WUSC’s Top 10 Halloween Songs
WUSC’s Top 10 Halloween Songs
By Carly Mihovich
Ah, October in South Carolina: a month full of trips to Scarowinds, fair dates, pumpkin-flavored everything, and pretending it’s fall while we sweat in 80-degree heat every day (thanks, climate change). Here at WUSC, though, we’ve been keeping cool with our favorite holiday music. In fact, the station has been having such a cool time that we’ve decided to share our definitive* list of the best Halloween songs out there to prepare everyone for the spooky, hectic, and hopefully colder times ahead. So, cozy up in front of your air conditioning with a warm (cool?) glass of apple cider as we countdown our top ten Halloween songs!
- “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
I have a confession. I don’t even really like “Thriller.” I think it’s been overplayed enough that I could go the rest of my life without hearing it again. Yeah, Michael Jackson is a legend and all, but if I had my way, I wouldn’t even put it on this list. I know everyone else really loves it and the music video is sick, so I’ll compromise and rank it number ten, but it’s on thin fucking ice.
- “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
Many thanks to Ray Parker Jr. for going so hard for Ghostbusters. How else would we know who to call when there’s an invisible man sleeping in our bed? Not to mention, Parker Jr. is a lyrical genius. He was bold enough to give us lines like, “if you’ve had a dose / of a freaky ghost baby / you better call Ghostbusters / bustin’ makes me feel good.” A visionary!
- “The Addams Family Theme” – Vic Mizzy
- “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
This song has everything: werewolves, howling, a chord progression almost exactly like “Sweet Home Alabama.” But more importantly, it’s got humor. The best Halloween songs don’t take themselves so seriously (that’s for Christmas songs to do).
- “Halloween Theme” – John Carpenter
I don’t watch scary movies, so I’ve never actually seen Halloween, but this tune goes hard. I’d make this my ringtone if I ever actually took my phone off silent. I don’t know how something so simple can be so, so spooky!
- “The Time Warp” – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The best songs are the ones that tell you exactly how to do the dance, and “The Time Warp” ranks highest among them! All hail The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
- “Black Magic Woman” – Santana
This song has no right to be so damn groovy. It makes me want to go to a séance, but like, a cool one where everyone is chill and nothing scary happens. Maybe a couple of the people there would have guitars and we’d start a witch band or something.
- “Dracula’s Tango” – Toto Coelo
Toto Coelo is a British new wave band from the ‘80s that no one – except me – knows about. But “Dracula’s Tango”? It’s amazing, funky, and catchy as hell. These ladies were also way ahead of their time. A song filled with Dracula puns about being hopelessly in love with a vampire? The Twilight series is shaking in its boots!
- “I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
This song is such a classic. Whether it’s sung by Hawkins, Nina Simone, or the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus, it’s honestly a bop. I’m partial to Bette Midler’s version (hey, it’s a good movie!) but Hawkins’ original is undeniably amazing. It’s one of those songs that’s synonymous with Halloween, and it may have been ranked number one, if not for…
- “Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett
Fools! Of course this had to be number one! This song is Halloween! With sound effects and voice acting galore, “Monster Mash” is unapologetically fun, catchy, and spooky. We’ve all done the mash at some point, including the Wolfman, Dracula, and his son. It’s practically a graveyard smash! DJs and listeners agree: “Monster Mash” is the best Halloween song. I’d even go as far as saying Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett is the most influential artist of our time. Before you ask, yes, I am counting The Beatles.
I received a lot of suggestions that didn’t quite make the cut. Below are a few of my spooky favorites.
“Rock Lobster” – B-52’s
“The Purple People Eater” – Sheb Wooley
“Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage” – Blawan
“Hex Girl” – The Hex Girls
“Cruise” – Florida Georgia Line
*These rankings are entirely scientific and are not at all arbitrary. If you take any offense with this list and feel the need to write in a complaint, take the following step: find something more important to do as our planet will be destroyed in twelve years anyway. Happy Halloween!