"Top Five" Halloween songs


There are literally scads of spooky, blood-curdling, humorous and in general, appropriately themed songs for Halloween. There are many more than five great Halloween songs, but classics like “Monster Mash,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Purple People Eater” get old after the one-millionth spin. Here are five songs sure to get you in the mood for Halloween and in a few cases, provide you with a good starting point for a soundtrack to your Halloween party.

“Thriller” – Michael Jackson
Seriously, what would Halloween be without this song? The song and accompanying video have everything you could possibly ask for: dancing, zombies, dated special effects and great instrumentation. The ironic part is that Michael Jackson still looked pretty normal when the song came out as opposed to his current state as a Xanax-powered animatronic zombie (which would fit the song’s theme perfectly).

“American Nightmare” – The Misfits
If you close your eyes and listen to this song, you can almost picture Elvis and a ghoulish backing band with amps turned up to 11, shaking the foundations of hell. Singer Glen Danzig’s vocals revolutionized what would become known as horror punk. From a fashion standpoint, The Misfits would fit right in at any Halloween party with their ghostly face-paint and devilocks, a hairstyle that featured bangs coming to a point in front of the nose or chin.

“Raining Blood” – Slayer
Hailing from the 1986 album “Reign in Blood” (clever, right?), this song epitomizes everything that Slayer is about: breakneck tempo changes, gruesome and satanic subject matter and skilled, technical musicianship. Though the band members repeatedly claim they are not Satanists (bassist/lead vocalist Tom Araya is actually Catholic), religious and parent organizations continue to stir controversy. If you’re looking for Halloween shock value, look no further.
If Satan exists, this is assuredly on his iPod.

“Everyday is Halloween” – Ministry
If you’re familiar with Ministry and see the title of this song, it probably conjures dark images and deep, aggressive industrial sounds for which Ministry eventually became known. However, this early song by the band is essentially new wave synth-pop more suited for a carefree costumed dance party than a horror film. If you’re having an ‘80s themed party, this track is a must, as it sounds like the love child of “Rock-it” by Herbie Hancock and every early New Order song.

“Nightmare on My Street” – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Before he lived in Bel Air, Will Smith had a decent hip-hop career with a few memorable songs, but this one was probably one of the lesser-known hits. Complete with a haunting track and beats that sound like they were made on an old Casio keyboard, this song is a slice of nostalgia. It explores the idea of Freddy Krueger visiting the Fresh Prince in his sleep. This is an absolute Halloween party must-have.

Compiled by Jason Yurgartis.