IN THE MOOD FOR SOME HALLOWEEN SONGS? HERE ARE FIVE MUST-HAVE TRACKS ON ANY HALLOWEEN MIX
Halloween is almost here, and it’s that time of year to start jamming out to spooky Halloween songs. Creepy music has a long history of being coupled with the Halloween season, and in that spirit, read on for five classic Halloween songs that will get you in the spirit to trick-or-treat to the beat.
MICHAEL JACKSON, “THRILLER”
No Halloween is complete without the Michael Jackson classic “Thriller” playing as the backdrop to any Halloween activities. This classic is actually the most-downloaded Halloween track of all time, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It doesn’t hurt that no matter the season, “Thriller” is one of Jackson’s most recognizable and enduring hits.
ALICE COOPER, “WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE”
Who better to rock out to on Halloween than the original shock rocker, Alice Cooper? The Coop and Halloween go together perfectly. Really, most of Cooper’s eerie metal songs could be played on Halloween, but we think “Welcome to My Nightmare” is among his best. With Cooper dramatically singing “Welcome to my nightmare / Welcome to my breakdown / I hope I didn’t scare you / That’s just the way we are when we come down,” it really plays to the Halloween vibe.
ROB ZOMBIE, “MEET THE CREEPER”
While Rob Zombie’s most popular song might be “Living Dead Girl,” it’s hard to ignore “Meet the Creeper” as one of his most Halloween-appropriate tracks. The track is classic Zombie from start to finish, from John 5’s heavy guitar playing and industrial flourishes to Zombie’s grainy vocals. The song is off Zombie’s debut album, “Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International.”
“GHOSTBUSTERS” – RAY PARKER JR.
“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?” Since its release in 1984, Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” has been more than just a theme song for the “Ghostbusters” movie— it’s a part of American culture, which the songs downloads spiking during the Halloween season. No Halloween mix is complete without “Ghostbusters” in high rotation.
“THIS IS HALLOWEEN” – DANNY ELFMAN
If you’re looking for a song that literally references Halloween throughout, “This Is Halloween” is your pick. With lyrics such as “Come with us and you will see / This, our town of Halloween / This is Halloween, this is Halloween / Pumpkins scream in the dead of night,” this Danny Elfman classic is truly all about Halloween. The track was originally created for the 1993 film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Growing up, the Halloween season played a repeatedly heavy dose of ‘Ghostbusters’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.Chances are, these are already queued up on your Halloween playlist, and whilst central to any party on October 31st, there’s no need to feel chained to one of those mix CDs or cringeworthy playlists when there are less-literal tunes that also fit the bill. Why not try out The National Student’s alternative to your typical Halloween soundtrack?This is the spooky playlist you’ll actually want to listen to.The Black Keys – Howlin’ For YouThere’s no better party starter than Dan Auerbach’s riff-heavy, blues-rock infused trip.
Arcade Fire – Signs of Life With a background of police sirens, the lyrics in the second verse echo: “Dead man walking take your bets, once again you lost your friends, around and around again”. A lesser-thought Halloween anthem.
Radiohead – Creep Perhaps the most mellow of the list, ‘Creep’ plays with shifts in dynamics between the relatively calm verses and Thom Yorke’s impressive vocal delivery in the chorus.
David Bowie – Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)Iconic in its own right, Bowie charts a woman’s withdrawal from the world and descent into madness with violent collisions of sound.
Kavinsky – NightcallWhilst I can only think of Ryan Gosling and the neon aesthetic of ‘Drive’ when listening to this song, Kavinsky’s eerie electronics are a perfect fit for a Halloween party playlist.
Joy Division – Dead Souls“They keep calling me” sings Ian Curtis, as if he’s being pulled down under by supernatural apparitions in what is one of the greatest Joy Division songs of all time.
MGMT – Of Moons, Bird and MonstersThe American indie duo are regulars in producing party worthy anthems. This caters to Halloween suppositions: “To catch a monster, we make a movie, set the tempo, and cut and cut its brains out”.
Jamie T – ZombieWhilst the music video documents a normal-looking Jamie T slowly succumbing to a zombie plague, this danceable track makes the cut for obvious reasons.
