Too Spooky for You—Demo’s Halloween Playlist

Header image by Stephen Gammell

There’s something for everyone in Halloween – your favourite part might be carving pumpkins, dressing up in a costume, or just worshiping the devil. But when you have a night dedicated to celebrating all things creepy and macabre, things aren’t right until you set the mood with the some music. Our contributors put together a playlist of the creepiest, tensest, and most uncomfortable music to make your hair stand on end.

Ladytron – “Tender Talons”

The perfect song to soundtrack an evening of fantasy and youthful folly. Take a joyride through the Halloween night by the tender talons of this delicately haunting and eerily charming track crafted by Ladytron – no broomstick required. — Anu Guraya

Portishead – “All Mine”

Whether your party’s in a smoky tech-noir club or a zombie dance hall, “All Mine” never fails to bring the candles to a smoulder. With drippy, low-to-the-floor grooves and dusty reverberations, Portishead injects the metallic hull of this track with a particularly tasteful shade of darkness, making it excellent accompaniment for any and all vampiric escapades this weekend. Stay safe, stay spooky. — Marko Cindric

Crystal Castles – “Plague”

This song always gets me into the headspace for Halloween. The distant vocals paired with the almost sprite-like vocals enable a sense of mystery and unearthliness perfect for any Halloween atmosphere. Images of smoke and strobe lights always come to me during this song, coincidentally two Halloween haunted house essentials. The heavy synth track creates a tension, almost a sense of impending doom with its calm, dark overtones, only to provide the listener with release once the chorus arrives. All in all, “Plague” by Crystal Castles is both spoopy and creppy, and crucial to creating the right Halloween atmosphere. — Dora Boras

Swans – “A Little God in My Hands”

From the first listen, I knew immediately that one day I would be using this track to scare the shit out of the kids trick-or-treating in my neighborhood. Good Halloween spirit, or just flat out cruel? Only one way to find out. Michael Gira’s vocals are, of course, nothing short of harrowing. The eerie chants and unrelenting march of a beat give me the illusion that he leads a double life as the leader of an army of ghouls and undead beasts. Or maybe that’s just his full time deal, and the band thing was meant to distract us. Spooky indeed. — Jennifer Hyc

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – “I’ll Cut You Down”

With their sinister riffs and reedy harmonized vocals, Uncle Acid sounds like John Lennon fronting a doom band. Remember what happened when The Beatles made a song that was kind of metal? They called it “Helter Skelter” and it inadvertently inspired Charles Manson and his Family to commit mass murder. When you have a song that sounds like it could soundtrack a gory B-movie about a death cult, it doesn’t get much more Halloween than that. — James Li

Modest Mouse – “Alone Down There”

Modest Mouse rocks and this song off The Moon and Antarctica has eerie laughter and speaking to the devil, which makes it perfect for Halloween. Isaac Brock knows how to shout desperate pleas into the void, in this case about accompanying loved ones to the fiery depths of hell. Modest Mouse knows what you’re truly afraid of and cry it out in this frenzied descent into darkness.

Melanie Martinez – “Carousel”

Melanie Martinez can always get me on my vibe. Her debut album Cry Baby is full of crazy addictive gems, with this song being one of the more well known tracks. There’s something about this track’s hypnotic creepy circus sound that makes me feel like I’m trapped in a messed-up fun house. It’s the perfect addition to any playlist to get you ready for a spooky night out at the carnival. Or maybe just a Halloween house party. — Savana James

Violet Chachki – “Bettie”

While not necessarily Halloween themed, the song “Bettie” by drag queen (and winner of season 7 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race) Violet Chachki is still an absolute banger. The video is heavy on the BDSM inspiration which makes it dark enough to fit into this playlist. The layered echoing vocals make it just spooky enough to bring some majorly risqué Halloween vibes, and the aesthetic packed full of fishnets and fetish heels – very fitting for the holiday. — Jessa Evenden

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