Kids may go nuts over trick-or-treating, but once you reach a certain age, Halloween is all about a good party. If you're throwing your own spooky shindig this year, don't forget to create the perfect playlist to keep the party going all night long.
Forget so-called classics like "Monster Mash" that have been done to death. Go a little outside the box and embrace some more obscure tracks to pair with mainstream hits that fit the season like a custom-made costume.
Nothing conjures up images of graveyards, tortured spirits and sinister, dark forces than a good goth-rock song. Not all goth tracks need to be explicitly supernatural in nature to set a decidedly creepy mood, hence the inclusion of The Cure and Joy Division in our selections:
- "Spellbound" - Siouxsie and the Banshees
- "Bela Lugosi's Dead" - Bauhaus
- "Shadowplay" - Joy Division
- "Pictures of You" - The Cure
Killer punk tracks
If you like your Halloween tunes with a side helping of bone-crushing guitar riffs, then throw a few punk songs into the mix. Whether you're in the mood for the more on-the-nose fare that horror punk bands offer or just supernatural-tinged songs from established acts, there's plenty of punk music to comb through.
- "Night of the Living Dead" - Misfits
- "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" - The Damned
- "Pet Sematary" - Ramones
Heavy-hitting metal tunes
So you want to appease the metalheads in your life without veering into the depths of the black and death metal subgenres? Find a happy medium with more approachable — but no less propulsive and punishing — tracks from '80s metal icons like Iron Maiden and Metallica.
- "Number of the Beast" - Iron Maiden
- "Feed My Frankenstein" - Alice Cooper
- "Am I Evil" - Diamondhead
- "Enter Sandman" - Metallica
Songs for the theater crowd
Detailed makeup and costumes, tragic back stories and a flair for the dramatic: When you get right down to it, slasher movies and Broadway musicals have a shocking amount of common ground. Play to the theater geeks by adding a few songs that are as at home on stage as they are at a Halloween bash.
- "This Is Halloween" - The Nightmare Before Christmas
- "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul" - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- "The Phantom of the Opera" - The Phantom of the Opera
Indie rock darlings
Earn yourself some indie street cred by queuing up a few sinister tracks from some of the artiest and most avant-garde music acts around.
- "Psycho Killer" - Talking Heads
- "Fright Night (Nevermore)" - Ariel Pink
- "Tombstone, Baby" - Peaches
Hip-hop meets horror
From the goofy and playful to the genuinely unnerving, hip-hop has a long history of producing horror-themed music. Which end of the spectrum you land on depends on your guests' tastes.
- "A Nightmare on My Street" - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
- "Dracula's Wedding" - OutKast
- "Monster" - Kanye West
- "Addams Family Groove" - MC Hammer
- "Diary of a Madman" - Gravediggaz
And, yes, crowd pleasers
You don't want your Halloween party playlist to be all deep cuts, of course. People are more likely to give more obscure tracks a chance if they're slotted between well-known hits and pop mainstays that fit the spirit of the season:
- "Thriller" - Michael Jackson
- "I'm Your Boogie Man" - KC and the Sunshine Band
- "Don't Fear the Reaper" - Blue Oyster Cult
- "Werewolves of London" - Warren Zevon
Putting together a great soundtrack for your Halloween bash can transform a passable get-together into an all-night rager for the ages. Be sure that your wireless multi-room speakers have the audio muscle to do your carefully curated playlist justice. HEOS has the best wireless speakers for home, allowing you to have total control over what music is played in every room of your house.