12 Songs That Perfectly Capture The Halloween Mood, According To LEO’s Staff

Does Halloween jam? 

Well if you’ve listened to the songs that are the usual fare of Halloween, you may be split on that sentiment, but we’re here to let you know that despite this year’s Top 10 Halloween songs, LEO has a list of true Halloweens songs that are worth listening to in the spirit of all that is funky, spooky, dark and dreary. 

Let’s start with the usual suspects so that you know where we’re not coming from. 

According to Play Like Mum, the top 10 Halloween songs (from the 200 Halloween playlists they reviewed) are: 

  1. “Monster Mash” – Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett
  2. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
  3. “This Is Halloween” – The Citizens of Halloween
  4. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
  5. “I Put a Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  6. “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell
  7. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Öyster Cult
  8. “Spooky, Scary Skeletons” – Andrew Gold
  9. “Disturbia” – Rihanna
  10. “Halloween Theme – Main Title” – John Carpenter
  11. “Seasons of the Witch” – Donovan

Not bad songs, some classics but look, we don’t like to give you the same old thing, so for LEO’s editorial team, here are our favorite Halloween songs. 

Scott Recker (Editor-in-Chief and resident music fiend)

Venus In Furs’ — The Velvet Underground 
John Cale essentially turning an electric viola into a weapon + Lou Reed’s awkward, yet piercing guitar tuning and distant vocals + Mo Tucker and Sterling Morrison’s slow, rhythm-section march + the S&M source material = one of the most intense songs of all time.

Halloween Theme’ — John Carpenter
Here’s a reminder that John Carpenter not only directed the original, incredibly-influential  “Halloween” film, he also composed the iconic soundtrack — a major aspect of how frightening the movie is. This one is on the mainstream list for best Halloween songs, but you basically have to include it. 

Electric Funeral’ — Black Sabbath
A quintessentially spooky song from the quintessentially spooky band, “Electric Funeral” is an ominous masterpiece, and a truly chilling, winding and strange track. Every member sounds so evil.

Danielle Grady (Digital Editor): 

Make Worry For Me’ – Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
Louisville songwriter Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’  teams up with Skunk guitarist Matt Sweeney for a track that LEO previously called “an eerie and foreboding song that seems plucked out of a horror movie.”

Ode to Sleep’ – Twenty One Pilots
A struggle between dark and light. Which will win? Good for reformed pop-punk kids.

Zombie’ – The Cranberries 
The best song for your Halloween party playlist.

Erica Rucker (I’m the A&E Editor so yes, my list is a little extra): 

Wuthering Heights’ – Kate Bush
Kate Bush retells the ghost story of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” characters, Cathy and Heathcliff.

Monster’ – The Bar Kays
Um, Halloween is my favorite holiday so it should jam. This song was recorded in 1975 and released in 1978 by Stax Records’ new owners, Fantasy Records. By this time The Bar Kays were on to bigger things with Mercury Records. 

Boogie Man’ – Gnarls Barkley
I hope you caught them when they were here, but this song is here to satisfy you if you didn’t. Fighting with one’s ego is tough, here, Gnarls Barkley explores trying to kill the monster of ego but finds out that it’s a tough job. 

Maggot Brain’ – Funkadelic
Eddie Hazel lit this shit up. That’s all. That’s the comment. 

Everyday is Halloween’ – Ministry
It’s Ministry; It’s got a groove. So, look around you. Every day IS Halloween and it isn’t the people with funny colored hair or weird clothes. 

Zombie’ – Fela Kuti
Bottom line, it cooks. The danger of the “zombies” is as great as the danger of corrupt leaders. 

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About the Author

12 Songs That Perfectly Capture The Halloween Mood, According To LEO’s Staff

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s Arts & Entertainment Editor. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer,  photographer, tarot card reader, and fair to middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were. You can follow Erica on Twitter, but beware of honesty, overt blackness and occasional geeky outrage.


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