"Do the Monster Mash" with the Essential Halloween Playlist

While walking around campus during the weeks leading up to October 31st, I often mull over what could make it feel more like Halloween. I'd long since learned, when my AP US History teacher scheduling a test for the day after Halloween my junior year of high school, that the only thing scary about teachers is the degree to which they disregard our black-and-orange-filled celebrations. So what can we do to darken the mood?

I thought it would make sense to compile a list of songs for the Halloween season. This, however, turned out to be no simple task.  Although I kept some of the classic pumpkin tunes, I wanted to bring together a list of songs that feel like, but do not strictly adhere to, Halloween – whether it comes in the form of lyrical content, atmosphere, or even background beat.

The playlist was created with the upcoming holiday in mind, yet could easily be edited into a playlist for any other time of year as well. With a broad selection of music, there is a little something for everyone, and hopefully listeners can even venture into new genres and try artists they may not have heard of before, all while getting into the Halloween spirit. Furthermore, the playlist is diverse and created in a way that flows nicely from track to track; no shuffling needed.

Whether it is for personal listening pleasure, or to be used at your Halloween-themed parties in the upcoming weekends, here is a playlist of songs that will help bring those zombies to life:

"Alive (Nightmare)" – Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi not only writes lyrics that make listeners feel like they’re walking with him under the moonlight, but MGMT’s production and beat create an overarching atmosphere that is surprisingly in line with our spooky holiday.

"The Fall" – The Weeknd

With an extremely eerie background beat and haunting vocals, he might be singing about a girl, but it definitely doesn’t sound that way.

"Howl" – Florence + The Machine

The content sounds very much like a Halloween song, and also brings very unique vocals and an appealing overall tune.

"Madness" – Muse

Halloween is madness, and although he has gone mad because of a relationship, that doesn’t mean the song doesn’t contribute effectively to this supernatural playlist.

"Moar Ghosts n Stuff" – deadmau5

In an alternate version of Ghosts n Stuff, deadmau5 creates an electronic song that is great for parties, yet still retains the dark qualities that make it perfect for Halloween.

"Black Skinhead" – Kanye West

The first of 3 Kanye songs on the list, this song has very crude yet dark lyrics that often reference scary topics. Also, this song is a really interesting and cool sort of mix between rap and rock.

"Monster" – Paramore

Although there are a few Paramore songs that could work on this list, this stands out as the most appropriate.

"Pain" – Pusha T

Besides having a dark subject matter, the beat gives a dark mood that fits well in this playlist.

"Disturbia" – Rihanna

This is still an extremely catchy song to this day, and it has lyrics referencing some sort of spooky transformation. It also shares a name with a scary movie starring Shia Labeouf.

"Thriller" – Michael Jackson

No explanation needed.

"Scare Me" – Major Lazer

Off of their most recent album, the Major Lazer crew has created a song that actually states, “You can’t scare me.” Guess they haven’t heard some of the other songs on this list. 

"Wall To Wall" – Chris Brown

A classic Chris Brown song from back in the day. The reason it was chosen for this playlist can be seen in the music video for the song. Turns out the ladies coming from wall to wall are vampires… I guess…

"Somebody’s Watching Me" – Rockwell

This is a classic Halloween song in which the singer feels like someone is watching him, which scares him into singing a song about the subject.

"Out of Limits" – The Marketts

It doesn’t always take words to make you feel as though you’re walking into the Twilight Zone. The instruments are played in a way that gives an eerie Halloween feel.

"‘Unfinished Symphony’ No. 8 in B Minor" – Franz Schubert

A change of pace comes in a classical song that has a certain weirdness to it, in its sound and the fact that it is unfinished.

"Solo Dolo" – Kid Cudi

Another song from Cudi that, while calmer than the last, still embodies his signature chillingly deep vocals.

"Gods and Monsters" – Lana Del Rey

Lana is able to draw you into her darkness in a way many artists are unable to do. This song made the cut largely due to the atmosphere it sets.

"Monster Mash" – Bobby “Boris” Pickett

A classic Halloween tune that brings back the memories.

"I Want Candy" – Bow Wow Wow

Really, who doesn’t want candy?

"The Creep" – The Lonely Island

Another hilarious tune from the guys who brought us “I’m On A Boat.” Check out the video to learn the dance for this one.

"This Is Halloween" – Marilyn Manson

Plain and simple, this is Halloween.

"Numb" – Oh Land

Strange humming and subtle noises pull you into a haunted forest with Oh Land as she sings of darkness and her numb heart. This one could scare the ghosts away.

"Supremacy" – Muse

A more rock-oriented piece in which Muse plays a tune that reminds the listener of Halloween, albeit inderectly.

"Bring Me To Life" – Evanescence

It’s still very much an amazing song, and it’s still very much frightening.

"Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" – Skrillex

It might be mostly due to the title, but the very alien-like noises and beat fit into Halloween in a different way.

"Monster" – Kanye West

As possibly one of the biggest Halloween-type raps to date, Mr. West enlists artists Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj to join him in a ghastly song that takes no prisoners.

"Nightcall" – Kavinsky

One of the more Halloween-oriented electronic songs, the creepy interaction between the male and female singers fits nicely with the rest of this playlist. 

"Glory And Gore" – Lorde

Off of her debut album, this is one of Lorde’s darker songs.

"My Blood" – Ellie Goulding

The subject matter might not be about Halloween, but  Ellie’s song conveys a dark atmosphere, in stark contrast to her angelic, high-pitched voice. 

"Hudson" – Vampire Weekend

Unlike most of the songs Vampire Weekend has created, Hudson is extremely creepy and reminds the listener of being alone by a foggy lake. 

"See You In My Nightmares" – Kanye West

The third song in the playlist by Kanye features rapper Lil Wayne as they tackle the issue of being in a bad relationship. Still, it has to do with nightmares, and creates a Halloween type of mood.

Featured image courtesy of Tumblr/yescat


Jonathan Reed