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68 Halloween songs to get the party started

Put these creepy classics, spooky rock anthems and karaoke tunes on this year's playlist.

What's not to love about Halloween?

It's a holiday chock full of spooky delights like crafting a fabulous costume to impress your friends, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns and listening to spooky music.

Make no mistake, curating the perfect Halloween playlist is serious business. After all, having just the right soundtrack playing in the background of all your Halloween activities is nothing short of essential.

To ensure you've got all the creepy classics you need to keep the party going, we've conjured up a list of the best Halloween songs of all time.

Naturally, you'll find standards like "Monster Mash," "Somebody's Watching Me" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller," because no respectable Halloween playlist is complete without any of those chart-toppers.

But there are plenty of other favorites to add to your mix like songs from popular Halloween movies including "Ghostbusters" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas," along with TV shows like "The Addams Family" and "What We Do in the Shadows."

We’ve even tossed in a few kids’ Halloween songs to entertain the youngest trick-or-treaters in your crew. And, dare we say, all of them are frighteningly good.

Read on to see what Halloween tunes we've unearthed — and get ready to rock out, because these songs are totally wicked.

‘Monster Mash’ by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett

Released in 1962, “Monster Mash” is the “hit of the land,” which means that no Halloween party playlist is complete without it.

‘This is Halloween’ by The Citizens of Halloween

The theme song from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is the essential Halloween song by which all others should be measured for the rest of all time. Period.

‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson

Probably the most popular Halloween song of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” starts off with a creepy coffin opening and finishes with poetic prose by the late, great master of horror films, Vincent Price.

‘Ghostbusters’ by Ray Parker, Jr.

If there’s something strange going on in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Throw the “Ghostbusters” theme song on your playlist to scare away the ghosts — or at least try to.

“I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

This tune by Jay Hawkins is a total Halloween staple, which is why it’s listed here. It’s been covered by dozens of singers since its release, but the most famous version is by the Sanderson sisters in the Disney classic, “Hocus Pocus.” And, dare we say, their version even spookier than the original.

‘Spooky, Scary Skeletons’ by Andrew Gold

This catchy (and mildly unsettling) earworm was released in 1996 by Andrew Gold before going on to become a viral sensation on TikTok.

‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder

The writing’s on the wall: Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” is a favorite on Halloween and beyond.

‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ by Rockwell

Are the neighbors watching? The mailman? The IRS? Rockwell certainly thinks so.

‘A Nightmare on My Street’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Released in 1988 by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “A Nightmare on My Street’s” lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the classic slasher film, “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

‘Werewolves of London’ by Warren Zevon

Beware! Werewolves are taking over London. Warren Zevon sets the scene with this tune, which describes all the mischief that these fictional creatures are getting into — with the Queen, no less.

'Spooky' by the Classics IV

We’ll just come right out and say it: It’s not officially Halloween until you hear this song. And if you’re planning to propose on October 31, then you’ll definitely want to put this song on repeat.

‘Disturbia’ by Rihanna

This popular song Rihanna is not only a total chart-topper, but it’s spooky dance beat makes it perfect for Halloween costume parties. Also, it’s Rihanna. Enough said.

‘Dead Man’s Party’ by Oingo Boingo

This hit by ‘80s band, Oingo Boingo is about “goin’ to a party where no one’s still alive,” or, in other words, a funeral. Grim stuff, but it’s a fan-favorite when it comes to Halloween songs.

Fun fact: The band’s frontman Danny Elfman went on to write the songs and score for “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” as well as sing Jack Skellington’s songs in the film.

'Haunted' by Beyoncé

Queen Bey slays in this tune from her eponymous 2013 album. With lyrics like "What goes up, ghost around," this Beyoncé song is guaranteed to deliver chills.

‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials

The Specials totally capture the Halloween vibe with this reggae-inspired song that'll make you think of tumbleweeds and haunted houses.

'Zombie' by The Cranberries

With more than one billion views on YouTube (that’s right, billion), the ‘90s classic is a timeless favorite.

‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

“Peaky Blinders” fans, this one’s for you. But don’t worry, you don’t need to watch the British drama to appreciate the dark, sinister tone of “Red Right Hand,” a song about blood vengeance.

'Bones' by Imagine Dragons

We've got this feeling, you know, that we're losing all control when listening to "Bones" by Imagine Dragons. This earworm is guaranteed to haunt you long after it's been played.

'She Wolf' by Shakira

No need to believe that werewolves are real to enjoy Shakira's upbeat homage to the she-wolf who, naturally, comes out by the light of a full moon.

'Hells Bells' by AC/DC

"Hells Bells" pays homage to all things dark and evil, making this classic rock song a Halloween playlist essential.

