Being brought up into a Halloween-loving family, October is probably the most celebrated month in our household with next year’s plans starting almost before this year’s spooky parties have even come to an end. Every year, October 1st marks the un-official commencing of the festive partying and halloween carving season. It also means it’s time to dust off the old 90s CD, imaginatively titled ‘Halloween Party Songs’ and have a heavy dose of all the classic fright-fest tunes played on loop for a solid month. But there comes a point (usually about the 400th replay) where ‘Monster Mash’ lacks it’s flair and originality, ‘Ghostbusters’ feels overplayed and even ‘Thriller’ just seems too mainstream. So this year I’ve taken the leap to ditch the old CDs and create a blood-curdling playlist of my own. Featuring AFI, Relient K, OutKast and even Aqua (yep, the creators of ‘Barbie Girl’ are back), there’s a large variety and something to suit everyone. Enjoy!
1. Dancing With The Dead – Get Scared
This is one of the first bands that comes to mind when I think of Halloween. Aptly named, Get Scared are the perfect way to kick off any Halloween playlist offering dark lyrics paired with a spine chilling vocal. Almost all of their songs could easily fit in this playlist so if you’re looking for more of a similar, make sure you check out the rest of their work.
2. Ghostbusters – Fall Out Boy
There’s no denying that ‘Ghostbusters’ is one of the best Halloween themed songs around but the original is beginning to feel a bit dated to me. Recorded for the latest Ghostbusters movie, Fall Out Boy offer a pop-punk flavour to a classic track. There’s even a rap thrown in too.
3. Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here – Still Flyin’
Gang vocals and foot-tapping instrumentals make this track a fun addition to any Halloween party playlist.
4. Halloween – Froggy Fresh
Starting off with a ear-piercing scream and dramatic music, the rap duo Froggy Fresh have created an entertaining take on a Halloween theme and add variety to the table. This is perfect for a less serious approach to the festive holiday.
5. Dead Walker Texas Ranger – Sleeping With Sirens
Eerie guitars and a fast paced tempo coupled with the added sounds of creaking doors and screams in the intro give this track it’s spooky feel. The lyrics may be predictable and filled with Halloween cliches but the chorus is catchy and you’ll find yourself humming along for hours after you’ve listened to it.
6. Horror Show – The Libertines
This might not have been intended to end up in a Halloween playlist but the drug filled tale fits perfectly with the spooky theme with lyrics such as “it’s a horror show, come on down”.
7. Dracula’s Wedding – OutKast, Kelis
“I wait all my life to bite the right one, then you come along and that freaks me out”. OutKast tells the tale of a vampire lover who is terrified of falling in love until his new love interest reassures him.
8. Friendly Ghost – Harlem
The lyrical cliches and references to Casper the ghost laced with authentic guitars give this track an alternative feel.
9. Ghost Town – The Specials
The electric keyboard and trumpet immediately bring the Halloween flavour to this track with a hypnotising melody reinforced by the gang vocals. Released in the 80s, it has a more reggae feel to it but is spooky none the less.
10. This Is Halloween – Panic! At The Disco
Taken from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Panic! At The Disco have perfectly recreated a classic Halloween themed song. With layered vocals from Brendon Urie and a whole range of orchestral instruments, it’s a feel-good track that still holds it’s musical roots.
11. She’s A Zombie Now – The Meteors
No Halloween playlist is complete without a song or two about zombies and this one’s a belter.
12. Hunting For Witches – Bloc Party
The Muse-like soft rock band have created a spiky track with energetic guitars throughout and poetic lyrics. Although not necessarily a Halloween song, the repetitive riffs compliment the festive title of the song.
13. Scary Monsters – David Bowie
The title track from 70s album Scary Monsters is a creative, risky song for a mainstream artist. With lyrics “scary monsters and super creeps, keep my running, running scared” it’s perfect for the October season.
14. Forever Halloween – The Maine
At this point it’s about time for a ballad, and ‘Forever Halloween’ by American alternative rock band The Maine is the perfect choice. With an eerie feel and plenty of Halloween references, it’s possibly one of my favourite songs on this list.
15. Halloween – Aqua
Best known for the infamous ‘Barbie Girl’, Aqua also have a great, if a little cheesy, Halloween song on their album. Starting off with standard Halloween sound effects before dropping a beat and poorly written lyrics, it’s not one to be taken seriously, but makes for a fantastic party song.
16. We Only Come Out At Night – The Smashing Pumpkins
Alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins are next in line to offer a more relaxed ballad to the playlist with simple but effective instrumentals throughout.
17. Walking With A Ghost – Tegan and Sara
With only a handful of phrases, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara bring a supernatural version of a love story gone sour.
18. The Creepier EP…er – Relient K
Released only a few days ago, Relient K are here to bring their country-esque vibe to the fright-fest. The 3 song EP is a fun addition to the playlist and is sure to put a smile on your face. My personal favourite is ‘The Cup’ but honestly all 3 songs are cheerful Halloween perfection.
19. Pet Semetary – Muncie Girls
Ramones cover by English punk rock band Muncie Girls. Released in 2015, this is a refreshing take on a classic song.
20. Monster – Skillet
Using supernatural references, alternative metal band Skillet add a heavier, fast paced rhythm back to the party. With heavy guitar riffs and raw vocals, this is a song I listen to all year round.
21. Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine
The haunting piano in this piece compliment the smooth vocals in this piece to deliver an eerie ambiance. It is 5 minutes of stunning song-writing that leaves a gothic, bluesy feel.
22. Little Ghost – The White Stripes
Coming from a well-known American rock duo, ‘Little Ghost’ has quite a cheerful, country vibe to it with exciting instrumentals and an upbeat melody led by Meg White.
23. Haunted – Evanescence
In a similar tone as Florence + The Machine, ‘Haunted’ definitely suits it’s name with the haunting vocals that will send chills down your spine.
24. It’s Almost Halloween – Panic! At The Disco
What would Halloween be without the video of ‘It’s Almost Halloween’ circling around the internet? Written as a parody, this has become one of the most popular Halloween songs of teens. It’s full of fun and, let’s be honest, Brendon’s vocals are still insane.
25. Blood – My Chemical Romance
Released as a hidden track on The Black Parade, ‘Blood’ is an upbeat track. Although it’s simple with just a piano accompanying Gerard’s vocals, it has a catchy little tune and caters to the emo teens at any Halloween party!
26. Halloween – AFI
This cover of the legendary Misfits song gives it all the spooky punk vibes it deserves. The musical dynamics AFI achieve so well coupled with the original brilliance of the lyrics makes this one of the best cover songs there is.
27. Weightly Ghost – Wintersleep
Ending on a more folky vibe, Wintersleep tell the tale of a rather terrifying situation of losing your body and becoming ghost in a rather upbeat way. Ending the playlist with an enlightening folk song to ensure the party ends on a high note.