Top 10 Halloween Songs for Parties

Top 10 Halloween Songs for Parties

by Jared Ganbarg

Jared Ganberg is  host of  the G.M.O.A.T. (Greatest Music Of All Time) show on WHCM Radio. 

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays of the year. It’s a festive time to dress in costume, carve pumpkins and celebrate all things spooky and scary. One of the most popular ways people celebrate Halloween is by hosting or attending a Halloween-themed party. These parties are typically accompanied with themed decorations, food and costume contests. But perhaps the most important aspect of a great Halloween party is the music. As with most parties in general, having music playing in the background seems to make the party more lively. However, with Halloween parties, you have to have the right music to fit the theme. Fortunately, there are plenty of Halloween-inspired songs to choose from. So, without further ado, here is a list of the Top 10 Halloween Songs for Parties.


Before I begin, I would like to mention that this list is entirely my opinion. If you have any thoughts about the perfect Halloween party playlist, drop a comment below.


  1. The Raven // The Alan Parsons Project (1975)

Released as The Alan Parsons Project’s debut single, “The Raven” is heavily inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s iconic poem of the same name. It is one of the first songs to utilize a vocoder, a device used to distort vocals, in its production.


  1. Devil Inside // INXS (1987)

Released as the second single from INXS’s breakthrough album, Kick, “Devil Inside” is known for its groovy bassline, its simple guitar riff, and having an accompanying music video directed by Joel Schumacher. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


  1. Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana) // Jimmy Buffett (1985)

Perhaps the least well-known song on this list, Jimmy Buffett co-wrote this party song with Eagles bassist, Timothy B. Schmit. The song tells the story of a man who is unsure how he got to Tijuana on Halloween night. It appears on Buffett’s 1985 album, Last Mango in Paris.


  1. Spooky // The Classics IV (1968)

Originally written by Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. as an instrumental, this song found new life when J.R. Cobb and Buddy Buie added lyrics about a mysterious woman. This new version, recorded by The Classics IV, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


  1. Black Cat // Janet Jackson (1989)

Featuring a guitar solo provided by Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt, “Black Cat” first appeared on Janet Jackson’s landmark album, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. The song perfectly blends rock and roll with typical 80s dance music. My only complaint about this song is that it could use a little more cowbell.


  1. Spooky Scary Skeletons // Andrew Gold remixed by The Living Tombstone (2013)

The original version of “Spooky Scary Skeletons” appeared on Andrew Gold’s 1996 Halloween album, Halloween Howls, and was performed as an uptempo jig. 17 years later, Israeli-American musician/Youtuber Yoav Landau, known on Youtube as The Living Tombstone, produced a dance remix of Gold’s recording. The remix and its accompanying music video quickly became a viral sensation. To this day, “Spooky Scary Skeletons” is one of the most popular Halloween-related internet memes.


  1. Time Warp // Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the most iconic Halloween movies of all-time, and that is due in part to the infectious nature of its soundtrack. Literally any song from the soundtrack could have made it onto this list. However, I ended up choosing “Time Warp” because of the line dance associated with it.


  1. Dead Man’s Party // Oingo Boingo (1985)

Before Danny Elfman found fame as a TV and movie composer, he was the frontman for ska band Oingo Boingo. The band never had any Top 40 hits, but “Dead Man’s Party” has found a lot of underground success. It was the title track of their fifth album, and has gone on to become one of the greatest Halloween party songs.


  1. Thriller // Michael Jackson (1982)

In all honesty, the top two songs on this list could go in any order. However, I decided to put “Thriller” at #2 because the song at #1 is older, so it had more time to become as legendary as it is. The title track of Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album, which is the second-best selling album of all time, “Thriller” was accompanied by one of the first long-form music videos, running at a whopping 13:43. The song ends with horror movie legend Vincent Price letting out a hearty, evil laugh.


Before I reveal the #1 Halloween party song, here is a list of honorable mentions:


  • Ghostbusters // Ray Parker, Jr. (1984)
  • Creatures in the Night // KISS (1982)
  • Evil Woman // Electric Light Orchestra (1975)
  • Devil Woman // Sir Cliff Richard (1976)
  • Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding // Sir Elton John (1973)
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon // Dave Edmunds (1979)


  1. Monster Mash // Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (1962)

Taking the top spot on this list is one of the first Halloween-themed songs to enter the pop culture lexicon. This novelty song was released in August of 1962, and it rose all the way up to the top of the charts by Halloween that year. Told from the point of view of a stereotypical mad scientist, the song is about a dance that the scientist’s monster came up with and how it caught on with other Halloween monsters, such as Dracula and the Wolfman. Nearly six decades after its initial release, “Monster Mash” is still one of the most iconic Halloween songs, and that is why it has rightfully earned the #1 spot on this list.


As I stated at the top of this article, this list is entirely based upon my opinion. If you have other songs you’d like to mention, drop a comment below. I have also made a playlist of every song on this list. You can access that by clicking here.


Happy Halloween!