As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, Halloween enthusiasts begin to dust off their decorations, carve their pumpkins, and search for the perfect soundtrack to accompany the spooky season. While digital playlists offer convenience, there’s something undeniably nostalgic and atmospheric about dropping the needle on a vinyl record, especially when it comes to Halloween music. The crackle of the needle, the large album artwork, and the ritual of flipping the record all contribute to a unique listening experience that can enhance the eerie ambiance of any Halloween gathering.
Whether you’re hosting a monster mash, setting up a haunted house, or simply getting into the Halloween spirit, a well-curated selection of vinyl records can make all the difference. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Halloween vinyl records, spanning various genres and eras, each with its own unique charm and spooky appeal. From classic rock and movie soundtracks to novelty records and eerie narrations, these albums are sure to set the perfect mood for Halloween.
Top 10 Best Halloween Vinyl Records
- John Carpenter – “Halloween” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: This iconic score is chilling and perfect for Halloween night.
- Michael Jackson – “Thriller”: With the famous title track and other hits, this album is a Halloween staple.
- Bobby “Boris” Pickett – “The Original Monster Mash”: This album includes the famous “Monster Mash” and other Halloween-themed songs.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show – Original Soundtrack: This cult classic’s soundtrack is full of quirky and spooky tunes.
- Vincent Price – “A Graveyard of Ghost Tales”: An album of creepy stories and tales narrated by the master of horror himself.
- Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party”: The title track is especially popular around Halloween.
- Danny Elfman – “Beetlejuice” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: A whimsical and eerie soundtrack that captures the film’s quirky horror vibe.
- Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”: This rock album has a theatrical, creepy vibe.
- Various Artists – “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: This soundtrack is a favorite for both Halloween and Christmas.
- Bernard Herrmann – “Psycho” Original Motion Picture Score: The chilling score from one of Hitchcock’s most famous films.
John Carpenter – “Halloween” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
John Carpenter’s score for his 1978 horror classic “Halloween” is a masterpiece of minimalism and mood. Using simple synthesizer melodies and repetitive motifs, Carpenter created a soundtrack that is as haunting as it is hypnotic. The main theme, with its 5/4 time signature and eerie piano melody, is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with horror cinema. The rest of the score is equally effective, using sparse arrangements and synthetic sounds to create a sense of tension and unease. It’s a masterclass in how to use music to enhance the atmosphere of a film, and it’s a must-have for any vinyl record collector.
Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is a pop masterpiece that transcends its genre to deliver a thrilling listening experience. The title track, with its funky bassline, catchy melody, and iconic Vincent Price spoken-word segment, is a Halloween anthem. But the rest of the album is just as strong, featuring a blend of funk, pop, rock, and R&B that showcases Jackson’s incredible versatility as an artist. The album’s cover art, featuring Jackson in a white suit with a tiger cub, is iconic in its own right. It’s an album that’s sure to get any Halloween party started.
Bobby “Boris” Pickett – “The Original Monster Mash”
The Original Monster Mash” is a fun, campy album that captures the spirit of Halloween. The title track is a novelty song that became a surprise hit, blending a dance craze with B-movie horror tropes. Pickett’s Boris Karloff impression and the catchy chorus made it a Halloween staple. The rest of the album features other Halloween-themed songs that are just as playful and entertaining. It’s a record that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s all the better for it.
Rocky Horror Picture Show – Original Soundtrack
The soundtrack to the cult classic film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a wild ride from start to finish. It blends rock ‘n’ roll, camp, and theatricality to create a soundtrack that’s as memorable as the film itself. Songs like “Time Warp” and “Sweet Transvestite” are showstoppers that encourage listeners to sing (and dance) along. The album captures the film’s irreverent, boundary-pushing spirit, making it a unique addition to any Halloween music collection.
Vincent Price – “A Graveyard of Ghost Tales”
Vincent Price, with his distinctive voice and penchant for the macabre, brings a collection of ghost stories and spooky tales to life on this record. The album features Price narrating a variety of eerie tales, backed by minimal sound effects and music. His performance is theatrical and engaging, drawing listeners into each story. It’s a record that showcases Price’s talent as a storyteller and his love of the horror genre, making it a captivating listening experience.
Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party”
Led by the incomparable Danny Elfman, Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” is a lively, energetic album that blends new wave, rock, and ska. The title track is a Halloween favorite, with its catchy melody and horn section, but the rest of the album is just as strong. The band’s unique sound and Elfman’s distinctive voice make it a standout record that’s sure to get people on the dance floor.
Danny Elfman – “Beetlejuice” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Danny Elfman’s score for Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” is quirky, whimsical, and slightly spooky. The main theme, with its upbeat tempo and circus-like melody, sets the tone for the rest of the score. Elfman’s music perfectly captures the film’s off-kilter charm, blending orchestral arrangements with synthesizers to create a sound that’s uniquely his own. It’s a soundtrack that’s as fun as it is eerie, making it a perfect choice for Halloween.
Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”
Alice Cooper who is on our list of best-sounding vinyls made it to this one as well. His “Welcome to My Nightmare” is a theatrical rock album that tells a chilling story through its songs. With elaborate stage theatrics and Cooper’s signature shock-rock style, the album takes listeners on a journey through a nightmare landscape. Songs like “Cold Ethyl” and the title track are standouts, showcasing Cooper’s ability to blend rock and theater. The album’s cover art, featuring a sinister-looking Cooper, adds to its spooky appeal. It’s a record that’s as theatrical as it is rocking.
Various Artists – “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composed by Danny Elfman, the soundtrack to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a magical blend of Halloween and Christmas themes. The songs are catchy and memorable, with Elfman’s whimsical style and unique voice bringing the characters to life. From the upbeat “This Is Halloween” to the poignant “Sally’s Song,” the soundtrack captures the film’s quirky charm and emotional depth. It’s a record that’s sure to delight fans of the film and Halloween enthusiasts alike.
Bernard Herrmann – “Psycho” Original Motion Picture Score
Bernard Herrmann’s score for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is a masterclass in film scoring. The use of screeching violins and tense orchestrations adds to the film’s suspense, creating a sense of unease and dread. The infamous shower scene music has become synonymous with horror, showcasing Herrmann’s innovative approach to scoring. The rest of the score is just as effective, using dissonant melodies and abrupt musical cues to heighten the tension. It’s a thrilling listen that’s sure to send chills down your spine.
Vinyl records hold a special place in the hearts of music lovers, and when it comes to setting the Halloween mood, they are unparalleled. The tactile experience of handling the records, combined with the warm analog sound, adds a layer of authenticity to the Halloween experience that digital formats struggle to replicate.
This curated list of Halloween vinyl records spans a variety of genres, ensuring that there’s something for everyone, from classic rock fans and movie buffs to those who enjoy novelty records and spoken-word performances.