The spookiest time of year is almost upon us, and you’ve already got your kids' costumes ready, a selection of family-friendly Halloween movies queued up and all the candy hidden in the back of the pantry. The only thing that’s missing? A soundtrack to get you and your brood into the mood. Good news: Our roundup of Halloween music for kids—complete with classic rock hits, nostalgic 80s jams and kid-driven tunes that will get toddlers to boogie down—is sure to have everyone feeling the holiday spirit. Enjoy.
1. “Monster Mash” by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers
The opening of this Frankenstein-inspired track features some appropriately spooky sound effects—and the rest will just make you want to do the mashed potato. Add this 60s era graveyard smash to your Halloween playlist for doo-wop dance party vibes that both parents and kids can get down with.
2. “Halloween Sharks” by Pinkfong
If ‘Baby Shark’ is already haunting you year-round, you might want to take a hard pass on this one. Still, there’s no denying that this Halloween twist on the original Pinkfong earworm will be a big hit with the wee ones. Ghastly, isn’t it?
3. “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.
A sassy rocker of a theme song that’s sure to get kids of all ages bopping along—and sing-shouting, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”—whilst the grown-ups in the room enjoy a refreshing dose of 80s nostalgia. Win win.
4. “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon
Werewolves are mutilating people in London, but we promise your kid won’t care. Yep, it’s hard to find a song that does macabre-but-joyful better than this late 70s classic. All we can say is...Ah-oooo.
5. “Theme from ‘The Munsters’” by Jack Marshall
Equal parts spooky and jaunty, the theme song from the beloved 60s TV series The Munsters is a must-have on any kid-friendly Halloween mix. PSA for parents of tweens and teens: Both the music and the show have stood the test of time.
6. “Season of the Witch” by Donovan
It’s hard not to groove along to Donovan’s psychedelic pop hit—and it might as well have been written about Halloween. (It’s all in the title, kids.)
7. “Shake Them Skeleton Bones” by the Kiboomers
The Kiboomers are 20 year veterans of the educational kids’ music scene, so it should come as no surprise they’ve got Halloween covered. OK, there’s nothing remotely spooky about this ditty, but it’s guaranteed to get toddlers and preschoolers on the dance floor.
8. “The Addams Family Theme” by Andrew Gold
Introduce your kid to the Addams family with a viewing of the recently released animated film, add the enduring theme song to your Halloween soundtrack, and get ready to hear a whole lot of snapping.
9. “Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed” by Super Simple Songs
Your toddler is obsessed with the OG version so, of course, this Halloween spin on the classic is guaranteed to be a hit. It’s silly, catchy and totally on-theme. (The accompanying music video is also quite adorable.)
10. “I Put a Spell on You” by Annie Lennox
This number has obvious Halloween playlist appeal, but some versions are better than others for little ones. Here, Annie Lennox’s vocals are on point (duh) and, most importantly, unlikely to scare your kid silly the way Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s singing will.
11. “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman
Pleasantly spooky and 100 percent celebratory, Danny Elfman’s “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas is the goth-pop holiday anthem that every kid needs to hear.
12. “The Time Warp” from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
The movie is campy, weird, wonderful and best suited for teens and up; the soundtrack, on the other hand, is a whole lot of fun for all ages. Case in point: “The Time Warp,” a wild rocker of a tune with loads of theatrical flair and dance potential to boot.
13. “Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate” by the Kiboomers
A short but sweet nursery rhyme with a festive twist, this sing-songy number is best for the littlest monsters in your life.
14. “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley
This late 50s classic from Sheb Wooley has a tongue-twisting chorus so catchy that every kid in the room will be chanting it by the end of the song (and possibly for days thereafter).
15. “Little Shop of Horrors Intro” from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
Another cult classic musical spoof with a winning soundtrack, the intro song to Little Shop of Horrors is a 60s doo-wop number so good that kids will bop along without even noticing the ominous warning.
