In a world where weirdo conservatives want to ban LGBT books and wingnut liberals cheer removal of children’s books of old, we need to burn the whole system down and get back to basics. We need a good old moral panic, or more importantly, a pure Satanic Panic! Not some rehashed one like religious zealots claim Drag Shows represent. We need a full-on evil “the devil wants to eat your children’s souls” panic. And here are 10 songs to keep the PTA clutching their pearls.

10. “Black Magic Woman” – VCTRYS

Let’s start with an oldie but a goodie. Black Magic Woman has had any number of Satanic claims thrown at it over the years due to its title alone. So why not embrace it. Dress in your best goth black, ruby-red lipstick, and maybe some white contacts to up the dead-eye look, and check out this cover of Black Magic Woman by VCTRYS.
Of course, the Santana original is magical as well.

9. “The Devil Does Drugs” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

Every good parent knows that the Devil does drugs, and those who traffic in sin are open to his wicked ways. When creating a Satanic Panic, getting drugs involved is easily one of the best bets to getting the community revved up. Even if there aren’t really any drugs in the mix, just hinting that there are will be enough to get the PTA’s knickers in a twist. But if there are drugs, all the better.

8. “Psychedelic Sacrifice” – Electric Hellfire Club

The best moral panics, and Satanic Panics in particular, deal with the concept of sacrifice. Whether it is animals (a gateway sacrifice like smelling pot near stoner alley is supposedly a direct gateway to dropping bath salts) or humans, especially young children and infants, when creating fantastical things to talk about at PTA meetings, sacrifice is always a hot topic.

It’s also wise to couch sacrifice talk in urban legend terms. Your aunt knew someone who listened to INXS’s “The Devil Inside” and was overcome with the spirit of Satan enough to murder a busload of nuns, but of course the Vatican is covering it up because that would be bad press for the Catholic Church. Urban legend + conspiracy = excellent moral panic fodder!

7. “Let’s Have a Satanic Orgy” – Twin Temple

Adding the mere mention of sex into the mix is a sure way for get the PTA up in arms, and they’ll probably carry pitchforks to your orgy! There seems to be no limits to what “concerned parents” will fantasize about when it comes to teenagers and sex. One of my favorites was the “rainbow party” where a group of girls would wear different colors of lipstick and give a lucky guy (or whole slew of lucky guys) fellacio, which would look like rainbow lipstick rings around their unholy members. It has widely been debunked, but talk shows and pearl clutchers everywhere still whisper about it.

And, yes, you’ll need to view the video on YouTube since it has rubber hose style animated nudity. If you don’t want to see nudity, don’t watch the video or look at the bare back of the girl pictured. But if you like nudity and rubber hose animation in the style of Cuphead, then by all means watch it!

6. “Cannibalism Buffet” – Aurelio Voltaire with Ooky Spooky

Every Satanic Panic loves a good cannibalism story. It seems that every hated group in the world has been condemned for eating children. It’s a historical go-to for condemning outsiders. Anti-semites loved recounting stories about Jewish people eating babies. Not-so-strangely, these stories were often also ascribed to the Romani people, to indigenous tribes in the Americas, to various Catholic sects that fell into and out of favor between the Popes and the Emperors and Kings, and to homosexuals, blacks, and just about everyone that has been challenged as an outsider. I even smiled when I heard it mentioned during a CPAC discussion that Democrats were eating children. Aborted children, of course. Politics is probably the lowest bar for human decency, so it was unsurprising.

For as little cannibalism as there is in the world, it seems there are a lot of people willing to take a bite. And usually these stories spread under the guise of “keeping children safe” as with most moral panics. So, if you want to spice up your local Satanic Panic for the PTA, add in a story of cannibalism.

5. “Transvestites Can Be Cannibals Too” – Harley Poe

We are in the midst of an oft- recycled moral panic right now, and you can get the PTA involved! It seems the heavily regurgitated tripe against gays being pedophiles and leading children to sin is back, and concerned congressmen and congresswomen with well-funded Christian Political Action Committees and a social media presence are peddling it once again. 

Lately, they are hitting up community events featuring drag performers, and while drag has always been a soft target for CPACs, it has become a defining one in community centers, libraries, churches, and schools where drag performers have been working with children to help them understand that it is okay to feel and be different than to world expects. Even a hint at some sense of gender non-conformity is enough to get the PTA lighting their tiki torches to join in a white power rally against a library learning hour for children hosted by a drag queen.

The pump is already primed for a Satanic Panic on this point.


4. “Ouija” – lil sleepy

Sometimes all you need for a Satanic Panic is the mere idea of magic or the devil. Parental groups went ballistic about Harry Potter as it became more and more popular. Book bannings and burnings were organized. Concerned parents took it upon themselves to check out copies from libraries and not return them because they wanted to keep children out of the grasp of Satan. A source of constant attack from parental groups is the popular Ouija game from Hasbro because one can supposedly talk to the dead. AKA Satan.

So pick up a Hasbro Ouija board and find a good gnarled stick in the woods and let your inner wizard scare the hell out of the PTA. Bonus points if you take it to a PTA-organized game night.

3. “Blasphemous Rumors” – Angelzoom

When it comes to creating a good, strong Satanic Panic, blasphemy is a sure bet. There’s something about taking the Lord’s name in vain or being generally disrespectful to religion in general that gets under the skin of stodgy PTA members. They will often be fond of recanting Mark 3:29, “but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” It’s scary stuff, especially when paired with the idea that one can blaspheme against God and be forgiven…but not the Holy Ghost. That dude’s a stickler.
And, of course, the Depeche Mode original is just as triggering to the PTA.

2. “The Heresy” – MUSHROOMHEAD

Nothing stirs the blood of the so-called righteous like a dash of heresy. Dabbling in the profane and transposing it with the holy is sure to get tongues wagging. Really, the only thing you have to do to be heretical is go against the grain. It can be pretty much any grain. When it comes to religion, ask a lot of questions, transpose ideas, and act accordingly. In social and political issues, all you need to do to discover people’s definition of holy issues is ask questions and play Devil’s advocate on their positions. It will quickly become apparent if someone considers capitalism holy and communism profane, and nothing gets the PTA up in arms like the threat of communism among their children!

And there are a million topics that people have holy opinions on, and countering them will not change their minds. It will make them dig in and defend the often indefensible even more. But the real secret is that people are also innately hypocritical in their beliefs, so it is easy to corner them and get them frothing at the mouth with only a little provocation. That’s why old people like Facebook. We can scream rabidly at each other and make petty arguments. The PTA is cut from the same cloth.

1. “Kids in America” – The Muffs

The single biggest thing that will cause a moral panic, and I say this as an old dude pushing 50, is being young and doing young things. The older we get, the more we long for the so-called purity of our youth. We reach back and try to grasp or make sense of the past, romanticizing it. And we often discount youth who are forging their ways just like we did back in the day when our parents were harping on us for being immoral and making questionable decisions with our lives.

Concerned legislators and PTA parents don’t need your help to come up with a moral panic. But it can be fun to distract them with one. Think of it as a little treat for you.

The original by Kim Wilde is a banger, too.