So your going to have a Halloween party? Costumes, food, scary movies. But what about music? Music is essential to throwing a great Halloween party. So to help you out, here is a list of some of the best Halloween-ish songs.
1. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
“Thriller,” which hit No. 4 on the Hot 100 in 1984, is the most-downloaded Halloween-themed hit of all-time, with digital sales to-date of 3.4 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (It’s also Jackson’s best-selling download, ahead of runner-up “Billie Jean,” which has sold 2.7 million).
2. “Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers
Though it’s been decades since this kitschy, creepy faux-Frankenstein party tune scared up a No. 1 slot on the Hot 100 in 1962, Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers’ “Monster Mash” has been on Halloween party playlists ever since.
3. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
When October rolls around, the clear answer to the lyrical question, “Who ya gonna call?,” is Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters,” which topped the Hot 100 in 1984.
4. “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
A perfect Halloween entry from the (late, great) Warren Zevon, who also famously sang “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” is this howling Me Generation rocker that rose to No. 21 on the Hot 100 in 1978.
5. “Highway to Hell” – AC/DC
Pitch-black metal from down under, AC/DC drove “Highway” to No. 47 on the Hot 100 in 1979.
6. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult
This mid-tempo rocker, which hit No. 12 on the Hot 100 in 1976 for Blue Oyster Cult, isn’t spooky at all until you consider the lyrics told from the point of view of some death-friendly dude trying to induce his gal to join him and not “fear the reaper.”
7. “Runnin’ With the Devil” – Van Halen
Mixing lyrics about living wild with hard rock was a winning combo for Van Halen, who ran this song to No. 84 on the Hot 100 in 1978.
8. “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell
Paranoid much? This big 80’s pop wonder about constantly looking over one’s shoulder sounds Michael Jackson-y because MJ literally lent a hand. Having the King of Pop sing backup certainly seems to have helped Rockwell watch “Somebody” shoot to No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1984.
9. “A Nightmare on My Street” – D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (aka, Will Smith) brought hip-hop into the Halloween game in 1988 when they took their tune about “Nightmare on Elm Street” villain Freddy Krueger all the way to No. 15 on the Hot 100.
10. “Dragula” – Rob Zombie
Who better than Rob Zombie, one of the spookiest musicians ever, to complete a Halloween-time soundtrack. The black-clad, fright-haired Zombie, also acclaimed as a horror film director, rode this pastiche of driving beats, hard riffage and growling lyrics about death and witches onto the rock charts in 1998.