It’s october, which means Spooky szn is officially here. halloween is A frightening festival of frolics in which ghosts and ghouls gather, witches and werewolves wander, and demons dwell. But there’s no need to hide under the covers! GRAB your besties and sing your scares away with our list of The 40 Best Halloween Songs Of All Time.
It was only last Halloween when Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes shared a PDA while dressed in their fright night costumes. And just a few weeks later, Shawn formed another swoonsome twosome, this time warning about the evil excesses of fame with Biebs.
At every Halloween party, there’s that one guy who wants to boast that absolutely nothing scares him. Luckily Billie has given you the song to put him back in his place. By the time you’ve finished her wickedly whispered raps, he’ll be thoroughly creeped out. Especially if you can fake a nose bleed, just like in the video.
Petrifying piano and a shrill shriek introduce one of RiRi’s biggest hits. From there on, Rihanna somehow monster mashes a jam which is as danceable as it is disturbing. “Am I scarin’ you tonight?” she sings. We’re not ashamed to say yes.
What Best Halloween Songs list would be complete without the ultimate scary song? It’s essentially Frankenstein the musical, complete with special guests Dracula, Wolfman and Igor. No-one knows why this groovy ghoulie group was doing the biggest dance craze of the time, but hey: Halloween isn’t the same without a little mystery.
If ‘Monster Mash’ is a bit old school for you, how about a more recent throwback thriller? Next up on our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list, China Anne-McClain invites all the monsters to the dancefloor, which makes us think: which monsters would make good dancers? Dracula’s cloak will help him pull off some fast-footed moves, but zombies just don’t have the coordination.
Bringing us right up to the present day, dark pop icons Sub Urban & Bella Poarch are the reason why hell’s so hot. ‘INFERNO’ is extra eerie even without the visuals, as the terrifying twosome’s hair-raising rhymes are backed by what sounds like a creepy choir of kids.
There’s plenty to fear in Stranger Things: the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer, all those ‘80s haircuts. But if you want to escape to your happy place, it’s time to dream a dream and recreate Dustin and Suzie’s sugar sweet duet.
Is there a better ‘Best Halloween Songs Of All Time’ list than ours? No. And is there a better Halloween fancy dress theme than Rocky Horror? Erm, double no. So if you’re dressed as Dr Frank-N-Furter and his Transylvanian terrors, everyone can join in with the Time Warp’s dynamic dance. Until it drives you insaa-aa-aa-aane!
20+ years later, the Backstreet Boys had a bit of a Rocky Horror moment with the ‘Everybody’ video. There’s little to fear in the song itself, but the macabre masks and demonic dance moves are perfect for you to recreate this Halloween.
10. Blue Öyster Cult – ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’
Don’t Fear The Reaper? Crazy talk! The reaper’s job is to steal your soul when you die. We’d rate that 9/10 on the scary scale. Some say that Blue Öyster Cult used the cowbell (that repetitive clunking sound) to distract him from the job. If you’re singing this you probably don’t have a cowbell to hand, but you can improvise by hitting a can with a spoon.
11. Halsey – ‘Graveyard’
Hanging around a graveyard after dark will naturally give you the creeps, but Halsey’s haunted hymn provides something that’s important to remember: “The warning signs are like butterflies.” Or, in other words, if your instincts suggest someone isn’t to be trusted, stay clear.
12. The Living Tombstone – ‘Spooky Scary Skeletons’
Given that they’re not particularly scary or as iconic as, say, Dracula, skeletons are the outsiders of supernatural school. But as The Living Tombstone reminds us, they’re still a big part of the fright night festivities and too spooky to ignore. That’s why they’re on our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list.
13. twenty one pilots – ‘Heathens’
But if anyone can make skeletons cool again, it’s twenty one pilots who even went as far as to name their fanclub the Skeleton Clique. The duo’s big hit from Suicide Squad provided goth greatness, warning “You’ll never know the murderer sitting next to you.”
14. Ray Parker Jr. – ‘Ghostbusters’
Our eerie evening covers every sinister sight imaginable so you’ll probably be feeling a little jumpy right now. Ray Parker Jr.’s ‘80s anthem has the solution: denial! Hit play, shout along to “I ain’t afraid of no ghost” and no-one will know you’re scared.
Long before she went to Havana, Camila Cabello and the Fifth Harmony girls were in love with a monster for the Dreamworks movie Hotel Transylvania 2. You’d think falling in love with a monster would be a bad idea. But it worked for Johnny and Mavis, so who are we to judge?
This Halloween song is one for your dad. Actually, it’s more like one for your grandad! This song from ‘60s rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival was used as the music to accompany the man-becomes-werewolf scene in An American Werewolf In London – possibly the most terrifying transformation in the history of horror.
As much as we love a good love song, they can get kinda repetitive. Thank the devil that Stephanie Mabey gave us a different petrifying perspective with this tale of a zombie romance. And when else will you get to serenade your special someone with the line “I’d never eat your brain”?
18. Powfu ft beabadoobee – ‘death bed’
Next up on our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time is this devilish duo. Beabadoobee’s opening verse is ominous, but ‘death bed’ soon gets eerier. Powfu’s raps tell the touching tale of a character who will die just as soon as he falls asleep. But like ‘The Zombie Song’, it’s really a love story told from a freaky angle. Best get some coffee going…
…and if you still can’t get going after a caffeine bomb, Evanescence will wake you up and save you from the dark. Big female voices will love singing ‘Bring Me To Life’, but it’s also a whole load of fun for whoever gets to do the “All this time…” rap.
