Yes, I know, this list is much longer than the last ones. But honestly, how could it not be!? I feel the same way about scary music as I do about Christmas music – I listen to it only around Halloween so I don’t get sick of it year round, and I listen to almost nothing else from October 1 till November 1. I have a rather large playlist of creepy songs, fun Halloween jams, and even a few I sneak in year round because hey, they could be regular songs, too… But listed here are my top 10 favorites, in order from favoritest, to 10th favoritest!
The Haunted Mansion: Disneyland
I am a HUGE fan of the haunted mansion. As a kid I was always a fan of the macabre, particularly ghosts and haunted houses, and even as a kid the Haunted Mansion was my favorite Disney ride. I love the minor chords, the organ melody, and even love listening to the Ghost Host when I’m not on the ride. All 14 minutes of this song get played to death during October… and sometimes the rest of the year, too!
This is Halloween: Danny Elfman
I know, but I really do love The Nightmare Before Christmas. And this song, with it’s haunting minor chords and creepy lyrics, is usually the first Halloween song I listen to October 1st.
The Entire “The Thirteenth Hour” Album: Midnight Syndicate
It’s hard to find creepy music that isn’t tied to a film score. And when it is a film score, all I can think about is the movie it came from and the scene related to it. That makes it incredibly difficult to, say, play games while listening to it. And then a good friend of mine, the people who introduced me to my top Halloween game coincidentally, introduced me to Midnight Syndicate. This band is outrageously good, creating new, chilling content for, well, itself. And while they have a long list of awesome albums, The Thirteenth Hour is by far my favorite, since the theme is a haunted house. Definitely worth a listen to, and definitely worth adding to your playlists as you tabletop RPG this season!
Monster Mash: Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
No Halloween playlist would be complete without Monster Mash, an iconic song that includes 50’s doo wop with classic monsters! And the best part – not scary, so little kids can participate, as well.
The Haunted Organ from Ghost and Mr Chicken: The Ghost and Mr Chicken Soundtrack
Easily my favorite scary theme, this haunting organ piece is designed to chill and, combined with the image of a haunted house, is likely to leave you shuddering and turning up the lights.
Toccata and Fugue in D minor: Johann Sebastian Bach
This thrilling organ piece, while not meant to be creepy at all, is one of the classic Halloween pieces. The piercing beginning trills and runs, ending in a heavy minor chord that utilizes the depths of the base notes is the perfect song to get your mind in the Halloween spirit.
The Ball and Socket Lounge Music: Corpse Bride Soundtrack
If you like jazz these fun, simple, and spooky combo pieces really bring the Halloween spirit, even ending in a particularly memorable twist you’re bound to recognize.
Theme from Halloween: John Carpenter
The repeated minor piano notes, subtly and constantly playing in the background is the perfect way to set your teeth on edge and let you know that something, like those notes, may just be creeping up behind you.
The Psycho – a Suite for Strings: Bernard Herrmann
Again, this is more of a collection than a single song, because how could I possibly leave out some of the most iconic scary movie music of all time? Even when you know you’re alone and are definitely not in the shower, this music is bound to make you check over your shoulder for an unwanted intruder.
Dead Man’s Party: Oingo Boingo
This song, in perfect Danny Elfman style, combines classic 80’s new wave with the almost mythical songwriting of a true creepy genius. This particular song is a catchy, hilarious take on a funeral and the afterlife.
And a Bonus Song! ( because I couldn’t, in good conscience, leave this one off):
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor: Frederic Chopin
While you may not know this song by the correct title I guarantee all of you will recognize the melody as the classic “Funeral March”. And this song, in it’s original format, has nearly 10 minutes of variations on that theme to augment any Halloween playlist.