Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 14, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Music Sounds of Halloween

Sounds of Halloween

Jess Cadogan, Online Screen Editor, explores a diverse range of songs that can put you in the mood for Autumn and Halloween.
3 mins read
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The B’s via Flickr

Halloween is just around the corner, and while you may be getting into the mood by watching horror movies or carving pumpkins, one thing you may not consider is the plethora of spooky music there is to accompany the season. I’m not just talking about overplayed classics like ‘Thriller’ or ‘Monster Mash’, but season appropriate music for you to listen to as Autumn gets into full force (despite the recent heatwave). To start with, I have some very openly Halloween-esque music that I think should be added to the list of classics. These include the wonderfully sinister ‘I Can’t Decide’ by The Scissor Sisters, the perfectly haunting ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials, ‘Riboflavin’ by 45 Grave for those interested in a soundtrack for their vampire themed events, and ‘Swamp Witch’ by Jim Stafford – an old country ballad that recounts the myth of Swamp Witch Hattie.

Up next, we have the introductory Halloween tunes – not overtly spooky, but some great autumnal music for Gilmore Girls season. This music is often peculiar, and sometimes dark, but should elicit feelings of warmth despite the cold. To start this playlist, I’d recommend some Kate Bush (‘Babooshka’, ‘Wuthering Heights’) and Hozier (‘As It Was’, ‘Dinner’ and ‘Diatribes’), as well as ‘Zombie Girl’ by Adrianne Lenker, ‘Spooky’ by Dusty Springfield, ‘Roslyn’ by Bon Iver and ‘St. Vincent’ (Twilight girlies will know), ‘Doin’ Time’ by Lana Del Ray, and ‘People Are Strange’ by The Doors.

We have the introductory Halloween tunes – not overtly spooky, but some great autumnal music

For our next step into the bizarre world of Halloween music, we stumble upon a collection of songs all somehow managing to follow one theme: they’re brilliantly weird. This includes the title song for What We Do In The Shadows (created by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi), ‘You’re Dead’ by Norma Tanega, as well as ‘Children of the Grave’ by Black Sabbath. In between these vastly different songs there lies an assortment of alternative pop and rock: ‘Turn The Lights Off’ by Tally Hall, ‘Killer’ by The Hoosiers, ‘Kill of the Night’ by Gin Wigmore, ‘Du Hast’ by Rammstein, ‘For the Departed’ by Shayfer James, and ‘No Spill Blood’ and ‘Dead Man’s Party’ by Oingo Boingo, a band fronted by Danny Elfman who you may recognise as the man who wrote the music for films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas. Although a peculiar mix, this is music which might accompany you, if you possess a specific taste, through the colder months and inspire your Halloween activities.

In between these vastly different songs there lies an assortment of alternative pop and rock

I couldn’t go through this article without giving a huge shoutout to the original ‘spooky’ music: goth. As the fuel behind styles widely associated with Halloween, we would be nowhere without them. For a solid trad goth playlist, key players such as Siouxsie and the Banshees (‘Spellbound’, ‘Candyman’), Bauhaus (‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, ‘The Sanity Assassin’), and The Cure (‘Let’s Go To Bed’, ‘Maybe Someday’) must be included. As well as these, I’d recommend ‘Comfort In The Grave’ by Vision Video, ‘Living Dead’ and ‘Undecided’ by Pretentious Moi, and ‘First and Last and Always’ by Sisters of Mercy.

Halloween is a peculiar holiday, as it’s not always seen on par to that of Christmas, where familial celebrations often take centre stage. However, it is a fun excuse to dress up and have a party, so why not have some extra tunes to send you on your way.

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