Halloween is celebrated around the globe and is commonly associated with ghosts, skeletons and all things dark and deceased. The holiday has origins in Samhain–a festival that signified the end of harvest for ancient druids who believed spirits entered our realm at this time. The druids felt the spirits should be made offerings to gain their blessings during the winter as they welcomed in the “dark half” of the year. Hence the candy. To this day 2,000 years later, some believe the portals separating the worlds of the living and the dead are relaxed during this time, allowing all kinds of spirits, ghosts and demons to roam the Earth at their leisure. Much to witches’ and necromancers’ delights. In light of this, I unearthed 25 Halloween-theme songs for raising the dead on All Hallow’s Eve. Play at your own risk (mwuahahahaha).
1. Zombie-The Cranberries
Zah-ombie, zah-ombie, zah-ombie eh-eh-eh-oh. A powerful anti-war ballad by an equally powerful Irish rock band to start off your Halloween night.
The original, real zombies were created by Voodoo bokors who used a special mix of chemicals that could render a person nearly comatose, yet still aware enough to mindlessly follow instructions. As such, the next song on the list is Voodoo because without Voodoo there can be no Zombie. *Note: This entry was a close tie with Santeria by Sublime and won because, well, Sublime isn’t very spooky.
3. Living Dead Girl-Rob Zombie
The zombie theme is alive and well, as you can see. Mind the irony.
4. Witchy Woman-The Eagles
Witches sweep on through…
5. Black Magic Woman-Santana
Oye como va, la mujer de la noche, la mujer de mis pesadillas bonitas. My Spanish is limited.
6. Werewolves of London
A cheery piano melody makes it easy to miss the casual gore in this song.
7. Spooky-Classic IV
For those of you who like to mix your vampire fangs with your love games.
8. This Is Halloween-Marilyn Manson (cover)
The Nightmare Before Christmas meets Marilyn Manson. I don’t think you can get more Halloween than this, unless you traded Tim Burton for Ichabod Crane.
9. Brain Damage-Pink Floyd
The creepiest thing about this song is how mellow it is, given its substance.
10a. I Put A Spell On You-Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
10b. I Put A Spell On You-Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus)
Alternatively, you can run amuck…
11. White Noise-Murder By Death
A very cool song with a very cool music video by a very cool indie band. Check out my interview with them for The News Record here.
12. Dragula-Rob Zombie
Moar Rob Zombie pl0x
13. Thriller-Michael Jackson
The obligatory Thriller entry. RIP Michael.
14. The Monster Mash
Classic Halloween tune championed by elementary school students everywhere. And the updated version…
15. Superstition-Stevie Wonder
This song makes me think of possessed jeans.
16. Sympathy for the Devil-The Rolling Stones
Perfectly acceptable on Devil’s Night.
17. Them Bones-Alice in Chains
Got milk for them bones?
18. Sun Doesn’t Rise-Mushroomhead
This was on the Jason vs Freddy soundtrack, so that counts. I guess. Okay, sure.
19. Don’t Fear The Reaper-Blue Oyster Cult
It features a beat you can chew bubblegum to and surprisingly creepy lyrics when really listened to.
20. Beast and the Harlot-Avenged Sevenfold
Not quite Halloween-themed, but it talks about demons and custome companies seem to want to dress women up like harlots on Halloween, so it’s kind of close.
(Really. What is this? Are you trying to get me turned on by pets now or something? Or is this just cleverly placed innuendo?)
The music video and the line, “waiting like a stalking butler,” grant this song an honorable mention.
22. Mr. Jack-System of a Down
Another cool song with some Halloween potential.
23. Open Up-Korn
Kind of spooky, especially the ending.
24 & 25. Brackish and Into The Darkness-Kittie
Kittie doesn’t really need a reason to be on this list. These songs just seem to fit. Obviously, there are a lot of good songs out there that didn’t make it to the list. Share the ones you think should have made it in the comments below!