10 Scariest Videos In Rock Music History

We're not clowning around...

Closer Nine Inch Nails

What one might consider scary another may find amusing, with certain phobias seeming bizarre and baseless.

Globophobia, for example, is the fear of balloons. Sure, they suck when they pop, but to be utterly terrified by them is a difficult concept to grasp. If a balloon was being held by some kind of murderous clown, however, that would be another matter...

Defining something as scary will depend on ones personal predilection. Psychological horror, disturbing gory imagery, Donald Trump, existential dread; it's fair to assume these will hold some degree of horror for most people. But, when it comes to music videos, it's not just about showing the most unsettling things a director can get away with, rather it's about using imagery in relation to music in a way to convey themes that might otherwise be difficult to grasp.

When this is done with skill, it can lead to some truly memorable and haunting results.

Whether it's depictions of blood and gore, the examination of some of the darker sides of society, or just good old fashion shock factor, these videos are a selection of the most disturbing and scary videos in rock.

10. Enter Sandman – Metallica (1991)

Director Wayne Isham made exquisite use of jump cutting, strobe lights and sparsely-lit scenery for Metallica's award-winning music video Enter Sandman. Directly relating to the song's lyrics, the video shows a young child who is haunted by the sinister Sandman.

The use of character actor R.G. Armstrong was an inspired move. Known for his distinctive features and varied and villainous Hollywood roles, the aged actor was lit using an extreme white light, giving his face an unnatural mask-like appearance.

The frantic overlays and editing styles mimicked the themes of the songs narrative perfectly, creating a sense that the viewer was in a feverish nightmare themselves.

With all the other nightmarish imagery - including scenes of drowning, falling, snake infestations and James Hetfiled's handlebar moustache - there was something in this video bound to scare anyone.

Admittedly, this video feels somewhat dated now, with techniques and filming tropes that have almost become clichés, but it's important to recognise the context in which it was made.

When it was released in the early '90s, Enter Sandman was ahead of its time and paved the way for all manor of disturbing rock videos to come.


Joshua Cooley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.