It’s officially spooky season, and here at the Gauntlet, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve compiled a list of some unconventional spooky songs you can play this fall that isn’t just corny Halloween party tunes. Although, those are good, too.
Aymen’s Picks: Voices Editor
“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
“Thriller”’s more anxious older brother and a lot less overplayed too.
“bury a friend” by Billie Eilish
Redefined what it means to be spooky, but in a sexy, possessed demon-girl way.
“Disturbia” by Rihanna
See above, but Spooky Runway™ music edition.
“Babushka Boi” by A$AP Rocky
The creepy instrumentals mixed with the reversed lyrics make this track a Halloween party staple — even if it only came out last year.
“Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
Some of the spookiest DMs I get are girls from high school trying to get me to join their very obvious pyramid scheme. This one is for all of you that really said Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss this year. Maneater is your 2021 boss babe anthem to listen to when you’re telling people how successful you’ve been since you quit your job and are now your own boss.
“Monster” by Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj
This is on the playlist because I’m a Barb and also because Nicki Minaj’s views on getting vaccinated combined with whatever our bestie Kanye is going through are giving me serious spooks.
“Look Alive” by Drake and BlocBoy JB
It’s giving Toronto-based zombie apocalypse energy.
“Mask Off (Marshmello Remix)” by Future and Marshmello
Because the closest thing to hell in 2021 is coming across an anti-masker. Unfortunately, we Albertans are in the ninth circle.
“all the good girls go to hell” by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish came through with the Halloween synth for this entire album, but this is by far one of my favourites.
“Goosebumps Theme” by VGR
An iconic EDM remix of the Halloween favourite of our childhoods. This would probably be my song if I was a 7-year-old in 2050 and we lived under a martian dictatorship ruled by Elon Musk’s son, X Æ A-Xii.
“King’s Dead” by Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock
Kendrick Lamar never misses with the Danger™ energy instrumentals, and while the entirety of the Black Panther album has mysterious vibes, “King’s Dead” makes you feel like you’re the one in a futuristic Wakandan car on a mission to meet a black market vibranium arms dealer.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio and L.V.
This is self-explanatory.
“Super Freak” by Rick James
What are we talking about? What are we talking about? 😉
Valery’s Picks: Visuals Editor
“Witches” by Alice Phoebe Lou
“Oh Klahoma” by Jack Stauber
Forever associated with the TikTok ghost photo trend in my mind now.
“Shallows” by Daughter
Loneliness and being left behind are one of the spookiest feelings ever, in my opinion.
“Candles” by Daughter
Very suggestive of the horrors in being used by men sexually and the regret in getting involved with that — haunting melodies that cut deep.
“The Woods” by Daughter
Going out into the woods and being lost forever? Nightmare material.
“Witches” by Daughter
Anything by Daughter is spooky, soul-wrenching and truly haunting in the most “walking through the woods alone” type of way.
“It’s Called: Freefall” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Even the devil is done with your depressing shit fam.
Ramiro’s Picks: Layout Editor
“Get Out Of My House” by Kate Bush
Kate Bush never misses, and with this spooky song, it’ll give you chills. While the song is most definitely about the mortifying ordeal of being known, it also feels like breaking into a haunted house and the ghost(s) will do anything to keep you out — even imitating a mule.
“Welcome to Hell” by Hen Ogledd
This is the soundtrack of my mind when I’m in the middle of midterms season and the studying cycle doesn’t stop.
“Isobel” by Björk
There’s a sort of creepy vibe to this song and it keeps you on your toes, wondering what Isobel is capable of.
“Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls
This song starts out with a quirky spin on wanting a perfect partner only to get progressively more and more worrisome.
“Machine” by Regina Spektor
The entire song feels like being taken apart and then rebuilt as a robot. Hopefully, as a robot, I can do math.
“SHUM” by Go_A
The grip this song has on me is undeniable and I love it. While it’s more of a start-of-spring vibe, it also gives me a “meet me under the October full moon at some empty park” kinda fun. Definitely one of my favourites from this past Eurovision.
“Lobo-Hombre en París” by La Unión
The song is about a werewolf in Paris and the bass line really gives it spooky vibes. There’s also a sort of howling in the chorus between the singer and the guitar which is very appropriate.
Cristina’s Picks: Editor-in-Chief
“Babooshka” by Kate Bush
This song, like many works by Kate Bush, is both weirdly quirky and eerie at the same time. While it’s catchy, if you really listen to the lyrics it’s just the right amount of unexpected spook you need this fall.
“A Horse Named Cold Air” by Mitski
This song is a little slower but the melodies are so dang creepy — it’s the perfect mix of beautiful and troubling. It’s not a long song either, but the clanging piano chords throughout never really reach a resolution, which adds to the uncertainty.
“Dead Inside” by Younger Hunger
This is a great spooky track, if not for the album art, for the feeling of pointlessness I get when listening to it. Not that I’m a hopeless person, but this song definitely has “villain origin” vibes to it.
