Ten Musicians' Ghosts That Still Stalk The Earth (And How To Dress Up As Them For Halloween)

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Now that the calendar has official turned to September and the back-to-school fervor is over, we've come upon that special time once again when big-box retailers to start rolling out their Halloween merchandise. Since we here at DC9 love Halloween, we think it's never too early to begin planning that special costume that will no doubt win you big accolades at your local bar's costume contest.

And. hey, if you don't win prizes, having a costume that no one else immediately understands is a badge of pride. It's also a great way to pick up prospective romantic interests at said bar: "What the hell are you?" is a classic conversation starter.

So where then to find that perfect costume idea? One veritable gold mine for spooky costumes is the wealth of ghost stories that abound in the music world. The rule of thumb when it comes to musicians' ghosts is that the more famous and/or controversial the musician, the more ghost stories there are. Elvis Presley's ghost purportedly makes more appearances than the King did in his lifetime. Meanwhile, Hank Williams has also kept surprisingly busy since his death.

To that end, we've collected a list of our favorite music-related ghost stories, along with a few suggested supplies if you want to try and pull off the costume. Prepare to get the shivers in spite of the 100-degree meltdown outside.

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10. Buddy Holly. The Clear Lake, Iowa, field where Holly's plane went down has become a mecca for Holly-ites, and it's the source of some terrifying tales, too. Clear Lake residents report seeing a phantom plane in the area, and ghostly lights are often seen in the field.
Supplies required for this costume: thick glasses and a slick suit -- so just head on over to the hipster stores and stock up.

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9. Mama Cass. This one comes from an unusual source -- namely, actor Dan Aykroyd -- who owned Cass' former Los Angeles home and then sold it in 2007. Although Cass didn't die in the house, Aykroyd remains convinced that the spirit that spooks the place is her. Apparently, Cass moves jewelry around the house, turns the StairMaster on and off, and even climbed into bed one with Aykroyd. Insert obligatory Ghostbusters joke here.
Supplies required for this costume: flowing hippie dress, center-parted wig, optional ham sandwich (Cass actually died of heart failure, not from choking on the aforementioned sandwich, as was joked about in the Austin Powers movies).

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8. John Lennon. New Yorkers have reported seeing Lennon's apparition hanging out around the undertaker's door outside The Dakota hotel, where the Beatle was murdered in 1980. Several books have been written by mediums that claim to be in contact with Lennon, who appears to be having a fine time in the afterlife and is, according to the mediums, partying with John Wayne and Clark Gable. We're not sure why he'd want to hang out at The Dakota when there are John Wayne parties to go to, but we suppose he'd want to make an appearance for fans who make the pilgrimage to the storied New York hotel. Lennon is apparently nice like that.
Supplies required for this costume: long hair, glasses, hat. Bonus: Go with someone dressed as Wayne or Gable. No one will get it, but whatever.

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7. Jim Morrison. His ghost apparently roams the halls of Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, where other luminaries like Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin also recorded. The studios are still active today, and bands like DC's Dead Meadows, who recorded an album at Sunset in 2007, and Transmatic, who recorded their sole album there before breaking up in 2003, reported strange occurrences -- lights flipping on and off, instruments going out of tune, knobs being turned by an unseen hand, etc. Perhaps the Lizard King is attempting to get in some production work from beyond the grave?
Supplies required for this costume: really tight black leather pants, curly shag wig.

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6. Eddie Hinton. The Mussel Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama, where artists like the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Cher, and Wilson Pickett laid down recordings in the '60s and '70s, is widely rumored to be haunted. The studio eventually shut down in the '80s, and then the Black Keys opened the historic studio back up to record their 2010 album Brothers. While recording, the band was reportedly plagued with unexplained equipment malfunctions. Rumor has it that the ghost inhabiting the studio is that of Eddie Hinton, the troubled lead guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section. Tales of an apparition clad in a blue suit -- much like the one Hinton was buried in -- still swirl around the studio.
Supplies required for this costume: Hinton-esque sideburns, blue suit circa 1995 (the year Hinton died).



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4 comments
gabbahey
gabbahey

Is it too soon to go as Dimebag?

Lastangelman
Lastangelman

If you don't mind, I'm going as Townes Van Zandt:denim, jacket, cowbot hat, guitar and a flask of vodka w a joint and 4 Tylenol PMs. Ghost currently seen falling off stage of SingleWide formerly the Winedale Tavern at four in the morning.

COErrection
COErrection

"The Ghost of Hank Williams" by David Allan Coe?  Do you mean "The Ride"?

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