As October barrels toward All Hollow's Eve, the desire to be spooked grows and grows. You don't need to read up on Aleister Crowley or the Amityville house to get your scares, though; you can just dig into your record collection. Some of the musicians in there are false monsters, mere tricks, but here, we'll dig deeper. With these ten scariest musicians, we reintroduce you to some real ghouls who make music. These ten would be anything but a treat if you ran into them in a dark cemetery.
10. Bobby "Boris" Pickett
Bobby was a wholesome novelty singer and writer, but hearing his Frankenstein voice singing "The Monster Mash" with his band the Cryptkeepers has given young ones chills for decades. Still, I feel bad for stranding him with the other scary creatures on this list.
9. Marilyn Manson
Though most of this former Fort Lauderdalian's shock tactics were mere publicity stunts, he did strike a gruesome figure with his makeup and androgynous outfits.
8. Glenn Danzig
The former lead man of the Misfits, who's still touring with Danzig, can cut a fearsome image when regaled in full makeup and fishnet pentagram shirt. Now claiming that his adoration of Satan was misunderstood due to being misquoted in interviews, he reminds us that the devil was never known to tell the truth.
7. Ozzy Osbourne
Yes, singing a duet with Miss Piggy and starring in a reality show took away much of the fear of Oz. But in the 1980s, this Black Sabbath frontman was the closest thing this side of Freddy Kruger to a Boogeyman, biting off heads of bats, doves, and any other flying animal he could get his mouth around.
6. Jimmy Page
The guitarist of Led Zeppelin also now promises that he's not a Satanist, that his admiration for occultist Aleister Crowley is only in solidarity with his attitude on personal liberation. But in 1972, Page proved that reasoning hypocritical. He kidnapped 14-year-old Lori Maddox, proceeded to have lots of underaged sex with her, and kept her captive for three years until their affair wouldn't have him arrested.
5. Robert Johnson
According to myth, Robert Johnson wanted so badly to make it as a blues musician that he took his guitar to the crossroads where the devil tuned it, allowing Johnson to master his genre of choice. Whether the story is true, his music gained immortality. Meanwhile, he suffered an early death from drinking a poisoned beer after flirting with the wrong woman.
4. G.G. Allin (Video NSFW)
The frontman of a band dubbed the Murder Junkies must have been switched at birth, as his given name was Jesus Christ Allin. Known to end his punk rock shows covering his body with shit and blood, Allin often talked about committing suicide onstage. A fatal heroin overdose in 1993 put a stop to that plan.
3. Sid Vicious
The Sex Pistols bassist stabbed and killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Yes, he was 22, and the nasty cocktail of drugs probably contributed to his deranged mindset, but a man with this grizzly death on his conscience is scary enough to make almost anyone run the other way.
2. Varg Vikernes
This Norwegian recorded four albums as Burzum and another with the black metal band Mayhem. Found guilty of arson for burning down three churches and of bad taste by putting the charred remains of one of the churches on the album cover for Aske. He topped this heinous deed by stabbing his bandmate Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth 23 times and killing him. Vikernes claimed the death was out of self-defense but did not provide an explanation when police raided his home and found 150 kilograms of explosives and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
1. Charles Manson
When Manson's buddy Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys couldn't help him make it big as a rock star, Manson masterminded his cult to kill three people in the hopes of inciting a race war. Now rotting away in a California prison, odds are good if he hadn't carried out this evil plot, bands like Guns N' Roses, Marilyn Manson, and White Zombie would have never covered his oft-rejected songs. And we haven't even gotten to the Swastika tattooed on his forehead.