McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

Countdown to Halloween | Top 10 Halloween songs

As Halloween approaches, there is no better way to get in the spirit of fall than these haunting hits
Gabe Santos
There’s a reason why Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “The Monster Mash” are staples at Halloween parties — they are spooky, catchy, and fun. But there are plenty of other songs that fall into these categories that should become household Halloween hits as well (album artwork courtesy of Arista Records, Epic Records, Motown Records, Walt Disney Records, Decca Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Darkroom/Interscope Records, and Caroline Records)

Halloween music often gets overshadowed by the more saturated market of Christmas music, but whether you are looking for something to listen to at your costume party or simply embracing the atmosphere of autumn, this list compiles some of the best songs to add to your Halloween playlist.

10: “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.

This tune is the theme song for the famous 1984 film “Ghostbusters” and serves as a mock advertisement jingle for the ghost extermination service featured in the movie. For many, the song is nostalgic and catchy, and very fitting to play this month while ghosts and ghouls are most likely to be looming.

9: “This is Halloween” – Danny Elfman

Musician Danny Elfman composed the entirety of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack, arguably the most popular movie around Halloween time. This track deserves a spot on the list for being so well-known and spooky. The song details the creepy-crawly horrors that lie within the fictional Halloweentown and their adored pumpkin king. Any pumpkin carving session can be made better with this playing in the background.

8: “Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett & The Crypt Kickers

This Halloween jam is an oldie but a goodie, first released in 1962 but still making it onto people’s track lists every year. In this timeless hit, a mad scientist’s monster breaks into dance, and soon a graveyard of various clichéd monsters are all doing the Monster Mash.

7: “Thriller” – Michael Jackson

Because of its chilling spoken-word verses and sound effects adjacent to those in horror movies, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is a classic that is played a lot during the spooky season. The iconic music video of a dancing zombie horde is still praised for being innovative and striking for its time and a significant moment in pop culture. This song is the perfect anthem for this frightful time of year.

6: “I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

While this song was not exactly intended for the Halloween season when it was first sung in 1956, being featured in the beloved kids movie “Hocus Pocus years later gives it a bewitching touch. It is originally a love song, but the mention of spells and its history in a household Halloween movie makes the song have a magical spin.

5: “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell

This funky synth-pop song is a fun addition to any Halloween playlist. The lyrics are very paranoid and suspect of being watched. The music video is shot like an intruder is in the home. This 80s song will liven up any Halloween party.

4: “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

Halloween can be one of the unluckiest nights of the year, with superstitions surrounding black cats and sharing scary stories. This song’s lyrics describe many classic examples of bad luck and bad omens alongside the trumpet, keyboard, and drums. This year, superstitions are high with Friday the 13th falling in the spookiest months of them all. 

3: “Halloween” – The Misfit

This punk song is an absolute must-play on Halloween night, detailing imagery of disturbing and spooky Halloween tropes and symbols. For those who are more into punk rock, The Misfits are trailblazers in the genre of punk and this song perfectly represents the ghostly season.

2: “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise” – Elvis Presley

Though this is another love song, as people dress in costume for Halloween, this Elvis song can be seen as a fun reference to the many masks and disguises that trick-or-treaters may be wandering the streets in. This is a classic song that almost everyone knows, but not everyone has thought of in a Halloween context.

1: “bury a friend” – Billie Eilish

While this is a modern pop song, from Billie Eilish’s 2019 album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”, it is included in this list for the music video’s unsettling visuals and the ominous lyrics. The cinematography alludes to monsters under the bed and a multitude of sinister things that go bump in the night, and paired with the distorted vocals, it makes for a truly bone-chilling listen. 

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