16. “Witch Doctor” by David Seville
Fun fact: The sped-up stylings used for the voice of the witch doctor in this upbeat track from the late 50s would later become the signature sound of Seville’s hit show, The Chipmunks. And really, who knew an unintelligible chorus could be so catchy?
17. “Magic Dance” by David Bowie
This rockin’ dance number from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth boasts a call and reply verse that kids can’t get enough of—and it’s every bit as cool as you’d expect from a song written and recorded by David Bowie.
18. “Ghost In My House” by Jumpin’ Jamie
Family-friendly lyrics with a solid dose of irony pair well with the rockin’ electric guitar here. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think Weezer started making kids’ music.
19. “Monster Boogie” by the Laurie Berkner Band
With its acoustic guitar and cheery vocals, this song delivers on its promise—namely, to have every pint-sized party-goer doing “the monster wiggle ‘round the room.” Yep, Laurie Berkner knows her audience.
20. “Down by the Spooky Bay” by Super Simple Songs
For the littles, this Halloween-themed take on the classic “Down by the Bay” will have them giggling with glee. (Bonus: The adorable cartoon video also makes for great toddler time entertainment.)
21. “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow
Presenting, the rallying cry of every single kid on Halloween. (‘Trick-or-treat’ is great and all, but Bow Wow Wow sings it better...no?)
22. “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles
Good news: The kings of soft country rock have a Halloween crowd-pleaser in their repertoire that fits the theme without taking it too far for the young ones in your brood.
23. “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” by Ella Fitzgerald
There’s nothing scary about this swinging tune which features Ella Fitzgerald’s inimitable voice and the jazzy instrumentation that typically accompanies it. Put this one on when the party is warming up (or winding down).
24. “Spooky Scary Skeletons” by Andrew Gold
A mildly spooky sound, kid-friendly lyrics and a fun black-and-white animated video—this 1929 classic from Andrew Gold and Disney is actually just really good.
25. “This is the Night” by The Weird Sisters
British rocker Jarvis Cocker of Pulp lends his vocal talent and dance-y rock stylings to this undeniably eerie number from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Hint: It’s a shoo-in with young witches and wizards.)
26. “Under My Bed” by Recess Monkey
This kid-driven pop song about monsters and boogeymen under the bed has plenty of personality and zero scares—a perfect choice for the toddler and pre-k crowd.
27. “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
This powerful rejection of superstition sort of flies in the face of Halloween festivities. Still, it doesn’t stray from the theme—and, frankly, Stevie Wonder’s classic soul sound is so good no one will say boo about it.
28. “Graveyard Rock” by Tarantula Ghoul and Her Gravediggers
The lively 50s sound here may pair better with blue suede shoes than, say, a black hat—but it has Halloween written all over it, nevertheless.
29. “Costume Party” by the Pop Ups
Highly relatable, this ode to the highs and lows of finding the perfect costume is one that kids of all ages will sing and sway along to.
30. “Pet Sematary” by the Ramones
Originally written for Stephen King’s film of the same name, this too-cool-for-school hit from the Ramones is Halloween gold that’ll give slightly older kids a leg up on good musical taste.
31. “Something’s Brewing” by Purple Fox and the Heebie Jeebies
Mystery, suspense, and dance beats that will get little monsters moving—this kid-driven ditty has all the makings of a Halloween playlist hit for the under-ten set.
32. “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs
Thoroughly creepy and oh-so fun at Halloween, Sam the Sham’s hit from the summer of ‘66 might tell a familiar story, but it sure never gets old.
33. “People are Strange” by The Doors
Attention young ghouls, goblins, witches and zombies: Jim Morrison has got your number this Halloween.
34. “Ain’t No Party Like Halloween” by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
This Halloween-themed hip hop track from Grammy award winning artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has more street cred than you’ll find in any other kid’s song (and yes, we realize the absurdity of that statement).
35. “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
There’s nothing too scary about this classic American rock hit from good ol’ CCR, which boasts all-ages appeal and a foreboding mood that’s entirely on point.