Nightmare Fuel: Nirvana

Nirvana's songs and album art work are full of haunting nightmare fuel imagery. Kurt in particular seemed to have a morbid fear and fascination with human biology, pregnancy, sex and diseases, as well as torture, serial murders, rape and self-destructive drug behaviour, which all have a repulsive effect on the listener. And then there is of course Kurt premature death at 27 by suicide, which casts an even more dark shadow over most of Nirvana's songs. Cobain flirted with death and suicide throughout his entire career. With titles like "I Hate Myself And I Want To Die" it almost seemed inevitable that it would all end tragically.

  • "Floyd the Barber": a claustrophobic track in which Floyd the Barber from the jolly sitcom The Andy Griffith Show puts the protagonist in the barber chair. After he has put a wet towel over his head the client starts to feel scared. Rightfully so, because the next thing you know Floyd, Barney Fife, Opie and Aunt Bee show up and "take turns" cutting him up, till he dies.
  • "Negative Creep" from Bleach has a very chilling atmosphere to it, especially since Cobain sings that he is a "stoned, negative creep" and that "daddy's little girl ain't his girl no more", which makes you shiver over the idea of a child/teen and its lost innocence.
  • "Paper Cuts" from Bleach is a less obvious example until you discover the lyrics (NSFW). Then it becomes almost as disturbing as "Polly"... Almost.
    • Plus the guitar opening sounds like fear itself channeled through a guitar amp.

  • "Smells Like Teen Spirit", especially the music video, in which the band plays in a darkened high school gym room, where complete mayhem and chaos takes over. Some of his close-up stares into the camera are very unnerving.
  • In light of his death, it's a little creepy to hear Kurt sing "Come as you Are", especially the ending "And I swear that I don't have a gun, no I don't have a gun"
  • "Polly", about a man who kidnaps and rapes a victim named Polly. It's pretty creepy enough on its own, but then you learn the true story that inspired the song, and it takes on a whole new level of disturbing.
  • "Drain You" about a parasitic relationship.
  • "Something In The Way": Cobain singing about living "under a bridge" where he "traps animals" and lives from the "drippings from the ceiling". It has a very claustrophobic atmosphere and the line "it's okay to eat fish/'cause they don't have any feelings" makes you shiver whenever you hear it.
    • Even more chilling is the fact that the song was semi-autobiographical. Cobain once lived under a bridge, but it was only for a few days. Additionally Cobain's astrological sign was Pisces which adds an additional layer of Fridge Horror to the latter line.
  • It can be possible to almost fall asleep listening to Nevermind, only to be jarred back awake by "Endless, Nameless"
  • In a case of What Could Have Been: Kurt originally wanted the album cover show an underwater birth, complete with all the blood and other slimy mess that goes along with it. Let's say we're thankful that he chose that other album cover.
  • You think "Territorial Pissings" is scary? The beginning vocal train wreck Krist gives of "Get Together" is freaky enough.

  • "Big Long Now", a haunting ballad that has lyrics that are difficult to describe, but nevertheless sound very haunting. Some other troper might be able to explain the creepiness better.

In Utero

MTV Unplugged In New York
  • The entire atmosphere of the concert: candles and stuff was intentional. Kurt wanted it to look like "a funeral". Squick.
  • While "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" in Leadbelly's version (Which was itself a cover of an older folk song) is cheerful and jolly, Cobain transforms it into a haunting ballad where he sings he's going to the pines where the "sun never shines" to "shiver the whole night through." He also adds that "his head was found in a driver wheel, but his body was never found."
    • Actually, the part about the beheading and someone staying in the pines were in a lot of earlier recordings of the song, like like this one. "In the Pines" is also the title of many versions of it.

  • The song I Hate Myself And Want To Die. Difficult not to think about Kurt himself when listening to it, but even if you don't it's disturbing.