31 Of The Best Halloween Songs: Spooky Playlist

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Halloween is just around the corner. People will soon be putting out their Halloween decorations in preparation for this annual occasion.

And what better way to celebrate this spooky festival – aside from costumes, trick-or-treating, and haunted attractions – than playing the right music to set the mood?

Here, we found just the right compilation of songs to help you embrace the spooky and macabre. Take a deep breath and hold your head high as we present to you 31 of the best Halloween songs for your spooky party.

1. “Monster Mash” By Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt Kickers

You can say that Halloween is synonymous with “monster.” And this yearly celebration will not be complete without “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers.

This novelty song was released in 1962 and has since become a Halloween classic. The whimsical lyrics pay tribute to various monsters, such as vampires, ghouls, and zombies, to name a few.

The song captures the public’s imagination with its blend of fun, fright, and danceable beat. Despite BBC banning it in 1962 for being spooky and morbid, the song stood the test of time and is now part of Halloween culture.

2. “Ghostbusters” By Ray Parker Jr.

The supernatural comedy film Ghostbusters is a cultural phenomenon popular among kids and adults. Its theme song, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr., is equally popular, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.

What makes the song appealing is its catchy tune and supernatural-themed lyrics. You can hear this song being played in Halloween light shows. The dazzling display of lights synchronized to the music creates a thrilling experience for spectators.

In addition, the song is one of the favorites at Halloween parties and events. The refrain, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” is instantly recognizable.

3. “Somebody’s Watching Me” By Rockwell

Our next song will surely give you the feels due to its themes of paranoia and surveillance. Rockwell‘s “Somebody’s Watching Me” perfectly captures a sense of fear when you know you’re being watched.

The song’s eerie atmosphere makes it a perfect soundtrack for Halloween. The line “I always feel like somebody’s watching me” will creep you out. It gives you unease when you sense that an unseen entity or monster is quietly observing or stalking you.

The music video of the song will further add to one’s paranoia. It features frightening imagery, such as moving portraits and graveyards.

4. “Heads Will Roll” By Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Your Halloween playlist will not be complete without Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ “Heads Will Roll.” It is popularly associated with Halloween because of its lyrical content and overall vibe.

The title itself communicates a sense of foreboding, aligning well with the themes of fear and suspense. And when we say “heads will roll,” we think of images of decapitation. We know that this gruesome trope is popular in horror films and stories.

Over the years, the song has cemented its place as a Halloween classic. So, if you need something with an energetic beat and catchy melody for your next Halloween celebration, make sure to include this song.

5. “A Nightmare On My Street” By DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

If you’re familiar with the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, then you know what DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince talk about in “A Nightmare On My Street.” The humorous song was a hit in the US, peaking at #15 on the Hot 100.

In the song, Will Smith (the Fresh Prince) recalls an encounter he had with Freddy Krueger, the villain in the movie whom he calls Fred. The narrative stirs themes of Halloween, such as fear, suspense, and encounters with supernatural beings.

“A Nightmare On My Street” has become a Halloween classic due to its combination of hip-hop and horror elements. It’s the perfect fun yet eerie soundtrack for Halloween celebrations.

6. “Werewolves Of London” By Warren Zevon

Another humorous song perfect for Halloween celebrations is Warren Zevon‘s “Werewolves of London.” The song came out in 1978 from his third studio album, Excitable Boy.

The lyrics follow the story of werewolves roaming around London. The narrator describes them as fashionable creatures who enjoy high-end restaurants and cocktails.

But despite looking good (“His hair was perfect”), citizens are warned not to let him in their homes. A “little old lady got mutilated late last night,” and he won’t think twice about ripping your lungs out.

The iconic howling and eerie piano riff contribute to the song’s spooky atmosphere, making this a popular choice for your Halloween playlist.

7. “Bury A Friend” By Billie Eilish

The haunting lyrics and eerie sound of “Bury a Friend” by Billie Eilish make for a perfect Halloween soundtrack. The song is from the perspective of a monster under the bed, inciting fear of monsters, the supernatural, and death.

These themes create a spooky vibe while the lyrics invoke images of death and burials. The lines “Step on the glass, staple your tongue (Ahh-ha), Bury a friend, try to wake up (Ahh-ha)” are so vivid you can just imagine the pain and torture.

The song’s music video only serves to add to its Halloween appeal. The unsettling visuals and dark narrative mirror the lyrics, adding another layer of suspense and horror.

