It’s the most spooky-ful time of the year! As the leaves change, the days grow shorter and the nights colder, it’s time to bust out the ghoulish decorations and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas for the millionth time (if you’re basic like me). Halloween is nigh, and you need the perfect tunes to provide a soundtrack for your creep-tacular adventures. 

Below, I’ve compiled a list of bangin’ tracks that should be on your Halloween playlist this year. Now, if you don’t see your favorites, not to worry. This ain’t my first rodeo — I have two more lists chock full of music for your Spooky Season festivities in the links below. So, without further ado, feast your ear tongues on these eerie gems!

RELATED: Here’s Another Halloween Playlist for Celebrating at Home

“Half God Half Devil” In This Moment 

I’ve written about In This Moment before, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t make them a staple on these lists. This melodic metalcore act fits the Halloween aesthetic perfectly, from frontwoman Maria Brink’s serrated-edge vocals to the thrumming guitars. “Half God Half Devil” will set the mood if something heavier is what you crave. 

“Little Black Goat” The Haxans 

The Haxans is another veteran on my Halloween music rotation. Their debut album, 2017’s Party Monsters, was featured in my first Spooky Season playlist piece in 2020. Their music is curated explicitly for all things macabre and creepy. “Little Black Goat” maintains that haunting aura with a punk rock sound. 

Cover art for the avante garde metal band Diablo Swing Orchestra.

“Justice For Saint Mary” Diablo Swing Orchestra 

I discovered Diablo Swing Orchestra last year. It’s an amalgam of all my favorite things: thrashing guitars, cello-heavy sounds and minor keys, along with lush orchestration that’s evocative of standing in the middle of a windswept cemetery under a full moon on October 31. Give “Justice For Saint Mary” a whirl. 

RELATED: Here’s a Halloween Playlist for Celebrating at Home

“Seven Devils” Florence + The Machine 

I’ve recently hopped aboard the Florence + The Machine train (I know, I know. I’m so late!). “Seven Devils” is an eerie tune set ablaze by Florence Welch’s piercing vocals and piano riffs that transport you to the countryside during peak fall foliage. At the same time, a brilliant sun dips below the horizon. I’m all about music that evokes imagery, folks. 

“Time Warp” Tenacious D

Think “Time Warp,” but with Tenacious D performing it. You can’t go wrong. 

“Vampire” Saint Agnes 

Described as “industrial slaughter-rock” (pretty spot on), Saint Agnes is a band from East London that gives off Goth girl vibes wrapped in a horror aesthetic. “Vampire” is all about feeling like a, well, vampire. Head bang your way through this song for a rockin’ Halloween. 

Promotional shot of Norwegian singer AURORA, including a closeup of her face on a red backdrop.

Photo credit: Morgan Hill-Murphy

“Soulless Creatures” AURORA 

You might have heard AURORA on the Frozen 2 soundtrack, specifically “Into the Unknown,” where she’s singing stratosphere-piercing descants that complement Idina Menzel‘s soaring vocals. “Soulless Creatures” isn’t particularly dark or creepy. It’s not a Halloween song, but something about it is haunting. AURORA’s layering of harmonies and instrumentation breach ethereal territory. 

RELATED: The Best Halloween Movies of the ’90s

“Cemetery Drive” My Chemical Romance 

As a former emo kid who’s still an emo kid (let’s face it), My Chemical Romance belongs on every Halloween playlist in perpetuity. You think a song called “Cemetery Drive” won’t be on this playlist? Think again. Emo 4 life. 

“It’s Your Voodoo Working” Charles Sheffield 

I thought about including Imelda May‘s cover of this song because I love her so much, but I also dig the original, recorded in 1961 by Charles Sheffield. It’s a slinky, sleek, jazzy R&B tune about falling under someone’s sway. Who says Halloween has to be all spooky? 

“The Gambit of Night” / “Memento Mori” Neil DeGraide, Dirt Poor Robins 

If you love steampunk music, you’ll love Dirt Poor Robins. This EP consisting of two songs is a dark orchestral tapestry with influences ranging from synth-pop to Gothic. I feel like I’m in the Victorian era, minus the lack of technology!

RELATED: 5 Spooky Horror Podcasts To Terrify You This Halloween

“I Am a Witch” Twin Temple 

Twin Temple was on my list last year. “Satanic Doo-Wop” is a genre I didn’t know existed until I discovered this duo. “I Am a Witch” paints a portrait of being a witch set to a ’50s and ’60s-infused sound, complete with spooky organs and guitars. Hex the patriarchy!

Photo of Twin Temple; Halloween Playlist Music

You can doo-wop your way to the Satanic sock hop.

“Spooks” Louis Armstrong, Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra 

Louis Armstrong had an illustrious, storied, prolific career, running the gamut in all things jazz and blues. “Spooks” is a fun, toe-tapping track about ghosts. 

“Main Titles” Theme from Beetlejuice by Danny Elfman 

Anything and everything by Danny Elfman belongs on your Halloween music rotation. That’s a given. The Beetlejuice theme is a spooktacular classic. 

“A Swinging Wake” Xavier Atencio, Buddy Baker 

If you’re a Haunted Mansion fanatic like me, then “Grim Grinning Ghosts” is a must-have on your playlist. I included Creature Feature’s cover on last year’s list, so I thought I’d add something from the original creators this time. “A Swinging Wake” is a jazzy graveyard instrumental piece. You can pretend you got stuck on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland like I did!

RELATED: Top 10 Halloween Movies for Spooky Season Part Deux

“Fight Them Soft” Sóley 

Sóley is an Icelandic artist I stumbled upon this year. Lyrically, it’s not super Halloween-y, but the instrumentation teeters on dark surrealism with dream-like vibes. The haunting piano riffs and Sóley’s eerie vocals make for a spooky good time. 

“Black Magic Woman” Fleetwood Mac 

Okay, okay, so this is Fleetwood Mac pre-Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, but it’s still a banger of a song. “Black Magic Woman,” written by Peter Green in 1968, has been covered by countless artists over the years. In fact, I included a version by VCTRYS on my 2020 Halloween music list. 

“Transylvanian Lullaby” John Morris, Erutan 

“Transylvanian Lullaby” sounds like something Dracula would play for his kids to lull them to sleep. You can imagine you’re in his castle in the Transylvanian countryside while a storm rages outside your window. Expect a somber affair in a minor key with a sweeping violin, spine-tingling, ghostly vocals and an angelic-sounding harp. 

RELATED: My Top 6 Halloween TV Episodes

“Widow’s Peak” Odetta Hartman 

Odetta Hartman’s sound can best be described as “psychedelic folk.” “Widow’s Peak” isn’t necessarily a Halloween-themed tune, but something about it screams “spooky.” She infuses stormy sound effects to illustrate a picture of someone waiting for their love during a storm. Throw in some eerie strings, whispery vocals and a melancholic, wistful sound, and you’ve got enough drama to last the season. 

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Series Premiere Recap S01E01 Chapter One October Country Miranda Otto

This is how you greet the Dark Lord.

“Main Title” Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina knows a thing or two about spooky vibes. I’ve always loved the orchestral arrangements in this show. This track will undoubtedly prepare you for the Dark Lord’s presence. 

“You’re Dead” Norma Tanega 

*Cue the opening credits of What We Do in the Shadows* Who doesn’t love this song? It’s perfect for vampires looking for a scrumptious human meal. BAT!

What are your favorite Halloween-themed tunes? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 5 Halloween TV Episodes Part Deux

Melody McCune
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