Halloween music is magical in that it can be reminiscent of childhood memories of both dressing up and eating candy as well as our worst nightmares. In order to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year, The Bottom Line presents a playlist of spooky and haunting songs to get you in the Halloween mood.
1. Kim Petras feat. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, “Turn off the Light”
Kim Petras’ new album has many calling her the “Queen of Halloween” as she seamlessly intertwines horror with pop music. The title track “Turn off the Light” is fun and filled with spooky-swooping notes.
2. Rockwell, “Somebody’s Watching Me”
This song’s distinct 80’s sound, vocals from Michael Jackson, and unsettling lyrics about being watched combine to create an iconic Halloween song in this iconic number.
3. Billie Eilish, “Bury a Friend”
Billie Eilish is busy redefining what it means to be a pop star; this hit track sounds straight from the underworld. At only 17, Eilish walks the sharp line between horror and ethereal whispery pop as fans have categorized it as “Horror ASMR.”
4. The Hex Girls, “Hex Girls”
Even in 2-D animation, the Hex Girls embody everything fun and witchy about Halloween — their song is no different. While the Hex Girls only exist in the Scooby-Doo canon, that is no reason to dismiss this absolute anthem.
5. Franz Ferdinand, “Evil Eye”
“Evil Eye” begins with a blood-curdling scream and is littered with allusions to the macabre and gruesome creatures. The Sband, named after the Austro-Hungarian archduke, came onto the scene in 2002 but continues to make music with rock and dance music sounds and Russian avant-garde imagery.
6. Bette Midler, “I Put a Spell on You”
Who can forget Bette Midler’s performance as Winifred Sanderson in the Halloween classic “Hocus Pocus”? This bewitching song, originally performed by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, has been famously covered by the likes of Nina Simone and Marilyn Manson.
7. Donovan, “Season of the Witch”
This song marks a chilling time for the witches to leave their coven. For an even more haunting and strange version, Lana Del Rey’s cover is guaranteed to leave goosebumps lingering on your skin.
8. The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
This British rock band has earned their place in The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in the hearts of many during the late 70’s and early 80’s. “Every Breath You Take” is undoubtedly a classic but to modern ears, this song hints at an underlying creepy message about romance.
9. Kim Petras, “Massacre”
Petras slays in this track! She cleverly spookified the Christmas classic “Carol of the Bells” with sinister lyrics and an 80’s slasher film feel.
10. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
Michael Jackson may be known as the “King of Pop,” but no Halloween playlist is truly complete without “Thriller.” May it forever live through Party City commercials and flash mobs destined to be viral YouTube videos.
11. Bobby Pickett, “Monster Mash”
Originally released in 1962, the Halloween anthem “Monster Mash” continually rises to the top of the charts every Halloween season. Fun fact: the BBC banned the song for 11 years straight for being “too morbid.”
Happy listening! We wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!