'Frankenstein' by Edgar Winter

This one needs no explanation. The instrumental rock jam was a monster to edit — hence its name. Drummer Chuck Ruff compared it to Frankenstein and the rest, as they say, is rock 'n' roll history.

'Stranger Things' by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein

If you’ve got your “Stranger Things” Halloween costume all picked out and ready to go (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) you might as well add the show’s theme song to your party playlist.

'Goo Goo Much' by The Cramps

The Cramps totally give off surfer vibes in this 1981 tune which, thanks to Jenna Ortega (who performed the now-legendary Wednesday Addams dance on the hit Netflix show "Wednesday"), is enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

'Don’t Fear the Reaper' by Blue Öyster Cult

This '70s rock tune gets new life every year — and makes us all question if Romeo and Juliet are actually together for all of eternity. So, thoughts?

'Highway to Hell' by AC/DC

AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” is sure to take you a wild ride. Although it'll make a great addition to your Halloween playlist, it's also fitting for your next family road trip — totally your call!

'The Purple People Eater' by Sheb Wooley

This one's for the kids (and the kids at heart). In case you need a reminder, this 1950's hit by Sheb Wooley tells the tale of a one-eyed, one-horned, purple-people-eating alien that comes to Earth to join a rock band.

'Season of the Witch' by Donovan

Although it appeared in "Season of the Witch," the 1972 movie about housewives that get mixed up in witchcraft, this song was actually recorded by Donovan a few years prior. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page even played guitar on the original recording, according to Billboard.

'Clap for the Wolfman' by The Guess Who

This super-catchy song by The Guess Who is guaranteed to get everyone singing and clapping along. It's actually a tribute to radio DJ Wolfman Jack, and you'll even hear his voice several times throughout the tune.

'Hedwig’s Theme' by John Williams

Calling all "Harry Potter" fans! This classic from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" will transform your house into Hogwarts — for a few minutes, at least.

'You Can Do Magic' by America

This infectious ‘80s pop record is all about casting spells, getting hypnotized and seeing things that aren’t really there — all ingredients for an awesome Halloween song.

'Bark at the Moon' by Ozzy Osbourne

The one-time singer of Black Sabbath is the self-proclaimed "Prince of Darkness," and this song is all the proof we need. With lyrics about waking the dead and finding heaven in the mouth of hell (yikes!), this one might be the scariest song on the list.

'The Blob' by The Five Blobs

Beware of the blob — it creeps, leaps, glides and slides. This completely silly (but undeniably singable) song is from the 1950’s movie by the same name.

'People Are Strange' by Echo and The Bunnymen

If you haven’t seen “The Lost Boys,” this Doors cover will give you a sense of what the cult classic vampire film is all about. Press play and prepare to be transported to Santa Carla, the "Murder Capital of the World."

'The Phantom of the Opera Overture' by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Sounding like a spooky carnival (clowns = scary), this instrumental overture from “Phantom of Opera” is heavy-handed on the organ and the drama.

'Witchy Woman' by the Eagles

Rumor has it that this vintage Eagles song was inspired by Stevie Nicks, but, according to the Eagles’ Don Henley, it’s actually about women in the ‘70s practicing white witchcraft. Either way, this tune will have you spellbound.

'Abracadabra' by Steve Miller Band

Play this song to cast a spell on your Halloween party guests. Just be sure to have your magician hat ready!

'Materia Primoris (The X-Files Theme)' by Mark Snow

The truth is out there — and it's that this song is loved by all people, even those who've never seen the hit ‘90s TV show, “The X-Files.”

'Witchcraft' by Frank Sinatra

It’s all about witchcraft, wicked witchcraft! Though it wasn’t originally intended to be a Halloween song, this Frank Sinatra smash has grown to become a favorite during the spookiest time of year.

'Theme From Halloween' by John Carpenter

More than 30 years after its release, John Carpenter’s “Halloween” remains the gold standard for slasher films. Crank up the movie's theme ahead of the newest release in the franchise, slated for October 2022.

'Bad Moon Rising' by Creedence Clearwater Revival

This classic by Creedence Clearwater Revival strikes the perfect ominous tone, aka it won't bring down the mood of everyone at the party.

'I Want Candy' by Bow Wow Wow

The chorus sums up the whole point of Halloween: You want candy — and lots of it.

'Time Warp' by Richard O'Brien

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has firmly established itself as a madcap movie for the ages, and its breakout song, “Time Warp,” is vital to any Halloween playlist.

