Halloween 2022: 150 Spook-tacular Songs for Your Holiday Playlist

I am not sure if what I am going to say is true or not, but I believe that Halloween did not begin to gain steam as a major holiday until the people who grew up in the 1970s became adults. If you use rock and roll music as a focal point, most songs in the Fifties and Sixties were of the novelty variety while “scary” movies were mainly cheaply made B-movies, outside of the great Alfred Hitchcock films.

Alice Cooper

But. when the Seventies rolled around, more and more kids were trick-or-treating in their suburban neighborhoods (literally hundreds of kids were out in mine), so my generation of musicians, especially those in the late-70s, embraced the irony of 60s-novelty chic, which meant Halloween became not only a big night of parties, but also a month of songs, artists and films all catering to the celebration of the holiday. Look, the Halloween, Friday the Thirteenth and Nightmare on Elm Street movie franchises got their starts in the late-70s and early-80s. Bands like Black Sabbath and the whole metal genre joined in the fun by embracing the darkness with a tongue-in-cheek wink. Out in LA, the town’s punk scene seemed to wrap themselves in the macabre behind the music of the Misfits, while down similar bands popped up throughout the world at the same time taking their cues from those B-movies such as The Cramps. And, during my college days, every Halloween had a major party of which I attended, be it off-campus or at my fraternity house, with costumes being mandatory.

Here Comes the Mummies

So, when my generation began to have children, we, as parents, raised the ante even more. Slowly, trick-or-treating and parties led to huge yard displays and decorations that dominate today’s Halloween. And, since Halloween parties all need music, as forty more years have passed since my first college Halloween party. Nowadays, the music is much more than “Thriller” interspersed with Alvin & the Chipmunks doing “Witch Doctor” and Sheb Wooley’s “The Purple People Eater,” among others.

Now, we have all kinds of music available, one could hold a dance with only Halloween-themed music. Or, at least, we now have many songs whose titles make sense within the Halloween context. Personally, I like a keep a playlist of any song that has a title, subject matter and/or place in a horror movie’s soundtrack. From that huge playlist, I can then pull out more appropriate songs for the crowd of the party where my music will be played.

Rob Zombie

But, for today’s blog, I have chosen my 150 favorite songs that I have used in Halloween playlists over the years. From those suggestions, you can make your own. If you are providing the tunes for a party of junior high, high school, college or post-college twenty-something people, then hit the dance tunes had but intersperse some non-Halloween tunes to keep the dance floor full. If your party is full of the over-40 crowd, dancing is not important, so stick to the Halloween music, mix the genres liberally and hit shuffle. My suggestion is that you should have at least four hours of music for the old fogies, while you might need six or seven hours of tunes for the yunguns. One other thing you should add is a smattering of short Halloween sound effects, just to break up the music or play it over the top to enhance those said tunes during prolonged instrumental sections.

Those a few suggestions for any budding DJ/playlist master. The biggest thing will always be to know your crowd. That dictates what you play. “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” might be a great choice for a Boomer or Gen X party but will fall flat with most Millennials and Gen Y-ers.


So, with all that pontificating over, here are my personal favorite Halloween songs. If you have any suggestions of songs not on my list, please pass them on to me. I am not omniscient. The songs are listed in alphabetical order of the artists’ names.

