By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
Ever wonder what's haunting the heads of musicians? We do, so in celebration of Halloween, we figured we'd try to scare up some tales of the supernatural from a few of our favorite artists. And though we couldn't conjure any tales about the ghosts of Jim Morrison or Kurt Cobain, we did manage to collect some stories that, in some cases, might scare a toddler and, in others, are almost as scary as a Stephen King novel. Like any good horror movie, they get more thrilling as you go along, so get out the garlic and your spare proton pack, and brace yourself for some rock-star ghost diaries.
"On the tour bus, me and [my bassist] Phil [Hanseroth] observed a door that kept opening up mysteriously. Not while the bus was running or moving, either. Totally stopped. This was this old tour bus, too, like the kind of tour bus that, if somebody had just died on it, nobody ever mentioned anything. One night, we stayed up all night staring at this doorknob, just waiting for the door to open again. And finally, it did, right before our eyes. Phil took the doorknob apart and couldn't understand why it would just turn by itself, like could it have vibrated enough to actually open? But this was the classic, turn-to-the-right knob."
Amy Gore, Gore Gore Girls
"I had an experience in a house that I got locked in around Halloween. I was in the basement working on music, and I heard the basement door slam, even though I was home alone. The door was shut and I was locked down there. I forgot how I got out of there, but I finally got out. That's been my only encounter with what I think is the supernatural."
James Valentine, Maroon 5
"We recorded our latest [album], It Won't Be Soon Before Long,at Rick Rubin's allegedly haunted house. One night, I was there alone because I was the only one who really stayed there the full time . . . I was homeless at the time so I had nowhere to go. One night, I saw a figure walking up the stairs when there was nobody else in the house except my girlfriend at the time. I was so certain that I'd seen someone that I called out to this thing and then went up to the room that it had walked into. There was nobody there. I don't know how to explain it, but that's what I saw. I got the impression it was a woman and, apparently, other people had talked about a female spirit that they had seen."
Steve Bays, Hot Hot Heat
"I used to always play drums in bands because I grew up on an island and there were never many good drummers. I always wanted to switch up and play different instruments, though. I met a guy who could play drums hard-hitting drums and at the time, I basically wanted to play metal or at least heavy music, [so it was perfect]. We formed this band together and, on the night of our first jam, we drove forever out to his place, this really forested area. He hadn't drummed in a year because, he said, he'd been drinking and into drugs for that year but he'd say, 'I've quit now.' So I play guitar, he plays drums. But I remember he was sweating a lot, pretty profusely through the whole damn thing. Rehearsal was great, I go home, and that night I have this really crazy dream where I go into the bathroom and see this guy in the mirror. He's basically saying goodbye to me; this ghostly figure in the mirror is saying goodbye to me, and he gives me this necklace, this medallion. I didn't make anything of it, but I clearly remembered him saying goodbye to me through the mirror. The next day, I heard [that] three hours after the jam, he died. His heart stopped. I guess his body was so run down that drumming for three hours essentially killed him. It's creepy . . . When he died was basically when I had the dream. I don't know if it was a coincidence."
"I get out of rehab [in 1983], and [Aerosmith guitarist] Joe Perry got out of rehab at the same time. I was going to write two songs for this movie I was going to be in and thought, 'I'll call Joe and we'll do this together.' My manager set up this house in upper New York. Joe's assistant went up there, my assistant went up there. We checked into this big old house in the middle of farm country, this big Gothic-looking thing. I'm putting my clothes away. I leave the room and come back and the closet door is closed, the drawer I was packing is closed. Hmm, I don't remember closing that. This house was so full of whatever that on the second night we're there, we're sitting there eating dinner and it sounds like somebody is moving furniture in the basement. It's making so much noise; it's not even trying to be subtle. I say to Joe, 'We're the only ones here, right?' I'm not going down into the basement to find out what's down there. I say, 'This house, every time I put my coat down, I come back and it's gone.' Joe said, 'The same exact thing is happening to me, too. I thought I was just going through a recovery thing, being forgetful.' I said, 'No, this place is insane.' So we ran out of the place. I found out later this is where the guy who wrote The Amityville Horror wrote the story there in that house."