Which Halloween Mixtape Is Right for You?


So, you’re ready for Halloween. Your brilliant costume is ready, you’ve made your going-out (or staying-in) plans, and you’re ready for an evening of spooky fun. Only one thing remains to be determined: the soundtrack. Thankfully, just about everyone on the internet has compiled a Halloween mixtape. To save you the trouble of tracking them down, we’ve rounded up 10 new playlists. We’ve got everything from classic rave to scuzzy horror-rock, from industrial to atmospheric, from witch house to that politician lady who “isn’t a witch.” After the jump, listen to sample songs from each and decide which is right for your festivities.

For enthusiasts of the X chromosome: “The Ladies: A Halloween Mix”

If female vocalists are your thing, and not in the Lilith Fair way, you’ll want to soundtrack your Halloween festivities with these spooky ladies. This indie-leaning mix includes the likes of Sonic Youth and Neko Case but also mixes in some seriously witchy gals like Zola Jesus and CocoRosie, along with classics from Peggy Lee and Eartha Kitt.

For those about to lose their shit: “My Descent Into Madness”

Cool concept: Yewknee’s Halloween mix tells a story, namely that of a gradual flight from sanity. The early tracks, from the likes of Eban Schettler and Les Savy Fav, are merely unsettling. But towards then end, we get some full-on freakouts, care of the unhinged folks in Holy Fuck, HEALTH, Wavves, and Here We Go Magic. Consider it an acid test for the 21st century.

For conservatives who are or have ever been witches: “Voodoo Lady: Christine O’Donnell’s Halloween Playlist”

The candidate who has “dabbled into witchcraft” but insists that she’s “you” has inspired Houston Press’s brief playlist devoted to the witchy woman. We’ve got Ween’s “Voodoo Lady,” Necro’s “The Kink Panther” (re: O’Donnell’s abstinence/anti-masturbation agenda), and the classic: Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.”

For those of you who self-identify as hipsters, should they actually exist: “Hipster Halloween”

If your Halloween plans include finding a costume that involves snorting coke and wearing tight pants, you may want to listen to a lot of indie rock (and Kanye, naturally) this year. It’s My Kind of Scene’s playlist gets its “Ghosts” from Ladytron, its “Skeletons” from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “The Werewolf” from Cat Power, and its “Bodysnatchers” from Radiohead.

For ambitious artsy types with plans to run a haunted house: “Transylvanian Sublet, A Halloween Mixtape”

When you’re trying to create a spooky — but still festive — atmosphere, a continuous, varied mix is just what Dr. Frankenstein ordered. We like Mondo Boys’s tape for Aquarium Drunkard, which pairs the shivering sounds of Broadcast and RJD2 with famously creepy songs like The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” and The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” and doesn’t leave out the Twin Peaks theme, either.

For neo-psychedelia fans who don’t mind risking a bad trip: Gorilla vs. Bear’s “Halloween Mixtape 2010”

A nice mix of bands you probably know (Beach House, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Panda Bear, Burial) and those you many not (Sleep ∞ Over, Forest Swords, Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, etc.), GBV’s downloadable Halloween tape is the ideal soundtrack for your seasonal acid-head freakout.

For grown-ass adults who plan to spend Halloween throwing eggs and smashing jack-o-lanterns: Sexbeat’s Halloween mixtape

If you dig The Misfits, The Murder City Devils, Slayer, and The Cramps — and can stand The HorrorPops — then we assume you have an epically destructive Halloween in store. Not that we want to encourage your vandalism, but if you’re going to do it already, you may as well do in style, with Sexbeat’s scum-tacular playlist.

For those preparing to party like it’s (an industrial club night in) 1999: “DJA Presents: Smells Like Skinny Puppy & Gives Me Nightmares”

Remember where you were in the late ’90s? Was it high school? Were you hooking up with guys who owned rubber jackets or latex tops? (Or was that just us?) Anyway, whether you lived it or not, there’s no better Halloween dance party soundtrack than industrial music. Mad Decent’s nostalgic podcast features all the usual suspects, from Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy to Front 242 and Revolting Cocks.

For those who think muting horror films and replacing their soundtracks with witch house is a swell way to spend Halloween: “The Witching Hour: A Halloween Mixtape”

This year brought a brand-new dark music subgenre aimed at the cough-syrup chugger set. If you haven’t heard them before, you will know them by their silly names, some of which (like †‡†) do not even contain a single actual letter. If you enjoy this kind of thing, perhaps you would like to hear a blog called Killed in Cars intersperse these songs with clips from classic horror-flick soundtracks.

For dance-happy Anglophiles who may just dress as Bez from Happy Mondays: Chris Orr’s “Hac Mix”

We can’t hide our enthusiasm for this last playlist, created by DJ Chris Orr in advance of Debaser’s Halloween party, which goes down this Friday in San Francisco. The continuous mix includes cuts that would have been played at Manchester’s Hacienda. “I didn’t put the Happy Mondays or Stones Roses or any of the Madchester stuff on it, as I wanted to focus on some of the records that probably turned these rock musicians on to dance music,” Orr told S.F. Weekly. The resulting mix includes such forgotten gems as Corporation of One’s “Real Life” and Gina Stewart’s “Dance All Night.”