27 Unique 2016 Halloween Playlist Songs To Make Your House Party One To Remember
Have you noticed that New Year's parties never live up to your sky-high expectations, Christmas is too cozy to really turn it up, and Labor Day parties (and the overdosing on BBQ food) give you a stomach ache? If you're a true seasonal party connoisseur, you'll know, as I do, that the only real occasion to throw a legendary house party is Halloween. Since this holiday already has all the basics of a rockin' good time covered — costumes, candy, horror movies, pumpkins — it would just be rude if you didn't take advantage of the occasion by inviting over a few (hundred) close personal friends to celebrate in style. What's stopping you? The lack of a great unique 2016 Halloween party playlist? Oh, please. That's what I'm here for.
Sure, "Thriller" is a classic, but it's so played out on Halloween. And "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" is just lazy. Just because it references the conventions of horror movies in its music video doesn't mean it makes any sort of sense on the creepiest day of the year. Similarly, given the sheer volume of thinkpieces on the new Ghostbusters film this year, anyone daring to play the titular track is just asking for a stupid, depressing conversation with someone about how the original one was the best, "women ruin everything," blah, blah, blah. Nope. Leave gender politics and predictable music behind with this incredible mix. You're welcome.
1. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" By Bauhaus
J'adore. Not only is it thematically terrifying (the Hungarian-American actor who played Dracula in the original 1931 film is dead), but lead singer Peter Murphy sings in this unearthly bass like he's singing from beyond the grave.
2. "Profondo Rosso" By Goblin
Have you seen Dario Argento's cult-horror flick Profondo Rosso? If you hate sleeping soundly, you'll love this intensely, intensely terrifying movie (no spoilers, just watch it). Anyway, the weirdest thing about the movie is how it manages to be insanely frightening despite its soundtrack which is, well, very '80s (despite its 1979 release). The best thing about this is that this track is instantly recognizable, so you'll immediately be able to identify all the film nerds in the room who will lose their sh*t.
3. "The Killing Moon" By Echo & the Bunnymen
Not only is this scary thematically, but also in terms of association: it's most famously linked with Donnie Darko, which, if you remember, features a pretty outta control Halloween party. So painfully meta.
4. "Mort/Fine" By Vendredi Sur Mer
The word "mort" is French for dead, so I'm including this. It's about the most terrifying theme of all: wasting years of your life on a dead-end love affair. So, yeah, that's definitely frightening enough for Halloween.
5. "Jack The Ripper" By Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Who was scarier than the most notorious serial killer in Victorian London? Though, admittedly, this song takes kind of an oblique angle on Jack the Ripper; it's not about him so much about the singer's relationship with a woman who's obsessed with him. Her serial killer obsession gives their relationship a creepy frisson: "We bed in a bucket of butcher's knives/A awake with a hatchet hanging over my head." Perfect for that scary make out session.
6. "Spitting Blood" By WU LYF
The weird mix of violence and spirituality in the refrain of "Spitting blood/close to God" gives this half-shouted track a weird, cult-like feel. Adding to the Manson family vibes is the Mancunian band's name, which stands for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation.
7. "Day Of The Dead" By Captain Clegg And The Night Creatures
The half-sung, half-spoken story in this track (from a fictional band put together by Rob Zombie for Halloween 2) is seriously chilling. Don't listen to it alone...
8. "Hold Up" By Micky & Joyce
I have no frickin' clue what this song is about. But the breakneck pace and sheer psychotic weirdness of it will get you into a freaky, Lynchian mood. Perfect for Halloween, when absolutely anything could happen.
9. "Yonkers" By Tyler, The Creator
Sometimes, the only thing you're really looking for on Halloween is a sense of menace. That's definitely here with the ever-present reverb and the aggression with which Tyler spits his lines.
10. "Oracle Meets Weeping Willow" By The Drowning Men
This song is the scariest thing set to audio. See for yourself, hit play. It's the sound of ghostly rocking horses rocking back and forth, even though there's nobody sitting on them, and creepy children and dolls and zombies all at once.
11. "Halloween" By Siouxie And The Banshees
Because obviously. It's energetic enough to get everyone headbanging, but still eerie.
12. "No One Lives Forever" By Oingo Boingo
I don't care what you believe about the afterlife (or lack thereof), mortality's still terrifying.
13. "Theme From Puppet Master" By Matt Fink
This 1989 horror film isn't well known enough for this to be all that obvious. But it's every bit as scary as, say, The Exorcist theme tune.
14. "Pretty Polly" By Dock Boggs
Don't date murderous drifters, OK? Despite all the cutesy banjo, this is chilling.
15. "The Hearse" By Wampire
Wampire are a modern-day Portland-based musical outfit, but their '80s style synth will give your party that scary, Stranger Things vibe.
16. "Control" By Spoek Mathambo
This excellent cover of the Joy Division original is robotic, dark, and anonymous enough to give your party an air of vague menace while simultaneously getting everyone on the dance floor.
17. "Killer Klowns" By The Dickies
I hate clowns, how about you? If so, you should definitely play this track.
18. "A Nightmare On My Street" By DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
This 1988 song is everything. It's both a satirical tribute to Nightmare on Elm Street and to the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air theme tune.
19. "It Took The Night To Believe" By Sunn O)))
Maybe save this for the end of the party — this experimental drone metal band from Seattle is all about creating a wall of noise. What's more doom-filled than this track?
20. "Faster Pussycat" By The Cramps
The title track for Russ Meyers' B-movie classic Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!, this song conjures up visions of murderous go-go dancers and endless expanses of desert. Perfect for the trash movie fans at your party.
21. "Waking The Witch" By Kate Bush
Those voices urging Kate Bush to wake up are terrifyingly annoying ("Wake up, love."). This is namely terrifying because it's like a premonition of what your roommates are going to do the morning after your party, when you guys will clean en masse.
22. "Dr. Frankenstein" By Ice Cube
Ice Cube envisions life as Dr. Frankenstein and it's every bit as freaky-deaky as you'd expect. Also, weirdly sultry, so good for when your party steps it up a notch.
23. "Madness" By Subculture Sage
To me, nothing's more terrifying than the idea of losing a grasp on reality. Thus, this track.
24. "Monster" By Kanye West, Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver
Because, at some point, you're going to want to go big: just press play on this.
25. "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" By Concrete Blonde
Ready for a serious case of goosebumps? This is sexy and scary all at once.
26. "Teenage Witch" By Eels
Shake it, baby. Maybe you're not a teenager anymore, but this catchy Eels track will give you some serious Sabrina vibes.
27. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" By The Smiths
Because nothing as witchy and sorrowful as the creepy magic of a pretty lady.
Obviously, you could just opt, once again, for the "Monster Mash." But why not mix things up this Halloween round and opt for a playlist that no one else will have? These songs are smart, surprising and scary, just like you want your Halloween party to be. So, bon appétit — your ideal music multi-course meal is served.