Top 13 Spooky Songs for Halloween
With Halloween right around the corner and Spooky Season sadly nearing its end, I felt it was essential to compile a list of some of my favorite songs to get me in the holiday spirit. To align with the spooky theme, I chose unlucky number 13 (unless you’re Taylor Swift, then it's very lucky.) With lyrics that contain dark imagery and deep synths, the songs found here are tracks that can be played year-round, as well as your spooky playlists. You may recognize some of these names while others may be new to you. Either way, each track is a guaranteed song to hype you up while you get ready for the spooky day.
1. Glow in the Dark— Mothica
Starting off the list is a newer track by one of my favorite artists, Mothica. Released in June 2023 through a partnership with Rocksmith, “Glow in the Dark” utilizes the singer’s iconic dark-pop sound and her common message about mental health. The eerie imagery throughout the song highlights the artist hitting rock bottom and the tools she has used to crawl out from that pit. In the chorus, she sings: “My silver tears come out at night// I don’t need the stars, I glow in the dark.” With these lyrics, Mothica paints a vivid scene of her fighting the darkness and breaking free from the chains holding her back. Matched with the dark production, Mothica once again prevails as a dark-pop
2. bury a friend— Billie Eilish
It is no surprise that dark-pop goddess, Billie Eilish, made this list. The entirety of her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? could fit on this list, as she utilizes haunting metaphors and grim imagery on nearly every track. Even the album art encapsulates the spirit of Halloween and horror. “bury a friend” is arguably the creepiest, most unnerving track on the album. The song is about the monster under her bed, keeping her awake and infiltrating her dreams. Although not directly confirmed, fans speculate that the track is about Eilish’s experience with sleep paralysis, which the singer has implied that it may be. With the haunting speaking parts by Mehki Raine and the morbid lyrics, “bury a friend” effortlessly evokes a feeling of fear and distress in the listener, making it the perfect Halloween song.
3. Monster— Chandler Leighton
As a self-proclaimed spooky girl, Chandler Leighton deserves to be on this list. In fact, you will see her name two more times. Similar to Mothica, the singer is known for her dark imagery and messages about mental health and emotional suffering. Despite having a name and lyrics that are perfect for Halloween, “Monster” was released in March 2023. The song details the story of an innocent girl who was corrupted and turned to the dark side. Every single lyric utilizes grim detail to bring Leighton’s story to life. In the chorus, she sings: “Call a doctor// I think I created a monster// She’s got a psycho inside her// But I think that I kinda like her.” She transports the listener into her headspace as Leighton contemplates this new version of herself. Alongside the dark, dramatic synth production, “Monster” is a perfect addition to this list.
4. Ghost of Mine— Kailee Morgue
Despite the lyrics to “Ghost of Mine” being about an unrequited love, the song still fully encapsulates the spooky atmosphere of the season. The song instantly catches the listener’s attention with the unique production, before Morgue’s compelling vocals kickstart the verse. The lyrics paint the picture of the singer being haunted by the one she loves. Her deep metaphors and vivid imagery compare her life to a haunted house. He is everywhere and nowhere, as she is unable to reach him. In the second verse, she even sings: “Thought I heard you saying my name// Made my head spin.” Both of these ties into this spooky theme, with the idea of ghosts whispering in halls and demons making heads spin, like in The Exorcist. Even the singer’s last name represents this spooky genre well, making her a perfect candidate for this list.
5. Witch— FLØRE
Throughout 2023, FLØRE has only released songs that share names with iconic supernatural creatures, such as werewolves, skeletons, and aliens. “Witch” is the latest installment of this peculiar, yet incredible pattern. The singer utilizes a clever metaphor about witch hunting to convey how it is to be a woman in this society, especially one in the spotlight. Women are often seen as sexual objects that must be submissive and quiet. While women are shamed for their natural desires, men are praised while they take advantage of this power imbalance. However, FLØRE uses this vivid imagery of witchcraft and magic to empower women while she rewrites this narrative. Instead, she casts a spell on the men and curses them for the judgement they send her way. Furthermore, FLØRE is known for her characteristic gothic aesthetic. When considering my picks for this list, I knew FLØRE was a definite choice. I have previously covered a couple of her singles, including her previous track, “Werewolf.” By now, it is second nature for me to consider her for all my spooky playlists.
