8 Songs for Your Halloween Party Playlist

Ah, yes. Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping (sort of), horror and thriller films are on T.V. It must be fall! This means it’s time to break out the flannels and combat boots, hang up the spiderwebs, and come up with a costume for that big Halloween party. For me, it’s my favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s because I’m a junior and I’m still in my “emo” phase, but who knows.  

I have some strange (maybe even random) playlists on Spotify. One of them is for Halloween, titled “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. These are collections of songs that have a Halloween theme to the title, a creepy ambience, or songs off a soundtrack that reminds me of this time of year. Here are 8 songs you should play if you are hosting a Halloween party this year. 

  1. “Monster” by Lady Gaga  (The Fame Monster, 2009) 

Starting off with some classic Gaga, “Monster” is the obvious choice to play at your Halloween party. With vocals layered over an 80s inspired synth, the pre-chorus gives off a wonderfully spooky energy: 

“He ate my heart / He a-a-ate my heart / He ate my heart / He a-a-ate my heart”  

This upbeat pop song is great for any party, but especially for Halloween. 2000s Gaga had a unique sound and always had a killer avant-garde aesthetic. It’s amazing music, and what else could be better to dance to in costume?  

 

2. “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” by David Bowie (Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980) 

Speaking of avant-garde, Bowie would work great for your playlist, too. Before he took the role of Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth in 1986, Bowie released his album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

With Robert Fripp’s lead guitar and Bowie’s baritone vocals, it gives the classic glam rock sound, yet maintains an eerie vibe. With Fripp’s slow build-up from the chorus to the second verse and the song’s use of percussions, it almost sounds like something out of a classic horror film. Once Bowie comes in, it goes back to the classic glam rock sound again. During the outro, Fripp gives us another wicked solo and you begin to hear some background vocals of “Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!” 

The outro could remind your party guests of people crying in a slasher film. Or it could be something everyone screams after a few drinks; you pick.  

Brian Duffy | David Bowie: Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps), Smoking with Shadow (1980) | Available for Sale | Artsy
David Bowie by Bryan Duffy

3. “Cannibal” by Kesha (Cannibal, 2010) 

I think it’s safe to say that Kesha is perfect for any party. I’m almost certain that at least one old song by her is on everyone’s party playlist, especially now that this song randomly gained popularity on TikTok.  

Like all Kesha songs, the beat draws you in and immediately makes you want to dance. The bass carries most of the song while Kesha compares breaking hearts to cannibalism. This is the song to play when it’s later and you want to hype everyone up again!  

4. “Circus” by Britney Spears (Circus, 2008)

If you’re wanting a creepy carnival themed party, you have to play this. (You should play this at any party, but especially if you’re going with a circus theme). Picture this: the house is decorated with clowns, everyone is wearing top hats or corsets, and everything is lit with only a black light. You would obviously start the night off with Britney and live out your own American Horror Story episode…Well maybe not, but that’s what Ryan Murphy would want.  

5. “The Ghost of Los Angeles” by The Ready Set (I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming, 2010)

The Ready Set is what got me into the “emo” scene. Though the Ready Set never had those angsty lyrics, Jordan Witzigreuter became popular in the scene once he signed to Decaydance Records, founded by Pete Wentz. Witzigreuter released his 2010 single “Love Like Woe” under the label and it became a hit. It was certified platinum in the U.S. and is currently at over 30 million views on YouTube. It became my favorite song in 5th grade. By 6th grade, I was listening to Never Shout Never, All Time Low, and almost all artists signed under Fueled by Ramen at the time. It’s been downhill since then; I’m majoring in journalism to become a music journalist and I have a Linkin Park tattoo.  

Decaydance Records: an oral history told by Pete Wentz, Travie McCoy, Gabe Saporta, Spencer Smith and more | The Forty-Five
Photo by Jamie McCarthy, courtesy of the Forty-Five

Anyways, “The Ghost of Los Angeles” is another song to play to keep the energy up. It has that nostalgic dance/electro pop sound to it. Keeping up with our theme, you hear Witzigreuter compare a relationship to being haunted.  

“Sometimes I feel like I’m never alone / Like I can feel you running through my bones / And you’re not when you’re sleeping / Cause everyone’s dreaming / We’re all under the same moon / She said I’ll follow you to L.A.”

6. “Medieval Warfare” by Grimes (Suicide Squad: The Album, 2016) 

Let’s be honest, Suicide Squad was not amazing. Margot Robbie basically saved it, but the film was disappointing. The soundtrack? Not at all. “Medieval Warfare” might be my favorite track from it. With a heavy bass, some guitar, lots of snare, and Grimes’ airy vocals, there’s a lot going on. At first listen, you don’t know what to think. Play it over speakers and you’ll change your mind. (No seriously, it sounds amazing in my car). This song and the rest of the soundtrack reminds me of Halloween, probably because so many people that year were Jared Leto’s Joker and Robbie’s Harley Quinn. (That may be a good memory or a repressed 2016 memory–sorry).

The song is a bit strange, but what would you expect from someone with a son named X Æ A-12?  

7. “Ghostbusters” by Fall Out Boy, feat. Missy Elliott (Ghostbusters, 2016)

Okay, I admit I’ve never seen this version before—there’s a lot of movies I’ve never seen—,but I can tell you all about the soundtrack.  

As soon as I heard that Fall Out Boy were doing “Ghostbusters”, I listened to it once it was released. Plus, it has Missy Elliott, so you know it’s going to be good. With FOB’s instrumentals, Patrick Stump’s voice, and Missy’s bars, you just can’t go wrong with this.  

Rihanna: Disturbia (2008)
Rihanna in the Disturbia music video (2008)

8. “Disturbia” by Rihanna (Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, 2008)

I think we all miss Rihanna’s music. She had some classics and “Disturbia” is one of them. Once you hear “Bum-bum-be-dum-bum-bum-be-dum-bum”, the whole room is going to be singing along. This song obviously has some Halloween themes, and it’s well-known and fun. You obviously have to play this one! I think I would end the night with this one; everyone would be singing along and I think it would pull everyone back to dancing. New tip, I guess: always end your nights with Rihanna.  

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