Two years ago, I began planning a Halloween wedding. I scoured the Internet for Halloween songs and found so many lists citing the same music over and over. Sure, “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” remain well loved Halloween classics, but how about adding some variety to your playlist?
“House of 1000 Corpses”-Rob Zombie-Whether you love or hate the movie, the song will undeniably keep your guests glancing over their shoulders.
“I Put a Spell on You”-Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- Though it’s been covered by many artists since Hawkins’ recording in 1956, the original version trumps the others. The forerunner of “shock rock,” Hawkins used fog, coffins, and skulls in his stage show. If you must forsake the original, Marilyn Manson’s version oozes creepiness.
“Graveyard Queen”– Zombie Ghost Train-The Australian psychobilly band broke up earlier this year, but their music lives on…in an undead kind of way. “Graveyard Queen” tells the romantic story of decapitation and necrophilia. If that is a little too crude, and you prefer something a tad milder, try “Devil Child.”
Go classically creepy. For a bit more sophistication, play spooky classical music. Compositions like Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” or Kilar’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Brides” set the stage for an elegant zombie cocktail party. You can find these songs and more on the compilation “Music to Die For.”
“Corpse Grinder”– The Meteors- Nothing like a little dismemberment and cannibalism to get the party started. Another great song from The Meteors is “Psycho for Your Love,” with lyrics about werewolves, zombies, and love set to a bouncy rockabilly beat.
“TV Set”-The Cramps-The precursors to the psychobilly movement, The Cramps’ music finds inspiration in B-movie horror flicks. This song also contains cannibalistic intentions; this time combined with more functional uses for the human body, like using eyeballs for dials on a TV set.
“Teenage Zombie Sluts”-The Matadors-A horrorbilly band from Canada, The Matadors embody the Halloween spirit. Lighten up the party with this song, especially good if you take inspiration from the song for your costume. Walking dead pimp and ho party anyone?
“Shoot the Zombies”-Songs to Wear Pants To- These guys write funny songs based on suggestions received over the Internet, and some genius suggested a song about zombies and how to kill them.
“Skulls”-The Misfits-So many songs from this horror punk band would set the scene for a rockin’ Halloween party, but this is my favorite. If you prefer the Graves era, try “Die, Monster, Die.”
Anything composed by Danny Elfman-Even before I knew who Danny Elfman was, I loved his music. From Beetlejuice to the Pee Wee movies, anything he scored I loved, and it continues to this day. The songs I suggest are the Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, and Tales from the Crypt themes or “Remains of the Day” from The Corpse Bride.
Listen to a playlist of these tracks below or here.