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Haunted

Speak Now (2010) | Speak Now (Taylor's Version) [2023]

“Haunted” is track twelve on Taylor’s third studio album, Speak Now (2010). At its core, it’s a deeply sad song seeping with desperation and confusion, paired with swelling instrumentals. Taylor is singing about the end of a relationship that she is still holding on to. The re-recording of the song, “Haunted (Taylor’s Version)”, was released on July 7, 2023, on the album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).
Table of Contents

Background and Production

Taylor wrote “Haunted” alone and co-produced it with Nathan Chapman. She explained the meaning of the song in a since-deleted post on her website:

«‘Haunted’ is about the moment that you realize the person you’re in love with is drifting and fading fast. And you don’t know what to do, but in that period of time, in that phase of love, where it’s fading out, time moves so slowly. Everything hinges on what that last text message said, and you’re realizing that he’s kind of falling out of love. That’s a really heartbreaking and tragic thing to go through because the whole time you’re trying to tell yourself it’s not happening. I went through this, and I ended up waking up in the middle of the night writing this song about it.»

Taylor also elaborated on the reason for using a string section in the song, which she was particularly excited about: “I wanted the music and the orchestration to reflect the intensity of the emotion the song is about, so we recorded strings with Paul Buckmaster at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. It was an amazing experience – recording this entire big, live string section that I think in the end really captured the intense, chaotic feeling of confusion I was looking for.”

Live Performances

Taylor first performed “Haunted” as part of her mini documentary Taylor Swift: Speak Now which aired as a Thanksgiving special on NBC. On her “Speak Now World Tour” (2011-2012), it was part of the regular setlist for the North America and Oceania legs of the tour: Taylor put on a theatrical performance of the song, complete with dramatic bell-tolling and aerial backup dancers hanging from said bells. Since then, Taylor has performed “Haunted” acoustically on guitar a couple of times: on May 28, 2013, during her “The RED Tour” in Glendale, on July 11, 2018, during her “reputation Stadium Tour” in Landover, and on June 9, 2023, during her “The Eras Tour” in Detroit. She sang “Haunted” again on February 25, 2024, during her second “Eras Tour” show in Sydney. This time, it was part of a piano mashup, together with “exile” (2020).

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of Speak Now, “Haunted” debuted and peaked at No. 63 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and stayed on the chart the week after as well. An acoustic version of the song was released on the deluxe edition of Speak Now.

Taylor's Version

The re-recording of the song, “Haunted (Taylor’s Version)” was released on July 7, 2023, as track twelve on Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Upon the release of the album, the re-recording of the song debuted and peaked at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the week ending July 13, 2023.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
You and I walk a fragile line
I have known it all this time
But I never thought I’d live to see it break
It’s getting dark and it’s all so quiet and I can’t trust anything now
And it’s coming over you like it’s all a big mistake

[Pre-chorus 1]
Oh, holding my breath
Won’t lose you again
Something’s made your eyes go cold

[Chorus]
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Something’s gone terribly wrong
You’re all I wanted
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone
Can’t turn back now
I’m haunted

[Verse 2]
Stood there and watched you walk away from everything we had
But I still mean every word I said to you
He will try to take away my pain and he just might make me smile
But the whole time I’m wishing he was you instead

[Pre-chorus 2]
Oh, holding my breath
Won’t see you again
Something keeps me holding on to nothing

[Chorus]
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Something’s gone terribly wrong
You’re all I wanted
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone
Can’t turn back now
I’m haunted

[Bridge]
I know, I know
I just know
You’re not gone
You can’t be gone
No

[Chorus Variation]
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Something’s gone terribly wrong
Won’t finish what you started
Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this
I thought I had you figured out
Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone
I can’t go back
I’m haunted (Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh)

[Outro]
You and I walk a fragile line
I have known it all this time
Never thought I’d see it break
Never thought I’d see it

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumsSpeak Now
Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedOctober 25, 2010
ReleasedJuly 7, 2023
Written2009–2010
StudiosCapitol (Los Angeles)
Kitty Committee (London)
GenrePop Rock
Symphonic Rock
Length4:05
LabelsBig Machine Records
Republic Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducersNathan Chapman (original)
Christopher Rowe
Taylor Swift
SPEAK NOW CHRONOLOGY
InnocentHauntedLast Kiss
Single Certification
Hidden Message
Still to this day
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Taylor's Version
Original Audio
Original Acoustic Version
Live Version