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Spooktacular tunes and TV

Looking for some background music or something to watch while handing out candy or having some friends over this weekend? Try these suggestions.

Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," Mussorgky's "Night on Bald Mountain"? They're great, but your trick-or-treaters have heard them. Here are some offbeat classical choices to make them grab that candy and run.

*The last act of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" has it all: a ghost coming to life, a killer being dragged down to hell, and a lot of terrifying music in D minor. Even if you don't understand a word of Italian you will shiver.

*"The Sorcerer's Apprentice," by Paul Dukas, is famous from the Disney movie "Fantasia." Somehow the music gets scarier as you grow older and experience more of life -- its growing waves speak terrifyingly of a situation gone out of control.

*If you thought Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells" was a spooky poem you should hear it in Russian. That was what Rachmaninoff heard, and why he wrote "The Bells." He wove into his music the "Dies Irae," the traditional Gregorian chant from the Catholic Requiem Mass about the wrath. Like what you hear? For hard-core listening, try Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil."

-- M.K.G.


If rock stylings are more to your liking, try:

*"Nightmare Before Christmas: The Cover Album." Everyone from Marilyn Manson to the Polyphonic Spree takes a crack at the original soundtrack for Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas," composed by Danny Elfman.

*Marilyn Manson, "Antichrist Superstar." This is some truly frightening stuff. Be careful. You might scare the children!

*"Crackle: The Best of Bauhaus." It is incredibly appropriate to blast the evergreen "Bela Lugosi's Dead" during your Halloween rave-up!

-- J.M.


We all have our favorite horror flicks we own, so here are three highlights of what's on the tube this weekend:

*At 8 p.m. Sunday on Fox, catch the 22nd edition of "Treehouse of Horrors," the annual Halloween-themed episode of "The Simpsons," and usually one of the highlights of any season. This episode, with a guest segment voiced by Aron Ralston (the guy who cut off his own arm to escape from a Utah canyon in 2003) and a tale in which the normally godly Ned Flanders turns temporarily murderous. His new commandment? "More slaying and less praying." Sounds abso-diddly devious.

*The Syfy channel debuts its "holiday-themed" Saturday original movies with the Halloween offering "Zombie Apocalypse" starring Ving Rhames. The title says it all. It premieres at 9 p.m. Saturday and repeats. On Monday, Syfy airs a daylong "Ghost Hunters" marathon culminating in a six-hour "Ghost Hunters" live event at 7 p.m.

*If that's too intense, the Hallmark Movie Channel has a three-day marathon of "spooky" episodes from "Murder She Wrote" starting at 4 p.m. Saturday. Count me in.

-- C.D. and T.R.

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