'O Fortuna' by Carl Orff (London Philharmonic Orchestra)

This intense, operatic piece of classical music is sure to bring the drama. Play it on loop to make your trick-or-treaters feel like they stepped into a movie scene.

'Psycho Killer' by Talking Heads

Looking for a Halloween movie to watch? Add “Psycho” to the cue, then add "Psycho Killer" to your Halloween playlist to stay in the spooky spirit.

'Halloween Spooks' by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross

This jazzy trio sums up the spooks that Halloween brings. Oooh-wah!

'Myer’s House' by John Carpenter

Nothing says “Help! I’m being stalked by a lunatic serial killer on Halloween," like this song from the original "Halloween" soundtrack. This one will have you checking under the bed before you go to sleep.

'Good Vibrations' by The Beach Boys

"Good Vibrations" is everyone's favorite beach song — unless, of course, you've watched "Us." Then it scares the daylights out of you.

'Heffalumps and Woozles' by The Disney Studio Chorus

How can a song from “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” be scary? Give it a listen and you'll understand.

'In the Midnight Hour' by Wilson Pickett

Everyone knows that ghosts and goblins come out when the clock strikes midnight. This song celebrates witching hour — and will get everyone dancing.

'Full Moon' by The Black Ghosts

If you’re hosting a “Twilight” movie marathon for Halloween, then this automatically goes on the list. Whether you’re Team Edward or Jacob (duh, the winner is obvious), we can all agree that “Full Moon” is as spooky as it gets.

'Toccata & Fugue in D Minor' by Johann Sebastian Bach (Academy of St. Christopher Orchestra)

Yet another classical song associated with Halloween, this centuries-old masterpiece is literally the musical version of a Transylvanian castle during a thunderstorm.

'Friends on the Other Side' by Randy Newman

With lyrics about voodoo and spooky premonitions, this song from Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" is deliciously dark and kid-friendly.

'Duel of the Fates' by John Williams

Set this high-octane piece of classical music to your Halloween show for an epic night of "Star Wars"-inspired fun.

'You’re Dead' by Norma Tanega

Fans of “What We Do in the Shadows,” already know this macabre song by Norma Tanega. Even if you haven't seen the movie or TV show, "You're Dead" is sure to get your toes tapping even though the lyrics are all about — you guessed it — being dead.

'Double Trouble' by John Williams

Something wicked this way comes in John Williams’ short, but oh-so-thrilling track off the “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” soundtrack.

'Cry Little Sister' by Gerard McMann

The theme song from the popular vampire movie, “The Lost Boys,” is dark, menacing and just right for when you come across a gang of bloodsucking vampires.

'Tales From the Crypt' by Danny Elfman

HBO’s "Tales from the Crypt" may have ended in 1996, but its spooky theme song lives on.

'Midnight, The Stars and You' by Al Bowlly

Recorded way back in the 1930s, this song sounds innocent enough — unless you’ve seen “The Shining.” In which case, it’ll send chills right down your spine.

'Magic' by Pilot

This classic Pilot song, which was remastered in 2003, is total Halloween magic — even if you never believe it’s not so.

'Tubular Bells (Pt. 1)' by Mike Oldfield

"The Exorcist" is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Even if you're not a fan of scary movies, it’s eerie instrumental theme will pair well with any of your Halloween activities.

'Day- O (Banana Boat Song)' by Harry Belafonte

This folk song from the "King of Calypso" will forever be associated with the iconic dinner scene in the 1988 movie, “Beetlejuice.” Watch and see why.

'Grim Grinning Ghosts' by The Melomen

Happy haunts will materialize when you listen to "Grim Grinning Ghosts," perhaps better known as the music from The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney theme parks.

‘Every Day is Halloween’ by Ministry

The Ministry perfectly captures the ‘80s synth vibe in this submersive song. Crank it up at your vintage-inspired Halloween party to really play into the theme.

'Rhiannon' by Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks' witchy-sounding vocals on "Rhiannon" make this Fleetwood Mac classic a must on your Halloween rundown.

'Addams Family' by Vic Mizzy

Nothing says "Halloween" like Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and Pugsley Addams. The most ghoulish family on the block remain eternally popular along with the TV show's enduring theme song.

'Heads Will Roll' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

You'll lose your head over this one (pun totally intended). This creepy song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is essentially an ode to the guillotine and encourages everyone to dance until they're ... dead.

'Bury a friend' by Billie Eilish

Where do we go when we fall asleep? Who knows, but this Billie Eilish tune (and accompanying video) are spooky enough to make you go to bed with the lights on.

'Evil Woman' by Electric Light Orchestra

Nothing scarier than an evil woman bent on making your life miserable. ELO's classic from 1975 makes the perfect addition to your Halloween playlist.