Top Ten Alternative Halloween Songs

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top ten alternative halloween songs

Alternative Halloween Songs for your playlist this year.

“Thriller”, “Monster Mash”, “Ghostbusters”. We all know the obvious choices for the All Hallow’s Eve playlist. But, how to fill up the rest of the creepily undead playlist? What songs of dread and brains will add atmosphere and pure foreboding to your Halloween scare fest? Fancy a few zombie curve balls? Sure you do. You dog, you.

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Here’s Overblown’s Top Ten Halloween Songs.

10. Mudhoney – Halloween (Sonic Youth)

NY noise rock pioneers Sonic Youth wrote this track, and the original is creepy and somewhat dreary. Fuzzed up Seattle boys Mudhoney’s treatment brings the sleaze. It’s dark and filthy dirty, revealing the dank and freaky underbelly of the under rated quartet. Perfect to get the party started in earnest.

9. Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Nearly ten minutes long and super creepy, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a good choice for early in the evening before many people have turned up. Coming across like a Gothic version of The Velvet Underground, Northampton’s Bauhaus made a career of crafting exquisitely creepy tunes. Of course, Bela Lugosi became famous for playing Dracula and Frankenstein and so the song is perfect for any Halloween shenanigans.

8. The Ramones – Pet Sematary

The Ramones wrote this for the severely dodgy film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. The track is pop/punk gold though, “I don’t want to be buried in a pet sematary!” It will have everyone embarking on a drunken singalong in no time.

7. Siouxsie The Banshees – Halloween

More Gothic tinged post punk from England in the form of “Halloween” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s a propulsive tune with Middle Eastern tinges and references to trick and treating. Another one to get people dancing.

6. Oingo Boingo  – Dead Man’s Party

Seeing as Oingo Boingo were led by Danny Elfman (composer of many a Tim Burton film score), the new wave/ska weirdos are automatically a perfect selection for a Halloween playlist. This track is good and creepy with the video allowing Elfman ample time to gurn and attempt to freak the audience out by his use of prolonged eye contact. It’s good fun and claims that party goers need to leave their souls at the door. Perfect.

5. Misfits – Halloween

Well, New York punks Misfits always looked like they were on the way to a Halloween party so they may as well be on the list. Another singalong: “I remember Halloween!” You know pretty much any Misfits song will do the job, seeing as they practically invented the horror punk sub genre. But, this song has the word Halloween in the title, so…

4. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

This is here pretty much because I like the song. Plus a psycho killer is pretty Halloween worthy, right? I mean Mike Myers was a psycho killer and he was in film called Halloween so I think this song qualifies. Plus there’s French in there too. And French is scary, right? Right?

3. Dead Kennedys – Halloween

‘Halloween’ was Californian punks Dead Kennedys’ very final single they released during their initial run. It’s significance in the death of the band can be used for you to single that your party is nearing an end. Best to go out on a rambunctious note that questions an individual’s free will in society.

2. The Cramps – I Was A Teenage Werewolf

Remember that film Teen Wolf? With Michael J. Fox? Well that has absolutely nothing to do with this song whatsoever. It is however unrelentingly cool. If Quentin Tarantino made a Halloween film, this track would definitely play a central role in the flick. Creepy.

1. The Specials – Ghost Town

This is it. It’s four am. People are intertwined unconscious on the chapel floor. The booze is gone. Someone is in your bed. What better way to sound track such shenanigans than with the foreboding ska of ‘Ghost Town’ by Coventry 2 tone band The Specials. As you lament the morning clean up, you can decry the degradation of society as a whole.

If you like this list, you might enjoy our list of Alternative Valentine’s Day Songs.

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  • John

    I’d add The Cure’s ‘Lullaby’ and – just to really creep everyone out – ‘Frankie Teardrop’ by Suicide.

    • Jamie Coughlan

      Was going to pop in ‘Lullaby’ but thought it was too much of an obvious choice. Perhaps that is a bit extreme though. Suicide terrify me.

  • Lee G

    I’d like to add that The Specials were very famously from Coventry. Not London.

    • Jamie Coughlan

      Thanks! Fixed.