55 Spooky Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” Dracula said it, and who are we to argue with Dracula?!

Whether your preferred children of darkness are goth, metal, pop, hip hop, jazz, or simply the nameless shrieking of the damned, you will drink deep of this playlist that should not be.

It’s not just the kids who love to dress up as ghouls. French romantic Hector Berlioz was composing music for a “hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind” before the grandpappy’s of today’s monsters were even born.

Songe d'une nuit du sabbat” (Dream of a Witches' Sabbath)—Hector Berlioz (1830)

Robert Johnson’s plays sparse, spooky blues as he wails about ramblin’ to keep ahead of the abyss.

Hell Hound on My Trail—Robert Johnson (1938)

Everyone from Mick Jagger to Jim Morrison to Eddie Vedder has tried to capture that eerie, gravelly howl. But no one sounds Howlin’ Wolf evil except for Howlin’ Wolf himself.

Evil (Is Goin On)—Howlin’ Wolf (1954)

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s classic novelty vocal harmony record with the timeless Halloween warning: don’t buy your love potions from just anybody!

Love Potion No. 9—The Clovers (1959)

Bobby Pickett parleyed his impersonations of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi into this one-hit wonder spoofing dance crazes like the Mashed Potato. The potato is gone; the graveyard smash lives on, undying.

Monster Mash—Bobby Pickett (1962)

Poet Amiri Baraka said “Witches and Devils” was “a scary tune, going deep beneath what we say is real.” Ayler’s free jazz saxophone squall staggers and moans as it evokes the infernal.

Witches and Devils—Albert Ayler (1964)

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