By Ethan Brown
Every December, retail workers, gift shoppers and people just trying to live their lives hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on a seemingly endless loop with no possible escape aside from the occasional break for “Jingle Bells.” Now there’s nothing wrong with Christmas music, and I love Christmas as much as the next guy, but why is it only December that gets a playlist to bring out the excitement in people? Surely there are other months to be excited for that a little bit of music would pair nicely with.
October, for example, is a month that inspires a surplus of artistic creation every year ranging from costumes to music and everything in between. It’s a whole month dedicated and leading up to one final climactic night where people unleash their fascination with the dark and macabre. In that sense, it is identical to Christmas even though the two holidays couldn’t be more dissimilar.
The parallelism in how the two holidays are celebrated should be taken a step further, and the country as a whole should decide upon some national Halloween music to get people hyped up every October.
The band Misfits are notoriously known for making horror-punk music with often times cheesy lyrics about monsters and ghouls. One album in particular draws inspiration from Halloween and the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. Appropriately named Famous Monsters, the album to me is the perfect October jam (or should I say monster mash), and the Halloween equivalent to all the socially ingrained Christmas songs.
It could be due to the niche style of music, but Famous Monsters hasn’t reached nearly the same level of popularity as “All I Want for Christmas is You,” despite being holiday themed as well, and releasing only five years after Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic.
I, for one, want to walk through a Spirit Halloween or down the Halloween aisle at a Target, and I want to hear Misfits over the store speakers. In the same way that none of us can escape the punishing repetition of “All I Want for Christmas is You,” I would like the songs on Misfits’ Famous Monsters to assault me wherever I go like tiny Halloween demons nesting in my ear canals.
Famous Monsters is the perfect, twisted counterpart to the famous Christmas songs we hear on the radio, for Halloween and Christmas are like two distant cousins. They dress and act differently from one another, but they’re still family and operate in the same way.
Instead of “Jingle Bells” it’s “Living Hell,” and instead of “Let It Snow” it’s “Dust to Dust.” Instead of decorating the tree with lights and wrapping presents, it’s covering the tree with cobwebs and dousing your walls with blood. They are two fundamentally different halves of the same whole, and both are done in honor and celebration of personal beliefs. They are essentially the same holiday, but one wears black and one wears white, so Halloween music deserves the same recognition Christmas music gets.
The final comparison and perhaps the most important of all, is in determining what song should reign supreme as the Halloween anthem.
Just as someone might say that John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is the most appropriate movie for Halloween, I believe the most fitting song for the holiday is the 1981 single, “Halloween.” Although not released on Famous Monsters, and instead released 18 years prior when Glenn Danzig was vocalist, the song remains a fan favorite and perfectly portrays the spirit of Halloween.
Get festive during the Halloween season and treat it a little bit like Christmas for a change. Roll down the windows, plug in Misfits and howl into the night.
All I want for Halloween is Misfits.
Featured image by Ethan Brown.