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One of the first heralds of the Christmas season, for better or worse, is the switch over of music from normal, everyday popular songs to reindeers and Santas and snow. It surrounds you in shopping malls and in grocery stores. Why don’t other holidays have their own soundtracks? Why can’t we switch over our radios and listen to those other holidays’ music?
The Halloween season is one of the most atmospheric times of the year! Especially if you live in a region with changing leaves and cooler nights. The smoky air, blood moons, corn mazes, pumpkins, caramel apples, bats and owls flying through the night… What better way is there to dive into the Halloween spirit than by listening to spooky music?
Here are some selections from my own Halloween playlist (currently six hours and 45 minutes in total and growing) that are perfect to get you in that October mood! There are ten songs in five categories: devilish, spooky, fun, witchy, and classic monsters. I have verified that every song that I mention is available on Spotify and for downloads elsewhere.
Each of the songs in this category has to do with the devil, whether it’s a literal devil (watch out, Georgia, and mind your sympathies) or metaphorical (there is a devil in all of us), singular or multiple devils—like a whole town full. So be careful now! The devil might even be in disguise as a lover. You just can’t trust anyone these days.
- "Beat the Devil's Tattoo," by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- "Devil's Daughter," by Vaudeville Etiquette
- "Red Right Hand," by Nick Cave
- "My Angel Put the Devil in Me," by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
- "Devil in Me," by Gin Wigmore
- "Devil Inside," by INXS
- "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," by The Charlie Daniels Band
- "Sympathy for the Devil," by The Rolling Stones
- "Sinnerman," by Nina Simone
- "Devil Town," by Bright Eyes
What’s that? Is somebody watching you? Is your mind feeling disturbed? Perhaps you are only being superstitious. Sit back and relax! Watch a movie. Or perhaps dancing at the club is more your groove? Be sure to keep an eye out for the Boogie Monster, and remember, don’t stay out after midnight. You never know what’s lurking. Unless, of course, you are part of the problem.
- "Somebody's Watching Me," by Rockwell
- "Disturbia," by Rihanna
- "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder
- "Hammer Horror," by Kate Bush
- "Crack My Bones," by The Shoes
- "Bottom of the River," by Delta Rae
- "This Club is a Haunted House," by Sharon Needles
- "The Boogie Monster," by Gnarls Barkley
- "I Want to Be Evil," by Eartha Kitt
- "Midnight," by The Swingrowers
Come on, what is Halloween if not fun, right? Maybe a little bit weird. These songs take us across decades (the 70s, the 80s, the 90s...), through different musical genres (rock, rap, pop...), and around the globe (care for a dip in Lake Pontchartrain, anyone?). You think you know the song? Think again, though the tune might be familiar. Nightmares, zombies, and spiders—oh my! Ten cuidado.
- "Monster Mash," by The Misfits
- "Noche Triler," by La Mecanica Popular
- "Ghostbusters!" by Los Straitjackets
- "A Nightmare On My Street," by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
- "Terrible Things," by April Smith and the Great Picture Show
- "Lake Pontchartrain," by Ludo
- "Weird Science," by Oingo Boingo
- "Boris the Spider," by The Who
- "Re: Your Brains," by Jonathan Coulton
- "Headless Horseman," by Kay Starr
By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked… Well, not necessarily wicked, but the witches in these songs are as varied as the spells that they cast. And this is an equal opportunity musical playlist. We have magical men here as well as witchy women. So drink a love potion, listen to the music of a mystical DJ, and fall under a spell or two. It is the season after all, am I right?
- "Season of the Witch," by Donovan
- "I Put A Spell On You," by Nina Simone
- "Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met)," by Panic! At The Disco
- "Witchy Woman," by The Eagles
- "Black Magic Woman," by Santana
- "Witchcraft," by Frank Sinatra
- "The Wizard," by Bat For Lashes
- "Black Annis/Jardin de Lumiere," by Spiral Dance
- "Vinyl Voodoo," by Angela Predhomme
- "Love Potion No. 9," by The Clovers
Classic Monsters Songs
Even little girls can start to feel a bit wolfish when the night falls, the clouds clear, and the full moon comes out. It can make a body feel a bit… hungry. (Or thirsty.) Nighttime also seems to be a good time to go walking! Maybe with some friends. Some uninvited friends. Just be sure that you look up every now and again. You never know what could be coming at you from above, rolling through the sky. And don’t forget the Man Himself, Dracula!
- "Werewolves of London," by Warren Zevon
- "Zombie Zoo," by Tom Petty
- "Lil Red Riding Hood," by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs
- "Hungry Like The Wolf," by Duran Duran
- "I Walked With A Zombie," by Roky Erickson
- "Walking With A Ghost," by Tegan & Sara
- "I Was A Teenage Werewolf," by the Cramps
- "She Wolf," by Shakira
- "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," by Johnny Cash
- "Dracula," by Sharon Needles
I hope that you enjoyed some of my seasonal suggestions, and that you do not find them too corny. Perhaps you have found some new favorite songs that you hadn't heard before to help get you started on your own musical journey and get you into the Halloween mood. 50 seems like a good place to get started, but I am always on the lookout for more. Keep your ears open, too, for all manner of devils and ghosts hide in the innocence of a catchy tune.