It’s October, and Autumn is in full swing – the leaves are changing to orange, someone on BuzzFeed posted a year-end list a little too soon, and your friends are busting out their Nightmare Before Christmas gear for Halloween, clothes they haven’t worn since their freshman year of high school Hawthorne Heights phase. It’s also time for Halloween parties where you can see the people you went to college with cry and pass out in racially insensitive costumes. What makes these parties even more memorable are the playlists that go with them. Making a Halloween playlist is tricky because you have to mix together camp, irony, oldies-but-goodies, and newer hits to entertain guests, but you can’t overdo any one element. Thankfully, I’m here to help you in your dancing endeavors with a few (twenty-five) suggestions.
1. Bobby Pickett – “Monster Mash”
It’s a staple whether it’s your five-year-old cousin’s costume party or your very own Drunk-o-ween shindig. It’s campy, it’s fun, and the only song you can think of when your friends first ask, “So what songs are you putting together for the Halloween party?”
2. Ray Parker, Jr. – “The Ghostbusters Theme Song”
This is the second song you think of.
3. Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
And this is the third.
4. Chris Brown and Tyga – “Ayo”
If you include this song, it will most likely be one of the most terrifying songs on the playlist for these reasons:
a. It’s a really bad song.
b. It’s sung by Chris Brown, a repeat offender of domestic assault and violence, and Tyga, who tried to date a girl before she was of legal age.
c. “Rehabilitation had me worrying about fucking,” are actual lyrics in this song.
d. This is a terrible video.
5. Wolf Alice – “You’re a Germ”
Ellie Rowsell sings, “You ain’t going to heaven, ‘cause I’m dragging you down to hell.” Being dragged into demonic depths by a scrappy Englishwoman woman isn’t a situation I’d be fond of. Also, the video is horror-themed, so put this up on a big screen and have some fun with it.
6. Bloc Party – “Hunting for Witches”
It’s a great song by a band that used to be great, but has had a few missteps recently, and it has the word “witches” in the title.
7. Rihanna – “Bitch Better Have My Money”
I originally had “Disturbia” in this list, but Rihanna is much more threatening in this song. The video got everybody up in arms about violence, but that made everybody who wouldn’t have bothered with it beforehand want to see it even more.
8. Nine Inch Nails – “Closer”
Apart from the award-winning music video directed by Mark Romanek, the song itself is discordant, the synths in the chorus are damn near lopsided, and Trent Reznor was in his mesh-sleeved shirt 1990s phase.
9. Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines”
There’s nothing scarier than a drunk, rich white man in a suit, probably from Lincoln Park or River North, slobbering into your ear the question, “Whuh rhymes wit ‘hug me’?”
10. Nickelback – “She Keeps Me Up”
[Video cannot be embedded. Has been known to disintegrate viewing devices.]
Speaking of scary white men, Nickelback take on 1970s’ Studio 54 in this horrifying collection of string and percussion instruments, musical notes, and English-language words. Only for the sadists.
11. Nine Inch Nails – “The Hand That Feeds”
Trent Reznor sounds scary, so anything by him fits into a Halloween playlist, but this song especially.
12. Rockwell – “Somebody’s Watching Me”
It’s that ‘80s song everyone thinks Michael Jackson sang, but it’s really Berry Gordy’s kid.
13. Nine Inch Nails – “Head Like a Hole”
I really like Nine Inch Nails.
14. Warren Zevon – “Werewolves of London”
It has the word “werewolves” in it.
15. My Chemical Romance – “Vampire Money”
For anyone who’s ever hated My Chemical Romance, you can’t deny this song is everything you think MCR should’ve been all the time. It’s punk, chaos, and calamity in three-and-a-half minutes.
16. Schoolboy Q – “Hell of a Night”
I first heard this last year when his album Oxymoron came out. The oohings create an altered reality as a background for abrasive lyrics that give us an image of the dystopia that is a nightclub.
17. Sebastian – “Embody”
The French are good at electronic music. This is an example. Put this into your playlist and impress your friends. They’ll think, “Wow, you haven’t listened to electronic music since Daft Punk came out with Interstella 5555,” and you’ll be like, “Yeah, but I read this listicle and it had a lot of weird songs, and it mentioned this song, and I liked it,” and they’ll be like, “That’s cool, but play that new Ellie Goulding song when this is done.”
18. Ke$ha – “Tik Tok”
You don’t have a party without at least one Ke$ha song, and if there’s only one Ke$ha song, it’s “Tik Tok.”
19. Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
20. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
It’s funky and it’s called “Superstition.” Let’s not forget that Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest musicians that has ever lived next to Lemmy Kilmeister and Ludwig van Beethoven. I’m also hoping this makes up for putting Nickelback in this playlist.
21. Eddie Money – “Take Me Home Tonight”
This has no relation to Halloween – a statement that can apply to sixty percent of this playlist – but this song will relate to your party in other ways. If you’re throwing a party, there will probably be single people. They’ll be drunk and falling in love with other single people there for at least a couple hours depending on how much they drank. Then, this song comes on, and it says all their thoughts and feelings for them. The lovers embrace, and walk out the front door hand in hand, or at least with each other’s phone numbers. Also, this song makes up for Chris Brown and Tyga.
22. Silento – “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
You can’t do the “Whip and Nae Nae” without the “Whip and Nae Nae” song.
23. Azealia Banks – “Ice Princess”
She samples Morgan Page’s “In the Air” and makes you forget that it’s a sample.
24. Taylor Swift – “22″
You turned twenty-four six months ago and your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you last week, but for a few minutes you can go back to when you were twenty-two years old, about to graduate college with an arts degree, and had to work a double in Wrigleyville to save up for student loans, and a car, and rent, and birth control.
25. Fetty Wap
No song title or explanation is needed. Because you know what song it is. And you know why.
So there you have it. To help you out, we’ve even put together a Spotify playlist minus the Nickelback, Chris Brown, Robin Thicke, and Taylor Swift (because Taylor Swift and Spotify aren’t on speaking terms, and the other songs are questionable at best).