Halloween Party Playlist
Creating the ultimate Halloween party song list is harder than convincing Dracula to try a tanning booth. One feels compelled to include the low hanging musical fruit of songs Like “Monster Mash” and “Ghostbusters” because of their wide appeal. Then there’s the more obscure songs that aren’t necessarily crowd pleasing, dance floor stompers but really capture the spooky essence of All Hallows’ Eve. Consider Tom Waits’ chilling “Black Box Theme” or the foreboding “Eyes Of A Stranger” by 80s one hit wonders, The Payolas.
The following two lists feature a wide range of spooky songs spanning many eras. The first list has songs for early part of the party, while your invited ghouls and goblins arrive. Listening to these while they canoodle and enjoy cocktails will get them in the mood for the fun to follow. Below that are the songs that will blast your shindig into another dimension and have spirits haunting your dance floor until the wee hours!
Halloween Background Music (List 1):
Spiderwebs- No Doubt
Happy House- Siouxsie & the Banshees
Super Magic 2000- Chris Isaak
T’ain’t No Sin- Tom Waits
Beware Of Darkness- Concrete Blonde
Dance With Me- Lords Of The New Church
Planet Claire- The B-52’s
So Alive- Love and Rockets
Tear You Apart- She Wants Revenge
Dead Souls- Joy Division
Shadowplay- The Killers
About Her- Kill Bill Soundtrack
Dead Sound- The Raveonettes
The Killing Moon- Echo & the Bunnymen
You’re The Devil In Disguise- Elvis Presley
Black Magic- Magic Wands
Vultures- Nicole Atkins
I Wanna Kill- Crocodiles
Thriller (Luvtek Remix)- Michael Jackson
The Munsters Theme- los straitjackets
Evil Things- The Black Angels
This Is Halloween- The Citizens of Halloween (Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack)
Black Magic Woman- Dave Rolfe
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper- Caesars
Black Flowers- Chris Isaak
Body Snatcher- Billy Idol
Halloween- Siouxsie & the Banshees
Spooky- Classics IV Featuring Dennis Yost
Destroy Everything You Touch- Ladytron
Werewolves Of London- Warren Zevon
Spellbound- Siouxsie & the Banshees
Godzilla- Blue Oyster Cult
They Walk Among Us- Mark Mosher
Running With The Devil- Van Halen
Nightmares- Band Of Skulls
Wicked Game- Chris Isaak
Stranger In The House- Blessure Grave
I Think I’m Paranoid- Garbage
Possession- Sarah McLachlan
I Put A Spell On You- Buddy Guy featuring Carlos Santana
In The Dark- Simalyne
Clap For The Wolfman- The Guess Who
Halloween Dance Party Music (List 2):
I’m Your Boogie Man- KC & The Sunshine Band
This 70s Disco classic can still resurrect the dance floor and have zombies and vampires alike bumping and grinding.
Eaten By the Monster of Love- Sparks
The Mael brothers sing about the perils and pitfalls of romance backed by an irresistible beat. Don’t let it get you!
How Soon Is Now- The Smiths
A foreboding tremolo guitar riff punctuated by a howling lead sets the tone for Morrissey’s ode to nightmarish isolation. Even Edgar Allan Poe thinks this song is a bit dark.
Hungry Like The Wolf- Duran Duran
Step off, Wolfman! These New Wave legends are on the prowl looking for prey and they don’t need a full moon to activate their lust for flesh.
Freaks Come Out At Night- Whodini
80s funkmasters Whodini add an ass shaking beat to inspire freaks of all kinds.
Twilight Zone- Golden Earring
Ever feel out of place? Rod Serling capitalized on feeling weird with his now classic TV show long before it inspired this song.
L’il Devil- The Cult
Ian Astbury and his hard rocking bandmates revel in the joy of loving a she-devil.
Witchcraft- Frank Sinatra
Yes, it’s a Foxtrot, deal with it. Magic broomstick not required.
Everyday Is Halloween- Ministry
Years before Ministry got all Industrial they released this catchy song that eventually went viral and became an anthem for Goths and Darkwavers. The song had such lasting appeal it was even re-released in 2010, 26 years after it’s initial debut. Lyrics:
“Well I live with snakes and lizards
and other things that go bump in the night
‘Cuz to me everyday is Halloween
I have given up hiding and started to fight”
White Wedding- Billy Idol
A driving beat, Stevie Stevens bristling guitar and Billy Idol’s snarling vocals make this Gothpunk anthem the perfect song for otherworldly dancing and unleashing dark desires.
Highway To Hell- AC/DC
“We’re on our way to the promised land…” and it doesn’t include any pearly gates. Brian Johnson and company celebrate their descent into Hades on their way to an inevitable hot tub party with Beezlebub.
E.T. (Futuristic Lover)- Katy Perry
Katy makes getting probed by an alien sound like fun, regardless of what you saw on the SciFi channel.
Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Don’t say you weren’t warned- John Fogerty’s upbeat bayou infused Swamp Rock belies the message here. But hey, if armageddon is coming you might as well live it up!
Superstition- Stevie Wonder
Co-written by guitarist Jeff Beck, the song features an addictive beat, grinding clarinet riff and dual horn section that turned it into a huge hit for Stevie in 1972. Believing in things you don’t understand has never been more funky.
Strangelove- Depeche Mode
Danceable detachment from 80s TechnoGoth gods. On this song they manage to make falling in love sound like as scary as Frankenstein on a bad hair day.
Devil Inside- INXS
Aussie rockers exercise their inner demons on the dance floor with this high energy ode to sin.
Psycho Killer- Talking Heads
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you. This anxiety ridden song is one reason why David Byrne is the Norman Bates of Rock.
The Time Warp- Rocky Horror Picture Show
“It’s astounding!…” It’s just a jump to the left… and a kick to the right. Garter belts are optional while dancing to the theme song of the biggest cult classic movie ever.
Thriller- Michael Jackson
A monster party mainstay… but do you remember how to do the Zombie Dance from the video?
Dead Man’s Party- Oingo Boingo
The grandaddy of Halloween songs. A possessed Danny Elfman sings like the beady eyed, ADHD kid down the block who got too much Ritalin.
Monster Mash- The Misfits
Frenetic Punk cover of the classic hit. Save this one for AFTER midnight to whip your ghoulish dancers into a frenzy.