It’s Halloween, and bands have plenty of spooky stories to share. Whether it’s a real-life haunted house, a prank that went too far or a really strange church function, these musicians have witnessed some pretty freaky stuff.
We asked a few artists to share the scariest thing that’s ever happened to them, and things got chilling.
Sadie Dupuis, SPEEDY ORTIZ
Well, I love haunted houses, and when we stay at hotels, which is rare, I try to find haunted ones.A girl died in a car accident outside of [my friend’s] house before her family bought it. There would be knocking at the door every day around 5 o’clock, like the same time as this accident had happened. This is real. We always thought there was some logical explanation for it, like maybe it was the pipes heating up, or maybe the oven causing the door to rattle. There was one day that I stayed over at her house, and we locked all of the doors, and started hearing knocking at all of the doors at the same time. We went downstairs to look, and all of the doors were still locked. There was no way anyone had come in or out of the house. But every door inside of the house we’d heard knocking on it, and they had all been opened. That was when I was 14, and I’ve loved haunted stuff since then.
Jason Aalon Butler: I met a ghost in Milwaukee. There was no handshake, but we certainly encountered each other, and I’ve got about six other people that could corroborate that story. [It was at] the top floor of The Rave/Eagles Ballroom. The ghost was inquisitive and seemingly young, which was a bit of a bummer. The Rave is fully haunted. My brother is very involved in the Milwaukee PD, and he knows plenty of stories that would at least have strange displaced energy left there.
Aric Improta: I broke into an old hospital on Halloween, and then we got chased out by the cops.
Stevis Harrison: I’m not scared of anything. I don’t know what that’s like. Fuck. Well, I was scared last July, July 4, when we played our first show and I slipped a disc in my neck, and I couldn’t really move for a week, and I thought maybe it would get worse, and I wouldn’t be able to move or walk. I’m fine now, but it took a lot of passing out and falling out, doctors, physical therapy. I guess I was pretty scared. I was thinking of other guitarists who could do this. It was like that.
Mike Muir, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
I got dragged to one of those Halloween places, probably 1982-83, with a girlfriend at the time. So she was getting her costume and the person was like, “What about you?” and I’m like, “Nah dude.” And, “No no no, we’ll get a costume for you.” And I was like, “Nah man,” being kind of reluctant and he was like, “Nah man, I got it.” And I was like, “Yeah?” and he goes, “punk rocker.” And I was like, “What?” and he goes, “Yeah, we can make you look like a punk rocker, too.” So that was pretty scary to me. There was a bit of lost in translation. The secret service had come to my house. I’d been arrested all kinds of times and doing Suicidal. You can make me into a punk rocker, OK! So we have these weird colored clown things and stuff. Generational thing, the time back then was different.
Aaron Gillespie: So, I grew up in a super-conservative, Christian community, and there’s this thing that churches do around Halloween because they think Halloween is evil. So what they do is, they have something called Hell House or Savior House. It’s a gym at a church, and they build it to look like a car crash, like someone drank or young couples having premarital sex and they got in a wreck. At the end, they go to hell because they weren’t Christians. And it fucked me up. Dude, it scared me so bad. I was like 8. At the end, they ask you if want to become a Christian. So they scared the shit out of you for three hours, and you got hell with the guy who dies, and you meet Satan. The girl is Christian and the guy is not, so she goes to heaven, and there’s billowy clouds and angels and stuff. He goes to hell at the end, and you have to pick where you want to go.
Spencer Chamberlain: We lived in North Carolina off a street called Battleground where I think part of the Civil War stuff had happened. I lived off a street called Brass Cannon Court, and we had a room above the garage which was the play room. It was a long hallway that led up these stairs. I remember my brother and I had a TV up there. We’d play, G.I. Joe’s; we were super young. I’ll never forget this because every time I was up there alone, my mom turned the TV off and the lights off, and the light switch was behind the door, and the TV was on the far end. So, the lights would normally be off, and I would go to the TV and turn it off, and I’d run and go downstairs, and sometimes the TV would turn back on, and [when] the tube would punch the screen, it would make this noise. I would freak out and run out. Behind where the light switch was, I realized it was super-cold. Later in life, I read that that’s ghost energy. This TV would do that. It happened 10 or 15 times, and it would turn back on; the tube would punch the screen the same place, off Brass Court, off Battleground, which was [where] clearly a lot of people had died. When we moved to a different house, that TV came and never did it again. Ten years later, me and my brother moved out into our own place, and that TV came and it never did it again. So looking back at that, I was always scared of turning off that TV in that room. That was the most haunted shit that’s ever happened to me. It was a haunted house. That house used to make the craziest noises.
Alicia Bognenao, BULLY
One time, I ate an edible that was too strong, and my dog started barking. I thought someone was breaking into my house. I swung open the door and was like, “WHO’S THERE” and then there was no one there. I’m like, “I’m going to bed. This sucks.”
Trever Keith, FACE TO FACE
A long time ago, when we first signed to Doctor Strange records, the guy who owned the label, Bill Plaster, had made a secret deal behind my back with my wife to get the keys to my house, unbeknownst to me. He and a bunch of other people, I think Matt from my band and a couple other guys, went into my house before I got home and set the dinner table and put what looked like blood in the glasses and everything. I came home from work thinking someone broke into my house and wondering why the fuck the table was set for a formal dinner with blood in the [glasses], and I was freaking out. I was like, “Who the fuck, who did this, who’s here, I’ll kill you,” and they come around the corner laughing their asses off. I was like, “That wasn’t cool man; you guys scared the hell out of me.” It totally freaked me out because I never would have thought in a million years that my wife would have given them the key to sneak into the house. That one was not awesome.
Oh my God, in my life? It’s probably more serious than funny. I was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, and I was vomiting bile and blood, and that was pretty scary. I don’t really do that anymore, but that happened once. Once I was in a car that spun around a complete four lanes of traffic in an ice storm, but nothing hit us, so that was more scary than worst-case scenario. There’s probably scarier shit, but those two are the things that come to mind immediately.