Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. It is also the weirdest holiday.
It’s on a different day of the week every year, and we don’t get it off from work or school. It’s the celebration of… I’m not really sure. Creepy stuff? Candy? …Dead stuff?
It encourages adolescent masked marauding and bizarro decorations like bloody body parts and robotic ghouls.
But I love it. Candy corn, costumes, gross food, I love it all.
Here’s another odd thing about Halloween: it doesn’t particularly have it’s own genre of music. Halloween music had a spike in popularity during the 60s, during which time lots of Halloween-themed songs were being manufactured quickly in order to jump on the trend. I say ‘manufactured’ because so many of them are just so bad. Thanks to Spotify’s wide reaching library of music, I listened to many (too many) of these campy 60s Halloween singles and realized why I hadn’t heard many of them before. Because they’re so bad. Of course, that didn’t keep me from compiling them all into a lazy playlist anyway because– don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet– I LOVE ALL THINGS HALLOWEEN.
Anyway, because my favorite holiday lacks specific tuneage (other than the aforementioned 60s camp classics),
So, this year, I started my collecting my treasures early.
I’m talking beginning of August.
And though I’m not ashamed, I have to admit I felt like a weirdo and a half sitting on the couch, 3 weeks post-Fourth of July, listening to the Monster Mash and combing Pinterest for intriguing song selections. Nevertheless, I began my quest.
‘I’ll make two playlists’ I thought, (recalling the previous year’s disastrous three hour long Halloween hodgepodge of everything from INXS’s Devil Inside to The Great Pumpkin Waltz), ‘So I can separate the classics from the alternative stuff’. Well, it was a good start, but two quickly became four, and then eventually five, which is where I felt a healthy line should be drawn.
The subdivision had to stop somewhere, but it’s also necessary in my opinion. Even though Halloween is inherently weird, hearing Lady Gaga’s Monster bumper to bumper with Frank Sinatra’s Witchcraft is just off-putting. Like, it isn’t enjoyable to hear those two great songs next to each other, it just doesn’t flow.
I feel a good theme is integral to an enjoyable playlist, so the five themes under the Halloween umbrella became these five specialized playlists:
A Creepy + Kooky Halloween Playlist
A collection of kids classics and 60s camp to satiate all your weirdest and most sentimental Halloween song desires. (Think trick or treat, kid friendly parties, and pumpkin carving.)
Ghostly: A Modern Halloween Playlist
An alternative playlist for people that are too cool for Halloween kitsch, / songs you can listen to year round that aren’t too in your face Halloween-y. Accompany with artisan cocktails in a trendy Williamsburg loft… (actually I don’t know if I’ve ever made anything cool enough for that.)
A Party Hard Halloween Playlist
A playlist of turn-up-able (and turnt-up-able) classics that might actually make your party feel like a rager. (BRING OUT THE CANDY CORN JELLO SHOTS)
Happy Haunting: A Rock Halloween Playlist
Halloween-centric 60s and classic rock songs that make you want to drink spiked apple cider around a backyard bonfire. I don’t know, it makes me think of flannel and hay. (Put on your sweater, get the keys to the pickup, and call your friends cause we’re havin’ a shindig!)
Spooky Soiree: A Sophisticated Halloween Playlist
I’m talkin’ all. classy. errythang. Chock full of crackly, old-timey sounding songs for your classy-ass Halloween dinner party Your soundtrack for a drifting dry ice filled/ give Martha a run for her money/ sophisticated costume kinda night. (I know you have those bowls that look like cauldrons that you’re just dying to use)
… And here’s the best part about having these sub-divided playlists: You can totally play them back to back and it won’t be weird!
So have fun with these, use them for ideas to create your own playlist, or listen to them verbatim to help set the scene for whatever magical endeavors your Halloween season holds!