M83 – Midnight CityPerhaps a less conventional choice, the shoegaze infused pop-gooeyness of M83 stands out radiantly on ‘Midnight City’.
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The Smiths – Cemetry GatesUnexpectedly upbeat for its dark tone, Morrissey graciously sings: “So we go inside and we gravely read the stones, all those people, all those lives, where are they now?”
Radiohead – Burn the WitchWith a video reminiscent of 1960s children’s television and 70s horror ‘The Wicker Man’, this track finds Thom Yorke droning ominous instructions like “Stay in the shadows, cheer at the gallows”.
Arctic Monkeys – When the Sun Goes DownThis Arctic Monkeys classic dominates any indie party playlist, so we may as well use Halloween as an excuse to reuse it, right?
Foals – Out of The WoodsA danceable indie track in the finest form, “It’s times like these when I’m on my way back out of the woods / I’ll never be afraid again now I’m out here for good”.
The Last Shadow Puppets – Dracula Teeth“I wake up in an ice cold sweat and my skin starts to creep / You’re hovering about my bed looking down on me / Haunted house sound effects, Dracula teeth.” Need we say more?
Tame Impala – Apocalypse DreamsAn expansive six-minute psychedelic epic that is a trip worth taking.
Kasabian – You’re in Love with A PsychoWith a controversial video featuring Noel Fielding and Stephen Graham amongst the rest of the band playing the role of inmates at West Pauper Lunatic Asylum, this track is nonetheless a harmless indie banger.
Pixies – Wave of MutilationExploring the binary opposition between self-destruction and the freeing of one’s self, Pixies also metaphorically recall 1980s news stories about several Japanese men killing themselves and their families by driving off piers. Cheery.
The Vaccines – Ghost Town“Well you think your town is pretty boring, come and spend a day with me / I am asking real politely, I’m afraid to be alone”.
Muse – Dead InsideVerging on indie-rock and perhaps more horrifying as a reflection of twenty-first century life, Matt Bellamy sings of a person who has lost hope and becomes vulnerable to darker forces.
Gorillaz – DraculaAs a B-side to ‘Clint Eastwood’, ‘Dracula’ lacks much lyricism but makes up for it with a sample of a Looney Tunes episode called ‘Transylvania 6-500’.
Listen to the full spooktastic playlist on The National Student Spotify now.
Since way back in 2007, we’ve been rounding up our favorite Halloween costumes each year. If you’re looking for a costume idea, here are some of the best!
1. Sputnik 2
In 2010, Flickr user vietnamted put together a costume that recreated Sputnik 2, the Soviet spaceship that took the dog Laika into space. As you can see, Laika is aboard and ready for liftoff. However, this Laika survived the mission. See the costume at a different angle at Flickr.
2. Yip Yips
Sesame Street’s popular aliens, the Yip Yips always appear in twos, so this is a costume that should be worn with a buddy. It take two people to properly fit one according to this Instructable, so you may as well help each other out and into a great costume!
3. Optimus Prime
Instructables member dannyeurena turned cardboard, duct tape, and hot glue into a satisfyingly authentic Optimus Prime costume. According to the accompanying video, it was comfortable enough to dance in!
4. Death Becomes Her
Evan Booth’s costume for Halloween 2006 seemed to be a nondescript “dude in a wig” until you looked at the GAPING HOLE in his midsection! This was accomplished with a camera in the back of the shirt that recorded a background scene and fed it to a travel-size DVD player in the front that displayed the backdrop. In 2008, artist Nicole Magne used the idea for a costume recreating a scene from the movie Death Becomes Herwhere Goldie Hawn has a hole blown through her body. The creation process is detailed on her blog, and the Instructables version is available if you’d like to try this yourself.
5. Hovering Boba Fett
Linkfilter member Reapre had considered a Rocketeer costume when he hit on the idea of Boba Fett Hovering on a Column of Flame. He used a purchased Boba Fett costume and converted it using a homemade jetpack. The column of flame below hid his legs. Reapre wore platform shoes made from roller blades to make himself several inches taller.
