Halloween Ideas

Halloween Ideas

All About the Spookiest Night of the Year!

Halloween Music

Halloween-themed music isn't just for kids. There are many albums available for Halloween parties, but if you feel like putting together your own selections, here are some songs you might consider. I've grouped them by type. I've included links to some of them so that you can hear a sample through YouTube.

New Age/World Music

Some of these are modern songs and others are folk songs redone in a more modern style. They are gentle-sounding songs with an eerie, haunting quality.

Name of Song Artist Description Kid Friendly?
All Souls Night Loreena McKennitt,
Connemara
Describes traditional Samhain/All Souls Night traditions of bonfires and harvest/changing of the year celebrations. Loreena McKennitt and Connemara each did a rendition of this song. Loreena McKennitt's style is a little more modern in the choice of instruments. Connemara's is a little more traditional, but it's also combined with other short instrumental songs. Both have a haunting quality. Yes
Skellig Loreena McKennitt About an elderly monk who is dying. He sits up at night, talking to a younger monk named John. It has nothing to do with Halloween, but it's atmospheric and haunting. The "Skellig" is Skellig Michael, a small craggy island off the coast of Ireland, where there are ruins of a Medieval monastery. Not sure I'd recommend it.
Between the Shadows Loreena McKennitt Instrumental only. Not exactly spooky or haunting, but it has a slightly exotic, suspenseful sound. Yes
Lady Rowan Tanya Brody Instrumental only. Harp music. Haunting and mysterious. Yes
Rose Rounds Tanya Brody Compilation of different songs, sung as a round, with accompanying harp music. I include it because it has part of an old souling song in it, although it doesn't have the right sound for party music, even spooky party music. Yes
Along the Old Lych Way Show Of Hands Haunting folk-style song (not really old, just in the style of folk music) with lyrics. "Lych" or "lich" is an old English word for a corpse. (In fantasy literature and video games, it refers to an undead creature.) The "lych way" was the road along which bodies would be taken on their way for burial, especially in rural communities. This documentary about Dartmoor and the origins of the Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles, at about 37:30, uses a clip from the song and explains that the reason why they have to set the coffin down at mile markers was that people who died in small communities had to be physically carried by the pall bearers for long distances until they reached the cemetery. It doesn't have anything to do with Halloween, it's just really haunting and creepy. Not really.

Classical Music

These classical songs have no lyrics, although some of them are from symphonies which feature over-arcing storylines with supernatural themes. They have spooky, haunting, and sometimes sinister sounds.

Name of Song Composer Description Kid Friendly?
In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt) Edvard Grieg You may recognize the melody even if you didn't know the title. Yes
Funeral March of a Marionette Charles Gounod Most people think of this as the Alfred Hitchcock theme. Yes
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor J.S. Bach This is a popular song to play on spooky organs in haunted houses. Yes
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 - "The Funeral March" Frederic Chopin You've heard this one before, even if you don't know the title. Dun-dun-da-dun ... Yes

Vintage Jazz and Band Music

These are generally jazzy, upbeat songs, even though they have spooky themes. Most of them are from the 1920s through the 1930. They would make good dance music. Many of them tell a story.

Name of Song Artist Description Kid Friendly?
The Headless Horseman Kay Starr Bing Crosby later did a version of this song for the Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Bright and cheery for the subject. Yes
Skeleton in the Closet Louis Armstrong Jazz! Has lyrics, but there's a lengthy instrumental portion, too. Yes
Spooks Louis Armstrong Beware of them spooks! Spooks, spooks, spooks! Yes
Halloween Spooks Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross They're outside my window. Let's see who can make the weirdest sounds possible. Yes
I'm the Bogeyman Todd Rollins Mostly instrumental. Has lyrics, but there's a long instrumental lead-in before you get to them. Yes. There's slight innuendo, but nothing explicit.
Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogeyman Henry Hall Vintage advice to children for dealing with the bogeyman! Definitely!
The Little Man Who Wasn't There Glenn Miller Big band music with lyrics. One of my favorites! Yes
I Wish I Were a Witch Ann Williams She'd make him love her if she were a witch. Nothing objectionable in lyrics, but I don't think the style would appeal to them.
Witchcraft Frank Sinatra What can I say? It's Witchcraft. Nothing objectionable in lyrics, but I don't think the style would appeal to them.

Rock and Pop Music

Modern rock and pop music with spooky themes. Most of it doesn't sound particularly spooky. They tend to have more of a modern, "cool", or high-energy sound. Some of it could be dance music, others are just fun to listen to. Some tell a story. These tend to be the most popular ones to hear on the radio around Halloween.

