Whether you believe in ghosts or not, Halloween is a special time of year. It’s a celebration of the macabre and spooky, but above all, it’s fun. It has also inspired a lot of great music over the years, from the 1962 classic, Monster Mash, the horror punk of The Misfits, and the theatrical grandeur of the UK’s very own Creeper.
We have put together a playlist of some of the best ghoulish themed music to help soundtrack your Halloween, whether you are throwing a party, carving pumpkins, or simply just watching horror movies. There should be something for everyone here, but remember; never blow out a Jack-o-lantern.
The Misfits – Halloween
No Halloween themed playlist would be complete without this quintessential slice horror punk. Any Misfits track could have been included, really, but with talk of “bonfires burning bright,” and “Pumpkin faces in the night,” this remains the definitive Halloween anthem.
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Having their debut track named after an actor who defined Vampire horror movies in 1930’s was always going to earn Bauhaus a place in macabre music history. Released in 1979, it is considered one of, if not the very first gothic rock song, and sounds even better at this time of year.
The Marshmallow Ghosts – The Hearse Song
Hailing from Savannah, Georgia, The Marshmallow Ghosts tell tales steeped in folklore from the South, and their whole aesthetic based around the last day of October. This track, taken from their debut album, and accompanying movie, Corpse Reviver No.2, is enough to send shivers down your spine.
Creeper – Black Rain
Arguably one of the hottest bands to come out of the UK punk scene in recent years, Creeper are filling the void left by My Chemical Romance, and channelling the gang mentality of The Misfits. Their debut album, Eternity, In Your Arms, is filled with dark romanticism and incredibly catchy hooks. Black Rain is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Damned – Shadow Of Love
For 40 years The Damned have been one of the most prominent punk bands the UK has had to offer. They outlasted their contemporaries, and have been an influence on most bands on this list. They do it so well in fact, that Dave Vanian was even in line to replace Glenn Danzig in The Misfits at one point. Imagine how that might have sounded?
Bobby Pickett – The Monster Mash
Even if this track might sound a little dated and perhaps a bit too novelty, there’s no denying it is still important to the dark side of music. Upon its release in 1962, the track was deemed “too morbid” by the BBC, and was banned for nearly 11 years in the UK. Now THAT is how you make an impact!
45 Grave – Evil
Despite living in the shadow of many, 45 Grave were one of the first bands to do horror punk, so their inclusion on this playlist goes without saying. Vocalist Dinah Cancer has a one of a kind style, and their debut album – which Evil appeared on – is an underrated classic.
Send More Paramedics – Zombie Crew
Apparently, when there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. About 15 years ago, that almost rang true, and not only did they walk they earth, they started a thrash metal band and played were one of the best bands in the UK scene at the time. Listening back in 2017, it’s still so much fun.
Ink & Dagger – Bloodlust
Ink & Dagger are a truly enigmatic hardcore band. Aside from their music being visceral and unrelenting, Ink & Dagger made you believe they really were the vampires that peppered their lyrical narrative. Sadly, vocalist Sean McCabe passed away at the age of 27, but his memory lives on in the inimitable music of these Philadelphia legends.
King Diamond – Halloween
There may already been one song with the Halloween title in this playlist already, but you can’t leave out the King. Of all the bands that touted Satanism and the occult, King Diamond is one of the few artists that truly lived and breathed it. This track from his eponymous band’s debut album, Fatal Portrait, sums up October 31st perfectly.
The Cure – Burn
While this may not strictly be a Halloween themed track, it was included on the soundtrack to The Crow in 1993. The movie was set on Devils Night, the day before Halloween, and it is one of the darkest tracks that The Cure has ever written.
AFI – Fall Children
They may have taken everything they know from the previous track (including covering it), but AFI certainly conjure up the feeling of this special time of year in their own way. Dramatic and creepy, Fall Children was an obvious choice for this playlist.
Tiger Army – Rose of the Devil’s Garden
October may as well be Tiger Army’s month, but whenever you listen to them, you can almost hear the crackling of bonfires and see the spirits rising. Nick 13’s smooth vocal adds extra romanticism to Rose Of The Devils Garden, will warm up your Halloween however you are spending it.
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