Halloween party is complete without a spooky, fun soundtrack. Of course, there are countless sound effect-style recordings available to add a chill to the atmosphere, but when you want your guests to cut loose on the dance floor, creaks and howls simply won’t do. When compiling your playlist, don’t forget these hair-raising tunes that are guaranteed to get the party rolling. In no particular order, here are the top ten Halloween party songs for your next scary shindig.
Spooky by Classics IV – Classics IV may not be a household name, but even if the band is unfamiliar to most, their hit, “Spooky” is a well-known Halloween staple. The musical stylings of the song echo the title, with swaying instrumentals that entrance you from the very first note. Released in 1968, “Spooky” is just that. Besides, any song that mentions proposing to your lady on Halloween secures its place on the holiday’s playlist.
The Time Warp by Rocky Horror Picture Show – While haunting themes from televsion shows and movies are plentiful (“The Addams Family”, “Twilight Zone”, etc.), “The Time Warp” reigns supreme. From the horror spoof classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show, this song comes complete with its very own, well-known dance routine. the wildly popular Time Warp runs heavy competition with a conga line, and everyone will certainly jump in line to do the pelvic thrust.
Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon – You hear that recognizable howl, “Aaaooooooo”, it’s the “Werewolves of London” again. Warren Zevon’s unrefined vocals are at their peak in this, arguably his most popular single. The fun guitar rhythms combine with campy lyrics to make “Werewolves of London” a Halloween favorite, sure to find your guests howling along.
Love Potion #9 by The Clovers – Over fifty years, “Love Potion #9” has been recorded and performed by a vast array of artists, including The Coasters, Neil Diamond and The White Stripes. Originally recorded by The Clovers in 1959, this catchy tune tells the tale of a desperate bachelor seeking help in finding love from a seedy gypsy. She provides him with a potion that has the effect of Cupid, causing him to become an indiscriminate Romeo. Potions and gypsies… it doesn’t get much creepier than that!
Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne – Talk about the total package! What do you get when you combine the bat-biting antics of Ozzy Osbourne with a full moon? You get a chilling rock classic that lends itself perfectly to a haunting holiday. Ozzy’s wailing vocals were at their youthful best for the original recording of “Bark at the Moon”. If you have the added advantage of visual aids for your party, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek out the music video for this one as well. The video is fitting to the song, complete with a full moon, dark castle and Ozzy in a cape, baring fangs.
Pet Cemetery by The Ramones – Regardless of the words streaming from his mouth, Joey Ramone’s vocals are naturally unearthly. The song “Pet Cemetery” (from the Stephen King film of the same name) only gains in creepy momentum once you’ve seen the movie and associate it to the plot. The punk pioneers offer impressive, chilling lyrics perfectly suited to the horrors of the Halloween holiday, such as: “The smell of death is all around”, “Spirits moaning among the tombstones”, “Flesh rotting away, skeletons dancee, I curse this day”. After all, nothing says scary like a cemetery!
Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper – Frankenstein is a Halloween icon, as is Alice Cooper. Though the actual lyrics to “Feed My Frankenstein” cross over the border into cheesy and simple, the fright factor still applies just enough to make it worthy of inclusion on this list. With a mean guitar riff and repetitive, taunting whispers of “He’s a psycho”, this song finds redemption from its cheddar base.
Hells Bells by AC/DC – You could easily maintain your party’s fear factor by simply putting the opening lines of “Hells Bells” on a repeating loop. The echo of the chapel bells and the droning guitar are taunting and engrossing. Brian Johnson’s screeching vocals take it to another level of spooky. Follow it up with another AC/DC favorite, “Highway to Hell”, and things will really get rockin’!
I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – If honesty is the best policy, I must admit that “I Put A Spell On You” is not a song I am particularly fond of, but personal taste aside, it’s suitability to the Halloween season is undeniable. The lyrics are simple and overly repetitive, but the instrumental backing is smooth and entrancing. Originally recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, my opinion is that the Marilyn Manson cover is much more appealing. Besides, you can’t strive for much scarier in music than Manson!
Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper – The ultimate in musical terror, the king of shock and awe delivers with “Welcome to My Nightmare”. Well thought out lyrics, theatrical performance and a plethora of variable instruments to enhance and Alice Cooper’s eerie growls are the key ingredients that make this tune perhaps the most fitting for the season of the witch. The second Alice appearance on this list, “Welcome to My Nightmare” is another that yields a fantastic music video accompaniment, with spooky monsters and gory ghouls prancing around in elaborate costume. An absolute must for your Halloween extravaganza.
Honorable mention: Though utterly cliche and overplayed during the approach of Halloween, your holiday soundtrack would not be complete without including: “Thriller” – Michael Jackson, “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr., “Monster Mash” – Boris Pickett, “Purple People Eater” – Sheb Wooley and “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell (if Geico hasn’t made you cringe at the very thought of the opening notes yet).