The witching season is upon us, and it’s time to truly let your inner demon loose. The only problem is deciding how you’ll set it free. Will it be with old sing-along songs, goth industrial ballads or poppy ’80s tunes? What does your evil side like to boogie down with? To make life (or the afterlife) easier, here’s a list of a few songs that you should be blasting from now ’til All Hallows Eve.
“This is Halloween” (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) by Panic! at the Disco – The original is excellent and has the signature Danny Elfman sound, but if you want to go a bit more modern, check out this version. Panic! pulls it off quite well, and it fits nicely into most playlists.
“Thriller” by Michael Jackson – I’m only including this one because I have to. It should be on everyone’s list, no matter your music taste. It has all the basics, plus an epic video and dance that has been used by every country on the planet in some capacity when Halloween comes into view on the calendar.
“Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo – It has “dead” and “party” in the title. If it’s not playing on Halloween, you’re at the wrong spot. Also, this is yet another creation of Danny Elfman’s. He was in Oingo Boingo before heading out to do his amazing solo work composing music for Tim Burton films. This song is fun, easy to dance to and has a sinister, fun tone. It’s completely OK to play this song more than once at your event.
“I Put a Spell on You” by Marilyn Manson – Yes, this was originally done by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Yes, the original is excellent. However, I’m adding this one because the Manson one is sexier and more evil sounding – and that’s my kind of Halloween song. You should have both, but when going for a wild night, I think the latter is a better choice. Also, you can pretty much add any Manson song to your playlist, and it will fit nicely.
“Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” by Type O Negative – This is the ultimate Halloween band, and this song is ideal for everyone. It’s from the ’90s and only got a bit of airplay. Hunt it down or pull it up on Spotify, and be blown away. It’s sexy, it’s fun and the late Peter Steele sounds like Dracula so that’s a bonus. The song also samples a riff from “The Munsters.” How can you go wrong with that?! Check out some of their other stuff, and throw on “Christian Woman” or their cover of “Summer Breeze” if you have space.
“The Boogie Monster” by Gnarls Barkley – If you wanna get a bit funky, add this track. It’s sinister and has a nice groove. A good choice to play after “I Put a Spell on You” (the original version). The soul feel is perfect, and it’s not too abrasive with good undertones of minor chords and a flow that gets you singing along to the chorus.
“The Ghost Inside” by Broken Bells – If you’re a hipster, this is already on your list. If you’re not, you should check it out. It’s got a nice beat and fits good with a few of the other songs on this list. It also has “ghost” in the title and the chorus. Not my favorite by any means, but figured some of you might dig it.
“Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett – This is just a song you have to play. I know I’ve kind of said that about a few others, but that’s just the way it is. It’s like Christmas: There is a group of songs that need to be heard over and over again. It’s fun, goofy, great to sing along to and it will put a smile on everyone’s face no matter how cool they think they are.
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr. – If “Thriller” is the most important Halloween song of the ’80s, this is the second or at least a close second. It reminds us of one of the best movies to mix humor and the afterlife, it goes well with most tracks on here and, well, if you don’t know it, we can’t be friends.
There is a ton of awesome tracks out there, but this should get you started. Here are a few more to keep you busy: “Time Warp” (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show); “Hell” by Squirrel Nut Zippers; “A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince; “Dragula” by Rob Zombie; “Spiderbaby” by White Zombie; “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell; “Monster Mash” by Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians; “Ghost Town” by the Specials; “The Horror” by RJD2; “Spooky” by Dusty Springfield; “Hole in the Sky” by Black Sabbath; “Witches’ Rave” by Jeff Buckley; “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” by the Cramps; “Welcome to My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper; “I’m Your Witchdoctor” by Them; “Her Black Wings” by Danzig; “Season of the Witch” by Lou Rawls; “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult; “Dead Souls” by Nine Inch Nails.
Feel free to share your favorites that aren’t on this list in the comments section!