Halloween is finally upon us, and what better way to get in the mood than to listen to our season-ready playlist? We round up ten tunes to help get your scare on, from the grisly to the downright groovy.
1. This Is Halloween (The Citizens of Halloween Town/Marilyn Manson)
This 1993 song, written and composed by Danny Elfman and performed by the residents of the fictional Halloween Town in the film The Nightmare Before Christmas, is the most essential song of the season. Marilyn Manson recorded a rock cover in 2006, but we’re partial to the original.
Favourite lyric: “I am the one hiding under your stairs, fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair.”
2. Emperor’s New Clothes (Panic! at the Disco)
We don’t know what’s more epic — this song or its music video. In a continuation to the band’s This Is Gospel video, Brendon Urie transforms from human to demon as he yowls about taking back his throne.
Favourite lyric: “Heroes always get remembered, but you know legends never die.”
3. Dracula’s Wedding (Outkast ft. Kelis)
Only Andre 3000 and Kelis could create a song about finding your forever vampire love and make it sound as funky as this. Layered on a fang-tastic beat, it illuminates the fear that comes with romantic commitment — no matter the species.
Favourite lyric: “So much at stake... oh, bad choice of words.”
4. Morning After Dark (Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado, SoShy)
Another insanely catchy, danceable beat from Timbaland. There’s plenty of synth and what sounds like a ghostly background choir, both of which give Morning After Dark an extra-terrestrial vibe.
Favourite lyric: “When the cats come out, the bats come out to play.”
5. Closer (Kings of Leon)
On this eerie yet soothing number, Caleb Followill croons about being 2,000 years old and tired of the chase. It’s actually pretty poetic and a far cry from the band’s more straightforward singles.
Favourite lyric: “With the moon I run, far from the carnage of the fiery son.”
6. wHo (Zayn)
Zayn takes us to a more controlled place with his serene R’n’B warble, featured on the soundtrack to last year’s Ghostbusters reboot. Put this one on while calmly extinguishing your resident poltergeist.
Favourite lyric: “If this dies, be my ghost.”
7. Thriller (Michael Jackson)
Thriller is everything you could want out of a Halloween track – spooky fireplace storytelling, creaky sound effects, wolves howling at the moon and a killer music video that was way ahead of its time.
Favourite lyric: “Now is the time for you and I to cuddle close together.”
8. Vampires Will Never Hurt You (My Chemical Romance)
One of My Chemical Romance’s older, less polished tunes, Vampires Will Never Hurt You is all heart and grit. The aggressive guitar- and percussion-driven track tells a fraught tale of death versus survival.
Favourite lyric: “These thoughts of endless night bring us back into the light.”
9. Monster Hospital (Metric)
Metric’s Monster Hospital will make you feel like you’re losing grip on reality, which is the sign of good song writing. Emily Haines is frenzied as she wages a losing battle and tries to claw her way back on top.
Favourite lyric: “I fought the war, but the war won.”
10. Zombie (The Cranberries)
Zombie is a powerful song about war that’s sadly still relevant decades later – but it’s also just unsettling and catchy enough to be a must-add to this list.
Favourite lyric: “Zombie, zombie, zombie, ei, ei, ei.”