Halloween Spooktacular: music edition

— Samantha Viner, Luke Morton, Siobhan Gallagher, Ryan Peters, John Fernandez, and Victoria McNichol contributed to this report.

It’s that time of the year. Many of us are getting ready to dress up and get spooky on arguably one of the best nights of the year.

A perfect excuse for a party and to dress up in ridiculous outfits — but what about the music? In honour of Halloween, The Linc’s culture team has compiled a list of the best Halloween songs, from scary bands to ridiculous raps, this playlist is great to get you in the mood. Here are some of our highlights from the playlist and why.

Marilyn Manson — This is Halloween

Manson covered this song for the 13th anniversary re-release of the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. The song was also covered by Panic! at the Disco, on the same album, but the Manson cover is obviously that little bit more Halloween-y. He’s a terrifying to look at for starters and his back catalogue, although primarily covers, is a little bit scary.

The song is originally by Danny Elfman and about the fictional town of Halloween. The characters in the film each give a little introduction about something scary such as “I am the one hiding under your bed, Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red.” Not a scary song, but definitely Halloween related.


Marilyn Manson covered the popular Nightmare Before Christmas song. Photo: Fran Alburquerque

Michael Jackson — Thriller

With one of the most famous music videos of all time, the King of Pop pulled out all the stops for this tune. With evil monsters and ghouls prowling around the streets and even Jackson himself suddenly turning into ‘one of them’, the video is truly captivating.

It features some of the most blood curdling lyrics in a pop song — some death metal bands don’t even write words this scary. “You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it” sends chivers down our spines. 

This song popularised the notion that pop acts don’t have to be cheesy and happy all the time, and as such is one of the biggest selling singles in history. It’s a necessity at any Halloween party — come on, you know the dance!

Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers – Monster Mash

Probably the favourite song for Halloween party DJs across the globe, the novelty hit from the early sixties has become the perennial defining hit for the holiday. Narrated in a ghoulish, peculiar English accent, it tells the story of a mad scientist and his monster creation, which awakens one night to perform a dance, consequently becoming a craze amongst the other monsters at a party.

The song opens with a creaking opening of a coffin door (originally recorded as a nail being pulled from a board) and the rattling of chains (which were chains dropped on the floor), whilst the cauldron is bubbling (water through a straw), as the scientist unveils his creation. The song was even banned by the BBC for being too morbid, with it finally being released in the UK in 1973. The record re-entered into popular culture, when it featured on an episode of “The Simpsons” in 1993.

Rolling Stones — Paint it Black

Although this song was released almost 45 years ago, it remains to be as creepy as ever. Included on the 1966 album “Aftermath”, “Paint it Black” is a haunting track. Jagger’s vocals accompany a classic guitar riff as the lyrics tell the story of fighting hidden desires.

This track is defined as classic and creepy, so much so that it’s never been far from the pop culture scene. Without a pig squeal or blast beat in sight, the Rolling Stones prove with “Paint it Black” that sometimes how a song makes you feel is scarier than what it is about.


Lordi certainly look the part for this Halloween. Photo: Alterna2

Lordi — Hard Rock Halleluhah

We’ve chosen this for the simple reason that…they dress as monsters. How scary is that? “Very” is the answer to that question in case you were wondering. Halloween is about going all out to have the best costume. All I can say is if Lordi were to turn up at a fancy dress competition, could anyone match them?

Couple that with the song itself being about heavy metal – the scariest music you will find out there – and you’re in for fright. 

They sound mean, they look mean, and they act mean — scary music at its best.

Little Nell & Patricia Quinn & Richard O’Brien — Time Warp

The Time Warp is one of the most famous songs from the 1973 hit musical The Rocky Horror Show and also the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Also covered by Black Lace, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Jive Bunny, and other such artists, it has become a children’s party anthem.

This is one great Halloween song that gets most people up dancing (alcohol related in some cases). It’s a favourite for being so incredibly entertaining and having a slightly eerie sound to it. Although it’s not exactly the scariest song you will hear, it’s definitely one to be put on a Halloween playlist.

If you like the sound of this check out The Linc‘s playlist on We7. All these songs and a few extra for good measure.

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