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Tired of the usual Halloween music? Sure, Monster Mash, Thriller and Ghostbusters are great, timeless songs, and are just fine as background music when you’re buying last minute treats at the drug store, but if we’re talking playlist here, those tunes are a little…obvious, to say the least. Step up your game and show you put a little thought into it this year: from the soothing sounds of Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You to the catchy Werewolves of London, these magical, wonderfully witchy and spooky songs will set just the right mood as you celebrate the scariest day of the year.

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult

Whether it reminds you of the chilling opening scene in Stephen King’s made-for-TV movie The Stand, or just makes you laugh because of SNL’s ‘cowbell’ sketch, there’s no doubt this song is catchy. Its creepy vibes also make it perfect for your Halloween playlist.

Haunting lyrics: The door was open and the wind appeared

The candles blew and then disappeared

The curtains flew then he appeared

Saying don’t be afraid 

 I Put a Spell on You, Nina Simone

 Our favourite witchy song, Nina Simone’s rendition of I Put a Spell on You is soulful, haunting and lovely.

Haunting lyrics: I put a spell on you

Because you’re mine

How Soon Is Now?, The Smiths

The overall feel of this song, and the fact that it was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV theme song, makes us think of vampires, werewolves and witches (even though it’s actually a song about being human, not superhuman).

Haunting lyrics: You shut your mouth

How can you say

I go about things the wrong way?

I am human and I need to be loved

Just like everybody else does

Hey Moon, John Maus

This slow tune perfectly captures the moody vibe of ‘80s horror movies. It’s like a gothic lullaby that has a way of making us feel nostalgic for no reason in particular.

Haunting lyrics: The moon chased the sun out of the sky,

Goodbye sun! The night’s begun.

Molten Light, Chad VanGaalen

If the lyrics are taken literally, this song is not only super creepy, but also straight up threatening. We get major chills listening to it, yet we find it strangely compelling. (Warning: The video features a whole bunch of cartoon gore and a naked monster-woman and is definitely NSFW or for kids).

Haunting lyrics: She rose up slowly and walked to the shore

She stood up on the bank and whispered

I’ll find you and I’ll kill you

People Are Strange, The Doors

Whether it reminds you of the ‘80s horror film The Lost Boys (the movie opens to a cover of this song by Echo and the Bunnymen) or it just makes you think of your favourite psychedelic rock band, this song is a good reminder that Halloween is the perfect time to express your strange self for the night.

Haunting lyrics: When you’re strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you’re strange

No one remembers your name

When you’re strange

When you’re strange

When you’re strange

Werewolf, Fiona Apple

OK, so it’s not a Halloween song, so much as it is about a dysfunctional relationship, but what’s scarier than that? The fact that it’s moody and gloomy and likens a romantic partner to a werewolf makes it even better.

Haunting lyrics: I could liken you to a werewolf

The way you left me for dead

But I admit that I provided a full moon

 Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

 It’s catchy, it’s weird, and you’ll definitely start dancing around your living room howling in your costume. It’s also a fun one for kids to howl along to and should definitely be on the playlist if you’re having a Halloween party.

Haunting lyrics: If you hear him howling around your kitchen door

Better not let him in

Little old lady got mutilated late last night

Werewolves of London again

Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads

This song just might be even creepier than you originally thought: It was released, after all, the same year that serial killer David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, was taken into custody. Now, more than 40 years later, Psycho Killer is a must on any Halloween playlist.

Haunting lyrics: I can’t seem to face up to the facts

I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax

I can’t sleep ’cause my bed’s on fire

Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

Speak to Me/Breathe by Pink Floyd

We love the haunting melody of this song, but that’s not the only spooky thing about it. It also warns of the danger of living a stressful, fast-paced life, evoking it’s own brand of fear. You’d better listen to this one twice.

Haunting lyrics: For long you live and high you fly

But only if you ride the tide

And balanced on the biggest wave

You race toward an early grave.