99 Halloween songs - honouring the dead
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99 Halloween Songs – Origins of Halloween Music, honouring the Dead

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Origins of Halloween Music, honouring the Dead

Halloween originates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain some 2000 years ago, the end of the Harvest and the start of the new year. The festival ran over 3 distinct phases starting over the evening of the 31st October the fire festival and throughout the following day. Old fires had to be extinguished and new fires lit in the ceremony by druids. The festivities where not unlike New Years day, casting out the old and embracing and moving into the new. It was the end of the pastoral cycle, crops gathered from the fields and stored for the winter ahead.

Celtic celebrations involved gathering around bonfires, honouring the dead, listening to haunting songs. Over the centuries, during the Roman occupation, Medieval Britons with Christian influences Halloween continued to be associated with the wandering dead, setting out gifts of food to give to the spirits and in later times folks dressing up scary costumes for gifts, which closely resembles today’s ‘Trick or Treat’.

What makes music sound spooky

For those of a musical disposition, music played in a minor-key adds a certain musical character to the sound of the song, played in the right way sets the tone and sound of the song to be slightly unnerving and unsettling to the listener. Playing minor chords and scales can also lead to the musical piece to convey a certain level of sadness. 

As well as the key the song is played in, the choice of notes to add tension and the choice of notes played together are chosen to appear to be less harmonious, uncomfortable and not quite right when played together. By playing the melodies in a series of dissonant and then consonant styles  creates an overall tension raising piece of music.  

What is a great Halloween song without sound effects, who could forget the creaks and cracks in Thriller. 

Lastly, add the odd surprise

99 ultimate Halloween Song list –

In modern times, Halloween songs does appear to be very much a 20th and 21st  century formulation, we put together this 99 ultimate Halloween song list, and yup we have failed to stock with songs from the last 2,000 years. The good thing about Halloween, it has survived the test of time and long may it continue. 

Added a link to Amazon if you are interested in purchasing these songs

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  1. Black Magic Woman” — Fleetwood Mac
  2. Black Widow” — Iggy Azalea ft – Rita Ora
  3. Boogie Monster” — Gnarls Barkley
  4. Dark Horse” — Katy Perry ft – Juicy J
  5. Demons” — Imagine Dragons
  6. Disturbia” — Rihanna
  7. Freaks Come Out at Night” — Whodini
  8. Get Ur Freak On” — Missy Elliot
  9. Ghost” — Ella Henderson
  10. Ghostbusters” Theme — Ray Parker Jr
  11. Halloween” Theme — John Carpenter
  12. Heads Will Roll” — Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  13. Highway to Hell” — AC/DC
  14. Hungry Like the Wolf” — Duran Duran
  15. I Put a Spell On You” — Bette Midler
  16. I Want Candy” — Bow Wow Wow
  17. I’m in Love with a Monster” — Fifth Harmony
  18. Midnight City” — M83
  19. Monster Mash” — Bobby (Boris) Pickett
  20. Monster” — Lady Gaga
  21. Psycho Killer” — The Talking Heads
  22. Runnin’ with the Devil” — Van Halen
  23. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” — David Bowie
  24. Season of the Witch” — Donovan
  25. She Wolf” — Shakira
  26. Somebody’s Watching Me” — Rockwell
  27. Spooky” — Dusty Springfield
  28. Superstition” — Stevie Wonder
  29. Sympathy for the Devil” — The Rolling Stones
  30. The Addams Family” Theme — Vic Mizzy
  31. The Monster” — Eminem ft – Rihanna
  32. The Purple People Eater” — Sheb Wooley
  33. “This Is Halloween” — The Citizens of Halloween
  34. “Thriller” — Michael Jackson
  35. “Time Warp” — Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, & Richard O’Brien
  36. “True Blood” — Justin Timberlake
  37. “Werewolves of London” — Warren Zevon
  38. “Witchy Woman” — The Eagles
  39. “Wolves” — Selena Gomez & Marshmello
  40. “Zombie” — The Cranberries
  41. “A Nightmare on My Street” by J Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  42. “Dead Man’s Party,” Oingo Boingo
  43. “Dinner with Drac,” John Zacherle
  44. “Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed” by Super Simple Songs
  45. “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” Buddy Baker
  46. “Halloween Spooks,” Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
  47. “Haunted House,” Jumpin’ Gene Simmons
  48. “Hello, Halloween” from Sesame Street
  49. “It’s Halloween” from Sesame Street
  50. “My Body’s a Zombie for You,” Dead Man’s Bones
  51. “Punky Punkin,” Rosemary Clooney
  52. “Skeleton in the Closet,” Louis Armstrong
  53. “The Boogie Woogieman,” The Brian Sisters
  54. “The Headless Horseman,” Bing Crosby
  55. “The Monster Hop,” Bert Convy
  56. “The Werewolf Watusi,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  57. “The Wobblin’ Goblin,” Rosemary Clooney
  58. “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” Tracy Jordan
  59. “Black Cat” – Janet Jackson (1989)
  60. “Dead Man’s Party” – Oingo Boingo (1985)
  61. “Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana)” – Jimmy Buffett (1985)
  62. “Devil Inside” – INXS (1987)
  63. “Spooky – The Classics IV” (1968)
  64. “Spooky Scary Skeletons” – Andrew Gold remixed by The Living Tombstone (2013)
  65. “The Raven” – The Alan Parsons Project (1975)
  66. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson (1982)
  67. “Time Warp” – Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  68. “Casper The Friendly Ghost” theme song
  69. “Down by the Spooky Bay” from Super Simple Songs
  70. “Ghostbusters” from Ghostbusters
  71. “I Put A Spell On You” by Bette Midler from Hocus Pocus
  72. “Knock, Knock, Trick Or Treat” by Super Simple Learning
  73. “Monster Boogie” from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  74. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell and Micheal Jackson
  75. “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
  76. “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  77. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
  78. “Zombie Finger Family” by All Babies Channel
  79. “Creatures in the Night” KISS (1982)
  80. “Devil Woman” – Sir Cliff Richard (1976)
  81. “Encounter in the Fog”
  82. “Evil Woman” – Electric Light Orchestra (1975)
  83. “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” – Sir Elton John (1973)
  84. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker, Jr. (1984)
  85. “Haunted House”
  86. “Heffalumps and Woozles”
  87. “I Wanna Scare Myself”
  88. “Mad Scientist’s Laboratory”
  89. “Monster Mash ” Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (1962)
  90. “Night Creatures”
  91. “Shake Your Bones”
  92. “The Addams Family” theme song
  93. “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” – Dave Edmunds (1979)
  94. “The Dungeon”
  95. “The Werewolf Song”
  96. “The Witches”
  97. “They Don’t Scare Me”
  98. “Which Witch Is Which?”
  99. “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” – The Fifth Estate

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