Every Halloween party needs a playlist, and yours better be the gayest. To ensure that your guests are treated to spooky queerness, put these 20 tracks in your iTunes and (legally) marry the night.
1. Sharon Needles, “Every Day Is Halloween”
Sharon’s cover of the Ministry jam is sinister, cool, and f**king evil—just the way she intended.
2. Janet Jackson, “Black Cat”
Janet’s rock anthem from Rhythm Nation 1814 warns partygoers to watch their step because, y’know, the kitty is coming out.
3. Madonna, “Supernatural”
Madonna’s spookiest jam is this Like a Prayer b-side that appeared in a fun house mix on the Red Hot + Dance LP. This is the only time Madonna has ever communicated with ghosts on record, as we’ve never been given access to her conversations with Frida Kahlo and Dita Parlo.
4. Paula Abdul, “Spellbound”/”Vibeology”
“Spellbound” is the kookier track from Paula’s same-named LP, but for sheer camp fun, you can’t beat “Vibeology.” That eerie middle section where monsters croon “Viiiiiibe-ologyyyyyy” like monster-mashing voguers is a camp masterpiece. Give me that vibe!
5. Kate Bush, “Waking the Witch”
This ambient, witchy mood piece off Kate’s unbeatable Hounds of Love album provides just enough hazel for your haunted fete.
6. Jack Skellington, “This is Halloween”
I’ll take this jam over a Rocky Horror tune any day; Jack is your guide as you plunder into Tim Burton’s creepy claymation wonderland.
7. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
Overplayed? Maybe. But a freaky pop song that namedrops Psycho, Vertigo Rear Window (in a truly naughty way) is always a winner.
8. Prince, “Batdance”
Bats! Halloween! Yessss.
9. Hex Girls, “Spell on You”
This feisty cartoon trio from Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost arranges a hex that leaves you unprepared to handle their glamor. Note: One of the Hex Girls is voiced by your favorite Go-Go, Jane Wiedlin.
10. Beyonce, “Sweet Dreams”
It’s the only Beyonce video that involved scary levitation, as far as I remember. Can’t you picture Beyonce looking Bill Murray in the face in saying, “No Sasha Fierce, ONLY ZUUL.”
11. Hocus Pocus: Sarah Jessica Parker, “Come Little Children” / Bette Midler, “I Put a Spell on You”
Hocus Pocus gives and gives and gives—like these two two campy treats from SJB and the Divine Miss M.
12. Adam Lambert, “Marry the Night”
Adam Lambert’s operatic control makes “Marry the Night” seem even grander in its vampiric delights.
13. Ke$ha, “Cannibal”
Cannibalism is an important Halloween theme, and here Ke$ha name drops Jeffrey Dahmer< and eats boys up—breakfast, lunch and dinner.
14. Barbra Streisand,”Queen Bee”
In this funky track from A Star Is Born , Barbra was paired with an R&B band—hence “the Oreos” (eye-roll). She essentially invents rap and croons about the creepy-crawly insect kingdom: black widows, wasps, and praying mantises—all of which are probably lost in Barbra’s mesmerizing ’fro.
15. Olivia Newton-John, “Magic”
Get into the dark arts with Olivia Newton-John’s marvelous Xanadu jam. Gotta love those spooky prestidigitators ELO!
16. Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
It’s just the right song to play. “When Tomorrow Comes” is my Eurythmics superjam, but go with the horror-riffic new wave classic for All Hallow’s Eve.
17. Katy Perry, “E.T.”
Aliens are way underrepresented on Halloween, which is bizarre because they could just abduct all the vampires, ghosts, and goblins if they wanted to.
18. Bonnie McKee, “Sleepwalker”
Bonnie is the songwriter responsible for “Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls,” “Dynamite,” and “Hold It Against Me.” Here she somnambulates for our attention in this kicky Halloween tune. I’m awake and loving it.
19. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, “Murder on the Dancefloor”
The perfect tune for your tango with Michael Myers, “Murder on the Dancefloor” is one of the most effervescent dance tracks of the 2000s. And hey, it’s about bloodshed! Just like good cardio.
20. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
I want to be above cliche, really I do. But those hokey Rod Temperton lyrics are addictive, the beat drives you, and Vincent Price gives us life (and afterlife) with his creepy narration. Did you think I was gonna end this list any other way?