By Warren Kuhlman | October 29, 2021
This article will give you a mix of nostalgic and modern songs that put you in a spooky mood for your Halloween celebrations. The order of the songs in a playlist is just as important as the content that’s in them. That’s why this mix starts with songs everyone should know. After the classics, some more contemporary tracks are weaved in to compliment a night full of dancing, talking, and maybe some fun games. (Bobbing for apples, anyone? Costume contest? Pin the funny bone on the skeleton?)
The Citizens of Halloween - “This Is Halloween”
The iconic song from Tim Burton’s 1993 film “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Composed and sung in part by Danny Elfman, the master behind many of Burton’s film scores. You may not know the song by its title, but Danny Elfman’s signature style is one that’s hard to miss.
Bobby “Boris” Pickett - “Monster Mash”
Everyone from your grandma to your little sibling should know the 1962 smash hit originally produced by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Since its release topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, the classic tune has made its rounds every Halloween.
Alvin & The Chipmunks - “Witch Doctor”
Originally recorded by David Seville in 1958 and covered by The Chipmunks for the first time in 1960, no matter what version you’re most familiar with, this tune is sure to catch the ear.
Ghosts - “Grim, Grinning Ghost”
Composed by Buddy Baker in 1958 for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Various compositions of the song still play when you visit either the Orlando, Hollywood, or Tokyo locations of Disney. The kooky style of the various singers bouncing off each other in their unique character voices makes the listener feel as if they're in a room full of ghosts and ghouls.
Andrew Gold - “Spooky, Scary Skeletons”
The xylophone-heavy track was recorded back in 1996. In 2016, the remixed version of the song saw a huge surge in popularity. If you were on the internet at the time, you surely heard the dubstep mix.
The Specials - “Ghost Town”
The English ska band released Ghost Town in 1981 when it became one of the band’s most popular hits that you’ve probably never heard. This sleeper hit contains trumpets galore in the most satisfyingly spooky way.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - “I Put a Spell on You”
Often associated with the 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus,” where Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy performed their own rendition of the 1956 song. Spotify does not have a good version of that, but Screamin’ Jay Hawkins may just be better (voice your complaints to the ASP Opinion Section).
1 This is Halloween
2 Monster Mash
3 Witch Doctor
4 Grim Grinning Ghosts
5 Spooky Scary Skeletons
6 Ghost Town
7 I Put A Spell On You
8 Jump in the line
9 St. James Infirmary
10 bury a friend
12 Season of the Witch
13 Emperor’s New Clothes
14 Dead Man’s Party
15 Weird Science
16 Witchy Woman
18 California Dreamin
19 Little Dark Age
20 My Girlfriend is a Witch