How Horror Inspired The Misfits

By Jesus De La Rosa

October has passed, and with it came the Halloween craze and the abundance of all things frightening. With skeletons, monsters, and gore, it seems that October is the only time where fascination with horror and the macabre are widely accepted.

This is not the case for punk band the Misfits, of whom rose to fame with their brilliant mixture of punk, metal, and horror, making one of the most legendary punk bands of all time. Since their conception in 1977, this New Jersey band has used horror imagery in everything they do, from painting their faces to resemble skulls, to crafting vivid images of monsters and gore in their songs, reflecting those portrayed in films at the time.

From their early singles “Horror Business” and the aptly titled “Night Of The Living Dead” (taken from George A. Romero’s classic 1968 movie of the same name), to their iconic later hits like “Dig Up Her Bones”, “American Psycho” and “Scream”, whose music video came full circle and was directed by Romero himself, the band’s catalog has been drenched with blood and terror.


With lyrics like Scream’s “a chill runs down up your spine, and crawls into your brain, the freezing touch of fear,” and Helena’s “If I cut off your arms and cut off your legs, will you still love me anyway?” The tone and imagery here are painted very clearly.

Their iconic symbol, the fiend skull, was taken from a 1946 mystery movie titled The Crimson Ghost and has become a giant staple of popular culture. Plastered on almost every album since their single “Horror Business”, the skull makes sure you know what you’re getting into.

The Misfits aren’t for everyone, but perhaps their biggest contribution is their massive influence in the rock community. From Metallica paying homage by covering songs like “Last Caress”, to emo band My Chemical Romance’s cover of “Astro Zombies”, the Misfits have influenced a vast majority of artists, making sure their legacy will last for years to come.