Marcelle has a degree in journalism. She is also a certified spin instructor, where she shares her passion for fitness and music.
Halloween has inspired many a rock musician to add spooky and even terrifying lyrics! Witches, monsters, devils, vampires, and the like creep into many songs. Try this Halloween-themed rock-n-roll playlist at your next costume party, on Halloween night, or even for a scary workout (these songs are pulled from my Halloween-themed indoor cycling classes).
"Thriller" Music Video
#1 "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" is the quintessential Halloween pop-rock tune! It encompasses the Halloween spirit in every way. Special sound effects mimic a creaking door, thunder, hard footsteps, winds, and dogs howling. Frightening lyrics are enhanced by a special voice performance by horror star, Vincent Price.
The Thriller music video married music with filmmaking and created a memorable moment for many when MTV premiered it to the world in 1983. Famed film director John Landis created the iconic, fourteen-minute, $800,000-dollar music video. Elaborate, movie-quality prosthetics and makeup are seen in close-up zombie shots. Beat It choreographer Michael Peters along with Jackson choreographed the infamous zombie dance that is mimicked across the world today.
Vincent Price's Contribution to "Thriller"
The horror-movie star contributed these memorable words on the song track:
Darkness falls across the land,
The midnight hour is close at hand,
Creatures crawl in search of blood,
To terrorize y’alls neighborhood.
And whosoever shall be found,
Without the soul for getting down,
Must stand and face the hounds of hell,
And rot inside a corpse’s shell.
The foulest stench is in the air,
The funk of forty thousand years,
And grisly ghouls from every tomb,
Are closing in to seal your doom.
And though you fight to stay alive,
Your body starts to shiver,
For no mere mortal can resist,
The evil of the Thriller.
Another 50 Halloween Songs
Here's the rest of the Halloween playlist categorized into creepy themes. Enjoy these tunes at this year's Halloween costume party or on Halloween night. Please comment below any songs that I left out that need to be on this playlist!
What's Halloween without witches spreading some black magic? Check out the wicked lyrics in these tunes.
- Black Magic Woman (Fleetwood Mac & Santana)
- Witchy Woman (The Eagles)
- Black Magic (Magic Wands)
- Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant)
- Evil Woman (Electric Light Orchestra)
- Season of the Witch (Donovan and covered by Lana Del Rey)
Do werewolves prowl the night? Listen for a little howlin' on Halloween night.
- Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran)
- Bark at the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne)
- Howlin’ for You (The Black Keys)
- Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
Monsters & Frankenstein
Is that a monster under your bed? Or perhaps Frankenstein or another Halloween visitor.
- Monsters (Hurricane Bell)
- The Monster (Eminem feat. Rihanna)
- Feed My Frankenstein (Alice Cooper)
- Monster Mash (Bobby "Boris" Pickett)
- Enter Sandman (Metallica)
Devils & Demons
Devils are everywhere on Halloween night, even in your car! Don't give these demons any sympathy though or they may just jump inside.
- Devil in My Car (B-52’s)
- (You’re the) Devil in Disguise (Elvis Presley)
- Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones)
- Devil Inside (INXS)
- Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue)
- Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
Ghost & Spirits
Ghosts and spirits will be spooking things up on Halloween night. Look for those brave Ghostbusters to keep them in check.
- Ghost of Me (Daughtry)
- Ghost in You (Psychedelic Furs)
- Spirits in the Material World (The Police)
- Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr. and covered by Walk The Moon)
- Little Ghost (The White Stripes)
Vampires & Zombies
Creatures of the night will be out and about on Halloween. Maybe you'll spot some vampires out on Ventura Boulevard or join a zombie party!
- Creatures of the Night (Kiss)
- Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Great White)
- Moon Over Bourbon Street (Sting)
- Dead Man’s Party (Oingo Boingo)
- All You Zombies (The Hooters)
- Free Fallin' (Tom Petty)
- Zombie (The Cranberries)
Psychos & Freaks
Beware on Halloween around midnight when the maniacs let loose. Add a little crazy to your Halloween playlist but watch out for Jason, Ozzy and those super freaks!
- Brain Damage (Pink Floyd)
- Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)
- Let’s Go Crazy (Prince and the Revolution)
- Ballroom Blitz (Sweet)
- Midnight Maniac (Krokus)
- I’m Your Boogie Man (K.C. and the Sunshine Band)
- Super Freak (Rick James)
- Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
Just Plain Spooky
Not enough spooky rock tunes! Here's the rest of the haunted superstition that prevails on Halloween, including graveyards, full moons, hocus pocus, and maybe a rocky time warp. Be prepared for those trick-or-treaters who demand candy while you're rocking out to this Halloween playlist!
- Trick or Treat (Otis Redding)
- The Addams Family (Vic Mizzy)
- I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow)
- Twilight Zone (Golden Earring)
- Pet Sematary by (Ramones)
- Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
- Bat Out of Hell (Meat Loaf)
- Abracadabra (Steve Miller Band)
- Say You’ll Haunt Me (Stone Sour)
- Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
- The Graveyard Near the House (The Airborne Toxic Event)
- The Time Warp (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
- Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
- Creepy Crawling (Chumbawamba)
Edwards, Gavin. "12 Thrilling Facts About Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Video." RollingStone.com. Rolling Stone, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/12-thrilling-facts-about-michael-jacksons-thriller-20131029>.
Celizic, Mike. "‘Thriller’ Video Remains a Classic 25 Years Later."TODAY.com. NBC News, 26 Apr. 2008. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <http://www.today.com/id/24282347#.VAtuvEuGsVs>.
© 2014 Marcelle Bell
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on September 13, 2014:
Here's how old I am - I expected to see "Monster Mash" somewhere near the top of your list. And please don't say you've never heard of it! That really would make me feel old.
Marcelle Bell (author) on September 10, 2014:
Thank you Epbooks! I have a couple of Halloween-themed spin classes that I use many of these songs for.
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 10, 2014:
Great list for any Halloween party!!