The thought of singing about ghosts is enough to scare some people. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that most ghostly songs are about running away from these ethereal creatures.
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The truth is that the best songs about ghosts come in many flavors, and they can be quite wonderful, such as the following 10 examples.
“Misguided Ghosts” – Paramore
The song is quite heartbreaking as it deals with the pain of suicide. The song is inspired by the vocalist’s experience. When she was 13 years of age, a friend committed suicide. The two weren’t speaking at the time, which filled the singer with guilt. This can be felt in every note and lyric in the song. The music video attempts to drive the point that everyone has troubles that haunt them, just as the ghost of her friend haunts her.
“Ghost Song” – The Doors
Jim Morrison’s song has stood the test of time. It feels more like a poem accompanied by music, yet many of his songs feel that way. The artist wrote the song for a friend who passed away. According to music folklore, Jim Morrison saw ghostly blue eyes watching him when the song was performed for the first time. Because of this little tale, many musicians believe that singing or covering this song will bring them bad luck. There doesn’t seem to be much truth to that since many singers love performing the song.
“Thriller” – Michael Jackson
There’s no doubt that this is one of Michael Jackson’s most iconic songs. It’s a horror or Halloween-themed song. Of course, it touches on ghosts, ghouls, and all things that go bump in the night. While the song mostly talks about zombies, all of these creatures are still ghostly. The creatures are no longer among the living. Jackson made the song feel more fun than scary or sad, which is probably why it’s a party song. The dance choreography has become a part of pop culture, too.
“The Ghost in You” – The Psychedelic Furs
Ghosts are all around in this song. The Psychedelic Furs are responsible for some of the most iconic songs of all time, and this one is no different. The lead singer believes that all people are haunted by ghosts one way or another. The ghosts could be people in their lives who’ve passed but not only that. The ghosts could also be memories of people who’ve disappeared from a person’s life. The ghosts never leave a person unless the person is willing to hear their issues or confront their past and finally move on.
“Ghost Riders in the Sky” – The Ramrods
Songs about ghosts come in many flavors indeed, and this one has bluegrass and cowboy feel to it. The song has been covered many times, but The Ramrods made it popular. In essence, the song is a folktale. It tells listeners that ghosts are riding the skies. These ghosts are from gunslingers who died in the old west and are now spirits in the sky. The gunslingers seem to ride the skies alongside dead coyotes and rattlesnakes in a wilderness that never ends.
“Ghosts” – Michael Jackson
The king of pop loved ghostly subjects so much so that he sang another song about them. The song was inspired by Jackson’s experiences with the supernatural. The singer said that when he was a young child he saw a vision of an older Michael who was singing this song to him. The song talks about ghosts who cannot cross to the other side because they love too strongly. They remain stuck doing nothing but attempting to experience a life that’s out of reach.
“Ghost Town” – The Specials
Songs can be enjoyed but can also warn and send messages. They can be powerful tools of communication, which is something The Specials understood. The song is about what happens after a nuclear war. The cities and towns are all deserted, and there’s nothing left except ghosts who walk around heartbroken because of all the lives lost. The Specials wanted people to understand how important it is to stand against war because of what it could do to society.
“The Ghost Inside” – Broken Bells
The ghostly story in the song was inspired by something that happened. The band’s leader’s wife heard some strange noises in the house one night. The sounds were coming from the cellar, and she naturally went to investigate only to see a terrifying shadow for a split second. It freaked her out, so she left the house and didn’t return for days.
The story was so shocking to the lead singer that he made it into a song that became quite popular afterward. The music video paid homage to the movie, “The Changeling” that came out in the 80s.
“Give Up the Ghost” – Radiohead
Radiohead is responsible for some of the most iconic, modern additions to music, and they’ve got a song about ghosts, too. The song seems to talk about a ghost that is so in love with those left behind that it begins to haunt them. The ghost is ignored because it is a ghost. The frustration begins to make the ghost resort to violent tactics to get the attention of those the ghost left behind. It’s disturbing to consider how someone can love someone yet still find a reasonable excuse to become abusive.
“Ghost of Corporate Future” – Regina Spektor
The song sort of takes a little from that famous story about ghosts visiting a grumpy man who doesn’t like Christmas. The ghost happens to be the corporate future, and it comes to talk to the people about greed, materialism, and how some of these sins affect the world in the future. The future isn’t written, so the people still have the power to change things; they have the power to reduce their plastic usage. It’s a hard-hitting song that sounds quirky and still contains a ghost.
These are some of the best songs about ghosts out there, but there are so many more worth checking out. All one needs to do is explore the internet a bit and be open-minded.