From Hell’s Heart: Halloween/horror monster week 2: Ghosts

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From Hells Heart

From Hell’s Heart:
Halloween/horror monster week 2: Ghosts

The month of October means the imminent arrival of the Heavy Metal Holy Day…Halloween! This, the scariest and Metal-est of all months, we bring you five new topics for our editorial column FROM HELL’S HEART. Each week we will post the staff Top Five songs based on classic Halloween/Horror monsters. Last week was Frankenstein, this week’s subject is ghosts! Please join us and enjoy all of our theme columns this month and have a happy Hell-o-ween!

Medieval ghost

Staff Selections


1. WINTER’S BANE-Haunted House (Heart of A KIller)

Discovering this band back in 1993 was a revelation. Owens voice was so pure and powerful, I was not at all surprised when he took the lead vocal spot in Judas Priest, he sounds so strong and so similar. The song ‘Haunted House’ is a vocal tour de force with creepy lyrics. Even though it has been reissued, my original 1993 Massacre Records pressing of HEART OF A KILLER still remains one of my most treasured CD’s.

2. TESTAMENT-The Haunting (The Legacy)

A classic spooky thrasher perfect for Halloween!

3. KING DIAMOND-The Family Ghost (Fr: Abigail)

The centre-piece and first video and single from King Diamond’s iconic ABIGAIL. I expect this classic chapter/song of the superb ghost story to make a number of people’s Top 5 lists.

4. FATES WARNING-The Apparition (Fr: The Spectre Within)

A spectral voyage from beyond, take me away!

5. RUNNING WILD-The Phantom Of Black Hand Inn (Fr: Black Hand Inn)

Pirates, ghosts, witch burning, and haunted mansions, it doesn’t get any better than this!


1. Ghost Opera – Kamelot
The perfect subject matter for a metal musical theatre band.

2. Ghost Love Score – Nightwish
3. The Phantom Opera Ghost – Iced Earth
4. Ghost of the Seasons – Machine Men
5 Ghost Riders in the Sky – Children of Bodom (I love metal interpretations of old favourites!)


1) Mercyful Fate – “A Dangerous Meeting” (DON’T BREAK THE OATH, 1984)

I was 15 years old when I first heard this song, and it legitimately scared me on a level that’s difficult to describe. Decades later, this song still makes me feel just as uneasy. An explicit warning to all those who dabble in the occult in the hopes to get a glimpse of “the other side”; be careful what you wish for – you just may get it.

2) King Diamond – “The Invisible Guests” (THEM, 1988)

“Cups were rising/in thin air/and then emptied on the floor…” The imagery that King relates in this song creates a palpable feeling of fear. A young lad peeking through the keyhole of his grandmother’s room, witnessing something that can only be described as otherworldly; an unintended validation that there is “something” that exists in the beyond.

3) King Diamond – “The Family Ghost” (ABIGAIL, 1987)

Are you noticing a trend yet? The King knows how to spin a ghost story, and it does’t get much better than this. Arguably King’s breakthrough single and the pivotal track that hints at the madness to come within the LaFey household; it’s not only the linchpin track on ABIGAIL, but a genuine classic, old fashioned ghost story.

4) King Diamond – “The Exorcist” (VOODOO, 1988)

Father Malone is literally fighting an unclean spirit in this song. But as wicked as the lyrics are, the opening riff in this track is the scariest part of the song.

5) Mercyful Fate – “Is That You, Melissa” (IN THE SHADOWS, 1993)

While the original “Melissa” was a love song dedicated to a soul lost to the hands of a priest, this sequel allows the forlorn survivor some well deserved closure. “One last time, we’ll kiss goodbye…”


1. Old Man’s Child – The Dream Ghost

2. Cradle of Filth – Her Ghost in the Fog
3. King Diamond – The Family Ghost

4. Slayer – Ghosts of War
5. Pyramaze – Ghost Light


1. Slayer – Ghosts of War
Fate silent warriors sleeping souls will arise. Once forgotten soldiers come to life.
This song makes me want to…break things….or something. The way it begins then slams in has always gripped me, and 20+ yrs later, still makes me smile. A song about the war dead rising up for revenge…brutal, and perfect for the topic this week.

2. Nightwish – Ghost Love Score
3. King Diamond – The Family Ghost
4. Testament – The Haunting
5. Kamelot – Ghost Opera

Honourable mention: Savatage “Ghost in the Ruins”


1. Fates Warning – The Apparition


2. A Visit From The Dead – King Diamond
3. Ghost Of Freedom – Iced Earth
4. Headstones – Lake Of Tears
5. The Family Ghost – King Diamond

Honorable Mentions:
1. Ghosts Of War – Slayer
2. Haunted – Type O Negative
3. The Ghost Of The Navigator – Iron Maiden


1. King Diamond – The Family Ghost

2. Iron Maiden – The Phantom of the Opera
3. Metallica – Phantom Lord

4. Opeth – Ghost of Perdition
5. Eastern Front – Ghouls of Leningrad


1. Iron Maiden – Phantom Of The Opera

2. Slayer – “Ghosts of War”
3. Opeth – “Ghost of Perdition”
4. Metallica – “Phantom Lord”
5. Iced Earth – The Phantom Opera Ghost


1. Iron Maiden – Ghost of the Navigator

Of course the best band in the world is going to make it to first place at my list. A song taken from the re-union album Brave New World when Bruce re-joined the band and the world could start to turn again.

2. Entombed – “Hollowman”
A classical pick with the Swedish old school death metal masters.

3. Edguy – “Spooks in The Attic”
Superheroes (EP) – Tobias Sammett sure knows how to write catchy tunes and this song is no exception.

4 U.D.O – “The Bogeyman”
Another German goodie, U.D.O delivered yet another strong song with The Boogeyman.

5. Metallica – “Phantom Lord” 
A song taken from the debut album and when Metallica still were Metallica and not the garbage band they are today. Metallica hasn’t done anything good since Master Of Puppets.

Honourable mentions:

  • Motörhead – “Boogeyman” – It’s not a list without another of my favorite acts in Motörhead. Despite the fact that Lemmy isn’t doing good these days, they’re still one the worlds best bands. Here is a song to prove it.
  • D.A.D. – “Nightstalker” – the danish hard rockers bring some spookiness to the list with Nightstalker taken from the album Monster Philosophy.
  • Slayer – Ghosts of War – what can go wrong with Slayer? Nothing, that’s why they’re on my list.
  • King Diamond – “The Family Ghost” – here comes a great song from the master of horror. King Diamond writes well thought songs and The Family Ghost is a song worthy to be on this list. The Danish King of Terror struck again.