The Only Halloween Playlist You’ll Ever Need

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By Bonnie Stiernberg

Last year, Halloween was pretty grim. Thanks to COVID-19, parties were a big no-no, trick-or-treating was either completely canceled or modified to limit contact, and with an election looming and a pandemic continuing to wipe out hundreds of thousands of Americans, real life was far more terrifying than any haunted house or horror-movie jump-scare.

But this year, fortunately, things are looking up. This year’s celebration in many ways represents a return to some semblance of normalcy, whether it’s binge-eating all the fun-sized candy we bought, toasting to all the things that go bump in the night with a great pumpkin beer, or queueing up some spooky tunes to get ourselves into the Halloween spirit. This is the time of year that classics like “The Monster Mash,” “Thriller” and the theme from Ghostbusters all go on heavy rotation (and rightfully so), but whether they were written specifically about the holiday or just happen to fit the vibe, there are tons of songs about ghosts, monsters, demons, werewolves and witches. Some are kitschy novelty tracks, some are downright creepy tales of murder or violence, and some are Halloween-adjacent in name only. But all of them make a welcome addition to any party soundtrack this time of year.

So to help you celebrate Halloween this year, whether you’re out at a costume party or laying low at home, we’ve put together a monster (pun intended) playlist featuring 100 of our favorite ghoulish tracks. That’s more than six hours of music; use it to celebrate spooky season and look ahead to the brighter days ahead of us, when “Whatever happened to the Transylvanian Twist?” will hopefully be our gravest concern.

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