WMSC Music Picks: Halloween 2022

Written by on October 25, 2022

Welcome back to another Music Picks article! A collaborative collection of WMSC’s music recommendations and reviews. This installment’s theme is spooky songs in the spirit of Halloween!

 

“Baby You’re a Haunted House” – Gerard Way

Review by Lara Ziccardi 

Oh baby, this is on my fall playlist every year. After My Chemical Romance broke up, one of Gerard Way’s projects was his solo career. Way, after his debut solo album Hesitant Alien in 2014, “Baby, You’re a Haunted House” was released October 26th, 2018. While the large, umbrella term for this song is alternative/indie, there’s niche genres of power pop and pop punk. While “Baby, You’re a Haunted House” has a catchy tune and may remind the listener of spooky season (like myself), it’s meaning is the opposite. Gerard Way wrote in a statement, “[The song] is about all our inner ghosts and demons and what it feels like being in love and having to deal with your own internal horror show.” 

 

“It’s Almost Halloween” – Panic! At The Disco 

Review by Lara Ziccardi 

While I feel like Panic! wrote this song as joke, it’s my go to halloween song. Fun fact, the only place you can find this song is on YouTube. “It’s Almost Halloween” was released to the site on October 25th, 2008. At the time, the members of Panic! At The Disco were Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Jon Walker and Spencer Smith. Months before the music video was dropped, their second studio album Pretty. Odd. came out on March 25th, 2008. The song has a fun, playful quirky vibe that paints a picture of the fun holiday. They mention fun Halloween traditions such as “carvin’ pumpkins” and “do the trick-or-treat.” Every October, myself and many other people play this absolute bop to celebrate spooky season.

 

“Oh Klahoma” – Jack Stauber 

Review by Lara Ziccardi

One of my favorite fall songs! While there are no lyrics relating to the season, there’s a special trend that goes with it. This song goes with the ghost trend, a photoshoot where people put white sheets over them with fun sunglasses or hats. The song reminds me of cute ghosts doing human things, pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider donuts and crisp fall weather with the colorful leaves.

 

“Ghosts Just Wanna Dance” – The Penguin Band

Review by Aidan Ivers

There hasn’t been a time quite like the year 2012, especially the latter part of it. For me, that time meant logging into Disney’s Club Penguin after school and homework to be filled with excitement for the Halloween Party of that year. A special aspect of the Halloween Party in 2012 was that players were able to transform their penguins into ghosts, and so the creators of Club Penguin decided to release a single to promote the party. THey brought together two of the biggest stars of the virtual game’s world: The Penguin Band and Cadence to perform “Ghosts Just Wanna Dance.” The song combines pop and rap with an electronic-rock melody to fit the imagery and trepidation of Halloween, and it focuses on the perspective of ghosts having the intention not to frighten others during the spooky night, but rather to dance and party with them to a timeless tune.

 

“Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers

Review by Andrew Cooper

“The Monster Mash” is a song that is altogether nostalgic and personal for me. As a kid, Halloween was a time for dressing up, trick or treating, getting scared at haunted houses, and watching scary movies. One of my personal family traditions, however, was when my mother decorated our house for Halloween. She was a science teacher and would get dry ice to make the grass look like a foggy cemetery. She also always had an old-school boombox, a cassette player that she’d only really bring out during this time of year. She would hide it behind a push and play music like “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” that aided the ambience of Halloween. “Monster Mash” perfectly builds a world and setting within the piece. Its sound effects are not just instrumental but almost more realistic, and Bobby Pickett practically places you in a Halloween world. The lyrics are of course a lot of fun as well, with a catchy chorus of ghoulish creatures and descriptions that create an atmosphere of the spooky, but also even the cute and fun nature of Halloween. 

 

“This is Halloween” – Marilyn Manson

Review by Andrew Cooper

Marilyn Manson’s “This is Halloween” is one of the most iconic songs in the world of Halloween music and movies. “This is Halloween” is a song from the hit stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The piece is sung by a chorus from characters in the film, which features interesting vocal ranges from unsettling high pitched and extremely deep resonating voices that create a unique Halloween feel. The song’s lyrics also make for a very sinister and fun Halloween ambience which makes this song so iconic. The song describes some of the more frightening, gross, and scary elements that a Halloween town has to offer. My personal favorite part about the song is its immersion into the film, and even one that ultimately enhances my spirit each year for Halloween. 

