The artists below didn't necessarily have Halloween in mind when creating these cinematic masterpieces of horror, but the resulting segments are all abjectly bone-chilling and perfect for All Hallows Eve regardless. From the uncanny valley visited in Tool's "Schism" to the body horror witnessed in Cattle Decapitation's nauseating "Forced Gender Reassignment Surgery," see which music videos you, the fans, chose as the scariest of all time.
The video for "Schism" avoids horror clichés like axe murderers or ghosts, and instead goes for an unexpected, anthropomorphized alien approach wherein the unearthly characters deconstruct their own bodies in stomach-churning detail. Jump scares are expected and fun, but the creeping surrealism of a race all too similar to our own staying zen through slithering body torture is the kind of unsettling imagery that grips your brain for the long haul.
At his peak, Manson was arguably the single scariest artist to ever achieve significant mainstream success. "Tourniquet" shows the androgynous, ghastly shape he took at that apex, alongside insane imagery pulled straight from the hellish nightmares of a world somewhere between H.R. Giger and Hieronymus Bosch's most disturbing works. Not one to leave it at that, the Antichrist Superstar also employed the terror of madness, as well, giving a chilling performance from inside an asylum complete with graffiti-covered walls, shock-therapy helmets and fetish-inspired straitjackets.
Not just a music video, Broken is a short-film accompaniment to the full Nine Inch Nails EP of the same name; it became particular infamous in the Nineties as it was spread virally via increasingly degraded VHS cassettes. Offering up grisly fake snuff-film footage, self-immolation for sexual gratification, and Thunderdome-esque performance clips, Trent Reznor more than delivered on the piece's mission statement: "What if we took an approach where it really was scary, instead of a cop-out horror movie nod to the camera? What if it felt real?" The result continues to terrify fans to this day — including the members of the band Code Orange.
Gruesome scenes of mutilation and torture make this a hard video to even get through, especially for anyone living with their own trauma and susceptible to explicit triggers. Perhaps scariest of all, however, are interwoven footage of protestors meant to represent a hate group, à la the Westboro Baptist Church, that seems gleeful in spreading the kind of malice that leads to real-life scenes like those shown in the short. This one's not for the weak of heart or stomach.
Aphex Twin's Richard James is a master at distorting his own face into something ripped straight from the alternate universes of futuristic sci-fi horror. The chilling tones and gripping imagery throughout "Come to Daddy" — from the schoolchildren all wearing James' visage twisted into a sinister grin, to the slimy demon-monster screaming into the face of a grandmotherly character — are without a doubt some of the scariest ever used in a music video. By the time the chaos is finished, you'll need your own grandma to tell you it's all going to be just fine.