8. “Psycho Killer” By Talking Heads

Wanna know the workings of a killer’s mind? Listen to “Psycho Killer” by the rock band Talking Heads. Lead vocalist David Byrne co-wrote the song to represent the thoughts of a killer having multiple personalities.

The song was inspired by the character Norman Bates from the horror movie Psycho. In fact, many believe that the “Fa-fa-fa-fa, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa” in the lyrics came from Bates, who stutters while saying the word “falsity.”

The song’s chilling narrative resonates with the Halloween themes of terror and the macabre. It has been covered by various artists in a spooky style, further reinforcing the song’s status as a Halloween staple.

9. “The Boogie Monster” By Gnarls Barkley

Just the title alone of our next song fits well with the Halloween theme. Gnarls Barkley‘s “The Boogie Monster” refers to the mythical creature that represents fear and the unknown.

The song can be understood on a deeper level through its symbolism and metaphors. But its literal meaning is enough to make it the perfect Halloween soundtrack.

Its opening lines, “I got a monster in my closet, Someone’s underneath my bed,” represent childhood fear and how the trauma of the past can creep up to torment individuals to their old age.

10. “Thriller” By Michael Jackson

All Halloween playlists would contain Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller.” It has a strong connection to Halloween due to its spooky narrative and sound effects and its iconic music video.

The lyrics tell a tale of horror about a night when creatures come to life. The vivid imagery about evil “lurkin’ in the dark” and “a sight that almost stops your heart” align with Halloween’s theme of terror and fright.

The song’s music video further enhances its Halloween appeal. It features Jackson performing the now-iconic choreography dressed as a zombie. The video is now played during the season.

11. “Spooky Scary Skeletons” By Andrew Gold

From the album Halloween Howls: Fun & Scary Music comes the single “Spooky Scary Skeletons” by Andrew Gold. This song is directly associated with Halloween and is one of the staples of Halloween soundtracks.

This song mentions a common symbol of Halloween, which is skeletons. The lyrics talk about them coming to life and causing harmless fright. The playful but eerie melody complements the lyrics, adding to its spooky atmosphere.

The song’s popularity during Halloween can also be attributed to its use in various Halloween-themed content on social media platforms such as TikTok. This helped “Spooky Scary Skeletons” be a modern Halloween classic.

12. “Pet Sematary” By Ramones

The dark and eerie themes of The Ramones‘ “Pet Sematary” make it a perfect addition to your Halloween playlist. It was originally written for the 1989 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Pet Sematary. Both the novel and movie deal with death, resurrection, and horror.

The lyrics reference the events in the novel, in which a family moves next to a pet cemetery that holds a sinister secret. The family’s cat is killed, but burying it in the graveyard brings it back to life. The twist? The resurrection has horrific consequences.

The song explores themes of death and the undead, both of which resonate with traditional Halloween motifs.

13. “Dracula’s Wedding” By OutKast Ft. Kelis

In the context of Halloween, OutKast‘s “Dracula’s Wedding” featuring Kelis is a perfect fit because of its theme of vampires. These characters are long-standing figures in horror lore and are always featured in Halloween celebrations and events.

The song presents another side of Dracula, whom we know fears nothing. He haunts and casts his spells on anyone he wants, and as a result, he is feared by almost everyone.

Turns out, the only thing he fears is commitment. He might be scared because he has finally found someone who makes him feel vulnerable. As such, Dracula is apprehensive and anxious when it comes to love and relationships.

14. “Red Right Hand” By Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Halloween is always associated with anything ominous and chilling. And these words can be used to describe Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds‘ 1994 single, “Red Right Hand.”

The title is inspired by John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost. The red right hand refers to the vengeful hand of God, which adds a layer of supernatural menace that aligns well with Halloween.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a shadowy, sinister figure who holds power and control. He represents evil or a similar entity, and this further enhances the song’s connection to Halloween.

15. “Highway To Hell” By AC/DC

The suggestive title of our next song and its overall dark and rebellious theme earns “Highway to Hell” a spot on our list. Rock band AC/DC released the song in 1979 from their album of the same name.

In actuality, the song is about the band’s grueling tour schedule at the time. The title itself represents a never-ending road of touring. However, the song carries a sinister undertone that fits well with Halloween themes.

Highway to hell evokes images of danger, death, and the supernatural. These themes make the song a fitting track for the holiday that celebrates spooky and scary things.

16. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” By Bauhaus

Another song with a dark, gothic theme is Bauhaus‘ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” From the album Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, the lyrics explore mortality and the allure of death.

