Whether you’re a horror movie fan, having a pumpkin carving party, bored at work or simply want to get into the fall spirit, this eerie—and occasionally upbeat—Halloween playlist is for you.
Even though we’re only featuring our top 13 Halloween songs here, our actual extended Halloween Spotify playlist is over 3 hours long, so be sure to check out the whole thing. (Note—they’re not all the most kid friendly, so listen accordingly.)
Having a socially distant Halloween party again this year? No problem, just send the playlist to your fellow attendees in advance.
Part ominous, part mysterious, part beautiful, the Twin Peaks theme is a nice way to ease into a frightful playlist. Born here in Brooklyn, Angelo Badalamenti is a composer who scored multiple David Lynch films including Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive.
Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
Released in August 1962, this was a chart topper just months later—days before Halloween of course. This song is great because it makes us feel like a kid again. A true must-have for any Halloween or pumpkin carving party for guests of all ages.
Originally an instrumental piece performed on saxophone, lyrics were added to create a spooktacular little love song that we can’t help but pass up for our Halloween playlist.
You can’t have a Halloween playlist without at least one Danny Elfman song. For those who don’t know, he rose to fame as the singer-songwriter for Oingo Boingo and has scored 16 eerie Tim Burton films including The Nightmare Before Christmas (where this song comes from) as well as Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Batman.
This is perhaps the most famous Halloween song ever. No real caption needed. We were sure to include the full video for your viewing pleasure—and we encourage you to dance along.
Another one from Danny Elfman — “Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!”
Any Disney fans out there? If you’ve been to their theme parks and visited The Haunted Mansion attraction, this song will sound familiar to you and probably make you think of hitchhiking ghosts saying hello.
Written by the fabulous Stevie Nicks, this song might not be top of mind when it comes to Halloween but between her witchy aesthetic and poetic, sometimes haunting, lyrics, we think it works. You may have noticed it appearing in the “Coven” season of American Horror Story, so apparently we’re not the only ones who think so.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
With mentions of Freddy and Elm Street in its lyrics, this song resulted in a lawsuit from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film franchise. Though a lighthearted, comedic song and accompanying video, the subject matter screams Halloween.
Even if the lyrics aren’t technically about Halloween candy, the repeated, “I want candy!” chant makes us want to go trick-or-treating.
Okay, this song doesn’t exactly sound like Halloween and that’s why we also included it on our spring upbeat playlist, but if you know the video, you know that the band members fade in and out of skeleton form—and that’s Halloween enough for us. We included the pop-up video version here because we miss that show.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast
Did you know that NYC (and pretty much every major city) has live Rocky Horror Picture Show experiences where cast members dress up and sing and dance along with the film? It’s a fun way to get in the Halloween spirit.
Al Bowlly (vocals), Ray Noble & His Orchestra
Featured in the ending of The Shining as the camera zooms in on Jack’s sadistic, yet endearing smile, for us this song immediately conjures images of the eerie, enormous, vacant Overlook Hotel. Perhaps if we’d first heard the song at the end of The Notebook, we would have omitted it from our Halloween playlist, but just as it makes a fine film ending we thought it was a pleasant way of rounding out our list.
Catch the rest of our Spooky Halloween Playlist here:
Rather hear something more upbeat? Try our spring uplifting playlist instead.