By Tracey Dowdy
We all know that Halloween will look different this year, but different doesn’t necessarily mean lame or no fun. Whether you’re hosting a virtual Halloween party, want a playlist for your socially-distanced trick or treating plans, or just want to set the mood while you hang out at home, this playlist of kid-friendly music will hit the right notes.
Best for preschoolers
Who Took the Candy? by Super Simple Songs is part of a catalog of fun and not-so-spooky songs for littles.
Bumps in the Night takes kids on a spooky adventure with Mr. Whirly, as he sings about the mysterious sounds kids hear at night and how they don’t need to be afraid.
Caspar Babypants’ Skeletone, a silly skeleton, uses his bones as a musical instrument.
Halloween Sharks by Pinkfong puts a holiday twist on Baby Shark. I apologize in advance for the earworm your kids will love, and you’ll endure.
You kids will love shaking their booty and roaring along with Laurie Berkner and the monsters in Monster Boogie.
Lucy Kalantari has lots of fun and slightly spooky songs for kids – check out It’s Halloween; Flick of My Wrist; Haunting Days of Halloween.
Kids may be scared of the monsters that come out when they sleep, but Under My Bed by Recess Monkey takes the spooky away.
There’s never been and never will be a groovier monster than the Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley.
Grammy winners (Family Hip Hop) Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will have your littles up and moving with their funky Halloween hit, Ain’t No Party Like Halloween.
Your littles will howl at the moon with laughter, trying to master the “oo-ee-ah-ah-ah’s” sung by the chipmunks in Witch Doctor by David Seville.
For Older Kids and Teens
Jack White (White Stripes) embraces his inner ghoul-like never before in Little Ghost.
Introduce your kids to a pre-TikTok dance craze with the Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Score bonus points by having them watch the video of his live performance and see his wild facial expressions. Eat your heart out, Jim Carrey!
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince rap a ghost story? Keep talking. I’m listening. Check out A Nightmare on My Street.
What can I say? The seventies were wild, and apparently, werewolves roamed the streets – at least according to Warren Zevon in Werewolves of London.
Speaking of the seventies, it doesn’t get much better than old school Stevie Wonder. Superstition is the perfect addition to this playlist.
Is there a better song lyric than Ghostbusters’ “I ain’t afraid of no ghost?” Of course not. Thanks, Ray Parker Jr.
The Harry Potter franchise is full of possibilities for this playlist, but Hedwig’s Theme and Double Trouble have to top the list. Actually, just go ahead and add the Harry Potter Complete Soundtrack Playlist.
How do you choose between People Are Strange by Echo and the Bunnymen or The Doors? You don’t – both are great.
Lana del Rey’s version of Season of the Witch is creepy enough to be included on the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark soundtrack, although it’s hard to beat the original by Donovan.
Get that red lipstick on and do the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the right. With your hand on your hips, you bring your knees in tight. But it’s the pelvic thrust – They really drive you insane.
The Theme from Halloween starts eerily and builds to a wild crescendo. Even if you’ve never seen the movie, you’re guaranteed to be spooked.
I Put a Spell on You is the greatest Halloween song tucked inside the greatest Halloween movie ever. There’s no room for argument.
Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me is graced by a slick Thriller-style sample courtesy of Micheal Jackson. Being Motown founder Barry Gordy’s son probably helped with that.
Suppose you’re looking for a weird song about a creepy-crawly spider being crushed by a book, then Boris the Spider by The Who ticks every box. Good luck getting John Entwistle’s gravely growl out of your head.
Speaking of voices to narrate your nightmares, James Hetfield is happy to help through Enter Sandman – Metallica at it’s scariest.
Could any list ever be complete without Thriller by Michael Jackson? The answer is no.
You just know that a song that starts with sassy snapping fingers is going to be good. Take it away, Addams Family.
Even though the show has been off the air since the seventies and your kids have no idea who Herman and Lily are, the Theme from The Munsters has the perfect vibe.
There you go! Have a spooktacular time!
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.