The 15 best Halloween songs for kids

These Halloween songs for kids serve as the perfect soundtrack while they hop into costumes and head out into the night

When it’s time to don those creepy costumes and head out into the night in search of treats and hijinks, these spooky Halloween songs for kids are sure to get the whole family into the haunting spirit. Our selection of the 15 top tunes for a frightening good time feature classic TV theme songs, rockin' beats and some of the best thrilling videos. One thing’s for sure: All ghouls and goblins will be shaking it once these tunes start playing.

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Best Halloween songs for kids

15

The Addams Family theme

This kooky clan gave us the heebie jeebies when cartoonist Charles Addam’s illustrations made their way to our TV screens, but we can’t deny that the theme song was as catchy as those characters were memorable. Play the beginning notes and any grownup will instinctively *snap, snap* to the beat. If the kiddos don’t know about the magical macabre that was The Addam’s Family animated show, Halloween is the perfect time for a creepy introduction.—Dorkys Ramos

14

"Halloween" by The Misfits

Funny how time tames horror. In 1981, the Misfits seemed genuinely scary. In hindsight, they're as dangerous as a Scooby Doo mystery. But, great Beelzebub, what fun! "Candy apples and razor blades! / Little dead are soon in graves!" croons Glen Danzig, somewhere between an Elvis impersonator and an amateur MMA fighter. "Skulls" might better spook the kids today, but this noir pop is on-point—like Jerry Only's hair.—Brent DiCrescenzo


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13

"Dracula" by Gorillaz

This bonus cut appears on the 2001 debut of Damon Albarn's cartoon troupe, and conjures voodoo vibes with a deep dub groove. "Everybody, party time. Some of us will never sleep again," Albarn sings, staring down the dawn with bloodshot eyes. An all-night bender is the closest thing we have to feeling undead—either that, or parenthood.—Brent DiCrescenzo


12

"Boris the Spider" by The Who

The ghost of John Entwistle still looms over this gravelly track off The Who's 1966 album, A Quick One. The deceased bass guitarist is said to have written the song in a mere six minutes after a night of imbibing with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, but the harsh growls he emits in the chorus bring to mind a scene from a scary movie rather than a night of drunken revelry.—Hannah Doolin

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11

"A Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

According to Will Smith, Freddy Krueger is a David Letterman fan that "burnt up like a weenie" and weirdly wears the same hat and sweater every day, even when it's hot out. The 1988 track stacks Smith's story of his encounter with "Fred" over a hip-hopified mix of A Nightmare on Elm Street's theme song, making for a party-friendly (if rather long-winded) ghost story.—Kate Wertheimer


10

"Time Warp," The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show might be a musical, but it's still a spooky essential. Your kids are likely too young to have experienced the costume-clad, line-ad-libbing extravaganza that rolls around each year, but all Halloweenies will love following the instructional lyrics. With a jump to the left plus a step to the right, you can thank Richard O' Brien for cooking up the movie's party-favorite "Time Warp" dance.—Rohan Samarth

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9

"Ghost Town" by the Specials

Okay, so technically this song is about unemployment, inner-city violence and urban decay, not decaying flesh. But the 1981 hit, released at the height of the U.K.'s recession riots, still creeps us out in the very best way, with eerie flute solos, ominous lyrics and maniacal, childlike la-la-las—plus some pretty spooky synth fades. So, you can feel smart and well-informed, and your kids can dance like zombies to their hearts' content.—Kate Wertheimer


8

"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon

No Halloween singalong is complete without Warren Zevon’s silly-witty 1978 novelty hit about everyday monsters, in which your tots can howl along to the “a-hooooooooo!” wolf call, while you soak up the social commentary. Over an irresistible three-chord piano riff, Zevon’s gift for dark comedy expresses itself in lyrics that swipe their claws slyly at the banality of horror—“I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's / And his hair was perfect."—Adam Feldman


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7

"People are Strange" by Echo and the Bunnymen

If you can't commit a bit of sacrilege at Halloween, then when can you? We're choosing Echo and the Bunnymen's 1987 version of this song over the Doors' original, partly because this cover soundtracked cult ’80s vampire movie The Lost Boys (a Halloween must-see), but also because it kicks butt with its dramatic pauses, spooky piano flourishes and—oh!—that ending.—Sophie Harris


6

"Hedwig's Theme," Harry Potter

Just the opening notes alone are enough to rekindle the enchantment and whisk us away to Hogwarts with Harry Potter and the gang. The theme song was composed and conducted by John Williams and will get wizards from all houses into the magical spirit. Who know what mischievous spells they’ll conjure up throughout the night?—Dorkys Ramos

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5

"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell

If Rockwell (real name Kenneth Gordy, son of Motown founder Berry) shivered at Big Brother's glare in 1984, one can only imagine what he'd make of the Internet age, where the government, news media and rogue hackers are all equally likely to be keeping tabs on you. The "Thriller"-esque hook comes courtesy of Rockwell's buddy Michael Jackson, a good dude to have on speed-dial, though I'm not sure how much help he'd be if you're looking for someone to check for monsters in the closet.—Andrew Frisicano

4

"I Put a Spell on You" (Remix) by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

WOW. Just wow. If the spooky sax and creepy bassline doesn't give you and your kids goosebumps at the start of this 1956 stone-cold classic, then Screamin' Jay's soul-shouting and maniacal laughter surely will. Better yet is the story behind the song: It started out as an elegant blues number, then the producer brought in ribs and chicken, and, says Hawkins, "got everyone drunk, and we came out with this weird version…I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death." And why not? Happy, weird Halloween, everyone!—Sophie Harris


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3

"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr.

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? The Ghostbusters, obvs. And you’d do well to also call on them when it’s time to entertain any little monsters you’re hosting this Halloween. When the theme song to the 1984 film of the same name starts playing, the lyrics come rushing right back. When unknown spirits come a-knocking on your door in the night, just tell them, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”—Dorkys Ramos


2

"Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

This one is a fun classic that has stood the test of time since being released in 1962. It might not be the coolest track in the mix, but it’s a must-have in any respectable Halloween playlist and will usually get even the most reluctant party animals out on the dance floor monster mashing with the best of them.—Dorkys Ramos

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1

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson

"I'm not like other guys," Michael tells his girl at the beginning of the greatest video ever made, from the greatest album ever made. Did we realize how prescient that statement would be in 1982? So much of "Thriller" shouldn't work—MJ is a doll, 71-year-old Vincent Price raps, it's six minutes long. But together it's ballsy genius, riding on an insistent, funky Minimoog bassline. "I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult," Jackson wrote in the video. No, but the Elephant Man bones and chimp did.—Brent DiCrescenzo


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