Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand — or at least, Halloween is. Since this most horrific of holidays will most likely be spent in our homes rather than trick-or-treating, we’ve rounded up hair-raising harmonies and terrifying tunes for your listening pleasure (or fright!).
Best Halloween Albums
Our list of the best Halloween albums is determined by how popular the record is on Discogs. To put it more specifically, the list is ranked by the number of Collections each album is in.
We pulled all of the spookily themed albums in the Database and filtered the original data set for Halloween records and music that qualified as ghastly or (in the unique case of this holiday) fun enough. For example, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters and anything by Helloween were excluded by Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare was included.
As you’ll see below, a lot of folks love Halloween — the movie franchise, that is. Four soundtracks rank in the top 10: the original Halloween I, II, and III, as well as the 2018 sequel/reboot. And those aren’t the only soundtracks. You’ll see two other cult film favorites high on the list.
1. The Rocky Horror Picture ShowVarious
2. Welcome To My NightmareAlice Cooper
3. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before ChristmasDanny Elfman
4. Witchcult TodayElectric Wizard
5. HalloweenJohn Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies
6. All Hallow’s E.P.AFI
7. Monster MashBobby (Boris) Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers
8. Halloween IIIJohn Carpenter and Alan Howarth
9. Halloween II (Original Filmmusik)John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
10. HalloweenJohn Carpenter
Some of the records that didn’t make the cut for best Halloween albums weren’t excluded because they weren’t scary enough but because they weren’t Halloween-y enough. Doom metal and horror-themed thrash are always going be spooky no matter the time of the year! The honorable mentions below were in the original dataset and will still make for a great Halloween playlist.
1. Hallowed GroundViolent Femmes
2. Stoner WitchMelvins
3. Nightmare LogicPower Trip
4. Angel WitchAngel Witch
5. Famous MonstersMisfits
7. Nightmares Made FleshBloodbath
8. Burning the WitchesWarlock
10. Eternal NightmareVio-Lence
We’re not the only ones on Discogs to create a Halloween soundtrack — or as one clever user labeled it, a jukebox. You can check out a variety of Halloween-themed lists created by Discogs users, but we pulled out some of our favorite record roundups:
In 2018, we asked Discogs crew members to share some of their favorite Halloween-themed hits. You can view the full list here, but we highlighted some of our mega-faves:
For some legit scary vibes:
Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns, Dimitri Mitropoulos, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra
For another soundtrack to set the mood:
A Nightmare on Elm Street Original Soundtrack by Charlie Bernstein
For a nostalgic, less serious time:
A Nightmare on My Street by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
We’ve got a few more spooky suggestions for listening on All Hallow’s Eve. Below are some of my personal picks:
For upbeat post-punk:
Juju by Siouxsie & The Banshees
For chilling background music:
Suspiria by Goblin
For supernatural psychedelics:
Ruins by Wolf People