Halloween. Adored by many (spooky people) around the world. While the music surrounding the holiday isn’t as popular as Christmas music, there are definitely songs that make a person think, “Halloween.” Many of those songs come from horror movies which makes sense given that the holiday is about spooky and scary things. Here are our favorite Halloween songs from movies!
“This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas
If there is one quintessential song that equates to Halloween, it’s this one. It’s the anthem for many fans of the holiday, the song to sing as they adorn windows with cobwebs and arrange their carved pumpkins. While the movie is fitting for both Halloween and Christmas given the plot, it’s Halloween when the movie truly shines. The song is expertly used to open the film, leaving a lasting impression that still makes the movie so popular, decades later. If you haven’t heard the song yet, have you been living under a rock? Take a listen and get into the holiday spirit 😊
“Halloween (Theme)” from Halloween
The title says it all. What better song and movie to get you in the Halloween spirit than Halloween? The vision of Michael Myers slowly walking toward you while the theme song plays in the background is enough to get you in the spirit (or at the very least terrify you). Listen below!
“Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become a cult classic over the years, creating a devoted fanbase that keeps the movie relevant in the present day. While there are questionable elements of the movie by today’s standards, it is still very well-liked, and with the spooky elements/storyline, it’s no surprise, it’s often brought up more around Halloween. Haven’t heard of “Time Warp”? This clip might not give much context, but boy is it fun to watch.
“Ghostbusters” from Ghostbusters
A movie about ghosts. Need I say more? With Halloween so focused on the creepy, paranormal entities fall into that block. The movie was highly successful when it was released in the 80s and the song still remains recognizable by the later generations. So, when you need a good Halloween song to get you in the mood, who you gonna call? “Ghostbusters”, of course!
“The Addams Family” from The Addams Family
The goth aesthetic? A disembodied hand servant? A cousin covered in hair down his feet? Yep, “The Addams Family” fits the bill for reminding people of Halloween. With lyrics like, “They’re creepy and they’re cooky, mysterious and spooky,” It’s no surprise it fits. It’s a fun movie to watch this time of year if you’re not into horror, an even more fun song to sing (and get stuck in your head) this time of year. While it’s been remade a couple of times, it always maintains the spooky spirit of the family. Below is the song with the original show’s introduction.
“Jump in the Line” from Beetlejuice
Maybe this song won’t make everyone think of Halloween, but for me, Beetlejuice has always made me think of Halloween. I can’t hear “Jump in the Line” without thinking of this movie and the holiday. This is the song that closes out the movie and shows Winona Ryder as her character Lydia, dancing in midair, celebrates an A on her math test with the ghosts who inhabit her home. You can watch the end scene here.
“Nightmare on Elm Street (Theme) from Nightmare on Elm Street
There are few things more unsettling than the idea of someone being able to hunt you down and kill you in your dreams. That’s why the theme song from Nightmare on Elm Street is often associated with Halloween. I mean, who isn’t a little scared of Freddy Krueger, a man with a disfigured face and blades protruding from his fingers? The song immediately brings the movie to mind and the cryptic music brings a chill to your spine. Freddy Krueger is one of many Halloween icons, and it’s no surprise why. The guy screams scary.
“Remains of the Day” from Corpse Bride
Tim Burton has always had a knack for creating incredible stories and characters in his unique and creepy aesthetic. The Corpse Bride is a classic that given the plot and dark aesthetic of the movie, always gets associated with Halloween. A woman who was murdered when she was supposed to be eloping with the love of her life, she remains a corpse, still in bridal attire, waiting for her true love to set her free from life in the underworld. Using stop motion and unique character designs, it adds some levity to the heavy topics of the movie. One of those moments of levity comes with the song “Remains of the Day.” It explains the background of the Corpse Bride while also adding some comfort that death is a part of life that we all must face, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Animated Skeletons and corpses dancing around can still add a spooky feeling that reminds of the fun elements of Halloween. The clip from the movie is so fun to watch. Take a look:
“Psycho (Theme)” from Psycho
This song has been known and referenced in media for decades. When someone is trying to get across that someone is a crazy killer, similar-sounding music to the Psycho theme is used to indicate to the audience that someone is in danger. This is because the song was so expertly used for the well-known scene where Norman Bates murdered Marion while she showers. If this slasher music won’t make you think of Halloween, I don’t know what will. Take a listen:
“I Put a Spell on You” from Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus is another movie that stood the test of time and remained beloved, even with people who don’t care much for Halloween. It just doesn’t feel like Halloween if you don’t watch at least a bit of Hocus Pocus. The song that comes to mind when I think of this movie is Bette Midler’s version of “I Put a Spell of You.” This is such an iconic version of the song that has been a favorite of many, including myself.
Halloween is a treasured time for many people in the US, and these are just a few of many songs that can be played around the holiday. Which of these do you like to jam around Halloween? Are there any great songs from movies we missed? Let us know!
Written by Kristen Petronio