Halloween is all about the atmosphere. Chilly breeze at dusk? Check. Meticulously-planned, pop culture-savvy costumes? Check. Finger sandwiches that, well, look like fingers? Yup. The finishing touch on your spooky celebration should be a playlist full of creepy tunes.
Here are the 60 best songs to listen to on the scariest night of the year.
"Freaks Come Out at Night" by Whodini
My childhood was ruined when I realized the “freaks” Whodini sang about weren’t ghouls and zombies but those who like to really get down after dark.
"Wolves" by Kanye West ft. Sia and Vic Mensa
Whatever version you like—Kanye kept “fixing” the song for his The Life of Pablo album—there’s no denying the spine-chilling sensation that ripples down your body when the song opens with wolf-like “oohs” and deep thumps.
"All the Good Girls Go to Hell" by Billie Eilish
Billie tackles climate change in this hellish video, and honestly, what’s more frightening than that?
"Youngblood" by 5 Seconds of Summer
Nothing's more frightening than being stuck in relationship limbo and begging your SO to “say you want me, say you want me back in your life/so I’m just a dead man crawling tonight.”
"Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
A bop that truly deserved better.
"Call Out My Name" by The Weeknd
King of the Sad Boys Club opens the video walking on an abandoned street. As soon as he sings “Call out my name,” a slew of bats fly out of his mouth. Nightmares.
"Witchcraft" by Frank Sinatra
It's witchcraft, pure and simple.
"How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths
This might not be an inherently creepy tune, but since it became the Charmed theme song, it definitely qualifies.
"Happy Phantom" by Tori Amos
For those who would rather meet a happy ghost.
"Season of the Witch" by Donovan
You can play this one all the way until the end of October, honestly.
"Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Well, it's Halloween, isn't it?
"Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett
"Black Magic Woman" by Fleetwood Mac
Why is it always women who have black magic? Oh, wait—I know why.
"Devil Woman" by Cliff Richard
Those bad, bad women!
"Evil Woman" by Electric Light Orchestra
"Magic Dance" by David Bowie
Look, if the Goblin King really were David Bowie, there's no way I would've come back from that Labyrinth.
"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence seem awfully jolly about the bad stuff that's about to go down.
"Transylvanian Concubine" by Rasputina
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be Dracula's bae, this quirky cello ditty will give you a pretty good idea.
"I Put a Spell on You" by Nina Simone
And you, and you, and you, and you.
"Yes, I'm a Witch" by Yoko Ono
For the unbelievers.
"Haunted" by Beyoncé
If Beyoncé's the one haunting me, I'm fine with it.
"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads
Fa fa fa fa fa, fa-fa fa fa fa fa fa.
"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
Feeling a prickle on the back of your neck?
"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr.
Hopefully Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones will drop by your Halloween party.
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
Do you believe in things you don't understand? Here's your Halloween anthem.
"Spooky" by Dusty Springfield
This song may be about love, but there's something spooky about that boy, all right.
"Monster" by Kanye West feat. JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross
Get ready to scream that Nicki verse!
"The X-Files Theme"
This #tbt will probably make people laugh instead of frightening them to pieces, but still.
"Disturbia" by Rihanna
Get your costume inspo from the video, too.
"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon
Even werewolves like Chinese food.
"Phantom of the Opera" by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum
What's creepier than a live-in ghost(?) boyfriend who is also a stage dad?
"Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence
Works if you think about it as a plea from the undead!
"Runnin' With the Devil" by Van Halen
Wouldn't necessarily encourage doing this IRL.
"Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA
Listen, the lyrics say, "It's magic" at one point, and you want to have ABBA at your party, don't you?
"Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" by David Bowie
In this Bowie song, the narrator talks about a relationship that gets extremely toxic—a very relatable fear.
"Candy" by Mandy Moore
Put that in your pumpkin-shaped bucket and suck it!
"I Am a Witch" by Helium
"Did I tell you I’m not your bitch on loan?"
"Brujas" by Princess Nokia
Princess Nokia is the head of this and pretty much any coven.
"Born to Die" by Lana Del Rey
For those who prefer their Halloween to be a little more existential.
"Your Ghost" by Kristin Hersh
Heartbreak is scary too.
"Mad World" by Gary Jules
This stripped-back cover of the Tears for Fears classic got bumped to the top of the freaky list when it soundtracked the mournful, bizarre film Donnie Darko.
"Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri
Okay, so Christina Perri didn't mean an actual jar of physical hearts when she wrote this song, but you have to admit it's a startling image.
"Scary" by Stormzy
English rapper Stormzy's song takes aim at any pretenders who try to come for his throne, but the eerie synths in the background would have anyone watching their backs.
"Creep" by Radiohead
"Bury a Friend" by Billie Eilish
Written from the point of view of the monster under someone's bed, this low-key thrummer is the perfect addition to any fearsome playlist.
"Let Me Hear You Scream" by Ozzy Osbourne
Gotta include something loud and terrifying by the man who once bit a bat's head off on stage. (In his defense, he thought it was fake.)
"She Wolf" by Shakira
Featuring the iconic line, "Darling, it is no joke, this is lycanthropy."
"Highway to Hell" by AC/DC
Still iconic after 40 years.
"Monster" by Lady Gaga
A boy ate Gaga's heart. Honestly, that sounds like a cannibal, but I won't argue with the Mother Monster.
"Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak
Listen, there's definitely some witchcraft going on with this hot-as-hell song.
“Graveyard” by Halsey
Enter Halsey’s “Graveyard,” a dark pop ballad that’s practically made for your costume party playlist.
“I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow
This New Wave classic puts the “treat” in “trick or treat.”
“Take My Breath” by The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s electronic R&B tune has been compared to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” making it the ideal modern anthem for your next Halloween shindig.
“Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran
The lyrics of this ‘80s hit are partially based on the spooky fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood,” so it’s no wonder why they conjure up a popular breed of monster: werewolves.
“Levitating” by Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa’s nu-disco number channels outer space, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fit for October 31st. After all, classic horror films like Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey are proof that Halloween frights and the cosmos make a great pair.
“Nightcall” by Kavinsky (feat. Lovefoxxx)
Produced by one half of Daft Punk, “Nightcall” is a synthwave track featuring ghostly, robotic vocals. If it sounds eerily familiar, you might remember it from the 2011 drama, Drive.
“Boogieman” by Childish Gambino
Every Halloween party can benefit from some funk. Childish Gambino’s groovy refrain obviously references the mythical creature, the bogeyman, but it’s also reminiscent of soul sensations like “I’m Your Boogie Man” and “Jungle Boogie.”
“Halloween” by Phoebe Bridgers
Indie darling Phoebe Bridgers created the perfect low-key tune for Hallow’s Eve. Celebrate a cozy night in with a song that’s ~scarily~ on theme.
“Night Crawling” by Miley Cyrus (feat. Billy Idol)
Miley Cyrus’ collaboration with punk rocker Billy Idol has all the makings of a new Halloween classic: edgy guitar riffs, dark lyrics, and hair-raising synth.
“There Will Be Blood” by Kim Petras
Step aside, Elvira — Kim Petras is officially the new Queen of Halloween. Inspired by ‘80s horror flicks, “There Will Be Blood” is the electronic pop track of your nightmares. For more spookily satisfying tunes, check out the entirety of Petras’ album, Turn Off The Light.
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