The top Halloween-themed songs revealed

In need of a Halloween playlist? Look no further...

Whether you're out partying in costume or staying in to scare trick or treaters, Halloween requires a spooky soundtrack. What better place to start than with the most popular - old and new?

Which songs constitute as Halloween appropriate music is, of course, up for debate. But whether it's the lighter, less-horrifying side of Halloween or the downright dark and demonic music you're looking for, below are some of the UK's top Halloween-themed songs, according to chart placings and streaming numbers (based on Official Charts Company data) - complete with a longlist at the bottom of the page as a playlist.

Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr. 

UK streams: 61 million 
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 2

When it comes to Halloween classics, Ghostbusters is god tier. Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song from the hit film was released in 1984 and spent three weeks at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart, and given it pre-dates the streaming era by over 30 years, it has some hefty total UK chart units - currently up to 746,000.

Bury A Friend - Billie Eilish 

UK streams: 134 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 6

Sounding like a nightmare come to life, Billie Eilish's Bury A Friend is a cacophany of horror; from the sounds of breaking glass to the snipping of scissors, Bury A Friend may be very spooky-ooky, but it proved to be just sinister enough to be Billie's commercial breakthrough, becoming her first UK Top 10 hit.

Despite only creeping to Number 6, Bury A Friend has scared its way to 134 million UK streams and nearly 1.1 million chart units in total. 


Billie Eilish (Press)

Disturbia - Rihanna

UK streams: 84 million 
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 3

Bam bam be bam...Disturbia was ahead of its time, it's Halloween-influenced music video basically predicted the invention of anthology series American Horror Story before it was a glimmer in Ryan Murphy's eye. 

Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones

Total UK streams: 86 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 14

Is Mick Jagger really the devil? It's certainly implied on this Rolling Stones classic, which was largely written by Mick with some help from his bandmate Keith Richards. When it was released in 1968 there were concerns from religious groups that the band were devil-worshippers and a corrupting influence on youth which, in hindsight, was all true. It would take 35 years for Sympathy... to chart in the UK, reaching Number 14 in 2003. It remains one of the Rolling Stones's most-streamed songs on the Official Chart.

Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet Boys

Total UK streams: 89 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 3

One of the Backstreet Boys's most iconic singles was nearly blocked from release on a technicality. Executives at their record company were hesitant to issue it because even though it did herald the boys's return for their second studio album internationally, they had yet to release an album in their native US. How could Backstreet be back if they hadn't even arrived in the first place?

Luckily, Everybody (Backstreet's Back) works best when you don't really think about it too hard. The bombastic production sees the late, great Denniz Pop and his protege Max Martin firing on all cylinders, while the wacky Halloween visuals by Joseph Kahn dial the whole thing up a 10 on the silly scale. 

Highway to Hell - AC/DC

Total UK Streams: 146 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 4

It sounds like it was written with Halloween in mind, but Highway to Hell was actually written by the band about their gruelling tour schedule. Regardless, it's a rock classic with one of the most instantly recognisable guitar riffs of all time. It's enduring popularity is reflected in its chart history, first reaching Number 56 on its original 1979 release, then Number 14 in 1992 with a live version, and then Number 4 in 2012.


Ava Max (Press)

Sweet But Psycho - Ava Max

Total UK Streams: 316 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 1

Run don't walk away! Pop music was back, baby, when Ava Max almost singlehandedly resurrected the kind of wobbly dance-pop that you could have easily seen Gaga, Katy or even Rihanna pulling off back in the day.  Ava's first UK Number 1 single, Sweet But Psycho has claimed 316 million streams to date, and and a massive 2.5 chart units in total. 

Zombie - The Cranberries

Total UK streams: 151 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 14

The Cranberries' 1994 hit is a popular choice at Halloween for obvious reasons, but title aside, its meaning is much deeper - recorded as a protest song about the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington, with frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan given one of the most passionate (and memorable) vocal performances in all of indie-rock. 

Black Magic - Little Mix 

Total UK streams: 214 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 1

It may fall on the cutesier end of Halloween music spectrum, but everything about Little Mix's Number 1 hit Black Magic - from its potion-sipping, crystal-balling lyrics to its The Craft-movie themed music video - is quintessentially Halloween. Topping the Official Chart for three weeks in 2015, it's one of the few modern spooky ('spooky') songs to reach the summit.

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Total UK streams: 160 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 11

In 1973, Stevie Wonder dipped into the dark arts on Superstition, which secured its place as a Halloween staple when it featured at the beginning of John Carpenter's 1982 horror film The Thing.

Youngblood - 5 Seconds Of Summer

Total UK streams: 245 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 4

"I'm just a dead man crawling tonight" 5SOS sing on their 2018 single. It might be a recent - and slightly tenuous - addition to the stable of Halloween songs, but this pop-rock thumper deserves to be wheeled out every year - if only so we can sport their Rockabilly look in the music video and pretend it's a Halloween costume.


Bring Me To Life - Evanescence

Total UK streams: 131 million
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 1

Evanescence's goth-pop belter spent four weeks at Number 1 in 2003; singer Amy Lee's ethereal soprano combined with head-bashing serrated guitar crunches resulting in a near-perfect spooky singalong.

Thriller - Michael Jackson

Total UK streams: 102 million
Official Singles Chart peak: 10

Thriller is so intrinsically linked with Halloween that it's easy to forget that 1.) It was released three weeks after Halloween in 1983, and 2.) It wasn't a Number 1, topping out at Number 10 in the UK (it was Jackson's seventh single from the album). Still, it remains unbeaten for its impact on the music, particularly when it comes to music videos.

Listen to these and more in the UK's biggest Halloween-themed songs on Spotify below: 

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🧡 oliviasnoodles 🍜


bury a friend peaked at number 6, not number 2.


Lee Moore


5SOS' Youngblood has almost 3x as many total streams as MJ's Thriller - no way do I believe that! And OCC, bury a friend peaked at #6, not #2


Simon D


Lee. Don't supose you have screenshots of the Top 100 best-selling singles of the classic years (like the one you posted a while back from 1994)? The OCC website is useless in this regard. Try searching for year-end singles charts prior to 2005 and it tells you their database doesn't have this info. And they're meant to be the 'official' repository for such information. It seems to me that if you're under about 20 yo they don't care! Thanks


Dave Knight


Whats confusing is if all these songs are streaming in their millions why are they not in the actual charts anywhere?


Nu No


These are the TOTAL streaming numbers since OCC start tracking streams.
They are not streaming that this week! That's years of streaming.

Nice to see some pre-streaming era hits with nice streaming totals!
Stevie Wonder is a big surprise with over 115 million streams with a song from 1973!




Monster Mash not even in there???


Tigg Scholessinger


aww, no Iron Maiden and The Number of the Beast

And no Lordi either D:




is bleeding love a cristmas song?


Kurt Weber


Everyday is Halloween by Ministry




I'm surprised that Wacko isn't a bit higher on the list.




Where is Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max that defo halloween (Even though that was Christmas Day #1 UK Sales which is strange) and Bad Guy Billie Ellish is on my list also


Kasper Elbjørn


Blood on the dancefloor? Is it scary? Ghost? Somebody's watching me? The Boogie Man?




some dubious entries in this list.