Halloween is all about the ambience. Cold gust of wind? Check. Thoroughly-planned costumes? Check. Lollipops that look like eyeballs? Yep. The finishing touch for your frightening celebration should be a playlist full of eerie but dance-worthy tunes…
Here are the 10 best Halloween songs to listen to on the spookiest night of the year; without having to resort to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put A Spell On You
This song is a red-hot Halloween classic that everyone can appreciate. Although this version of the song does not highlight the same degree of rhapsodic vocal ability as the original by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, this cover is every bit as intimidating. John Fogerty must have been overcome by a rock and roll demon as he pushes his vocal performance into a state of intense emotion.
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Stevie Wonder’s Superstition is one of those tunes which just about everybody would agree is full of energy. This is one of the most-streamed Halloween songs around the world… I wouldn’t say that this is a typical Halloween song, but it certainly fits with the whole atmosphere. After all, Halloween is packed full of superstitions and traditions.
Rihanna – Disturbia
This haunting RiRi track repeatedly refers to a certain darkness whilst Rihanna gives us insight into the mind of a madwoman. With elements of delusion and psychosis, this song makes you feel like you walked through a deceptive haunted house that left you feeling much more than “disturbed.”
Fleetwood Mac – Black Magic Woman
Here we have THE theme of Halloween, Black Magic Woman by the one and only Fleetwood Mac. It seems as though the notion of malicious women was quite a “theme” back in the ’60s with many songs suggesting women took part in nefarious activities and possessed evil powers.
Lana Del Rey – Season Of The Witch
Lana Del Rey’s rendition of Season Of The Witch, which she covered for the Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark series is up next. Season Of The Witch was originally performed by Donovan in 1966 and although it’s fantastic, Lana’s version is much more Halloween-appropriate. This song is perfect if you prefer something more mellow.
Kanye West – Wolves
Wolves is among the most potent pieces of songwriting in Kanye’s entire body of work. This track dives into the eardrums like a blade of ice in its opening moments, whilst Sia inserts prima donna status into the whole affair; taking care to smoothly fuse with the many other diverse elements that occupy this masterpiece. This song has been described as “melancholic” and “sombre”, two adjectives that go perfectly with the theme of Halloween. The song’s haunting beat is ideal for your Halloween celebrations.
Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft
Here we have a personal favourite. There are songs which have the ability to enchant a listener, make them fall in love with it and keep repeating the song until they can recite the lyrics from memory. Witchcraft is one such song, in my opinion. Sinatra’s voice is the kind that would echo throughout your body – it’s powerful, sturdy and unblemished. Witchcraft is a song that can take your ears on a musical journey. There’s nothing better than jazz music, Sinatra’s voice and stunning lyrics.
Skepta – Ghost Ride
The track comes from Skepta’s Vicious EP which dropped out of nowhere on Halloween. Although this is definitely not your traditional Halloween track, it would be wrong of me to not include a track from the British Hip Hop genre. There are a few links to horror in this song as well. A Nightmare On Elm Street character Freddie Krueger is mentioned, as well as American film director Steven Spielberg, who directed the horror/thriller movie Jaws.
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
It’s an oldie but a goldie. To go along with our Halloween theme, this song is about the thoughts of a serial killer, inspired by the character Norman Bates in the thriller novel Psycho.
Phoebe Bridgers – Killer
This track is a lugubrious piano ballad on which Bridgers delves into the sinister corners of her psyche. Whilst being completely candid and honest, Phoebe Bridgers imagines the concept of her death to deal with her anxiety and fear of abandonment. To contrast with the song’s heavy lyrics, Bridger applies sweet and soulful vocals to express a sense of hope.
By Meg Betts
Make sure you follow us on Spotify and keep up-to-date with our playlists.