Karaoke Advice: Halloween Songs

Regular karaoke singer Lindsey Weber has developed very strong opinions about what constitutes the proper etiquette of karaoke–everything from song choice to mic-handling technique. Her opinions (while regarded trustworthy by some of the greatest karaoke’ers in town) are her own, so feel free to disregard. After all, if you’re just dying to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’”* you’ll probably just go ahead and sing it. Send your karaoke questions for Lindsey to karaokeconfessional AT gmail.com.

I am getting kind of tired of singing the same Halloween-type songs at Halloween karaoke events. Aside from “Sweet Transvestite” and “Monster Mash,” what are some other good ideas? My off-beat choice is Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” if the place has it, because it’s basically an Ann Rice novel you sing. The only downside is that no one knows it. –Ed

Halloween-inspired karaoke is an interesting concept to me. I understand why you’d want to do it, but I can’t think of a time where singing “Thriller” has been actually appreciated. That being said, a subtle creepy nod to the holiday is not a bad idea–if anything, inspiration to break out of your box of standards and try something surprising.

I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top karaoke theatrics (See: Musicals) so while I’ve seen “Sweet Transvestite” done quite well, I’m never one to sing along. That being said, performing the song during Halloween is certainly the right time to do it. No matter what you choose, singing a song not many people know in front of a crowd will never be fun. So what can you do to surprise and delight the crowd with your clever spooky pick? Go with a classic. Anything but “Thriller.” Here’s a list.

So You Want to Sing Halloween-Themed Karaoke

If you must, here’s a few suggestions. (With thanks to my friend Kevin’s Halloween-themed playlist on Spotify!)

  1. Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer” (As you sing, emphasis the PSYCHO KILLER part. They’ll love it.)
  2. Harry Belafonte – “Jump In The Line” (Beetlejuice fans will get your reference.)
  3. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You” (Sing it like Bette Midler did in Hocus Pocus.)
  4. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition” (A challenge for the daring!)
  5. Rockwell – “Somebody’s Watching Me” (Want to sing Michael Jackson, but not actually sing Michael Jackson?)
  6. Fleetwood Mac – “Black Magic Woman” (Dress like Stevie Nicks for extra effect…)
  7. David Bowie – “Ashes to Ashes” (David Bowie a Halloween costume that never goes out of style.)
  8. Queen – “Killer Queen” (A fun one basically any time of year.)
  9. Rolling Stones – “Sympathy for the Devil” (All the dads in the crowd will love you.)
  10. Blue Oyster Cult – “Don’t Fear The Reaper” (Does your KJ have a spare cowbell.