The titular character refers to the actor who played Count Dracula in the 1931 film Dracula. However, the song isn’t specifically about Lugosi. The song just uses his image to represent death and the supernatural.

The song revolves around the concept of vampires, which are popular in Halloween lore. The horror-esque lyrics and gloomy mood align with the eerie and spooky vibes of the occasion.

17. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” By Blue Öyster Cult

Up next, we have “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult. This is a perfect addition to our list because of its chilling theme and eerie sound. Released in 1976, the song revolves around the inescapability of death and the belief that no one should fear it as it’s a natural part of life.

However, the title and the lyrics both mention the Grim Reaper, a universal symbol of death. It is a common figure in Halloween lore that is represented as a skeletal figure dressed in black and carrying a large scythe.

While many say that it’s about suicide, the song is about the inevitability of death and the idea of eternal love. Its exploration of dark themes enhances it as a Halloween anthem.

18. “This Is Halloween” By Danny Elfman

The hauntingly catchy “This Is Halloween” By Danny Elfman is a beloved anthem for Halloween. It perfectly depicts the mysterious and spooky atmosphere of this occasion.

The lyrics of the song with “Halloween” in the lyrics are playful, introducing the fascinating world of Halloween Town and its inhabitants. These include monsters, ghosts, ghouls, and witches. Each expresses their love for Halloween in their own spooky ways.

The song encapsulates the elements of fear, surprise, and the supernatural, which are integral to the tradition of Halloween. The song creates an atmosphere that embodies the fun and fright associated with the occasion.

19. “There Will Be Blood” By Kim Petras

Obsession, power, and violence are the themes you’ll find in Kim Petras‘ “There Will Be Blood.” The chilling title and haunting melodies fit perfectly into the eerie ambiance of the Halloween season.

The song is from the perspective of someone dangerous who admits to being “straight psychotic.” She warns her partner of his own demise as a result of their interaction, warning him, “There will be blood, run for your life.”

“There will be blood” is repeated throughout the song, reminding her lover of what’s in store for him. She also references the devil, suggesting that she is not only a dangerous person but also an evil presence.

20. “Dead Man’s Party” By Oingo Boingo

During the Halloween season, there are parties left and right. Imagine going to one “where no one’s still alive.” That’s the idea behind Oingo Boingo‘s “Dead Man’s Party.”

The song explores themes of mortality and the afterlife, with references to walking with a “dead man over the shoulder.” This can represent carrying the weight of death or the past.

In addition, the title paints vivid imagery of a macabre gathering consisting of party-goers who are like the narrator. This fits right into the Halloween theme of celebrating the spooky and strange things.

21. “Rhiannon” By Fleetwood Mac

Our next song, “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, is steeped in themes of mythology and the occult. The song was written by Stevie Nicks and is about a woman who believes she is possessed by another woman named Rhiannon.

The titular character is inspired by a medieval Welsh witch that Nicks had read about. Nicks also incorporated themes of mythology and occult in the song as Rhiannon also refers to a Welsh goddess.

This particular song had a huge impact on Nicks, particularly her fashion. She began wearing flowing shawls and black outfits, giving her a mystical look.

22. “Hells Bells” By AC/DC

The Australian rock band AC/DC appears for the second time with “Hells Bells.” It came from their album Back in Black, released after the death of their lead vocalist, Bon Scott. This was a tribute to him and became one of the band’s best songs.

In actuality, “hell’s bells” is an exclamation of surprise. But the lyrics of the song bring up dark images of the underworld, death, and being in hell.

Brian Johnson was the perfect replacement for Scott, giving the song a scary undertone with how he sang it. And that unearthly howl on the chorus only serves to cement the song’s place as a Halloween anthem.

23. “The Addams Family” By Vic Mizzy

No family represents Halloween better than the iconic Addams Family. Television composer Vic Mizzy captures this association in “The Addams Family” theme.

The lyrics describe this fictional household and their love for all things macabre and spooky. They are described as strange and deranged, and this often scares people away. The song depicts their bizarre and unconventional lifestyle that celebrates being creepy and kooky.

In addition, episodes of The Addams Family often explore Halloween-themed storylines, further cementing its connection to Halloween. This makes the theme a popular choice of music for the occasion.

24. “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” By The Cramps

The punk rock song “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” by The Cramps is associated with Halloween due to its thematic elements. The song is a parody of the 1957 horror film of the same name.

