Halloween Party Mixtape: The Best of Horror Soundtracks

Posted: by The Editor

Halloween Party Mixtape!

Simply put—these songs RIP. What’s spookier than bloodsuckers, Jim Morrison, and a young Corey Feldman? What’s more unsettling than a European dance school operated by witches? These are a handful of horror films I adore (spoilers!), ranging from psychological and slasher to the so-bad-they’re-good classics. Dive in and grab your costume—we only get these treats once a year, and check out my accompanying playlist (with some extra goodies on there).

The Exorcist (1973) — “Tubular Bells”

This song was my first ringtone back in the day, which is essentially all you need to know about me. It’s perfect for a scary movie about a child who experiences demonic possession from The Devil Himself. Mike Odenfield’s “Tubular Bells” is light and cheery but also suspenseful. It’s one of the most recognizable horror songs, next to the Halloween or Jaws theme songs—an instant classic, and more than deserving of a spot on the playlist.

Suspiria (1977) — “Main Theme”

I just watched Suspiria for the first time this week and in the first first minutes, I was already hooked. Italian prog-rock band, Goblin, created the bone-chilling soundtrack for this movie about a European dance studio run by a coven. The movie is witchy and whimsical and feels like a music box with a spinning ballerina for the first few notes—until the gravelly vocals start ringing in. Goblin’s score feels so ahead of its time for scary-movie music and really sets the stage for other witchy/culty movies to come. This song feels like a bad acid trip as it goes along, and really, what’s more horrifying than that?

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021) — “Main Theme”

The G-man really is the only one who could’ve made this soundtrack. The movie itself has a slow pacing which makes it all the more unsettling in my opinion, as it addresses a protagonist who participates in an online role-playing game. It’s on brand with viral internet challenges and how, sometimes, it feels like the kids are only talking to other people online, but the coming-of-age film becomes even more uncomfy paired with the soundtrack. Alex G composed the music which has the vocals pitched and warped in a way that feels childlike and innocent, like the Brothers Grimm. The entire soundtrack is like falling headfirst into a creepypasta story and is perfect for a slower moment on the party playlist.

Us (2019) — “I Got 5 On It” Tethered Mix

One night a few months ago I indulged in sativa too late at night and this song came on shuffle, and I literally had trouble falling asleep. It’s just so eerie. Jordan Peele’s horror movies and the music accompanying them are always pretty good, but this remix of an already arguably perfect song hits the nail on the head of the creepy coffin. The climax ballet scene is so good in so many ways—a reveal of backstory, the juxtaposition of present and past, the ways Lupita Nyong’o maneuvers her body—terrifying! But the big, orchestral reprise of this song, after already hearing the original 1995 version twice in the movie, is goosebumps-good.

The Lost Boys (1987) — “Cry Little Sister” and “I Still Believe”

The only reason I wrote this article was to spread the Good Word that is The Lost Boys, the iconic 1980s vampire movie set in Santa Carla, California (filmed on the same boardwalk as Us). I unironically love this movie. It’s hilarious, camp, hot, and spooky. Everyone has a mullet and a single-earring, the cast is iconic, and there is a greased-up, shirtless saxophone player, so what’s not to love? Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister” plays so many times in this movie that it makes a near-impossible drinking game. It’s a goth-rock anthem and a simple must for a playlist, especially with the organ keys at the end. The same goes for Tim Cappello’s “I Still Believe” scene, where Star and Michael meet on the boardwalk as this passionate, sax player in chains sings. It’s enough to make you believe you can accomplish ANYTHING, even if that involves becoming a vampire.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) — “Goodbye Horses”

This song is really having a moment on TikTok, but I’m here for it. I remember my older brother had a girlfriend over when I was a kid, and they were watching this movie while I watched from down the hallway, quietly. T Buffalo Bill scene was ingrained in my head for years (my parents were so pissed at him, lol). Anyway, this one speaks for itself—it’s good, it’s creepy, and this song seems like it was made for a scene where a woman is trapped in a hole. 10/10 must for a Halloween party playlist.

Jennifer’s Body (2009) — “Through the Trees” 

Like, God Needy, it is so JV that this song isn’t on Spotify. Still, Jennifer’s Body had such a soundtrack for the time with Panic! At the Disco and Hole, that it would feel sacrilegious for me to not mention the most hilariously evil, fictional band’s song from a movie. Low Shoulder, the eyeliner-wearing band from the city, really points out how difficult it is to get famous as an indie band (it holds up) so they have to leave it up to Satan to make them famous. This bi-con movie gave us so many perfect one-liners, and while it is definitely a movie of its time, it’s a must-watch body horror classic.

The Conjuring (2013) — “Time of the Season”

A decade later and this horror movie still holds up. Zombies’ “Time of the Season” is a catchy song as is, but any time I hear it, I think of the montage scene in The Conjuring. Music from the ’60s or ’70s always feels right on a party playlist to me, but “Time of the Season” is deserving of a place on the Halloween playlist. “What’s your name, who’s your daddy?” Get outta here! Hippies are scary, but maybe that’s just the devil’s lettuce talking…

The Craft (1996) — “How Soon is Now?” 

I’ve never watched Charmed, but this Love Spit Love cover is also in The Craft, so consider this a spooky double whammy. The Smiths classic is already eerie, but what’s scarier than a 90’s cover? The Craft is a great movie for Halloween, with four besties who dabble with witchcraft. Play this one at your costume party and let everyone reminisce and thrash around to all its whimsigoth glory.

Twilight (2018) — “Supermassive Black Hole”

I know, I know. This may not be a Halloween/horror movie technically, but Twilight is definitely an autumnal movie at least, and I say that as someone who just watched it for the first time this month. Twilight is spooky-adjacent: it’s tinted with blue hues, set in the woods, has vampires and werewolves, and is cringe-worthy, which is enough horror in itself. What’s up with that scene where Charlie is just cleaning his shotgun, three beers deep, in broad daylight? Has anyone brought that up? Is he okay? That is scary in the realest sense! Watching this movie is like healing a piece of my girlhood, and I’m only sad I didn’t watch or read the trilogy when they released. The baseball scene to Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” is the most stunning piece of cinematography I’ve ever seen (A24 could never), and these vamps are invited to the party—and I know anyone in the room will immediately recognize this song as that scene. 10/10 recommend adding it to the playlist, at least for the bit.

Listen to my accompanying playlist on Spotify (get that crossfade on!) with a handful of extra spooktacular songs perfect for a ghoulish gathering. Stay safe and stay scary out there, witches!


Ryleigh Wann | @wannderfullll

The Alternative is 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us write about more great music and keep our site going, you can become a Patron on Patreon, which also allows you to receive extra content, sweet perks, and The Alternative merch, with levels starting at only $2 per month. Everything helps, and if you can’t afford to donate, consider sharing this article and spreading the word about our site! Either way, thanks for reading!