Halloween is the best time of year next to Christmas to listen to your favorite songs that coincide with the season. This list of the best Halloween songs span across quite a few genres and include a few popular favorites along with some more obscure ones. These songs are definitely not the scariest sounding out there, nor do they claim to be, but they are certain to give you some chills when you listen to what they say, especially around this time of year when we are all feeling our spookiest or just paranoid about everything.
- Monster Mash – Bobby Pinkett/The Misfits (cover)
This is the OG Halloween song, a staple of the season that originally came out in 1962. This is a timeless song that never gets old and always makes you feel like a funky monster. However, if you’d rather listen to something a little more upbeat and hardcore, check out cover the Misfits did in 2002.
- Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
The ever-famous catchphrase “Who you gonna call?” has not died out yet, especially with this 1980’s hit from Ray Parker Jr. This song, with it’s catchy beat and eerie melodies, gives us the peace of mind that if there’s something strange in the neighborhood, we can just call the Ghostbusters and they’ll be there with proton packs in hand and plenty of snarky humor.
- I Put a Spell On You – Nina Simone
You may recognize this one from “Hocus Pocus,” when Winifred actually does put spells on people while singing it. The divine Ms. Bette Midler famously performed the version heard in Hocus Pocus, but the original version is just as scintillating and bewitching with Nina Simone’s beautiful vocals.
- This is Halloween – Danny Elfman/(covers) Marilyn Manson/Panic! at the Disco
This anthem, originally appearing in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, let everyone know what time of year it was. The song has been covered by countless other artists in the alternative music scene, which has helped turn it into an iconic Halloween jam. Among those figures are Marilyn Manson and Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie. Both of their covers are great, but you can never go wrong with the original.
- The Devil Went Down to Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band
You just can’t go wrong with a fiddle and a deep voice telling you a story about the devil making a deal with us mere humans for our souls. The story of this song is enough to get you feeling paranoid about the devil coming to compete with you in person, but it is what makes the spook factor in this one great.
- Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia – Reba McEntire
Georgia is a popular place for creepy things to happen, and this song is actually a little bit more frightening than the previous one. This is thanks to Ms. Reba McEntire laying out the story of the judge in the town “having bloodstains on his hands,” in a haunting way. Judicial corruption is one thing, but when the lights go out too, that’s just a lot of darkness going on in one state.
- Heads Will Roll – The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This song was put into a mash-up with “Thriller,” on Glee, and while that song is a lot more upbeat than spooky, the original on its own stands up just as well. Karen O’s voice lends the perfect aura to this song about getting decapitated.
- Zombie – The Cranberries
This haunting song is a lot slower than the others, as the 90’s pop group The Cranberries tried their hand at a heavier, grungier song. The song protests the Irish Republican Army’s continued aggression against British soldiers occupying their land, a conflict that spanned from 1916 to 1994 (which coincidentally is the year that this song came out.) The voice of singer Dolores O’Riordan is shrill yet captivating, with haunting lyrics about a pair of children who had been slain in an IRA bombing.
- Highway to Hell – AC/DC
The song that was created for all the sinners, and it makes the bold claim of saying you don’t give a damn where you’re going, so you might as well enjoy life for all it is. This song is spooky though if you aren’t very particular of the devil, and would rather not travel down that road.
- Thriller – Michael Jackson
This classic jam never fails to run chills through spines due to its spooky background noises, the image of zombie Michael Jackson from the music video, and Vincent Price’s voice at the end warning us all about the thriller killer. It is definitely an essential at every Halloween party each year, plus the “13 Going on 30” dance scene to this has the perfect moves to bust out whenever it comes on.
Hope you enjoyed revisiting some favorites through this list, and maybe you even discovered a new one or two to bust out at your Halloween office party. What songs do you find creepy or spooky to listen to? Happy Halloween frolicking!