Halloween is all about the atmosphere. Chilly dusk breeze? Check. Meticulously planned, pop-culture savvy costumes? Check. Enough pumpkins for a patch or two? Check. Finger sandwiches that, well, look like fingers? Yup. The finishing touch on your spooky celebration should be a playlist full of devastatingly creepy tunes.
Here are the 44 best songs to listen to on the scariest night of the year.
“Witchcraft” by Frank Sinatra
It’s witchcraft, pure and simple.
“How Soon Is Now” by The Smiths
This might not be an inherently creepy tune, but since it became the Charmed theme song? It definitely qualifies.
“Happy Phantom” by Tori Amos
For those who would rather meet a happy ghost.
“Season of the Witch” by Donovan
You can play this one all the way until the end of October, honestly.
“Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Well, it’s Halloween, isn’t it?
“Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett
“Black Magic Woman” by Fleetwood Mac
Why is it always women who have black magic? Oh, wait—I know why.
“Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard
Those bad, bad women!
“Evil Woman” by Electric Light Orchestra
“Magic Dance” by David Bowie
Look, if the Goblin King really were David Bowie, there’s no way I would have come back from that Labyrinth.
“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence seem awfully jolly about the bad stuff that’s about to go down.
“Transylvanian Concubine” by Rasputina
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Dracula’s bae, this quirky cello ditty will give you a pretty good idea.
“I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone
And you, and you, and you, and you.
“Yes, I’m a Witch” by Yoko Ono
For the unbelievers.
“Haunted” by Beyoncé
If Beyoncé’s the one haunting me, I’m fine with it.
“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads
Fa fa fa fa, fa-fa fa fa fa fa.
“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
Feeling a prickle on the back of your neck?
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr.
Hopefully Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones will drop by your Halloween party.
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
Do you believe in things you don’t understand? Here’s your Halloween anthem.
“Spooky” by Dusty Springfield
This song may be about love, but there’s something spooky about that boy, alright.
“Monster” by Kanye West feat. JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross
Get ready to scream that Nicki verse!
“The X-Files Theme”
This #tbt will probably make people laugh instead of frightening them to pieces, but still.
“Disturbia” by Rihanna
Get your costume inspo from the video, too.
“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon
Even werewolves like Chinese food.
“Phantom of the Opera” by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum
What’s creepier than a live-in ghost(?) boyfriend who is also a stage dad?
“Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
Works if you think about it as a plea from the undead!
“Runnin’ With the Devil” by Van Halen
Wouldn’t necessarily encourage doing this IRL.
“Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA
Listen, the lyrics say “It’s magic” at one point, and you want to have ABBA at your party, don’t you?
“Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” by David Bowie
In this Bowie song, the narrator talks about a relationship that gets extremely toxic—a very relatable fear.
“Candy” by Mandy Moore
Put that in your pumpkin-shaped bucket and suck it!
“I Am a Witch” by Helium
“Did I tell you I’m not your bitch on loan?”
“Brujas” by Princess Nokia
Princess Nokia is the head of this and pretty much any coven.
“Born to Die” by Lana Del Rey
For those who prefer their Halloweens to be a little more existential.
“Your Ghost” by Kristin Hersh
Heartbreak is scary too.
“Mad World” by Gary Jules
This stripped-back cover of the Tears for Fears classic got bumped to the top of the freaky list when it soundtracked the mournful, bizarre film Donnie Darko.
“Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri
Okay, so Christina Perri didn’t mean an actual jar of physical hearts when she wrote this song, but you have to admit it’s a startling image.
“Scary” by Stormzy
English rapper Stormzy’s song takes aim at any pretenders who try to come for his throne, but the eerie synths in the background would have anyone watching their backs.
“Creep” by Radiohead
“Bury a Friend” by Billie Eilish
Written from the point of view of the monster under someone’s bed, this low-key thrummer is a perfect addition to any fearsome playlist.
“Let Me Hear You Scream” by Ozzy Osbourne
Gotta include something loud and terrifying by the man who once bit a bat’s head off on stage. (In his defense, he thought it was fake.)
“She Wolf” by Shakira
Features the iconic line “Darling, it is no joke, this is lycanthropy.”
“Highway to Hell” by AC/DC
Rock band AC/DC just celebrated the 40th anniversary of this bad-boy strutter.
“Monster” by Lady Gaga
A boy ate Gaga’s heart—honestly, that sounds like a cannibal, not a monster, but I won’t argue with the Mother Monster.
“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
Listen, there’s definitely some witchcraft going on with this hot-as-hell song.
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