The TRL Pop Quiz works like this: our editors are posed a music-related question and have only 15 minutes and just 100 words to research, choose and explain their answers. This week’s question: aside from everyone’s favorites like “Thriller” and “Monster Mash,” what’s the best song to put on your Halloween playlist?
You can’t have a list of top spooky songs for Halloween without mentioning the classic “I Put A Spell On You.” Originally written in 1956 by Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins, the song has been covered extensively by everyone from Nina Simone to Annie Lennox. My favorite iteration though has to be Bette Midler’s version in the 1993 cult film Hocus Pocus, which coincidentally is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In the movie, Midler uses the song in a show-stopping number to literally put a spell on the partygoers at the town’s local Halloween party. Happy anniversary, Hocus Pocus! – Kristen Maldonado
There’s lots of classics, but if you’re having a Halloween party this year you better be playing Kim Petras’ spooky pop mixtape Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1. She dropped this danceable mixtape by surprise on October 1 and it’s got eight tracks which Kim herself has said is inspired by different Halloween movies and classics like Halloween and “Monster Mash”. Can’t pick a favorite song from this, so if you have to listen to just three, listen to “Close Your Eyes”, “TRANSylvania” and “In Your Next Life”. – Landyn Pan
Don’t ask me how, but Fifth Harmony managed to combine spook and romance in “I’m In Love With A Monster” off the Hotel Transylvania 2 soundtrack. Written and produced, amongst others, by early era-Fifth Harmony collaborator Harmony Samuels, the catchy track is perfect for pop lovers looking to get just a little gimmicky on Halloween night. And even though it never charted in the U.S., the 5H song even comes with an accompanying music video, complete with all the haunted house realness needed to creep you out. – Matt Gehring
“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band is my favorite spooky song. Also, and I know I use this phrase too liberally, but I think it’s a perfect song. The song is about a fiddle battle between the devil and a man named Johnny. If Johnny wins, he gets a golden violin. If he loses, the devil gets his soul. The stakes couldn’t be higher! I won’t spoil the ending, but I will tell you that this song includes not one but two fiddle solos that will melt your face off, and a very satisfying ending. – Leah Williams