 

“Sweet But Psycho” – Ava Max

Review by Brandon Matos

I listened to this song nonstop on the radio the year it came out, and to me it was the soundtrack for Halloween. Arguably one of Ava Max’s most popular songs, “Sweet But Psycho” was released on September 18, 2020 as part of her album Heaven and Hell. The way that I always interpreted the song was this deranged psycho woman would lure in men and then spit them out as fast as she took them, like a psychopath would. The lyrics even state that she is screaming “mine” at night like a lunatic. I don’t listen to Ava Max’s other songs that much, but my Halloween playlist would be incomplete without this song.

 

Arms Tonite” – Mother Mother

Review by Brandon Matos

Arms Tonite” was released by the band Mother Mother on September 23rd, 2008 with their most popular album “O My Heart.” “Hayloft” is Mother Mother’s most popular song in the album, with it being played on radio to viral TikTok’s, and even getting its own remaster, which has unfortunately overshadowed “Arms Tonite.” The lyrics insinuate that someone’s lover died in their arms, which would usually make for a tragic song. However, the upbeat music and romanticized words give the song an eerie vibe. I recently discovered this song a month ago, and I consider it an overlooked gem of a song.

 

“Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell

Review by Nino DeNino

“Somebody’s Watching Me” is undoubtedly a Halloween CLASSIC! This hit was released in early 1984 by Rockwell, who talks about how he is just a normal man who works a nine to five but he feels like he is in some sort of “Twilight Zone” and he can’t help but feel like somebody is always watching him. The song features the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson, with his extravagant vocals preaching, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me!” Whenever I hear this song, I can’t help but sing along. I am a huge fan of the techno vibes driving through this track with an exhilarating synthesizer solo in the middle. I couldn’t imagine the halloween season without this classic song!

 

“bad guy” – Billie Eilish

Review by Nino DeNino

“Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish is another classic spooky song. Released in 2019, this song has received multiple awards, including a Grammy Award for song of the year in 2020 and another for best record in 2020. The song starts off with a catchy bassline that easily gets stuck in your head. Billie does a great job at overtaking the pop genre and she is definitely making it her own in a fantastic way. She has claimed that one inspiration for the song was the “Plants vs. Zombies” theme song- I can’t unhear it and that makes me love the song so much more! Billie delivers a solid three minutes of talent and just enjoyable music, and I just love checking out everything she puts out for us to listen to.

 

“Ghostbusters” Theme Song – Ray Parker Jr. 

Review by Bryce Medard

One of the reasons why I love this song is because as soon as you hear the first five seconds of it, you instantly know what song it is. What makes this song so great is that it plays with the listener’s emotions. In the beginning, it starts with a creepy organ, which can make the listener very tense and uncomfortable. However, after ten seconds of hearing that, the drums begin to play and the listener is immediately put to ease. Another reason why this song is so iconic is because it’s catchy. Even when it isn’t Halloween, I still find myself singing it from time to time. For many people, the first time they heard this song was when they saw the movie, but for me, the reason why I watched the movie was because of this song. 

 

“Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett

Review by Bryce Medard

“Monster Mash” is arguably the greatest Halloween song of all time. The song pulls you in with the sound of a creaking door, popped bubbles, and metals being shifted around in the background. At this point, the actual song hasn’t even started yet, but the audience is already asking themselves: What is going on? A few seconds later, a narration begins of a man explaining that a monster appeared in his lab. This is when the listener realizes that the sound effects they hear in the beginning of the song were of the man creating his monster. One of the reasons why I love this song is because unlike Halloween itself, the song is very mellow and somewhat relaxing to listen to.

 

Waking the Witch” – Kate Bush

Review by Katarina Nikolic

While “Running Up That Hill” got its flowers this summer because of Stranger Things, the track is just one of many incredible moments on Kate Bush’s seminal 1985 album, Hounds of Love. Another highlight is “Waking the Witch,” a song otherworldly and energetic enough for the Halloween season. The first part of a three-song story, “Waking the Witch,” according to Genius, hauntingly starts the tale of a woman drowning in a shipwreck. Chaotic instrumental and production, bewitching, glitchy vocal performance from Bush, and a bellowing monstrous voice all combine to make “Waking the Witch” an unsettling masterpiece. 

 

“Toxic” – Britney Spears

Review by Katarina Nikolic

It is undeniable that “Toxic” is a timeless pop classic that should never be left off any Halloween party playlist. From the shrill violins, to the surf-rock guitar that sounds like it was plucked right from the Munsters theme song, to Britney Spears’ distorted, breathy vocals- “Toxic” is a fun, spooky adventure from start to finish. 

