresden" — full title: "Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam Dresden, 1945)" is, as the title might suggest, a piece memorializing Dresden, a town in Germany that the British and American forces in World War II bombed so hard, it inspired Ray Bradbury to write Fahrenheit 451. The song is pretty bombastic and fantastic, very much symbolizing the power and destruction of war. Of course, it's all incredibly creepy, especially knowing it's a musical depiction of a real thing that killed almost thirty thousand people ... but it isn't until the very end that it gets mind-boggling, eye popping hard-to-hear.

See, after the symphony has raged on for about seven minutes, there's silence ... and then building horror. Then, as the drums hit hard, the people playing the creepy song begin to scream. It's written into the actual sheet music to have people begin screaming, as an accurate representation of the horror that is being bombed. It's ... terrifying. If you can listen to this more than once, congratulations — you've won a complimentary trip to Hell.