THE INFERNAL REGIONS Sound Reproducing Company has kindly provided us with this list of well-known sound recordings in which backwards satanic messages have been found.
Eddie Cantor’s first recording of “If You Knew Susie” includes this whispered line, audible when the very end of the recording is played backwards: “Satan, paint my toenails pink.” When played forwards, the incantation is indistinguishable from surface noise.
The Vaudeville team of Gallagher & Shean made several recordings of their signature number, “Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean.” On the 1922 Victor version, the end of the second chorus, when played backwards, reveals two lines of spoken dialogue: “Positively, Mister Gallagher?”—“Spawn of Satan, Mister Shean!”
Luis Russel’s recording of “Ol’ Man River” includes a trumpet solo by Henry “Red” Allen that is remarkably devilish played either forwards or backwards.
The famous “Ode to Joy” by Schiller, so admirably set to music by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony, reveals the following line when played backwards: “Muisyle sua Rethcot, Neknufretteog reneohcs Eduerf.” The mysterious message passed unnoticed until after the invention of sound recording, and scholars still do not agree on the meaning.
The coda to Jeremy Freakout’s notorious 1971 single “I Pledge My Immortal Soul to the Dark Lord,” played backwards at half speed, reveals the words “I like strawberry ice cream” intoned in a kind of maniacal growl.