  1. AC/DC – “Highway to Hell”
  2. Alice Cooper – “Feed My Frankenstein”
  3. Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”
  4. Andrew Gold – “Spooky, Scary Skeletons”
  5. Annie Lennox – “Love Song for a Vampire”
  6. Atlanta Rhythm Section – “Spooky”
  7. Bauhaus – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
  8. Beyoncé – “Haunted”
  9. Billie Eilish – “bury a friend”
  10. Billy Idol – “Eyes Without a Face”
  11. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”
  12. Blue Öyster Cult – “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
  13. Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt Kickers Five – “Monster Mash”
  14. Bow Wow Wow – “I Want Candy”
  15. Britney Spears – “Toxic”
  16. Cat Power – “Werewolf”
  17. Cerrone – “Supernature”
  18. Charlie Daniels Band – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”
  19. Cliff Richard – “Devil Woman”
  20. Concrete Blonde – “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)”
  21. Cream – “Strange Brew”
  22. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Bad Moon Rising”
  23. Danzig – “Mother”
  24. Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Maneater”
  25. Dave Edmunds – “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”
  26. David Bowie – “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)”
  27. Dead Kennedys – “Halloween”
  28. Depeche Mode – “Strangelove”
  29. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – “A Nightmare on My Street”
  30. Duran Duran – “Hungry Like the Wolf”
  31. Dusty Springfield – “Spooky”
  32. Eagles – “Witchy Woman”
  33. Echo & the Bunnymen – “The Killing Moon”
  34. Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein”
  35. Electric Light Orchestra – “Evil Woman”
  36. Elvis Presley – “(You’re The) Devil in Disguise”
  37. Eminem ft. Rihanna – “The Monster”
  38. Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
  39. Fifth Harmony – “I’m in Love with a Monster”
  40. Frank Sinatra – “Witchcraft”
  41. Fred Schneider & the Shake Society – “Monster”
  42. Gorillaz – “Dracula”
  43. Halsey – “Nightmare”
  44. Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora – “Black Widow”
  45. Imagine Dragons – “Demons”
  46. INXS – “The Devil Inside”
  47. Iron Maiden – “Fear of the Dark”
  48. John Carpenter – “Halloween Theme”
  49. John Zacherle “The Cool Ghoul” – “Dinner with Drac”
  50. Johnny Cash – “The Man Comes Around”
  51. Joy Division – “Dead Souls”
  52. Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross & Bon Iver – “Monster”
  53. Kate Bush – “Waking the Witch”
  54. Katy Perry ft. Kanye West – “E.T.”
  55. Kesha – “Cannibal”
  56. King Harvest – “Dancing in the Moonlight”
  57. Kristin Hersch – “Your Ghost”
  58. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – “Stranger Things Theme”
  59. Lady Gaga – “Monster”
  60. Lana Del Rey – “Season of the Witch”
  61. Louis Armstrong – “The Skeleton in the Closet”
  62. Luniz ft. Michael Marshall – “I Put 5 on It”
  63. Marilyn Manson – “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
  64. Marilyn Manson – “Tainted Love”
  65. Meat Loaf – “Bat Out of Hell”
  66. Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
  67. Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
  68. Mike Oldfield – “Tubular Bells Pt. 1”
  69. Ministry – “Everyday Is Like Halloween”
  70. Misfits – “Halloween”
  71. Misfits – “Skulls”
  72. Misfits – “Vampira”
  73. Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels – “Devil with a Blue Dress”
  74. Mötley Crüe – “Shout at the Devil”
  75. Motor City Soundtrack – “Pulp Fiction”
  76. Mudhoney – “Halloween”
  77. Muse – “You Make It Feel Like Halloween”
  78. Nelly Furtado – “Maneater”
  79. New Order – “Elegia”
  80. New York Dolls – “Frankenstein”
  81. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Red Right Hand”
  82. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “The Mercy Seat”
  83. Nine Inch Nails – “Dead Souls”
  84. No Doubt – “Spiderwebs”
  85. Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party”
  86. OutKast ft. Kesha – “Dracula’s Wedding”
  87. Ozzy Osbourne – “Bark at the Moon”
  88. Ozzy Osbourne – “Mr. Crowley”
  89. P!nk – “Funhouse”
  90. Peter Gabriel – “Intruder”
  91. Phoebe Bridgers – “Halloween”
  92. Queens of the Stone Age – “Burn the Witch”
  93. Radiohead – “Creep”
  94. Ramones – “Pet Semetary”
  95. Ray Parker Jr. – “Ghostbusters”
  96. Redbone – “Witch Queen of New Orleans”
  97. Richard O’Brien, et. al. (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) – “Time Warp”
  98. Rick James – “Super Freak”
  99. Rihanna – “Disturbia”
  100. Rob Zombie – “Dragula”
  101. Rockwell – “Somebody’s Watching Me”
  102. Santana – “Black Magic Woman”
  103. Santana – “Evil Ways”
  104. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put a Spell on You”
  105. Screaming Lord Sutch – “Jack the Ripper”
  106. Selena Gomez ft. marshmello – “Wolves”
  107. Shakira – “She Wolf”
  108. Sheb Wooley – “The Purple People Eater”
  109. Sinéad O’Connor – “I Am Stretched on Your Grave”
  110. Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Halloween”
  111. Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Spellbound”
  112. Squirrel Nut Zippers – “Hell”
  113. Steve Miller Band – “Abracadabra”
  114. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
  115. Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”
  116. Taylor Swift – “Haunted”
  117. Tegan & Sara – “Walking with a Ghost”
  118. The B-52’s – “Devil in My Car”
  119. The Beatles – “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
  120. The Birthday Party – “Release the Bats”
  121. The Black Keys – “Howlin’ for You”
  122. The Citizens of Halloween (A Nightmare Before Christmas) – “This Is Halloween”
  123. The Clovers – “Love Potion #9”
  124. The Cramps – “Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon”
  125. The Cramps – “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”
  126. The Cranberries – “Zombie”
  127. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – “Fire”
  128. The Cure – “A Forest”
  129. The Cure – “Lullaby”
  130. The Doors – “People Are Strange”
  131. The Dream Syndicate – “Halloween”
  132. The Human League – “Seconds”
  133. The Lovin’ Spoonful – “Do You Believe in Magic?”
  134. The Psychedelic Furs – “The Ghost in You”
  135. The Rolling Stones – “Sympathy for the Devil”
  136. The Smiths – “Cemetery Gates”
  137. The Specials – “Ghost Town”
  138. The Who – “Boris the Spider”
  139. twenty one pilots – “Heathens”
  140. Type O Negative – “All Hallows Eve”
  141. Van Halen – “Running with the Devil”
  142. Van Morrison – “Moondance”
  143. Vic Mizzy – “The Addams Family Theme”
  144. Vince Guaraldi Trio – “The Great Pumpkin Waltz”
  145. Violent Femmes – “Country Death Song”
  146. Warren Zevon – “Werewolves of London”
  147. White Zombie – “I’m Your Boogie Man”
  148. Whodini – “The Freaks Come Out at Night”
  149. XTC – “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”
  150. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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