 

“Frankenstein” – Rina Sawayama

Review by Katarina Nikolic

Experimental pop queen Rina Sawayama has never shied away from conceptual songs and music videos, and no less is true on her new album, Hold The Girl. In “Frankenstein,” she imagines herself as the infamous monster we all know and love. She uses the tale as an allegory for her own trauma and mental health issues, asking for someone to fix her and to be someone’s own Frankenstein. Sawayama pairs her personal lyrics with a fast-paced, thrumming instrumental, and a gloomy melody: “I don’t want to be a monster anymore.” This is the perfect Halloween bop for both raving and unpacking your problems in therapy! 

 

“Calling All the Monsters” – China Anne McClain

Review by Jonah Glass

This song is synonymous with Halloween. “Calling All The Monsters” is the second single from the A.N.T Farm album, released in 2011. The melody has that classic electric pop sound that almost every Disney pop song from that era has, and brings back waves of nostalgia. I still remember the dance my friend and I choreographed to this song on Halloween night after we had finished trick or treating. It takes me back to a simpler time and is extremely catchy.

 

“Disturbia” – Rihanna

Review by Jonah Glass

Released in 2008, this dance-pop classic is the perfect mix of spooky vibes and Y2K classics. “Disturbia” debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number eighteen on June 26, 2008 and became Rihanna’s sixth top 20 song from her album Good Girl Gone Bad. This song holds a lot of nostalgia, and I’m crossing my fingers I get to dance to it on Halloween night.

 

“Goodnight Socialite” – The Brobecks

Review by Emily McCormack

Violent Things is one of the most underrated albums that I know and love. There are very few albums that I can honestly say I will never skip a song when listening to it in full… and when asked for my favorite of all time, this is always a go-to answer. One of the first Brobecks songs that I discovered, “Goodnight Socialite” has a sinister, eerie vibe about it. The opening lines are as follows: “In the darkest corner of the house, I found her body there / Cold and stuff, spine in a twist. / She left a note, it read like so, / My dearest one, here’s what you’ve done.” I don’t know about you, but there are few things that I think would fit the Halloween vibe more than a song that starts with… the singer admitting to a murder of their ex-lover. Hehe. Though this song was released over a decade ago, this track always manages to sneak its way into rotation, and there will never be a day I don’t welcome the voice of Dallon Weekes into my routine. 

 

“Mx. Sinister” – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME

Review by Emily McCormack

Speaking of sinister vibes… and Dallon Weekes… “Mx. Sinister” was one of my favorite iDKHOW unreleased tracks for years before the duo released the official, studio version of it. Listening to a song when it debuts, but after listening to it for years, is a strange feeling- because you know the song, but are also being introduced to it at the same time. I had the chance to relive this song twice, and it has stuck with me ever since. This song follows the stalker-narrator who plans on making someone fall in love with him, and will do anything in his power to make them his. One of the creepiest lines of the song has to be these: “You never seem to notice when I follow you home / In the dark of your apartment when you think you’re alone.” & “You never seem to notice that my heart beats for you / So I’ll open you up, and make yours beat for me too.” This song definitely makes me nervous in the same way that a horror film would… therefore I automatically associate this song with the Halloween vibe (though I will admit that this is truly a year-around song). 

 

“Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” – John Sebastian Bach

Review by Joe Forbes

The ballad that is probably the most Halloween-y Halloween song. Many people know they’re listening to one of the greatest composers of all time, but do they realize it’s the legendary J.S Bach? In recent media (past 100 years) this has been associated with the monster known as Dracula, but did you know that the first time this masterpiece was featured in a film was in Fantasia? Overall, this song’s haunting organ makes it an all-time classic for Horror films and, of course, Halloween. I am quite the avid fan of the eerie gothic organ. If you don’t have this 18th Century banger on your Halloween playlist, you won’t be getting the aux at any of the hottest Halloween parties.

 

“Spooky, Scary Skeletons (Undead Tombstone Remix)” – Andrew Gold

Review by Joe Forbes

This remix has notoriously taken over internet culture over the last ten or so years. The Undead Tombstone Remix is the version of the song most people know due to its extreme surge in popularity. The song was originally made in 1996 by Andrew Gold for an animated children’s cartoon. It can be easily identified with four jolly dancing skeletons, followed by some more Halloween festivities in a 20-60 second meme. This remix creates such an upbeat and fun energy that brings joy to anyone, even a Halloween scrooge. During Halloween time this song gets you jumping at the club…. Or on line at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice triple foam latte. 

