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 effing evil, just the way she intended. Have you checked out her list of favorite horror movies yet? Just as terrfiying.
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!
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 Rocky Horror tunes any day; Jack Skellington is your guide as you plunder into Tim Burton’s creepy claymation wonderland.
7. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
Overplayed? Maybe. But a freaky-deeky pop song that namedrops Psycho and Vertigo (and makes what I believe is the naughtiest reference to Rear Window ever)
8. Prince, “Batdance”
Bats! Halloween! Yessss. Am I the only one who thinks Adam Lambert is sort of like if Prince never left his “Batdance” phase?
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, Ms. 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 is unwatchable, but I love these two campy-ass treats from Carrie Bradshaw and Bathhouse Bette.
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 namedrops Jeffrey Dahmer and eats boys up — breakfast and lunch.
In this funky track from A Star Is Born featuring Barbra and her R&B band “the Oreos” (eye-roll), she essentially invents rap and croons about the creepy-crawly insect kingdom. Black widows, wasps, and praying mantises are here and 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 today. “When Tomorrow Comes” is my Eurythmics superjam, but go with the horror-riffic new wave classic for All Hallow’s Steve.
17. Katy Perry, “E.T.”
Aliens are left out of Halloween festivities way too often, which is bizarre because they can just kidnap all the vampires, ghosts, and goblins if they want to.
18. Bonnie McKee, “Sleepwalker”
Ms. Bonnie is the songwriter responsible for “Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls,” “Dynamite,” and “Hold It Against Me,” and 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”
Finally, I want to be above cliche, but look: those hokey Rod Temperton lyrics are addictive, the beat drives, and Vincent Price is vamping like Dr. Frankenfurter. You must.