Must-Have Songs for Your Halloween Party Playlist
With spooky season creeping up on us, that also means that ghoulish fun awaits in form of themed parties. One thing that is an absolute necessity for a good party is a solid playlist. Here are two-dozen must-have songs for your Halloween party playlists.
Write-ups by Staff; Artwork courtesy Dall-E.
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“I Put a Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
If you’ve seen the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, you already know why this song is on this
list. It’s super nostalgic for anyone who was a 90s or 2000s kid. Who wouldn’t
want the Sanderson Sisters to have a presence at their Halloween party?
“Night of the Vampire” by Roky Erickson Erickson’s The Evil One has songs about ghosts, demons, Lucifer, a creature with an atom brain, alligators and a two-headed dog. The whole album could have made it here, if we’re being honest.
“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon This werewolf isn’t your ordinary werewolf, being a bid of a dandy: “He's the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent/Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair/You better stay away from him, he'll rip your lungs out Jim/Huh, I'd like to meet his tailor”
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
A song perfect for Halloween parties. Why? It’s catchy and mysterious, just like the excitement of Halloween.
“Pet Sematary” by The Ramones The Ramones were a punk band, sure, but they were also one of the best pop bands of all time, as proven by this track from the 1989 film of the same name (originally a Stephen King novel).
“I Walked With a Zombie” by Roky Erickson See “Night of the Vampire,” above.
“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
The lyrics of this song mixed with the backing music make for a chilling, but ultimately cheery four-minute romp. Plus, almost everyone knows the chorus of this song by heart. If you want to get your guests singing, this is the song for you.
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.
Is it even possible to have a Halloween party without this song? This classic is a staple for fall
festivities. Its notoriety has propelled it to the point where it’s almost a necessity for October
31st. If you are ever at an event and notice the absence of this song, you know who to call.
“Thriller” by Micheal Jackson
Thriller is not just a Halloween song; it is a Halloween anthem. The tune has the perfect mix of fun and scary. It even has its own zombie-like dance. When it’s close to midnight, the only thing that will be lurking in the dark is the poor fool that decides not to dance to this classic Micheal Jackson hit.
“Rockin’ in the Graveyard” by Walter Daniels
A song that was going to “sell a million too” (and didn’t even make it on the charts). Eerie distortion and feedback ring through the barely audible lyrics.
“Algorhythm” by Childish Gambino In which our hero confronts a post-human landscape of sorts; turns out he’s indifferent to it all.
“Spooky Village” by Jimmy Crain
A nightly, sprightly, frightly instrumental.
“Man at the Crazy House” by Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers A song whose reverb-drenched rockabilly will drive you up the (padded) wall.
“Madness” by The Rhythm Rockers
Sinister laughs, rebellious howls, rhythmic shouts, and a hell of a lot of fun
“Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
A track which shows you that yes, you can make a career out of literally one song. A ghoulishly catchy song to be sure, but one song.
“Screwdriver” by Michael and The Jesters
No noise reduction, fuzzed distortion from the guitar, with the haunted organ keeping up the frantic pace.
“Black Cat” by Janet Jackson
Janet’s “black cat” is a (sometimes) lover, but Janet’s the one you should be scared of here: “Black cat, nine lives/Short days, long nights/Livin' on the edge/Not afraid to die (talking about me)/Heart beat real strong/But not for long/better watch your step/Or you're gonna die...”
“Headstone Rock” by Rockin’ Ryan and The Real Goners
Another red-blooded graveyard rave.
“Bloodshot” by The String Kings
A nice rhythmic chant, replete with a truckload of upright bass.
“Wanderlust” by Tommy Castle
Hot and burning sand, harrowing lap steel.
“Creep” by TLC What’s more harrowing than a haunted house? What's spookier than a slew of spiderwebs? A cheating lover, a relationship souring, and counting down yet another day when the months are all named “loneliness.”
“Monster” by The Bar-Kays Otis Redding’s old backing band, the Memphis funk pioneers The Bar-Kays, lay down a seriously scary funk bedrock here, the better for everyone to cut a rug on.
“Swamp Thing” by Hiatus Kaiyote
Literate and loopy at the same time: “A will-'o-wisp, a rum soaked ritual/Ravenous it's cold stare is habitual/Send a message with fire smoldering across the lily pad/Saffron tears the sweetest you've ever had”
“Time Warp” by Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, and Richard O’Brien
From The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this classic does just like the Hokey Pokey, giving you the dance steps in the lyrics. Awful nice of them.