Written By: Kristina Norgard
Halloween has come and gone quicker than ever before. As the pandemic continues to persist, it is in no way appropriate to celebrate in any sort of traditional gathering that we might be used to participating in every year. However, some fun ways that people can still get in the spooky spirit is by listening to music and watching movies and TV in the theme of the spooky celebration or the autumnal season. Compiled below are some recommendations for media perfect for this time of year to consume with your roommates or family.
Everyone knows the classic Halloween songs played on the radio or at parties, like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Monster Mash, the Ghostbusters theme, as well as many others. However, these songs are sometimes a bit overplayed and not the most enjoyable to listen to while casually getting into the Halloween spirit.
Below are fifteen songs, varied across genres, and fairly recent in release, all highly recommended for helping you to successfully get into the Halloween spirit despite everything this year. 1. Creep by TLC (1994), R&B/Soul. Released on Halloween in 1994 by the iconic girl group, the groovy beats, and overall texture of the song bring a soul sound to the holiday of the year whose brand is the definition of the title of this track. 2. Supermassive Black Hole by Muse (2006), Alternative Funk-Rock. This song might be recognized by those who have seen the 2008 film, Twilight, and its just as iconic (if not more) baseball scene. The entire album from this movie could have also made this list, as each track just as this one brings that mysterious and moody Halloween eeriness. 3. Heads Will Roll – A-Track Remix by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, A-Track (2009), Synth-Pop. For the more hyped-up side of Halloween music, perfect for a high-energy dance moment to have with your roommates when celebrating safely this October 31. 4. Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac (1976), Rock. One of the epochal band’s (which recently fluttered back to the tops of the Billboard Top 100 Chart) classic hits. According to ET, during Fleetwood Mac concerts Stevie Nicks “would introduce “Rhiannon” by saying, “This is a song about a witch.” and “an enormous yellow moon would appear as the backdrop.” How fitting that this Halloween there is a Blue Moon. 5. Babylon by SZA, Kendrick Lamar (2014), Alternative R&B/neo-soul. An absolute masterpiece. This track has a combination of a dreamy but edgy sound, resulting in a beautifully eerie addition to your Halloween playlist. 6. Toxic by Britney Spears (2004), Dance-pop. A total throwback from the early 2000s, which is the decade that happens to be currently trending again in fashion and culture. Toxic’s recognizable high-pitch Bollywood strings evoke the vibrations of one of the many facets of Halloween. 7. Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine (2011), Baroque-Pop. A wholly eldritch ballad, dramatic and breathy as every treasure sung by Welch is, however, this track brings the full-sized candy bars to the table this All Hallow’s Eve with its particularly ghoulish pulchritude. 8. Out of Body by Gorillaz, Kilo Kish, Zebra Katz (2017), Contemporary R&B. A quintessential Halloween party for the ears as well as an eccentric and jocular dance track. 9. In The Woods Somewhere by Hozier (2014), Blues/Indie-Folk. A melancholy and mournful but simultaneously invigorating piece, capable of bringing October 31 at dusk to the forefront of the mind with an instant play. 10. Monster by Lady Gaga (2009), Europop. This song is included, not only because it is about a monster which is very Halloween-esque, but also mainly because the beginning of the song was a trending TikTok sound this year, which makes it relevant to put on this list of songs to be listening to this year’s Halloween season. 11. Haunted by Taylor Swift (2010), Country. Arguably one of the most dramatic and emo-resounding songs in Swift’s entire discography. The breakup ballad is cathartically energetic, full of vexation and indignation, leaving one truly haunted by the soul-stirring vitality of the stinging saga. 12. Dracula’s Wedding by OutKast, Kelis (2003), Hip-Hop/Rap. Freaky and fun. It is a groovy number and an utterly copacetic one at that. 13. O Children by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (2004), Alternative Rock. You might recognize this song from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. No explanations here, in recent years, the book and film series have helped define what Halloween is in a modern interpretation. 14. Highway to Hell by ACDC (1979), Rock. For some, the underworld might be the last place they would like to end up, for others, it is the first. Halloween is not everyone’s favorite holiday either. And not everyone loves this song too, but here we are. 15. Widow’s Peak by Odetta Hartman (2018), Country. Ominous and chilling, this tune brings both resplendence and nightmares, a suitable final track to end your Halloween night. Bonus! Two (of many) albums that just “feel like fall” to check out: Queens of the Breakers by the Barr Brothers and folklore by Taylor Swift.
T.V. Shows to help you get excited for the fall season and in the Halloween spirit:
1. Gilmore Girls (Netflix) One of the most fall-feeling, if not the most, show of all time. Just watch the intro theme. No more explanations. 2. Halloween Baking Championship (Hulu) Who does not love to distract themselves by watching people try to bake the impossible in a timely manner? Oh, and it’s Halloween-themed? Duh. 3. Stranger Things (Netflix) A creepy cult classic. If you have not seen it yet, it would be an excellent choice to binge-watch this Halloween Saturday night. 4. The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix) New as of this year, and currently trending on Netflix! 5. Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney+) A show that many of us grew up watching in our formative years, so if you are feeling like regressing a bit this Halloween, this would be perfect for you! 6. Exclusively the Thanksgiving episodes of Gossip Girl (Netflix) Each of the Thanksgiving-themed episodes serves up more than turkey and stuffing with sides of iconic 00’s fashion and of course major drama. By the way, the episodes are: S1E9, S2E11, S3E11, S4E10, and S6E8. 7. American Horror Story (Netflix) Another cult classic to rewatch or watch for the first time! 8. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) Debuting in 2018, catch up on the three seasons with a friend this Halloween. 9. The Twilight Zone (Hulu) If you are looking for an older T.V. show to check out, TTZ is a perfect fit for you. 10. Finally, both Netflix and Hulu have good Halloween selections, in fact, Hulu has their own “Huluween” section with all kinds of T.V. and movie options.
Aside from the horror and mystery genres, some specifically Halloween movies to get you in the spirit are the Halloweentown Series, Twitches Series, Hocus Pocus, and The Nightmare Before Christmas (all available on Disney+). Finally, some movies that put you in the Halloween spirit but are not directly related to Halloween or the horror or mystery genre are Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the first Twilight film (Both available for rental or purchase on some streaming platforms, but maybe you have an old DVD copy at home!) And as always, make sure to consume your media critically. The films above are beloved movies that our generation grew up with as kids that can bring the nostalgia of one’s younger years, but the creators have been found to be problematic in recent years.
Although this Halloween is most likely definitely going to be much different than any Halloween experienced before, music and movies are just one way we can celebrate safely this year. It is vital that people stay considerate of others and take care of communities by choosing to stay home and stay safe. Consider and enjoy some of these options that have been provided.