Top Ten: The Songs for ‘Halloween’

No jingles, no instrumentals, no movie themes for specific characters (i.e. Michael Myers theme from ‘Halloween’).




Honorable Mention :
Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

– It’s got the chords that made the “Munsters” a smash hit in the 60’s. While the sample is the only thing ‘Munster’ or Monster related, it still deserves a nod.

I Put a Spell on You – Bette Midler cover

– It’s not as dreadful as the original but due to the film being a Halloween cult classic, the song has become a hit for many.

What’s This – Fall Out Boy cover

– If this wasn’t a song about discovering Christmas, it’d be in the top five for sure.




10) I Put a Spell On You – Jay Hawkins

– Respect where respect is due to Bette Midler, she slayed the song. The combination of a soft California rock style from the 60’s, and her impeccable range was a truly iconic cover. However, Jay Hawkins sounds like the kind of singer you’d hear on someone’s front door step on Halloween, strumming his guitar and singing of a love gone so wrong. Bette sounds like she’s singing someone else’s words on Broadway. We’re going for style and substance and spooky is as spooky does on Halloween. Few people can elicit the same reaction and emotional deep dive that Hawkins’ gravely voice can. A truly beast of a song for this year.




9) Halloween – The Misfits

– The Misfits are Halloween in band form. They’re literally Halloween. Maybe Gwar can match them? But they’re more….freakish, while The Misfits are downright horror. When you have names like Jerry Only, (former member) Michale Graves and the best name ever; Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, then you know your and is Halloween certified. Their 2001 song really captures the feel of the holiday in not just lyrical content, or within the arrangement but also the run time. Much like Halloween the holiday, the song is also over far too soon.




8) This is Halloween – Panic at the Disco

– The song was awesome in the film, and Panic at the Disco just found another level to it; bringing it down the dark depths even farther. The whole song feels even creepier, more slimier, and almost like you’re now in actual danger; as opposed to the danger one is in from watching a Tim Burton film. The song is off a concept album, and isn’t even the best song off of it; but every song on the album is dedicated and re-imagined from the film “A Nightmare Before Christmas”. The honorable mentions contains my favorite from the album.




7) Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper

– It’s God Dam Alice Cooper. Of course he makes this list. To me, nothing is more ‘halloweeny’ than the Universal Monsters of the 30’s and 40’s. Lon Chaney, Bella Lugosi, Boris Karloff; they’re all frighteningly fantastic. So when you write a long about Frankenstein’s monster, you get a spot. Even if the song is just an allegory for your penis. Now, it’s down a bit due to his inability to realize that the monster isn’t named Frankenstein; but we’ll give it a pass. But, then again? If Frankenstein made the monster, and viewed it as his son, wouldn’t the monster then carry Frankenstien’s last name?

…..Go on and enjoy the rest of the list….I have to think about this….




6) Off With Their Head – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

– Halloween and dancing seems to go hand in hand, ever since “The Monster Mash” became a hit. So when the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s dropped this song in 2009, it seemed like the perfect blend of horror and movement. The lyrics are largely, nonsense? That’s fair, but the rhythm and the music video lend to a genre redefining song. The music video sees a werewolf dancing about until a blinding light drives him mad, leading him to kill all the other people in attendance at this underground concert. The film highlights a use of glitter and confetti for blood, which mirrors the lyrics to the song almost perfectly; as if the music video was the actual work of art and the song itself was merely the vehicle to make the video happen.




5) Ghostbusters (Who Ya Gonna Call?) – Ray Parker Jr.

– I mean, did you not expect to see this song on here? It’s the theme song of arguably the best non-Halloween, Halloween movie ever. It’s about ghosts, and ghosts are totes scary. And it’s about the battle between the living and the dead. Which is truly the essence of Halloween. In the Celtic festival of Samhain, the people of Ireland would wear masks to repel spirits, who would mistake them as monsters. So an entire movie of grown men in costumes, battling ghosts? Yeah, it’s fucking Halloween.




4) Werewolf of London – Warren Zevon

– Kid Rock can go fuck a jagged rock all he wants, but he’ll never bastardize this classic from Warren Zevon. The song, which was stolen and mutilated by the Redneck Rapping Republican, was originally a lyrical epic about a werewolf literally chilling in London, and Lon Chaney and his son, Lon Chaney Jr., still alive and gallivanting around with the Royals. The song is this interesting combination of hilarity and fair warning. There are lyrics that describe wolf attacks on the townsfolk, while also putting illusions out there of a Werewolf with a well done head of hair. The song clearly draws a portrait of the idea that anyone, at any time, can be a monster in waiting. Which is truly a horrifying idea. Especially on Halloween.




3) Thriller – Michael Jackson

– It’s got dancing zombies, a werewolf opening, horror icon Vincent Price, and oh yeah, DANCING ZOMBIES. The song made famous by Michael Jackson’s dance moves and Price’s voice over might be the best concept song ever. Yes, Wacco Jacko has had a dearth of issues and allegations lobbied against him in his life, and some of them are warranted and valid. However, he was never found guilty of anything outside of the public opinion; so let’s just focus on this masterpiece. And it is. Everything in this music video has to exist in order for the song to be as huge as it was. The song loses something when just heard on the radio. While it’s still a great song, the music video comes at you with wave after wave of dread and fear. I was genuinely afraid of this music video when I was a child, to the point where I’d turn off the song if it came on the stereo. However, I’ve since gotten past that fear, obviously, and can now understand and respect the depth the song and video goes to in order to deliver a truly haunting tail.




2) Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett

– Remember my love affair of the Universal Monsters, previously mentioned? Well Bobby Pickett literally wrote a song, and coined a dance term from the point of view of Victor Frankenstein. But it wasn’t just set around the the Monster of Frankenstein, he also brought in the Wolfman, Dracula, Alucard, zombies, Igor and others. Pickett also does a spot on Bella Lugosi impersonation when he brings ups his beloved “Transylvania Twist”. The song though is capped off with a shout-out to Boris Karloff when ‘Frankenstein’ tells you to name drop Boris at the door when you arrive for the party. This is one of those songs that kids and adults alike should and do love.




1) Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

– The song centers around a man who gets struck by lighting and dies after having no where to go after getting dressed up. He awakens to find himself surrounded by the undead; dancing and partying their afterlives away. The song was performed by Oingo Boingo, who was lead by front man Danny Elfman. Elfman is responsible for the theme songs to the 1989 “Batman” film, as well as the 90’s Animated Series “Batman” cartoon. He’s now working on the “Justice League” theme song and score. So if you’re going to tell me the dude who defined the sound of Batman, superheros alike, and wrote a killer dance tune about partying in the afterlife isn’t Halloween-y enough to be #1 on this list? Well, then, you don’t know music, Batman or Halloween.