6. I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me— TULLE
TULLE is another incredible artist that is known for a dark aesthetic and even darker lyrics. She coined the term “death-pop,” which describes each of her incredible releases. Similar to FLØRE, I discovered TULLE through previous engagement with Pop Passion Blog. “I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me” was the first song I heard from the artist, and I was fortunate enough to cover the track for a review article. Just from the title alone, listeners know it will fit the haunting vibe perfectly. After being done wrong by someone she once admired, TULLE fantasizes about being the villain in their story. She utilizes sinister imagery and even biblical metaphors to emphasize this eerie storyline. Alongside the grim lyrics, the song contains a deep, dark production to tie in the whole atmosphere, making “I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me” a perfect fit.
7. madhouse— Nessa Barrett
Nessa Barrett has been teetering on the edge of absolute stardom, ready to blow up like she has long deserved. She is a pop queen with an extensive discography that could provide multiple songs to this list. However, my personal favorite is the dark-pop anthem, “madhouse.” Similar to other tracks found here, the song explores the singer’s personal experience with mental health—including her stay in a psychiatric ward. She describes her experience with being made fun of, slut-shamed, and the relentless toll left on her psyche. The first verse introduces the notion that Barret is the mentally unstable villain with the lyrics: “I’m gonna star in my own psychological thriller// So go grab a seat now// There will be blood and gore// A box office killer, a sellout// Make me a spectacle.” From here, she continues to proclaim that they are going to put her in a madhouse and shove pills down her throat. But at the end of the chorus, she leaves the audience questioning as she sings: “But is it you or is it me?” This allows them to wonder if Barrett is truly insane, or if it is the people that put her there in the first place. The song utilizes a creepy production that places the listener directly in the psychological thriller Barrett mentioned in the very first line, as if they are being chased by Michael Myers himself.
8. Nightmares— Ellise
“Nightmares” immediately catches the listener’s attention with the eerie production. The soundscape resembles a lullaby, attempting to lull the listener into a false sense of security. However, there are sinister undertones that prevent this from happening, as the dark production and lyrics continue through the song. Ellise shares the story of a toxic relationship where she wants to escape, but keeps finding herself pulled back in. In the chorus, she tells this unhealthy person that she sees them in her nightmares. The nightmares that are only there because of them. With the unique melody played in the background of the synth-pop production, the lullaby is a brilliant nod to the lyrics. It ties together Ellise’s lyrics in a cohesive manner, making “Nightmares” an unforgettable track. The unsettling atmosphere the song creates is phenomenal, making it the perfect soundtrack to a Halloween party.
9. Witch Hunt— Chandler Leighton and DEZI
The second track by Chandler Leighton included in this list features singer-songwriter, DEZI. The two artists wrote the track during a writing camp in the summer of 2022. The message of the track was born from the artists’ experiences with “feeling like an outcast and being targeted for being different.” The singers utilize the metaphor of witch hunts throughout history as a poetic way to describe the ostracism they endured. Leighton instantly sets this scene with the lyrics: “Why are you scared of me? Am I too threatening?” Immediately, the audience is aware of the notion that the artists feel judged, despite the antagonist not knowing anything about them. In the pre-chorus, she continues to paint this rash judgement she faces with Biblical references in the lyrics: “Confess your obsession, your wicked intentions// Hide behind lies from your bible// You put me on trial, but you’re dead-on arrival// But you’re fuckin’ irrelevant.” The juxtaposition between witchcraft and religion has been prevalent throughout history, and continues to be seen to this day. “He who is without sin can cast the first stone” is directly from the Bible, but often ignored by its so-called followers. Leighton and DEZI call out the hypocrisy while brilliantly using this sinister imagery, making “Witch Hunt” one of my favorite choices from this list.
