“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can…” grab their speakers and haunt their neighbours properly.
Whether you’re a lonesome ghoul staying in this Halloween, or you’ve joined a coven of witches on a night out, we’ve crafted an eclectic mix of music to keep this season spooky.
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Öyster Cult
What appears to be nothing more than a ‘dad rock’ song on the surface, hitting that 2:40 mark really sets it apart as something else.
It features a hauntingly beautiful guitar wailing throughout the track that is tuned to the monotoned weariness of the vocals, but it works at putting you on edge and you can’t figure out why.
It’s got that boomer schtick to it that makes it a screen staple, featuring in various B movies such as ‘Scream’, ‘Zombieland’, and ‘Halloween’ (actually twice, being licensed in the first film and its conclusive ‘Halloween Ends’).
This song is a psychedelic siege on the inevitability of death, and I think that makes it pretty spooky.
Thriller – Micheal Jackson
I feel like I don’t have much to add here that’s not been said before – if it’s not in your playlist already, what are you even doing?
Spooky Scary Skeletons – Andrew Gold
Ah, yes. Now we’re talking the classics.
It’s a song that’s primarily famous for being an internet meme, but Andrew Gold specifically wrote this song with the intention of it being a literal classic. Perhaps he envisioned more in the traditional sense, but the current-day internet-fueled song seems to be living up to that niche.
“Each holiday has a mood and usually music to go with it, especially Christmas,” he wrote in the linear notes of his 1996 Halloween album, Halloween Howls. “However, it’s hard to find any tapes or CDs of Halloween music. So, I fixed that, and you’re holding it now.”
Five Nights At Freddy’s – The Living Tombstone
I’ve yet to see the Five Nights At Freddy’s film, but this song is objectively good because the nostalgia of growing up with the franchise wins out.
Whether you personally played the game – or lived vicariously through the infamous gameplays on YouTube – you will have encountered these frighteningly fuzzy animatronics at some point and by extension this song.
It’s a fan-created song based off the first ‘Five Nights At Freddy’s’ and blew up in popularity alongside the game; at this point, it’s somewhat considered the theme song for the franchise itself, going as far as getting a feature in the credits of the first film.
It’s a good song to have on your Halloween playlist (but hey, that’s just a theory…)
Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
The clocks have gone back, the mist is starting to settle, and the leaves are falling.
If only student accommodation allowed the use of candles, then would it truly feel like the witchy weather this song embodies.
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
The irony that is littered throughout this song is palpable.
Perhaps the persistent paranoia that Rockwell sings about is more prevalent now in the digital age than it ever was in 1984. That’s the scary selling point.
Arguably the guest-featured chorus by Michael Jackson – who has probably never sung a truer line in any of his own songs – is the insurance that it would become a hit, but it’s one of the better one-hit wonders.
It almost crosses over into that New Wave sound with the eerie arpeggios, and it’s undeniably charming as a synth-funk track.
Time Warp – Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, Richard O’Brien
It’s a fun and funky musical number!
You can’t tell me you haven’t danced along with the proper choreography, and that’s coming from someone who has seen neither The Rocky Horror Picture show on film nor on stage.
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me” – Fall Out Boy
If the thought of your thirteen-year-old self is enough to make you squirm, then this Fall Out Boy single is right up your alley.
Admittedly, the over-the-top music video was enough to warrant this suggestion more than the song itself. The near seven-minute promo features a battle with the band pitted against a group of sharply dressed vampires, and bears witness to the greatest crossover since Disney Channel’s Wizard’s On Deck With Hannah Montana.
Co-starring Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith of Panic! At The Disco, William Beckett and Michael Carden of The Academy is… and Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, the repressed emo in you will be itching to come crawling back out and I don’t blame you, for being you…
Calling All The Monsters – China Anne McClain
Speaking of Disney Channel: when this music video premiered after the Halloween special of A.N.T Farm, it instantly became the only Halloween song that mattered in my eyes.
It came out at a time when electronic, dance orientated pop was mainstream – think Ke$ha and Lady Gaga – and so it fits right in with those songs that are borderline dated but still stand the test of time.
When curating this playlist, I discovered that there are now TWO versions of this bop! The aptly named Thriii is a musical trio of sisters, which includes China Anne McClain, and they re-recorded ‘Calling All the Monsters’ for the 10th anniversary in 2021. It’s worth a listen for a modern twist of the song.
She Wolf – Shakira
Eccentric and infectiously danceable, this song is heard in most clubs throughout the year but there’s something about it being played during the Halloween season that makes you go feral.
Featured Image Credit: Word