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Your Spotify guide to spooky soundtracks

A horror-tinged playlist for any Halloween celebration.


Eddie Strait


Posted on Oct 31, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 4:46 pm CDT

When you think of Halloween music what comes to mind? If it’s “Monster Mash,” let’s elevate your game beyond the standard gag reels. We’ve whipped up a Halloween Spotify playlist to help set the mood: It’s a versatile mix that can spin at parties, while you’re putting the finishing touches on costumes, or if you need something to make the doldrums of paperwork more thrilling.

October and scary movies go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Each one is fine on its own, but combined they yield the true magic. So with that in mind we set out to highlight some of the great movie scores, ranging from the classics both old (John Carpenter’s Halloween theme, duh) and new (It Follows). The ensuing playlist also doubles as a recommended viewing list if you’re looking for something to keep you up late. We’ve got you covered with new hits (The Conjuring) as well as the old standbys (John Carpenter’s Halloween, duh).

Frankly, any undertaking that would leave off Halloween is derelict and unfit for your ears. Same goes for John Williams’ instantly terrifying duh-nuhs from Jaws. The Exorcist is here, too. But you don’t need me to tell you why three of the all-time great pieces of spooky music are worthy listening—let’s focus on things that may be new to you.

Do you like your horror to be more thoughtful or heady than the usual buckets-o-blood fests? You can’t go wrong with Let the Right One In (or its American remake Let Me In), The Innkeepers, or The Devil’s Backbone.

Down for something a little more playful? Post-modern, loving genre-mockers like Scream and You’re Next feature music by Marco Beltrami and DeLorian Royal that, like the movies they represent, are creepy and frisky.

Of course scares and great music aren’t limited to pure horror, and with so many other movies out there that haunt, disturb, and linger just as well as Bruce the Shark, some of those tracks had to make the cut. Since 2000, you’d be hard-pressed to name a movie more horrifying than Darren Aronfsky’s Requiem for a Dream or a piece of music more harrowing than Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna.”

Most of all Halloween is supposed to be fun. Given the political insanity consuming so much of our Facebook and Twitter feeds, everyone could use a respite. Even after the sugar-induced tummy aches fade and the calendar flips to November and the real horror show, this playlist will help get you through Election Night and can be the soundtrack to Donald Trump’s campaign expiring along with your jack-o’-lanterns.  

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2016, 6:30 am CDT