The Scariest Indie Rock Music Videos of All Time [NSFW]

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Horror movies get all the Halloween love, but music videos, with their dramatic soundtracks, surreal feel, and license to be non-narrative can be just as scary as your classic slasher flick. Everyone’s seen “Thriller”— and to be honest, we’ve always been too busy snickering at MJ telling us he’s “not like other guys” to be frightened. So we’ve put together a more under-the-radar collection of clips that give us the creeps. Watch nine scary indie rock music videos, from Sonic Youth to Bat for Lashes to Animal Collective, after the jump.

Bat for Lashes – “What’s a Girl to Do”

A pretty girl riding her bike along a deserted street in the darkness — it’s the perfect horror movie setup. But this is no textbook slasher movie. In this surreal clip, Natasha Khan is accompanied by a swarm of hoodie-wearing cyclists in sinister animal masks, who appear and disappear, riding past car wrecks and monsters to the soundtrack of her ghostly voice.

UNKLE – “Rabbit in Your Headlights”

A shabbily dressed, clearly disturbed man mutters and gestures angrily to himself as he walks straight down the road that winds through a seemingly endless, darkened tunnel. Cars hit him, and he just gets back up again.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Y Control”

A gang of possessed children wield axes, chop off each other’s hands, and cut open their own stomachs to reveal a tangle of intestines — all while Karen O bounces around in a leotard.

Sonic Youth feat. Lydia Lunch – “Death Valley ’69”

Legendary underground photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern’s grainy, overexposed video shows the band — and guest vocalist/lyricist Lydia Lunch — gorily murdered, a mess of blood and guts. It’s only appropriate, considering the song is about Charles Manson.

Fever Ray – “If I Had a Heart”

A torch-lit canoe ride. A mansion, its empty pool and darkly ostentatious rooms littered with dead bodies. And Fever Ray’s spooky incantations. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

HEALTH – “We Are Water”

A girl in garish smeared makeup and a blonde wig races through the forest at night, chased by an enormous man in his underwear, covered in blood. He catches her. We won’t give away the twist, but we will tell you it’s most definitely NSFW.

Animal Collective – “Peacebone”

Like a monster movie crossed with a romantic comedy, “Peacebone” is a tale of weird, wrong, and gross love. We still don’t know whether we’re touched or nauseous.

Radiohead – “Just”

Maybe “Karma Police” is the obvious choice for scariest Radiohead video. But while this one happens in broad daylight with no gore, its implications are terrifying — that there’s some kind of secret to human existence that, if revealed, would make all who heard it just lie down on the sidewalk and give up on life.

Violens – “Violent Sensation Descends”

Sure, we also get a closeup of a decaying corpse bride’s melting face in this new Violens clip… but in this day and age, is anything scarier than three stone-faced priests strumming acoustic guitars?