For Halloween, we asked writers and editors around The New York Times for the pieces of art or culture that they turn to when they need a good scare. The result is a collection of audio stories that will send a chill down your spine, make your hair stand on end and keep you entertained.
The Spookiest Video on YouTube
Madison Malone Kircher, an internet culture reporter on the Styles desk, says “Ghost Car” is the most frightening online video she has ever seen. Warning: This one has a jump scare.
The Scariest Opera
The final scene of “Salome,” Richard Strauss’s 1905 opera, might contain the scariest song ever written, according to our classical music critic, Zachary Woolfe. He found it “totally terrifying” when he first heard it as a child, and its intensity still overwhelms him years later.
The Scariest Thing I Know About the Universe
Our cosmic affairs correspondent, Dennis Overbye, knows a lot of alarming things about the universe. But the one that haunts him most? At any moment, without warning, the whole thing could simply disappear.
The Scariest Song I Know
Jon Pareles, chief popular music critic, describes why “The Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails, off the 1994 album of the same name, is “perfectly designed to make your skin crawl: structurally, sonically and psychologically.”
The Scariest Episode of TV
Margaret Lyons, a television critic, dives into an episode of “The X-Files” so horrifying that executives felt compelled to pull it from syndication.
The Scariest Poem I Know
César Vallejo’s “Piedra Negra Sobre Una Piedra Blanca,” or “Black Stone on a White Stone,” isn’t what you might think of as a traditional Halloween poem. There are no ghouls or goblins in it. But for Juliana Barbassa, deputy Books editor, reading this poem brings up a question that’s much more haunting: “When we consider our single life, our one opportunity to live well,” she asks, “are we doing that?”
The Scariest Horror Movie You (Probably) Haven’t Seen
You may know Freddy and Jason and Chucky, but Erik Piepenburg, who writes a horror column, would like to introduce you to “The McPherson Tape.” When you watch this 1989 movie, he says, “You’re watching the birth of a genre.”