The song’s lyrics evoke an atmosphere of suspense and the supernatural. Based on the movie, it is about a teenager who becomes a werewolf as a result of an experiment. The song is written from his perspective, describing himself as “a Mid-west monster, Of the highest grade.”

As you know, werewolves are common creatures in Halloween folklore, making the song a fitting piece for Halloween celebrations.

25. “Witchy Woman” By Eagles

Our next song may not be directly linked to Halloween, but its overall mood, thematic elements, and cultural associations find it a special spot on our list. The Eagles released “Witchy Woman” in 1972 from their self-titled debut album.

In the lyrics, a woman is compared to a witch. She is described as having “raven hair and ruby lips” and “sparks fly from her fingertips.” She is a captivating and mysterious woman who, like a witch, has a spellbinding effect on the narrator.

Her description evokes imagery that aligns with the mystical and supernatural themes of Halloween.

26. “Surfin’ Dead” By The Cramps

For their second appearance on our list, we give you “Surfin’ Dead” by The Cramps. The song appears on The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack album from the film of the same name.

In the film, the song plays just as when the survivors board up the windows with tables and dressers to keep the zombies from getting in and eating their brains.

The film and the movie’s themes of zombies and the undead align closely with the macabre themes associated with Halloween. The song’s surf rock and punk sound adds to the eerie and offbeat atmosphere of the movie.

27. “Supernature” By Cerrone

The disco track “Supernature” by Cerrone is a good addition to our list due to its eerie and sci-fi-infused themes. This is the title track to his Supernature (Cerrone III) album.

The lyrics follow a man’s scientific experiments that go wrong. He overuses artificial chemicals in agriculture to “feed the hungry fields.” The chemicals cause “creatures down below” to mutate and evolve and grow exponentially.

The creatures rise from the ground to get their revenge and take over the world. This narrative aligns with the supernatural and horror themes associated with Halloween.

28. “Welcome To My Nightmare” By Alice Cooper

The chilling and horror-themed narrative of Alice Cooper‘s “Welcome to My Nightmare connects it to Halloween. It is the title track of Cooper’s album of the same name.

At its core, the narrator invites listeners into a terrifying dream, ensuring that they will like it there. He further assures them that this “nocturnal vacation” and “necessary sedation” is just what they need. They will find that his nightmare is where they belong.

These eerie lyrics and haunting melodies contribute to the spooky atmosphere, making the song a fitting addition to your Halloween playlist.

29. “Halloween” By Misfits

The 1985 song “Halloween” by Misfits has direct ties to the occasion. The song was written by the band’s lead singer at the time and recounts his experiences with Halloween. The Misfits are known for their horror punk style, which you can identify from this track.

A song with “Halloween” in the title, the lyrics describe traditional Halloween imagery. The narrator remembers bonfires, pumpkin faces, “dead cat hanging from poles,” and candies and razor blades.

As you can see, the song depicts Halloween and embodies the spirit of the holiday through its eerie musical style. No wonder this always appears in Halloween-themed playlists.

30. “Vampires” By DJ Antoine And Mad Mark

Another vampire-themed song on this list is DJ Antoine and Mad Mark’s “Vampires.” It captures the essence of Halloween through its eerie and haunting theme.

The title itself references this famous mythical character in the Halloween lore. The song conveys a sense of craving and desire, typical of the vampire’s thirst for blood. And this craving is not fulfilled and thereby does not stop.

In the lyrics, the narrator, a vampire, celebrates being one. He describes typical vampire powers, such as being forever young and not seeing their reflections on mirrors. He encourages his fellow vampires to celebrate with him.

31. “Halloween Song” By Blippi

Not only the young at heart enjoy the Halloween celebrations. It’s also a hit among children. Blippi‘s “Halloween Song” is a fun take on this otherwise scary occasion.

In the lyrics, the narrator encourages children to get in a spooky mood to celebrate Halloween. He tells them that they can dress as a zombie, a witch, or anything as long as they look scary.

The song uses these elements to create a friendly and exciting atmosphere that encourages children to partake in the holiday’s festivities. It’s also a nursery rhyme that’s not only entertaining but educational as well.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs For Halloween

Halloween is more than just a day for tricks or treats. It’s embedded in our culture to celebrate the eerie, the mysterious, and the spooky.

Halloween is for the young ones and the young at heart, so our list caters to everyone. May these songs stir the spirit of Halloween and help you be creative in terms of costumes, decorations, and themed events. And we hope you like our mix of somber and fun songs that celebrate this annual event.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.