Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Stories Behind the Music -- The Best Halloween Songs

There are a number of songs that might, arguably, be in the category of the best ever Halloween song. The three below are on most top ten Halloween song lists -- by the experts in such matters. Personally, as an old radio guy, I would say that these three picks by me are in ascending order. In other words, the first one is probably not as high on the heap of Halloween favorites as the one at the bottom.

First we have Warren Zevon. This song, late 1970's, established this former session musician as a major talent in his own right, even though it was a pretty off-kilter song. Actually, I think almost all his songs were off-kilter, whether he was singing about excitable boys or werewolves of London.

 The next artist might be weirder than the song. Screamin' Jay Hawkins was an oddity of the 1950's. Originally the song I Put A Spell On You, which he wrote, was going to be recorded as a ballad. But he could not resist adding those weird Hawkin's touches -- grunts, groans, voodoo images, costumes. He was one of the early rock n' rollers and popular with Alan Freed, who introduced R&B music to the white kids. While this version is heavy on weird, with a capital W, the song is now classic and has been recorded, in a serious manner, by many performers.

If there is a classic of Halloween, and there is -- then it is this next song. Bobby Boris Pickett was not into being a singer. He wanted to act. However, he was able to do an impression of famous actor Boris Karloff, so he was the lucky stiff who got to record the true Halloween classic. Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers took the Monster Mash to #1 in 1962.


For more "Stories Behind the Music" click on the guitar  

  Steven L. Smith

 Bellingham WA Home Inspections


Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 9 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 30 2008 10:09AM


Those songs were fun. I kinda liked the first one, didn't like the second and have fond memories of the third one. I was at RE/MAX convention and they had a Halloween dance with all of us wearing costumes. The Monster Mash stands out in my mind. Funniest costumes were Century 21 gold jackets at a RE/MAX convention and fake naked butt costumes. That was a fun night!
Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 10 years ago

Hey Steve,

I've never heard the second song before and don't believe I cared for it much. Obviously the last one is quite popular and was the first one. Not sure I would have ever classified the first as a Halloween song.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 10 years ago
Sean, There are so few Halloween songs that one grasps at straws. How bout Ghost Busters.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago
Steve, ....humming down memory lane with the Monster Mash, glad you found this collection. Happy Halloween imessage is at
Posted by Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team (Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the blast from the past!  These are amazing clips, I had never seen any of them before.  I Put a Spell On You was my favorite.  Trick or Treat!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 10 years ago
Steven ... I always enjoyed the Jay Hawkins ... "I Put A Spell On You". What a great song. Thanks for this post. It looks like you are a true music man. Harrison
Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) over 10 years ago

Great Post...lot's of fun fom a huge Zevon fan.


Posted by Doug Dyer (Royal LePage Campbell River, Vancouver Island) over 10 years ago

Looks like everyone found a cut they liked. I think it amazing that this Hawkins song ended up being a classic for serious singers.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago
Steven, Thriller by Michael Jackson Halloween by Dave Matthews Band is a great song Sean
Posted by Sean Dreznin, Commercial Investment Real Estate Agent (NAI Tampa Bay) over 10 years ago