Duran Duran’s ‘80s classic feels like Little Red Riding Hood in the big bad city. It’s a sinister, stalky lyric, but every line is so much fun to sing. We’ll be cooing “do-do-do-do-do” until the sun rises.
21. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly – ‘Someday’
“What could go so wrong with a girl and a zombie?” asked Milo ‘Zed’ Manheim and Meg ‘Addison’ Donnelly in this sizzling singalong from the Disney musical Zombie. Like, guys, loads can go wrong! Have you not seen your own movie?
Zed and Addison had problems in the original Zombie film, but even more went wrong when werewolves came to Seabrook in the sequel. They survived after realising “It’s now or never, we’re in this together.” They’ll have to keep those teen spirits up, as Zombies 3 threatens to bring aliens into their constantly chaotic community.
23. Alice Cooper – ‘Poison’
Alice Cooper looks like a character from a late ‘80s horror but he’s apparently one of the nicest musicians around. ‘Poison’ is a song about being unable to resist someone’s charms, but we prefer to think of it as being about the powers of a vengeful spirit. “One look could kill… You’re poison running through my veins.” It’s the stuff of nightmares!
Ghosts and ghouls? They’re scary. Demons and devils? Also best avoided. But sometimes the scariest things come from the real world. In this case, imagine you’re getting down to action with that special someone. Suddenly her dad bursts in with a gun. You better run!
If your Halloween is more about silliness than shocks, join Simpsons’ soundtracker Danny Elfman for this unforgettable moment from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Whether you want to be Ooogie Boogie or a vampire or a witch, there’s a part for you to play! No Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list would be complete without a song from the ULTIMATE Halloween flick.
If you’ve had a bad day and want to get your own back, get your best Audrey fancy dress on and dream of becoming the Queen of Mean. You don’t need to get revenge quite as dramatically as Audrey does in Descendants 3. You’ll feel a lot better after singing “I’ve been hurt for the last time and I won’t ever let another person take advantage of me.”
On no.27 of our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time, the Dragons face up to their demons in this anthemic arena rocker. The song is full of hellish imagery, bleak biblical references and self-doubt, but Imagine Dragons somehow turn it into a feelgood thrill ride. You too can breathe fire with the irresistible hook, “THIS IS MY KINGDOM COME!”
Never take a sip from the devil’s cup – that’s the golden rule that Britney Spears and Melanie Martinez both ignored with their versions of ‘Toxic’. As one YouTube comment notes, the breathy vocals and high energy beat of Britney’s original makes it “literally the perfect song for people who can’t sing.” But if you want a bigger challenge (or if you’ve sold your soul for a sensational singing voice) Melanie’s version is sadder, slower and more haunting.. Either way, it proves that that devil has the best tunes.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being the Wicked Witch of the West End, here’s your chance! This is one to belt out like you’re on Broadway, but beware: screaming out that explosive ending will either wake the neighbours or trash your voice.
This is another one of the biggest challenges of our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time countdown. Between her distinctive accent, her tongue-twisting lyrics and a banshee-like wail, the late, great Dolores O’Riordan’s voice is incredibly hard to match.
They fell in love in October, but they also fell in love in Shocktober. The crisp chill of autumn is the perfect backdrop for a new love: cosy nights in, relaxed walks as the leaves fall to the ground, Netflix and roasting by the radiator. But Halloween – parties, devilish dressing up, the feeling of pretending to be someone else – is ideal for finding that first spark.
The whole idea of having a spell put on you is eerie enough, which is why this next song makes it on to our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list. Will it be a curse? Or will I be turned into a frog? And that’s before Nina Simone sings with a soulful intensity that makes you feel as if she’s possessed by a malevolent spirit. How about you put that spell on someone else?
If you’re not a great singer but want to join in the fun anyhow, ‘Blood // Water’ is a killer choice. grandson’s doomy dynamics are a perfect fit for the Halloween vibe, so rap and roar along like your life depends on it.
In a twist on the usual Halloween expectations, Lady Gaga falls in love with the evil, deceitful ways of Judas – effectively picking evil and darkness over good and light. It’s also surely the only time someone will release a global smash hit single featuring the words, “In the most biblical sense, I am beyond repentance.”
She’s sassy, intense and larger-than-life, but few would say Ke$ha is scary. But when she sings “Your little heart goes pitter-patter / I want your liver on a platter” you’ll find us hiding behind the sofa.
Next up on our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list is a suitably unsettling soundtrack to the cult film Donnie Darko, Mad World, which became a monstrously big hit. You know the scariest thing about this song? If the dreams he has of dying are the best he’s ever had, imagine how bad his nightmares must be.
This is one for all you grunge girls out there. Singing along with Paramore’s us-against-the-world hook will make you feel like the heroine who has just saved the day. Or it’ll make you feel as cool as Hayley Williams, which surely is the next best thing.
Many people think this is a romantic song, but it’s actually about an obsessive stalker. But to make it more fun for Halloween, imagine this: there’s an invisible supernatural figure in your home who is quietly singing to itself, “Every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.”
You made it number 40 in our Best Halloween Songs Of All Time list. Time to call it a night and check for monsters under the bed? Not a chance. There’s one only thing to do. Smear on your blackest eyeliner AND CARRY ON! WE’LL CARRY ON!