Name of Song Artist Description Kid Friendly?
Nosferatu Blue Oyster Cult The story of Nosferatu in song form. Nosferatu was an old silent film based on the story of Dracula. I wouldn't recommend it for kids.
Mitternacht E Nomine Creepy! "Mitternacht" means "Midnight" in German. The song is sung in a combination of German and Latin. Not sure I'd recommend it.
The Witch Queen of New Orleans Redbone The song is about Marie Laveau, a famous voodoo priestess in the 19th century. Nothing objectionable in lyrics, but I don't think the style would appeal to them.
Man with the Hex The Atomic Fireballs Based on the old joke: "You remind me of a man." "What man?" "The man with the power." "What power?" "The power of hoodoo." "Hoodoo?" "You do!" "Do what?" Repeat. Those are most of the lyrics. This song was used in the movie Scooby-Doo and one of the What's New Scooby-Doo? cartoons. Yes
Ghostbusters Ray Parker, Jr. Instantly recognizable theme from the movie. Fun! Yes
I Put a Spell on You Screamin' Jay Hawkins A guy puts a spell on his girlfriend to keep her from running around. Kind of a blues sound. I wouldn't recommend it.
Spooky Classics IV He'll propose to his spooky girlfriend on Halloween. Ok, I guess.
Black Magic Woman Santana Has lyrics but it's mostly instrumental. Ok, I guess.
Livin' La Vida Loca Ricky Martin "She's into superstitions, black cats, and voodoo dolls ..." No
Night of the Vampire Roky Erickson Somewhat repititious, but not bad. Not sure I'd recommend it.
Fear The Ventures Instrumental only. Spooky! Yes
Spider Walk The Sabres Few lyrics, most of them are in the title, but it's the riffs in between the lyrics that really make this song for me. Yes
House on Haunted Hill Frank De Vol The theme song to the movie The House on Haunted Hill (1959 with Vincent Price), but jazzier than the way it sounded in the movie. It has that sort of late 1950's sound to it, but it's still a creepy instrumental. Yes.
Monster Mash Bobby Pickett Classic Halloween party song! From the 1960's. Practically a requirement for any Halloween party mix. Yes
Zombie Jamboree Rockapella It's a Zomie Jamboree! One of my old favorites from I was a kid by the group that performed the Carmen Sandiego theme song. There's mild swearing in the song, and a jab at the people of New York (the mayor of New York City in some versions) that I missed when I was a kid. I'm nostalgic about the acapella version, but it's based on earlier versions of the same song. The lyrics vary slightly with each version. The one by Harry Belafonte of the song had a Cold War reference, and one by The Kingston Trio focused more on a storyline with a flirtatious zombie. Mild swearing, use your judgement.

Novelty Songs

These are just-for-fun songs that are difficult to put into any other category. Although they have somewhat spooky themes, they tend to be humorous. Some of them would be good for a kid's Halloween party.

Name of Song Artist Description Kid Friendly?
Punky Punkin Rosemary Clooney Cheerful Halloween Song from 1950. Punky is a very happy pumpkin because he got to be a jack o'lantern instead of being a pumpkin pie! Definitely!
Lizzie Borden Chad Mitchell Trio Folk music from the 1960s. The story of the Borden hatchet murders in song form with lots of bad puns. Well, bad or good, depending on how you feel about puns. Upbeat and cheery. Warning: The only video I could find as a song sample has pictures of the original murder scene, although they're not very clear pictures. Older kids only, but also depends on the kid. It's a very happy song, and a kid with the right kind of sense of humor would be okay with it in spite of the subject.
With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm The Kingston Trio This is an old song that has been performed many times by different groups. It's about the ghost of Anne Boleyn haunting Bloody Tower in the Tower of London. Older kids only. It's not much of a kid song, and the dark humor relies on knowing who Anne Boleyn was.
Party at the House on Haunted Hill The Rifftones This is a parody song about the movie The House on Haunted Hill (1959 with Vincent Price) by the people who do Rifftrax (they formerly were part of Mystery Science Theater 3000). They do voice-overs for movies (mostly old, cheesy ones) to parody them. The lyrics of this song make a lot more sense if you're already familiar with the movie and their work, but still fun. No, because of some of the language.
Purple People Eater Sheb Wooley About a strange but friendly creature that comes to Earth just to sing in a rock band. Definitely!
Haunted House Jumpin' Gene Simmons A guy moves into a haunted house and is determined to stay even though the ghost tries to scare him out. Yes