10. funhouse— Mothica and Kailee Morgue
In this song, Mothica and Kailee Morgue join forces to create one of my favorite tracks of all time. “funhouse” utilizes imagery of the carnival attraction to describe internal struggles with body image and self-confidence. Specifically, the singers disclose being in the limelight and having their every move scrutinized. They face such a deep judgement that eventually they do not recognize themselves. Similar to funhouse mirrors, their self-esteem reflects a distorted image of someone that does not look like them. Not only does “funhouse” contain detailed lyrics to paint this scene, but the production also includes sound effects that transport the listener to this carnival. While the instrumentation maintains the dark-pop, synth-rock vibe that Mothica is known for, the background utilizes sounds that emulate the scenery described, making it the perfect song for those ready to dress up as Pennywise and friends.
11. all the good girls go to hell— Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish has enough songs in her discography to fill this list on her own, and then some. Including only one of her tracks would be a disservice to everyone involved. “all the good girls go to hell” has a title that already evokes the horror behind the holiday. While Eilish is known for her dark imagery, she is also recognized for her lyrics that touch on important topics. “all the good girls go to hell” discusses climate change and the inevitable doom that the world faces. She starts the song with her voice heavily altered as she sings: “My Lucifer is lonely,” before bursting into the first verse filled with deep religious references. Throughout the song, she indicates that God has forsaken this earth and left it to simultaneously drown and burn. While the message in this song is significantly bleaker than the rest, it conveys a similar theme. That dark, morbid imagery is the best way to communicate the deepest thoughts and feelings.
12. Cross My Heart I Hope U Die— Meg Smith & Chandler Leighton
The last Chandler Leighton song on the list is her latest feature on Meg Smith’s previously released track. Initially released in 2020, Smith decided to release a spookier version of “Cross My Heart, I Hope You Die.” She wanted to include a collaborator that would naturally encapsulate the morbidity and horror of the track, so she asked Leighton to join her on the song. Prior to this announcement, I was already a listener of both artists. I found Leighton on a dark-pop playlist and I had the opportunity to write a review on one of Smith’s previous singles. So, when the artists announced their collaboration, I knew the song was going to be even more incredible than the original. The song was initially written after Smith was broken up with on Halloween and she decided to cast a spell on him. Although the spell was just something minor, like a tummy ache, the song takes the revenge to the next level. The lyrics convey the morbid fantasy of ending the ex-boyfriend’s life and leaving him to rot. Furthermore, the recently released music video plays like a home invasion/slasher film that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. If this track does not scream “Halloween,” then I am not sure what does.
13. Antichrist— Holly Humberstone
Last but not least is the lead single from Holly Humberstone’s new album, Paint My Bedroom Black. “Antichrist” is a melancholic track about the singer wondering if she is the villain in the story that left the subject broken and bruised. While the song veers away from the dark-pop sound that majority of the songs on this list have, Humberstone still includes sinister imagery and unique sound effects to capture the essence of the holiday. The song immediately kicks off with layered vocal effects singing the lyrics: “Am I the antichrist? How do I sleep at night?” The layered effects emulate the demonic voice often found in horror movies, bringing to life the title character. This effect is used throughout the song, while Humberstone questions her morality and innocence. “Antichrist” is the perfect song to add to your playlist if you are into more soft, soothing tracks, rather than heavy synth beats and electric guitars.
Every single song on this list is a track that can be listened to on October 31st or March 31st. Some of these songs and artists I have known and loved for years, while others I have discovered specifically for my admiration for dark and gloomy aesthetics. Whether you are alternative indie or synth-pop, there is a song on this list for you! Let me know in the comments on our social media listed below if there are any songs you think should be listed and what you think of our choices!
Written By Karlee Skipper
*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.