The best Halloween music is determined by the number of Discogs users’ Collections each album is in. Spookily themed releases were pulled from the Database and the original data set was filtered for Halloween records and music that qualified as ghastly or festively fun.
For example, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters and anything by Helloween were excluded, but the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack made the cut. Additionally, popular artists (such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) or film franchises (like Halloween) with multiple releases on the list were limited to one spot each.
The list was then broken up into three chilling categories: Soundtrack & Novelty
Punk, Post-Punk, & New Wave
It’s time to dim the lights and prepare yourself for these audio frights!
Soundtrack & Novelty Halloween Music
By Bobby (Boris) Picket and the Crypt-Kickers
Originally released in 1962, this Halloween novelty still holds up as it reentered the Billboard Hot 100 as recently as 2021.
Return of the Living Dead (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
By Various Artists
No punk zombie film or Halloween celebration would be complete without musical contributions from bands like The Damned, The Cramps, and 45 Grave.
Halloween (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
By John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies
Halloween (2018) saw John Carpenter and collaborators like his son, Cody, revisit his legendary Halloween scores and expand upon them for the ultimate in seasonal sounds.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
By The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Cast
The soundtrack for this beloved midnight movie is great year-round, but its frequent screenings near Halloween make this a spooky holiday staple.
Metal Halloween Music
Under A Funeral Moon
Black metal is arguably the most evil of all metal subgenres and this Darkthrone album is a masterclass in all things dark and cold.
By Celtic Frost
The stripped down assault of Celtic Frost’s debut is sure to get the blood flowing if you play these tracks on Halloween.
Welcome To Hell
The first album from the band that gave birth to black metal provides the subject matter and sounds needed for a hard-hitting All Hallows’ Eve.
By Rob Zombie
Horror movie schlock and driving industrial rhythms have established Rob Zombie as a go-to option for all things Halloween.
This hellish thrash-terpiece starts with a disturbing demonic voice that invites you to join in as Slayer offers up satanic tales fit for any ghoulish gathering.
Punk, Post-Punk, & New Wave Halloween Music
All Hallow’s E.P.
From the cover art to a cover of the Misfits’ “Halloween,” this horror punk EP pairs perfectly with the fall season.
Dead Man’s Party
By Oingo Boingo
The title track alone makes this album a no-brainer for those looking to add a dash of fun to their Halloween festivities.
Dead Can Dance
By Dead Can Dance
If the name hasn’t already sold you, this goth-rock essential is sure to evoke the holiday spirit for anyone who hears it.
The Firstborn Is Dead
By Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The second album from this brooding crooner and co. combines twisted blues arrangements with the members’ earlier post-punk leanings to help set a delightfully dismal mood.
Bela Lugosi’s Dead
The creeping atmosphere and iconic vampire imagery found in “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” has made it one of the most recognizable songs in goth circles and a worthy addition to any Halloween playlist.
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