Halloween is upon us and it’s time to start planning the spookiest, scariest, the most freakishly fearsome party of the year! It doesn’t matter how old you are, tapping into your inner vampire, witch or ghost is frighteningly good fun. Whether you are planning a ‘trick or treat’ party for the little ones full of sweets, Halloween costumes and decorations, or a more grown-up gathering full of boozy games and themed popular songs on the karaoke, music is a must-have to make the evening go with a swing. This is the one time of year when you can dust off the novelty Halloween dance songs and ask the DJ to put together the spookiest, most wicked playlist of their dreams (or should that be ‘nightmares’?)
Here are TIBO’s top fifteen ghoulish tunes to throw onto your stereo and rock out to this month…
Old Halloween songs
Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett.
The classic song from 1962 that gets everyone up and onto the dance floor. Come on – you know the words, right? All together now: “I was working in the lab, late one night…”
Marianne Faithfull’s 1979 ballad, Witches
For ladies looking for a song to sing along to with the girls, look no further than Marianne Faithfull’s 1979 ballad, Witches. The words celebrate the power of female relationships, but with a slightly sinister, witchy feel that’s great for this time of year. One of the many underrated Halloween songs that are due to a revival this year.
Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You
Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You’ from 1964 is as enchanting as it is powerful. It is a great way to celebrate the magical aspects of Halloween and the many diverse spells that can be found in a witch’s secret recipe book. The rich jazz melody will swirl around you and render you helpless in the face of its beauty and charm this Halloween.
New Halloween songs
Monster by Lady Gaga
Monster by Lady Gaga is a modern hit that combines Halloween-themed lyrics with a catchy beat to earn its place on the more modern Halloween songs hall of fame. Released in 2013, it looks set to be a popular addition to season celebrations for some time to come.
Being Evil Has a Price
The TV series Lucifer is as much lauded for its musical choices as it is for its cast and plot lines. The series premiered in early 2016 and has run for four seasons to date. The theme tune, Being Evil has a Price, performed by Heavy Young Heathens, is a good choice to play at Halloween, due to its subject matter, heavy bass lines and catchy tune.
Call me Devil
Sticking with the Lucifer theme, another stand-out song from the series based on DC comic characters is Friends in Tokyo’s highly memorable song, Call me Devil – another perfect addition to a Halloween playlist. This song was written in 2015 and is therefore still in its Halloween playlist infancy.
Halloween songs for adults
David Bowie’s Scary Monster
Who could forget David Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), which tapped into the outrageous 1980s rock scene perfectly. Still a popular choice today, it’s the ideal track to sing along to after you have imbibed several spooky cocktails and feel ready for some karaoke fun.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross set the ideal mood for John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween film with their spooky score that set hearts racing and nerves jangling. The music will take you right back to when you watched the ultimate scary ‘slasher’ film from behind a cushion with all the lights on, jumping at every sound outside. Or was that just us?
Love Song for a Vampire – Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox’s Love Song for a Vampire taps into many of our darker fantasies about that mysterious fanged character, the Halloween vampire. Released for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the haunting tune is evocative of the gothic horror genre and a fantastic addition to any party song list.
Halloween songs for kids
Who you gonna call?
The original Ghostbusters film came out back in 1984, but its perennial popularity means that it remains a must-have on the kids’ playlist of Halloween songs 35 years later. The original song was performed by Ray Parker Jr. and it contains one of the music world’s most infamous questions: “Who you gonna call?”
The Addams Family theme song is another tune from a popular kids’ film that has made it as a Halloween dance song tune in its own right. The film follows the lives of the dysfunctional, spooky and yet strangely charming Addams family, whose members include a dismembered hand, a monster and a cousin who’s quite literally covered in hair. Perfect Halloween party guests!
Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter film franchise may not seem the most likely choice at first for a lively Halloween bash, but its eerie tune and faintly disturbing bells that slowly grow in volume and intensity throughout the piece will add a spooky effect to any kids’ party. A good choice for Pass the Parcel and other games that require the guests to ease up on the frenzied dancing.
Halloween rock songs
The best Halloween rock songs
Highway to Hell
Highway to Hell is a rock song from the 1980s that needs to be on the playlist for every Halloween party there ever is or will be. The AC/DC classic was released in 1979 and covered by Bruce Springsteen in 2014. It’s the perfect song to do some serious headbanging to as the party gets well and truly underway.
Running with the devil
Van Halen’s 1978 rock hit, Runnin’ with the Devil, offers a suitably frenzied guitar line, strong beat and a spirited, spooky bass line. Perfect for that point in the party when it’s time to crank up the dancing and let go of some of those everyday inhibitions.
Time Warp not only contains the most deliciously wicked lyrics, but it comes with its very own dance moves. Taken from The Rocky Horror Picture Show released in 1975, the bouncy beat and quirky tune arguably make it the king of the Halloween dance songs. “Let’s do the time warp again’ …and again and again and again!