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The Shuffle: Spooky Genre Boogaloo

By Mackenzie McDaniel-Paul

Let’s get spooky with this compilation of creepy, macabre, entertaining, and festive Halloween song pairings!

Bangers

October Country – My Girlfriend Is a Witch

A song that’s come into recent popularity thanks to social media. The band “October Country” may have stepped into too much of a niche, naming themselves after a collection of short horror stories and exclusively making songs about Halloween. What better way to honour this band’s legacy than by accusing your girlfriend of witchcraft and grooving to a new-old classic?

No Doubt – Spiderweb

A song that I have always associated with Halloween. It’s an ’03 classic, and what’s more terrifying than bringing this ska classic back from the dead? Spiderweb is the perfect pop-punk song to jam to after an annual rewatch of “Scream”.

Iconic Movie Themes

John Carpenter – Halloween Theme

Don’t mistake this inclusion for any amount of laziness on my part. If you don’t jam out to the Halloween theme while brandishing a kitchen knife, you really don’t understand the heart of this holiday, do you? Big shout out to the 2018 resynthesized version of this song.

Charles Clouser – Hello Zepp (Saw end theme)

I watched Saw younger than I should have. It made me lovestruck. The first Saw has a fantastic story, and before I recommend the film to you, I recommend its amazing end theme. This dramatic piano and violin composition make my heart gush. Saw is why I love this holiday so much, and it would be a disservice if you didn’t give it a listen and scare some kids.

Musical Hits

Alex Brightman – Say My Name (Beetlejuice musical)

This number has recently fallen into the zeitgeist, with it being a recent TikTok lip-sync hit. It’s pretty impressive that they could fit a game of charades into a piece that syncs so well to the beat. It’s a great example of a piece of stage music that sets up the stakes for the rest of the story around it. If only one piece from this musical hits a mainstream audience, I’m glad it’s this one. It deserves your attention.

Randy Newman – Friends on the Other Side (The Princess and the Frog)

The Princess and the Frog was one of the last 2D animation efforts that came from Disney. This number sees Dr. Facilier, a villainous Voodoo trickster communing with the “other side”. It has a lovely, bouncy beat and would fall under the category of what I would call “Evil Jazz”.

Genuinely Scary

Tom Waits – What’s He Building?

Many people do not find music to induce fear. Under the right circumstance, this music will terrify anyone. It’s a spoken-word piece that tells the tale of a man building something mysterious. Why does a man without any family have a tire swing? Why does the man watching know that his neighbour stores poison under his cupboard? If you like the macabre and experimental, listen at your own risk.

Carpenter Brut – Escape from Midwich Valley

This excellent electronic piece from Carpenter Brut slowly builds anxiety through the use of subliminal messaging and radio static. While the electronics and bass riffs increase, it crescendos into violent silence. It’s then matched by an explosion in the form of the bass drop of a lifetime. If you like electronic music, I have to recommend this to you.

Classics

Richard O’ Brian – The Time Warp

For those confused why this is considered a Halloween song, it’s because it was featured in the 1975 classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, a film where Tim Curry plays an eccentric trans person hosting a monstrous masquerade. The fact that this piece has managed to stay in the public’s consciousness for this long is impressive and a testament to this earworm of a song.

Bobby Pickett – Monster Mash

“So help me God, Mackenzie, if you put Monster Mash, I’m pulling your tuition for next year.”

These are the wise words of my mother. I asked 18 friends for Halloween music, and I was suggested Monster Mash 18 times. It’s safe to say I will not be seeing you next year.

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