Halloween Playlist: 12 Spooky Songs To Frighten Your Night

John Hamilton | October 25, 2012 5:30 am

In case you couldn’t tell from our previous countdown of supernatural pop moments, we here at Idolator are really into all things spooky! So when the season of trick-or-treaters, pumpkin-scented everything and Halloween party playlists rolls around, we’re in our element. As a matter of fact, we wish some pioneering pop artist would write a song designed specifically to scare the bejeezus out of us on the dancefloor. (As opposed to the music that scares us OFF the dancefloor, which is a totally different story.)

Until such a thing exists, rounding up a playlist for our big October 31st bash will be a little more difficult — but no less fun! In the spirit of getting your costume-candy-and-creepiness on, cast an eyeball at this run-down of tracks (and our aforementioned Supernatural Top Ten) that have been keeping us in the Halloween spirit — and let us know which songs you would add to the ultimate All Hallow’s Eve mix!

Dead or Alive, “Something in My House”: The ’80s act behind “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” turned out a haunting hi-NRG ode to the ghosts of sluts past with this little number, but frontman Pete Burns‘ dance moves are perhaps more frightening than he intended.

Ladytron, “Ghosts”: Sure, lots of pop songs mention ghosts, monsters, and zombies, but that doesn’t automatically qualify them for Halloween hit status. Ladytron’s combination of theremin-like synths and ethereal vocals make this a good contender for a midnight dance floor classic. What would you expect from a band that named one of their albums “The Witching Hour”? Bonus: creepy rabbits.

Deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire, “Ghosts N’ Stuff”: In its instrumental form, this electro jam’s gigantic beat and eerie sounds seemed like the perfect soundtrack for a modern-day Frankenstein, but with vocals it’s even more effective. The video, in which a dead man is reincarnated as a sheet ghost, is both silly and a little spooky.

Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On”: With its spare, six-note tumbi melody and off-kilter rhythms, this bizarro club offering gives us the willies all year ’round. We won’t even go into the nightmare-inspiring video, other than to say it lives up to the “freak” in its title. To extend the hip-hop-meets-horror feeling, we suggest a double-play with Busta RhymesBernard Herrmann-sampling “Gimme Some More.”



Pet Shop Boys, “Screaming”: Like a lot of Pet Shop Boys’ singles, this one’s simply terrifying. From Gus Van Sant‘s 1998 remake of Psycho, it’s lyrics depict a rather demented stalker: “I’m obsessed with you” never sounded so menacing, especially when it’s augmented by sampled screams and murmured dialogue. We only wish there was a single cover with the boys dressed as Norman Bates’ mother.

Natalia Kills, “Zombie”: The witchy Brit songstress goes dark and deep for this big-beat jam, and the accompanying video looks like lost footage from Night Of The Living Dead. In this instance, we hope Natalia’s lover really isn’t into her for her brains.

Madonna, “Supernatural”: The Material Girl’s story song about getting it on with a ghost (sorry, Ke$ha, Madge did it first) sounds like the lost theme song of some great 1980s ghost-sex comedy starring Lea Thompson and that never existed but totally should have. Bonus points for ghostly squiggle sounds and the ad-lib “Gonna take my pants off for a different kind of romance.”

Rihanna, “Disturbia”: RiRi is one of the few pop stars who can pull off “glamorous” and “ghoulish” simultaneously, and this twisted tale of supernatural phenomenon and strange neighborhoods remains a witching-hour favorite, which is more than we can say for the film that inspired it.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Nightmare on My Street”: How could we not include this horrifying attempt to cash in on A Nightmare on Elm Street? It’s actually a fun hip-pop jam that hits our Halloween sweet spot better than a bag of caramel cremes! As scary as Freddie Kruger was, his lawyers were even scarier; they made the duo slap a “not officially affiliated” disclaimer on the single sleeve and had the video torpedoed. Guess Freddie was more into the Fat Boys?

Fresh Prince:

The Fat Boys, “Are You Ready for Freddy?”:

Ke$ha, “Cannibal”: With its Zombie-stomp beat and campy-macabre lyrics about eating boys and drinking their blood, K-Dolla’s flesh-eating boast is a must-have for any Halloween party! It’s basically today’s equivalent of “The Monster Mash.” And we thought Ke$ha couldn’t get any scarier than she appears in her videos…

What scary songs did we overlook? Start moaning below, or stalk us on Facebook and Twitter.