Ghoulish Grooves

Tory Foulk

“Halloween” – The Misfits

This horror-punk staple is a favorite of many. The Misfits used to scare many a worried mother out of her wits. While “Halloween” may have lost some of its hair-raising power, it’s still a classic track paying tribute to some of the more fearsome things people think about on this October holiday.

 “Red Right Hand” – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Alternative rock amalgam Nick Cave is no stranger to eerie music, and his band’s 1994 single “Red Right Hand” proves it. The title is an allusion to a line in John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” that refers to the vengeance of God. However, Cave takes it to a new level of creepy by making the song about a murderer.

“Dracula” – Gorillaz

Released as a B-side on the group’s 2001 debut album, “Dracula” is a signature Gorillaz track with a smooth voodoo vibe. “Everybody party time/Some of us will never sleep again,” vocalist Damon Albarn drones, reminding listeners of the undead feeling that comes from perpetual partying. The song also features a sample from the Merrie Melodies Bugs Bunny cartoon “Transylvania 6-5000.”

“Little Ghost” – The White Stripes

Expressing the more adorable side of Halloween, this 2005 tambourine and mandolin-driven love song is a great addition to any spooky playlist.

“Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This single from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ third album “It’s Blitz!” is perfect for those looking for an upbeat, dance-friendly Halloween song that also happens to be about decapitation.

“I Was A Teenage Werewolf” – The Cramps

A reference to a 1957 horror film of the same name, “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” is a punk-psychobilly hybrid from the 1980 album “Songs the Lord Taught Us.” It’s a wonderful Halloween selection for fans of rockabilly, werewolves or both.

“I Put A Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

This 1956 blues number is the quintessential witchy love song. Even Hawkins seemed somewhat bewitched while recording – in an interview for “Contemporary Musicians: Profiles of the People in Music, vol. 8,” Hawkins explained that he had originally planned to record the song as a run-of-the-mill blues ballad. However, the producer “brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version…I don’t even remember making the record,” Hawkins reported.

“Disturbia” – Rihanna

A dance-pop hit, Rihanna’s “Disturbia” hints at themes of anxiety, anguish and paranoia and is possibly one of the catchiest songs of all time. It’s like a horror movie set in the club.

“Moar Ghosts n Stuff” – deadmau5

Containing a sample from the film “The Brain from Planet Arous” as well as a snippet of Chopin’s funeral march, this electronic track from beloved DJ deadmau5 is another good choice for those looking for a danceable Halloween number.

“Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads

“Psycho Killer” is possibly one of the most memorable songs in rock and roll. The lyrics seem to follow the train of thought of a serial killer, and flawlessly combine with intermittent French and a driving bass line to form one of the funkiest songs ever recorded.

“Lust for a Vampyr” – I Monster

Dream pop group I Monster explores the familiar plight of being in love with a vampire. While the track deviates a bit from I Monster’s usual slow psychedelic pace, it’s a good change and it works well.

“Witch” – the bird and the bee

“Yes, I am a witch, and I have conjured you for my bidding,” Inara George croons in this spellbinding song, putting listeners in mind of old jazz standards. This song is ideal for séances, cauldron-stirring or having a few brews with friends.

“Zombie Graveyard Party” – Be Your Own Pet

Be Your Own Pet, which disbanded in 2008, is famous for raw aural power. “Zombie Graveyard Party” is unapologetic and playfully aggressive and tells the age-old tale of “girl meets boy, girl turns into zombie, girl convinces boy to let her eat his brain.”