By Caleb Rippee
With spooky season in full swing and Halloween just a few short weeks away, many people are loading up a Halloween playlist to set the mood for the season. We all know the classics: Monster Mash, Thriller, I Put A Spell On You, and many more. These songs have been beloved by the masses for decades and have become staples of the holiday. However, some people feel that these songs have begun to grow old. Hearing them year after year just doesn’t put them in the spooky mood anymore. For some, trying to find newer, different Halloween songs has become a task they undergo every year as they desperately try to find a good song to add to their Halloween playlist. These 10 songs are all fantastic additions to any playlist meant to set a spooky atmosphere. And of course, they are in no particular order.
10. Mr Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne
While not a “new” song by any stretch of the imagination, “Mr Crowley” is the perfect song to set a dramatic and gothic mood. The song was written about Aleister Crowley, a British practitioner of black magic. Crowley has been described as the “wickedest man alive” and this song perfectly captures that vibe. It opens with sinister and powerful synths playing a dark and mysterious melody. It draws the listener in as Ozzy’s crooning vocals kickstart the rocking, catchy song. The song also features an incredible tapping solo from guitarist Randy Rhoads. Truly an occult classic.
9. Spirit – Ghost
The opening track off of Ghost’s ominous opus: Meliora, “Spirit” is creepy, haunting, but almost playful. The band has clear influences drawn from older occult rock and metal bands like Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate. It starts with a haunting synth whistle intro that throws the listener headfirst into a dark and brooding atmosphere. If this intro doesn’t make you feel like you’re in a foggy graveyard, I truly don’t know what will. The rest of the song utilizes upbeat drums and fun guitar riffs that carry the sinister groove until the very end. The tritone based melodies never relent, creating an unsettling vibe.
8. A Little Piece Of Heaven – Avenged Sevenfold
Oh boy, where do I start with this song? It’s a truly disturbing, catchy, disgusting masterpiece. The song has heavy Danny Elfman influences, meaning it contains lots of fun orchestral and brass sections, creepy but catchy melodies, and lots of weird twists. The story of the song is about a man who becomes worried that his girlfriend won’t accept his proposal so he freaks out and kills her. I can’t go into the rest of the story but I highly recommend you listen to the song for yourself and hear the story unravel. The song is extremely catchy and fun and will have you singing along in no time.
7. Getting Away With Murder – Papa Roach
I know, who would have ever thought that the band that wrote “Last Resort” would belong on a Halloween playlist? But hear me out, because this song is pretty spooky. The main hook/melody is super dark and suspenseful but also gives the song an “epic” quality. The lyrics also conjure up images of serial killers. The creepy riff and lyrics combined could easily be played as we see Michael Myer’s leaving a murder scene. Speaking of Michael Myers…
6. Stabbing In The Dark – Ice Nine Kills
While Ice Nine Kills has literally dozens of songs that would be perfect for Halloween. I figured we had to put the one that is actually ABOUT Halloween on this list. Ice Nine Kills is famous for having 2 albums that are all about classic horror movies, and in this incredible song they tackle the 1978 classic, Halloween. This track, aside from having many clever references to the Halloween franchise, also features lots of dark melodies and brutal vocals. The song also features a few musical references to the song “Mr Sandman”, which plays a big part in the first Halloween movie. This song is heavy, catchy, creepy, and essential for any horror fan who wants the brutality and terror of Halloween to be in song form.
5. A Dangerous Meeting – Mercyful Fate
This song doesn’t necessarily have explicitly creepy melodies or any horror movie references, but there is something inherently dark about it. It could be the lyrical content, which depicts a group of foolish cultists attempting to summon something from beyond the world of the living. Or maybe it’s the shrill, despair filled vocals courtesy of King Diamond. Whatever the case may be, this song is one that certainly has a dark and mysterious aura to it.
4. Halloween – King Diamond
While we are on the topic of the legendary King Diamond, we might as well mention his Halloween song from his own solo project. The song’s catchy melodies and blatant Halloween worship are what gives it a spooky vibe. It also features a killer guitar solo. Perfect for Halloween parties where you just want to rock out.
3. Widower – Make Them Suffer
Admittedly, this song doesn’t have much to do with Halloween or even horror movies. But the main selling point is the bone chilling piano melody that begins the song. As soon as it begins the listener is greeted with chills up their spine. The song then kicks into overdrive as heavy guitars and savage growls and screams burst into action. The vocals are reminiscent of a sort of screech you might hear from a zombie. This song is brutal and unforgiving and the piano melody repeated throughout gives a dark and melodic focus. Perfect song for fighting zombies (or becoming one!)
2. Bewitched – Candlemass
Let’s return to the classics. “Bewitched” is a hypnotic and trance-inducing masterpiece. Its enchanting vocal melodies immediately capture you. Almost like it’s hypnotizing the listener. This is further shown through the lyrics which tell you exactly what is being done to you. “You are bewitched.” You will find it hard to pull away from this song once the singing starts. Perfect for a slower, lethargic dance.
1. To The Hellfire – Lorna Shore
This song isn’t about horror movies or even Halloween. But it is probably one of the most powerful songs on this list. It captures a feeling of darkness and devastation that is almost unmatched. The song begins with a dark and melodic acoustic guitar playing the main intro melody. We then get the distorted guitars and drums coming in to kick off this insane song. The vocals are both frantic and guttural, shifting with the song to fit every nuanced emotion contained within the track. The drums are thunderous and almost unrelenting, The faint orchestral and choir parts give another layer of creepiness that really helps the song. The lyrics depict something that many are afraid of, which is going to Hell. And let me tell you, “To The Hellfire” isn’t just the name of the song, it’s a description of how the song makes you feel, perfectly capturing the feeling of plummeting through a fiery abyss. It’s a different type of terror, not one that comes from serial killers or ghosts, but one that comes from a more deep seated and eternal type of fear. Admittedly, this song might be a little overpowering to have on a Halloween playlist. But it will undoubtedly get you in the mood for spooky season.
There are many, MANY more great songs that I could have chosen, these are just ten of them. Hopefully at least one of these can help boost your Halloween playlist or at least creep you out a little bit.