The spookiest time of the year is finally here — which means it’s time to monster mash at your greatest-ever Halloween party! You might have already started brewing a few festive cocktails, lined up some creative Halloween games, and of course set out the best Halloween party snacks, but to really set the vibe, you’ll obviously need a goblin-approved playlist, too. Luckily for you, we’ve selected 55 of the best Halloween songs, ranging from your favorite movie soundtracks to the spookiest radio hits, so you can get the party started with the creepiest, most bone-chilling tunes.
“Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga
If we could pick a Halloween theme song, this might be it. Gaga’s booming industrial smash from 2009 lists several horror movies in the lyrics. “I want your Psycho, your Vertigo shtick; want you in my Rear Window—back your sick,” she sings. Gaga’s citing these Alfred Hitchcock films to tell her partners that she wants all parts of them, even the parts they don’t like. And let’s be honest: What’s scarier than love?
“I eat boys up: breakfast and lunch. Then when I’m thirsty, I drink their blood,” Kesha exclaims on this admittedly graphic banger, released in 2010 from an EP of the same name. It’s one part childish, two parts tongue-in-cheek, and all parts ideal for a Halloween playlist.
“Black Widow,” Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea
The eerie clapping in the background of this song’s chorus would also work well for a seance. This isn’t a suggestion to host a seance—just a (scary) observation. Well, scary and catchy.
“Look What You Made Do,” Taylor Swift
The pulsating synths on “Look What You Made Me Do” were already ominous, but then Swift dropped the music video, in which she dresses up like a literal zombie. Consider us officially scared—and consider this song officially on my Halloween playlist.
“Disturbia” is one of the most on-the-money Halloween songs to come out in the past 15 years. “Am I scaring you tonight?” Rihanna asks during its chilly chorus, which is filled with enough smoky bells and whistles to light up a haunted house. Contrary to the song’s bridge, this isn’t a curse we need release from.
This trippy dubstep offering from Madonna’s 2015 album Rebel Heart is just weird enough to pump up your Halloween playlist.
“She Wolf,” Shakira
Shakira’s electro-pop experimentation in 2009 resulted in “She Wolf,” a slinky, understated smash with a chorus that features actual howling. Perfect for a full moon, eh?
“Warm Blood,” Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen’s buoyant 2015 album Emotion veers slightly left with “Warm Blood,” a throbbing, midtempo tune that I can just see the Sanderson sisters dancing to.
“Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish
“Bad Guy,” with its muffled vocals, warped sound, and creepy undertones, should be played at every (vaccinated) Halloween party this year.
“Bring Me to Life,” Evanescence
“Bring Me to Life” is the original spooky pop song. With its cold sonics and even colder lyrics—“Save me from the nothing I’ve become”—it’s an anthem for not only emo kids, but, ya know, witches.
“Not So Bad in L.A.,” Allie X
Allie X explores the dark side of Hollywood on “Not So Bad in L.A.,” which includes lyrics like “The ghosts of the ’90s walk the streets” and has a sound that just feelsunnerving.
“All the Things She Said,” t.A.t.u
This early-2000s staple will add the perfect amount of moody angst to your Halloween playlist.
Nobody’s Home,” Avril Lavigne
Much like “All the Things She Said,” Lavigne’s 2004 jam “Nobody’s Home” will provide the scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs downtempo moment that every good Halloween party needs.
“Bad Idea,” Ariana Grande
A highlight off Grande’s Thank U, Next album, “Bad Idea” is a song about wanting to spend some private time with a lover, but its throbbing, foreboding production makes it spooky-adjacent
“Thriller,” Michael Jackson
Do we even need to explain why this one made the list of the best Halloween music?
“Ghosts ’n’ Stuff,” Deadmau5
Every good party needs a full-on dance break, and “Ghosts ’n’ Stuff”—with lyrics like “Lift me up to the stars; we are coming home”—is here to provide it.
“Zombie,” Natalia Kills
“Cold, cold, freezing, freezing,” Natalia growls on this biting electro jam shortly after exclaiming, “I’m in love with a zombie!” That…legit sounds like the plot of a B horror movie.
“Two Ghosts,” Harry Styles
“We’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me,” Styles croons on this sad-boy ballad. Maybe play this one at the end of the night.
“Voodoo,” Nick Jonas
Hands down one of my favorite Nick Jonas songs, “Voodoo” is a punchy pop nightmare that, sonically, recalls Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream era and lyrically describes feeling too attached to a lover.
“The Hills,” The Weeknd
“The Hills” feels like the subdued opening of an art house horror film, and I mean that as the highest compliment. It’s an ominous, addictive track that shows off The Weeknd’s impressive vocal prowess.
“Walking With a Ghost,” Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara have a compelling catalog of soft-rock tunes, but “Walking With a Ghost” is their spookiest offering, with lyrics like, “I was walking with a ghost. I said please, please don’t insist.”
“Maneater,” Nelly Furtado
Furtado’s early 2000s hit is all about a woman who makes her future male prospects “buy cars” and “cut cards.” So in other words, a hero. She has fun with the character, musing lyrics like, “Everybody look at me, me. I walk in the door, you start screaming.”
“Howlin’ for You,” The Black Keys
Almost everything from The Black Keys’ discography works for a party playlist—even a Halloween party playlist. “Howlin’ for You” sounds like the theme song for a werewolf looking to have a good time.
“Get Your Freak On,” Missy Elliot
A playlist of Halloween party music only works if you can find a way to include Missy Elliot. That’s just facts
“The Monster,” Eminem featuring Rihanna
The lyrics begin, “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed.” Freaky.
Arguably one of the best songs on Beyoncé’s eponymous 2013 album, “Haunted” is a sonic roller coaster, starting slow and eerie before morphing into a full-on club banger with lots of atmospheric echoes. It’s, well, haunting. Ergo one of the best Halloween songs ever