Ava’s Picks: General Editor
“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads
I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. Grimmly, this song has actually been associated with a real serial murder case.
“Magic Dance” by David Bowie
Some people consider Ghostbusters a Halloween classic, others Labyrinth. I’m not gonna get into the debate of who’s right and who’s wrong. I’ll just leave this here.
“Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys
I never really recovered from Jordan Peele’s Us. To this day, I have a full physical reaction to 11:11. This song soundtracked a pretty gruesome scene in the movie. So now, every time I listen to this song, I’m a paranoid mess — constantly looking over my shoulder.
“I Got 5 On It” by Luniz
“In the Woods Somewhere” by Hozier
A fever dream? A wounded fox? A newfound appreciation for life? This song checks all the boxes for #spookyszn.
Rachneet’s Picks: General Editor
“A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
I felt like I had to throw a fun and laid back ‘90s hip-hop hallow’s eve track in there — and what better than the O.G. himself.
“Shpongle Falls” by Sphongle
A lot of us associate Halloween and the so-called spooky season with creepy sounds and noises, but these alternative instrumentals work too — it’s a matter of perspective I guess.
“Creep” by Radiohead
Although they are the legit rock legends of the 21s century, I always got a Halloween vibe off of this song with its melancholy angst, yet upbeat style.
“Cut by Plumb“
Probably the closest thing to a scary romance track you can get.
“Stateless” by Bloodstream
When Vampire Diaries was still in its pop culture craze-phase, let’s say this was one of the soundtracks that stuck to me ever since — heavily sensual yet mysterious.
“Season of the Witch” by Lana del Rey
I always got a melodramatic impression from Lana del Ray with her crooning and emotional undertones, so this soundtrack from the original score of the film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark works well.
“Seven Devils” by Florence + the Machine
Florence Welch very much gives an ominous and hipster witch vibe I always found, so this cult classic track fits.
“The Adam’s Family main theme” by Andrew Gold
Another childhood classic most of us are familiar with, and a catchy tune that always gets stuck in our heads.
“Jack’s Lament” by The Nightmare Before Christmas
Need I say more? It doesn’t get more spine-chilling than this.
“If I Had A Heart” by Fever Ray
Perfect to play at any Halloween house party. Casual, yet the vibrato gives me the heebie-jeebies.
“Scream” by The Misfits
I don’t know why I chose this I just wanted a punk rock band from the ‘80s in here.
Sophia’s Picks: News Editor
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
This song is pretty intense, so if you don’t like rock, I guess this is spooky?
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics
The rhythm of this song is overall kind of suspicious, and the lyrics don’t help either, but I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t totally jam out to this one.
“Afraid” by The Neighborhood
The Neighborhood took a bit of a dark approach with this song. I really enjoy it but it’s definitely not one I would listen to walking home alone at night.
“Do I Wanna Know” by Arctic Monkeys
This song is a classic, I can’t get enough of it. Kinda creepy, kinda sexy — best of both worlds.
Megan’s Picks: Visuals Editor
“Werewolf Heart” by Dead Man’s Bones
For those of you who didn’t know Ryan Gosling sings in a band — you’re welcome.
“Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band
Spooky + Groovy = Sproovy. Exactly the vibe this song gives off.
“Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams
Harry Potter is great for any occasion, and “Hedwig’s Theme” is a perfect mix of magical and spooky.
“Evil Eye” by Franz Ferdinand
Sproovy part II. With a sprinkle of rock.
“Bang!” By AJR
Is the circus Halloween-y? Maybe? Anyway, this song gives me circus vibes.
“Howlin’ For You” by The Black Keys
A more discrete counterpart to Shakira’s “She Wolf.”
Julieanne’s Picks: News Editor
“Happier than ever” by Billie Eilish
I really don’t know what it is about this song but I get shivers when it changes from the slow-angst to hard rock. Maybe not as spooky to everyone as it is to me.
“The Pretender” by The Foo Fighters
This song goes hard and to me at least, fits the vibe for this playlist.
“Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
I would call Evanescence my guilty pleasure except for the fact that I have absolutely no shame for listening to them. If you listen to anything from my picks please have it be this band.
“My Immortal” by Evanescence
My not-guilty-pleasure part two. I stand by what I said.
Kristy’s Picks: Volunteer Coordinator
“Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran
This song was a fixture at the Much Music Video dances we had at my high school in the ‘90s. Yes, I am old.
“Slept So Long” by Jay Gordon
I love vampire movies and the Queen of the Damned soundtrack is full of haunted tracks that work perfectly within the film.
“Change” by Deftones
This is another song from the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. Like the rest of the tracks on the album, it’s got haunted vibes.
“Take Me to Church” by Hozier
Old churches are creepy, especially at Halloween. This song reminds me of a haunted church.