Throwing a spook-tacular party to celebrate the upcoming holiday and want to avoid playing all of the usual suspects? Try adding a few of these rockin’ Halloween tunes to your playlist. Trick or treat!
- Ryan Adams, “Halloween Head”
Admittedly, this song is less about the holiday itself and more about a seriously clogged mindset, but it’s a great tune and this slowed-down version is eerily beautiful.
2. Nina Simone, “I put a Spell on You”
Made famous by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Simone’s haunting rendition takes this classic tune to a whole new level.
3. Dead Man’s Bones, “My Body’s a Zombie for You”
Quite possibly the only song out there that manages to include the word “zombie” in almost every single line and yet somehow still come across as a sweet and romantic tribute to love.
4. Marilyn Manson, “This Is Halloween”
Danny Elfman’s original version was great, but then Tim Burton and Marilyn Manson had a love child that turned into something even better.
5. Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer”
These guys can make anything sound fun and bouncy, even the inner rambling monologue of an unraveling lunatic.
6. Kim Carnes, “Crazy in the Night”
Part cheesy, part bizarre, but every kid who ever worried about the monster under their bed knows exactly what she’s singing about here.
7. The Specials, “Ghost Town”
While the song isn’t about Halloween, per se, it does have a spooky sound that addresses macabre themes. Plus ghost is in the title, so it totally counts.
8. Ramones, “Pet Sematary”
Turns out Stephen King is a big Ramones fan and asked the band to pen a song for his big movie that was based on his hit novel, both of the same name for those of you who have zero horror knowledge. All of that said, it apparently once won a Razzie for Worst Original Song, to which I say, “boooooo.”
9. Lonnie Johnson, “Blue Ghost Blues”
Who doesn’t love the blues? This guy is awesome and tortured and I’m feeling his ‘stuck in a haunted house’ pain.
10. Don Hinson & The Rigamorticians, “Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood”
If you’re looking for some “Monster Mash” fun without having to actually listen to “Monster Mash” for the billionth time, this one’s for you.
11. The Cramps, “I Was a Teenage Werewolf
These guys have more Halloween-esque songs than most – add “Surfin’ Dead,” “Goo Goo Muck,” and “Zombie Party” to your list while you’re at it.
12. Harry Belafonte, “Jump in the Line”
Because Beetlejuice. Will there ever be a sequel? No one seems to know, but that would be super.
13. Sprites, “George Romero”
Saving the best for last: A boppy, indie tribute to the creator of Night of the Living Dead? This song is a must have. On repeat.