Top 5 Halloween songs of all time


Graphic courtesy of Amanda Huang

Angela Ma, Contributing Writer

“This is Halloween, everybody makes a scene!” How marvelous and exhilarating, for it’s that perfect time of the year to kick into the seasonal Halloween spirit with our favorite reminiscent Halloween songs. Although often overlooked by many people, the spine-tingling month of October is the moment to bring some of these iconic songs back to life. Here are the 5 most remarkable and noteworthy Halloween songs of all time:

“Thriller” – Michael Jackson (1982)

“Thriller” was the seventh and final single released by Epic Records from Michael Jackson’s 1982 studio album. An immediate hit, the 14-minute video showcasing Jackson in a horror-themed performance premiered a year later on Nov. 14. The video cost $500,000 and was the most expensive video ever made at the time. Heavily inspired by horror films of the 1950s, the narrative featuring Jackson and actress Ola Ray was a spectacular way to engage an eager and large audience. In the video’s most iconic scene, Jackson leads other actors costumed as zombies in a choreographed dance routine. The “thrill” over both the song and video is the reason why it is able to receive such high critical acclamation to this day, winning the Grammy “Hall of Fame Award” in both 2008 and 2009. The album also won Grammy awards for “Album of the Year” and “Best Engineered Non-Classical Album” in 1984. Now, nearly 35 years after its first release, the video has attained over 446 million views on a worldwide scale.

“Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett (1962)

Bobby Pickett’s best-known song, “Monster Mash,” is a 1962 novelty song. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton’s Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP named “The Original Monster Mash,” which contained several other monster-themed tunes. There’s no doubt that “Monster Mash” was the product of a very specific cultural moment, and that upon its release, the audience understood precisely what it was parodying. The two trends it drew on were the series of early 1960’s Twist-inspired dance records and the contemporaneous movie monster craze, ignited by the re-packaging for television of the Universal Studios monster movie catalogue. The “Monster Mash” single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from Oct. 20-27 of that year, and it has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since. 56 years since its initial release, “Monster Mash” is still a top choice for fans when it comes to selecting the most suitable song for an annual spooky Halloween celebration.

“Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr. (1984)

“Ghostbusters” was written and recorded by Ray Parker Jr. as the theme to a film of the same name. Debuting at #68 on Jun. 16, 1984, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11 and #2 on the UK Singles Chart on Sept. 16. The song re-entered the UK Top 75 on Nov. 2, 2008 at #49. It was also nominated at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Interestingly enough, reports suggest that Parker Jr. only had two-and-a-half days to write the song and actually had quite a bit of trouble during his songwriting process until he saw a commercial on TV that inspired him to write an advertisement jingle, hence the slogan-like refrain, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” This may also explain why the song remains contemporary and unforgettable to this day.

“This is Halloween” – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

“This Is Halloween” is a song that originally came from the 1993 film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” with music and lyrics written by Danny Elfman. The song suits the film perfectly as the film, performed by residents of the fictional main setting of “Halloween Town,” introduces the town’s Halloween-centered lifestyle. The song is featured in both HalloWishes at the Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland’s Halloween Screams. Now, it is also featured in “Just Dance 3” and “Just Dance 2016” and continues to be valued by people of all ages, adding a touch of sinister spice to the Holidays.

“Spooky Scary Skeletons” – Andrew Gold (1996)

On Aug. 20, 1996, musician Andrew Gold released the children’s song “Spooky Scary Skeletons” on the Halloween themed album “Halloween Howls.” On May 5, 2010, YouTuber JimmyWilson01 uploaded a video of the 1929 Disney short film “The Skeleton Dance” with “Spooky Scary Skeletons” edited into the background. That particular video has reached 13 million views, and the song’s remix currently has over 52 million views. The song’s upbeat refrain may remind listeners of “Party Rock Anthem” and will never fail to create the perfect eerie and bone-chilling effect, appropriate as a freaky yet cheery party song. “Spooky Scary Skeletons” is definitely the go-to song to get everyone kicking and jiving during the special month of Halloween.