 

“Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell

Review by Monique Dzaba

This spooky season I’ll be listening to Rockwell’s “Someone’s Watching Me.” This song captures the eerie feeling of being a regular person who suddenly encounters strange things. You get the impression that you must constantly keep an eye on your back, without knowing why. The constant intrusion of your thoughts taking control of you and making you believe you are seeing things that may not actually be there. “Somebody’s Watching Me” is an R&B soul pop song from 1984. Michael Jackson and Jermaine Jackson contributed to the chorus and backing vocals of this song, which became a hit for Rockwell, whose real name is Kennedy William Gordon, is an American musician, songwriter, and singer.

 

“Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

Review by Monique Dzaba

The song “Superstition” is about bad luck; Halloween is all about creepy and crawly things. Hearing the lyrics to this song will make you think about all the things that can go wrong and how to get rid of them, and put you in a good funky mood at the same time. “Superstition” was released in 1972 on Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album in the classic soul genre. In 1974, it received two Grammy Awards for best R&B song and best male R&B performance, as well as won an American Music Award for favorite soul and R&B song. Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Morris, is an American singer-songwriter regarded as a pioneer and influenced artists in the rhythm and blues, pop, soul, and gospel genres, including funk, and jazz genres.

 

“Haunted” – Evanescence

Review by JT Bethea

Evanescence is the prime real estate of dark, eerie emo music that should 1000% be on every little witches halloween playlist -or what are you doing with your life? NOTHING! Haunted has chilling lyrics that cool the spine like “watching me, wanting me” and “fearing you, loving you.” Any spooky lover should be an Evanescence fan club president and, “Haunted” should be on the top of the list.

 

“Is It Scary” – Michael Jackson

Review by JT Bethea

When we think of Halloween music, everyone immediately jumps to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. However, the King of Pop has more songs in the spooky dimension besides the theatrical earworm that plagued Party City commercials for a decade. “Is It Scary” has a bit more of an eerie undertone to it than “Thriller” does. Tantalizing lyrics like “So did you come to me to see your fantasies performed before your very eyes. / A haunting ghostly treat, the ghoulish trickery and spirits dancing in the night” play with the soul deeper than the playful lines of “Thriller.” This one is definitely an anthem for the lovers of the darker hearts.

 

“Darkside” – Neoni

Review by JT Bethea

The sinisterly playful vocals Neoni brings to this undeniable bop makes “Darkside” an absolute must for this pick. A song that rivals Ashnikko and Billie Eilish in edge sounds like it should be on a Paranormal Witness soundtrack. The high frequency instruments and the slow orchestral swells introduce a new level of reverence any All Hallow’s Eve playlist needs. “Cross my heart and hope to die, welcome to my darkside.”

 

“How Villains Are Made” – Madalen Duke

Review by JT Bethea 

Shazamed fresh from the soundtrack of the newly televised “Chucky” series, “How Villains Are Made” is exactly what it sounds like. A foreboding piano accompaniment coupled with whispering breathy vocals from Madalen Duke give the listener a soulful feeling of uneasiness that we can’t get enough of. Angry lyrics somehow manage to scream and whisper at the same time “This is how villains are made, no one ever starts that way, but this is how villains are made.”

 

“Stabbing In The Dark” – Ice Nine Kills*

Review by Lauren Bentivegna 

The song is based off of the classic horror movie, Halloween, and the whole song is a theatrical experience. You feel every emotion along the way and it definitely gets you in the spooky mood. The song is heavy almost the whole way through and the breakdowns are insane. Ice Nine Kills really killed it in this one, well the whole album really.

 

“It’s Almost Halloween” – Panic! At The Disco 

Review by Jared Tauber 

My Halloween music pick could be no other than Panic! At The Disco’s “It’s Almost Halloween.” In the year of 2008, Panic! decided that they needed a holiday song, and instead of competing with Mariah Carey and Josh Groban for Christmas, they settled on a Halloween song instead — much more on brand for the band at the time. I love this song and its music video because of how homemade and off-the-cuff it feels, mainly because they recorded the song and video in under 10 days. This was entirely done while they were on tour, and so the vocals were recorded in a bathroom. Having still never been released on a streaming service, this song remains hidden to many new fans, but as enigmatic as ever to even the most dedicated of Sinners. If you’re not feeling the Halloween spirit yet, this song oughta do it for ya nicely.

 

*These songs contain explicit lyrics

You can check out WMSC Summer Music Picks article here!