When looking at compiling a list of Halloween music to add to a playlist, there are many songs to choose from but few that remain truly iconic, beloved and resonate with the dark holiday season. The songs do not necessarily have to be about Halloween as long as they fit the spirit of the Halloween season. These songs can be about monsters, horrors or just have something in them that immediately makes the listener think about the holiday.
- “Thriller” One of the best songs to listen to when compiling a list of Halloween music is Michael Jackson’s classic hit, “Thriller.” Using a Vincent Price voice to help tell the story, Jackson created one of the most iconic pop songs of all time. Add to the fact that the video, directed by legendary director John Landis, remains one of the most videos of all time, and you have a guaranteed classic. The song, and video, are a love letter to classic horror movies and includes the classic zombie dance scenes during the song’s interlude.
- “Monster Mash” While more of the kid friendly variety of Halloween music, “Monster Mash” hit the airwaves in 1962 and reached No. 1 on the charts. Almost 50 years later, it still is in heavy rotation when Halloween season rolls around. The song, by musician Bobby Pickett, mimics the voice of horror icons, including at one point Dracula, and remains one of the most fun Halloween songs of all time. The song features the story of a party that all the monsters were invited to, from the Wolfman to Mummy.
- “This is Halloween” One of the best Halloween movies of all time is “The Nightmare before Christmas” and the intro song features some of the best Halloween music of all time. The song is so great that even Marilyn Manson remade it and, while that version is interesting, the original Danny Elfman version is a masterpiece. Part of the charm of the original is the various voices used throughout the song.
- “Halloween Theme Song” John Carpenter helped invent the slasher movie with his 1976 film, “Halloween.” The opening score for the movie remains classic Halloween music and one of the best signature tracks in the holiday’s history. Used to various effects throughout the movie’s franchise, it is a tune that, as soon as it starts to play, sends shivers up your spines and stands the test of time as a signature of the holiday.
- “The Time Warp” There might not be better Halloween music to get your party up and dancing than “The Time Warp.” Every year, The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets numerous midnight screenings and those pick up tremendously at Halloween time. This horror movie presents a Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania and his misfit clan as they conduct strange experiments and terrify passersby. Then, in the middle of the movie, everyone breaks out in this song and dance number that plays like a demented Hokey Pokey.