It’s October, and you know what that means: Halloween party season is upon us.
But I, for one, am sick of the basic Halloween party tracks. I’m talking about “Thriller,” “Ghostbusters,” “Monster Mash” and the like. I don’t care that these tracks are considered classics; it’s time for something new and exciting.
Luckily, I’m here for you, and I’ve got a wide range of spooky songs to bring your party to life. Prepare to be thrilled, chilled and fulfilled. You’ll never want to hear “Halloween Theme” again after giving this playlist a listen.
‘Istigkeit’ — Babes In Toyland
This song is the definition of eerie; it feels like something that would be played in a haunted house. With Kat Bjelland’s breathy, ghastly vocals, it makes me feel uneasy with every listen — but in a good way. The moaning and gasping in the background is a great touch, too.
‘Season of the Witch’ — Lana Del Rey
A cover of a track originally recorded by Donovan, Del Rey’s version of “Season of the Witch” is simply superior. It feels more Halloween and fall-esque to me, and as a Lana stan I’m legally obligated to include it.
‘Goo Goo Muck’ — The Cramps
I know this one got extremely popular from the Netflix series “Wednesday,” but it’s a great song regardless. You’ve gotta have some stuff that people will know without being too predictable. Plus, what’s a Halloween party without a nod to ’80s goths?
‘Ptolemaea’ — Ethel Cain
Ethel Cain’s entire aesthetic is based on the macabre; this is one of her most other-wordly sounding tracks. The dark lyrics combined with Cain’s phantasmic vocals makes for a perfectly creepy song. Cain’s shrieking pleas in the middle of “Ptolemaea” will truly set the Halloween mood.
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‘Howl’ — Florence + The Machine
Florence channels her inner werewolf on this catchy track. Despite its upbeat instrumental, the lyrics are perfect for Halloween. Consider this song as a better alternative to Warren Zevon’s basic “Werewolves of London.”
‘Halloween’ — Phoebe Bridgers
This is a more mellow track, but it’ll give your guests time to relax and take a break from all of the dancing. Maybe save this one for the end of the party; send your guests off with Bridgers’ lovely lines, “Baby, it’s Halloween / And we can be anything.”
‘Earth Intruders’ — Björk
Björk’s entire discography could work at a Halloween party, but this particular track is funky and danceable. Plus, it’s extremely underrated and gives alien vibes all the way through.
‘Enlacing’ — clipping.
This track was specially picked by Entertainment Editor Reece Hollowell. It’s a perfectly unique Halloween party song, with its horror-core vibes and unique spoken-word aspects. This is an excellent song to get your guests hyped up for the party.
‘Tear You Apart’ — She Wants Revenge
Best known for its feature in “American Horror Story: Hotel,” this song is everything I’d want to hear at a Halloween party. It gives a vampiric feel, with lyrics about brutal desires. I can guarantee if you play this song at your party, people will go crazy for it.
‘Monster’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ — Lady Gaga
Any good party must have Lady Gaga on the playlist. I’ve given you two options here: the viral “Bloody Mary,” or the underrated “Monster.” These songs would be perfect to get your guests moving, and if you can’t choose between them, just go with both.
‘Bad Things’ — Cults
This is another one your audience will most likely know. It’s not on the same basic, overplayed level as others, though. It’s not very danceable but would be a great track to set the atmosphere as your party begins.
‘Touch-A Touch-A, Touch Me’ — ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
Everyone loves “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (if you don’t, you have a serious problem), so this song would make for a terrific sing-a-long. Anything from the “Rocky Horror” soundtrack would be a great addition to your playlist, but this one is one of my personal favorites. Risque lyrics aside, it’s a perfect Halloween party song.
‘Psycho Killer’ — Talking Heads
I have my mother to thank for my obsession with this song. It’s catchy, danceable and exquisite for the spooky season. Talking Heads is a quintessential band for college-aged music lovers anyway, so it’s vital that you include a song by the group.
‘Living Dead Girl’ and ‘American Witch’ — Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie is THE Halloween time artist. These two tracks would be great to build hype and get your guests dancing (or moshing). I’d recommend spacing them out toward the beginning and end of your playlist, that way your friends will stay exhilarated the entire time.
‘Burn In Hell’ — Twisted Sister
Another rock track, I know, but this song seriously fits the mood. It starts off slow and dark, then thrusts you into an exciting and lively cacophony of ’80s hair-metal sounds. The song may be about burning in Hell, but your guests will feel as if they’re on cloud nine.
‘In the Room Where You Sleep’ — Dead Man’s Bones
This song would be excellent to dance to. The lyrics are delightfully creepy but the instrumentals remain upbeat and fun. Fun fact: Ryan Gosling is one half of Dead Man’s Bones; be sure to tell this to every guest dressed as Barbie or Ken (you know there will be at least one).
‘Zombie’ — The Cranberries
I’ll admit that this song is on almost every Halloween playlist known to man, but it’s the one track I can get behind. I love The Cranberries, and Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals on “Zombie” are haunting in the best way. I just couldn’t leave this one out.
‘Rhiannon’ — Fleetwood Mac
This one’s for all my witchy girls. Ironically, this song was written by Stevie Nicks right around Halloween time in 1974. This track is a must; people absolutely adore Fleetwood Mac no matter what time of year it is.
So go ahead and start editing your playlist. Remove those overplayed tracks that no one truly likes. Your guests will want you on aux at every party after you wow them with these spooky, hair-raising songs.