6. Helmet Cat
Flickr user Alida Saxon’s brother put this Helmet Cat costume together at the last minute. The helmet is a basketball painted green, and the fur was salvaged from a stuffed toy. Make your favorite internet meme into a Halloween costume and half the folks you encounter will laugh; the other half will scratch their heads and wonder.
7. The Wild Things
A group of five friends dressed as the monsters plus Max from the Maurice Sendak’s book Where The Wild Things Are for Halloween 2008. Craftster member sjeanette made papier mache heads of the monsters. The eyes glow in the dark! I can’t really tell how one would see while wearing these, but I assume they made a great impression.
8. Mega Man
Kevin made a Mega Man costume for his 3-year-old son a few Halloweens back. What made this so awesome is the Mega Buster with working lights and the authentic helmet fashioned from a bike helmet. See more pictures of the finished product.
Chris Miller made his own Bender costume back in 2005. The eyes moved by a servo controlled by his hands! He was a finalist in a costume contest, but I can’t imagine what costume could beat this.
The Mask of Emotion hides your face but displays emoticons instead. This helmet was created by the Digital Media Design Dept at Hongik University in Korea. What emoticon is shown is controlled by the wearer’s body actions. If you want to make your own, the original website has design specifications and video. It will help if you can read Korean.
Katie Mello of LAIKA House in Portland made this AT-AT Costume for her dog Bones.
Bones has his own Facebook page, where you can see more pictures: in this costume, other clothing, and as nude as other dogs. In fact, there’s a photoset that takes you through the process of building this costume.
12. Death Star
Image by Flickr users Bob909 and Anditron.
Anditron always dresses up for Halloween, but when she was pregnant, she wanted to incorporate her bump without being too traditional. So she made a Death Star costume. Or rather, her round belly was the Death Star, with small x-wing fighters attached. The rest of her was dressed in black. The Darth Vader helmet was incidental, but worked well. Take a look at the Death Ray deployed:
Image by Flickr user Bob909 and Anditron.
It appears to be some fiber optics and a few light sticks, but the effect is, um, not earth-shattering, but Alderaan-shattering!
13. Coppertone Girl
It’s a logo everyone knows from as far back as we can remember. The little Coppertone girl’s tan line is revealed when her puppy dog pulls on her swim pants. Anna at A. Party Style dressed her adorable daughter in a tan leotard and tights, then reconstructed the backside to reflect the logo, puppy dog and all!
14. Leg Lamp
You can buy a Leg Lamp Halloween costume referencing a prop from the movie A Christmas Story. But redditor mjr214 has a friend who has only one leg, which made her homemade costume so much more fitting -and awesome! You can see the comparison in this photo.
15. Walk the Dinosaur
Alison at Mod Mischief put together a dinosaur illusion costume a few years ago. She even wore stilts! The dino she is riding is an allosaurus made of papier-mâché. See some of the construction pictures in this post. Allison set the bar pretty high for herself after the kidnapped mermaid costume she posted at Instructables from the previous year.
See also: 12 Wordplay Halloween Costumes
16. Flying Genie
Allison also posted an Instructables guide to recreating this Genie on a Flying Carpet costume one of her friends pulled off. The secret to carrying this around all night is a walker on wheels that supports the carpet!
17. Zombie Cat
Cyriak Harris and Sarah Brown made an animation featuring zombie cats called Meow. Dawn Weast and Suzy Gruber were inspired by the video and made a Zombie Cat costume for Weast’s 5-year-old daughter Bell. The handmade costume is a dead ringer for one of the cartoon cats that gets turned into a zombie.
18. Shark Attack
19. Pregnant Zombie
Image (cc) by Flickr user ian aberle
Amanda Fite was the pregnant zombie that stood out from the crowd at the 2009 Texas Frightmare Zombie Walk. Be assured, it was totally fake. A series of photos give you some idea of the work that went into this costume. See more photos from the 2009 Texas Frightmare Weekend Zombie Walk in Flickr user Ian Aberle’s photo set.
Sam’s brother had a homemade illusion costume that set him in a Port-a-Potty in 2010. Seven-year-old Ben could walk around and “sit” at the same time! The brand name in their area is Honey Bucket, so Ben’s door was labeled the same.