For those who dream of orange, black, and red, it’s finally the most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! October brings the official start of the Halloween season, with four weeks of gleeful gore, fiendish frights, clever and creepy costumes, and more fun than you can shake a broomstick at. Yet, as October raises a few spirits, it also raises a question: what do we listen to? That’s where HollywoodLife is handing out full-sized candy bars for musical treats, thanks to The Sound Of Halloween.
Throughout October, HollywoodLife will ask some of the biggest and rising stars hailing from the other side of midnight for what they think should be on your Halloween 2022 playlist. As the days count down to the 31st, we’ll update this with links to all the interviews, so you can find out who they picked – and more. The playlist will also grow as the month goes on, so subscribe to it on Spotify and Tidal.
“I remember dressing like Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure for the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival. It’s one of my favorite movies, and it was actually a perfect choice for beginner drag because she’s a mess! I had a life preserver around my neck, a HAPPY NEW YEAR hat on my head, and walked around in only one shoe!” Jackie Beat told HollywoodLife.
“Mayor Lovecraft” Leeman Kessler
“I think we’re gonna see a lot of She-Hulks, particularly as the green filter on TikTok has convinced a lot of folks that not only is it easier being green, it’s sexier too. Given its proximity to a pretty important election, I hope most young folks go as fully registered voters regardless of what costume they choose,” Leeman Kessler, aka “Mayor Lovecraft,” told HollywoodLife.
I would absolutely do a take on Insidious. I’m super interested in lucid dreaming and while failing at being able to do it myself, have always read up on it. As someone who consistently has sleep paralysis though, I’d want my movie to show people the infinitely terrifying ways sleep paralysis messes with your ability to rest and how once you’re in, you’ll feel like you’re never getting out. Maybe we even make it a virtual reality experience that could be fun,” Julia Wolf told HollywoodLife.
“I always wanted to play the classic, hideous vampire Nosferatu, and it actually happened in a remake that combines the original silent film’s backdrops and sets with us new actors digitally added in with dialogue and sound. It is dreamy for me to check this off my bucket list, and it should be released to the public soon, before the other recently announced Nosferatu with Bill Skarsgard comes out,” Doug Jones told HollywoodLife.
“The other thing that pops into my mind is my brother, and I only trick or treating at the houses that left candy bowls on the porch [laughs]. Because it was a free for all/ take it all situation. We were very much, so a trick-or-treat smarter, not harder,” Athena of AEW told HollywoodLife.
“This family that I went to school with used to throw these Halloween parties every year. They’d go all out and then we’d all go trick or treating. I was always so excited to go to those and get dressed up,” Maggie Lindemann told HollywoodLife.
“I always try to spend some quality time with my family. I’ve always enjoyed helping get them all dressed up for All Hallows’ Eve,” Eureka told HollywoodLife.
“Danhausen continues to do what he does every month: take over the world. Hopefully, this year is even more powerful and evil than the last. With the new Danhausen Halloween mask out, we need to fill the AEW crowd with the mask,” Danhausen of AEW told HollywoodLife.
The Invincible Czars
“I’m working with my son and godson, which is just unbelievable. We do albums together, we toured together, we do scores together. And this is like the second act in my life. … This is great. The greatest, man. I didn’t expect it,” John Carpenter told HollywoodLife.
“For us, Halloween is a sacred event we look forward to all year round. This year brings a new tradition of reliving our youth at When We Were Young Fest in Las Vegas. The true horror will be looking into the mirror at what once was ourselves,” Hoaxed told HollywoodLife.
At home with my son, when the kids are trick or treatin’, me, [musician] Delaney Davidson, and my son dressed up, super scary as f-ck, and when the doorbell rang, we had a 100-watt speaker with Schubert’s Funeral March, and it blew everybody away. They were soooo scared — still are, 15 years later,” Rev. Beat-Man told HollywoodLife.
“In like, first or second grade, I was in dance, and we did a routine to a song called ‘Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. We were all dressed as giant tomatoes. My mom forced me to reuse the costume by having my grandma see red beads onto it to make it a strawberry for Halloween. I told her I hated it, and I cried all day and it was the worst day of my life,” Kris Statlander told HollywoodLife.
“Freaky haunted houses that I don’t like. Or a Disney villain marathon I watched once. Or when I was Dracula when I was 9 and so excited for,” David Archuleta told HollywoodLife.
If I could remake a horror film from the past, probably be Troll 2. Maybe I’d do Troll 3: Return to Nilbog. If I could write my own, there’d probably be aliens and vampires,” Dru DeCaro told HollywoodLife.
“Once I played a Halloween show in France in a club with The Jackets. My guitar got tangled in a spiderweb decoration on the stage, so my guitar was dressed up as a spiderweb until the end of the show,” Jack Torera told HollywoodLife.
I think we will definitely see a lot of costumes from Stranger Things, which I am so excited about,” Meghan Trainor told HollywoodLife.
Blair Bathory & Steffany Strange
“For me, it’s also my birthday in the month of October, so I celebrate through hosting costume birthday parties or murder mystery parties. It’s also the time of year when I have attended amazing séance sessions with my mentor and friends,” Blair Bathory & Steffany Strange told HollywoodLife.
“I was all over New Wave. Everything was happening in LA at that time. It was so fantastic. I was working for Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert. This was before I was Elvira and was also a DJ at KROC in LA. I was going out every single night, just scouring the clubs, looking for new artists. And there were all these bands like Oingo Boingo, The Go-Go’s, The Cramps — it was just like insane. It was just all these bands starting out, and the music just getting better and better,” Cassandra Peterson told HollywoodLife.
“When someone says Halloween, I always remember hoarding my candy and trying to make it last as long as possible. I would sort it meticulously, then eat or trade the stuff I didn’t like as much first, saving the best candy for last. For some reason, I would also do this with individual pieces – like I would sort the M&M’s and eat them by color saving green for last,” LVCRFT told HollywoodLife.
“I’ve always been a big fan of homemade costumes or costumes that combine things. “Last year, my 2-year-old son wanted to be Mickey Mouse — but also wanted to wear this costume that looked like you were riding a dinosaur. So, of course, he was ‘Mickey Mouse riding a dinosaur,'” Brody King told HollywoodLife.
“The most popular Halloween costume should be Art the Clown from Terrifier/Terrifier 2: one of the best modern slasher villains and some of the best modern slasher movies,” Phoneboy told HollywoodLife.
The Happy Fits
“I think Vecna from Stranger Things will probably be the most popular Halloween costume. If I had to choose what SHOULD be the most popular, I would probably go with a Nudist on Strike,” The Happy Fits told HollywoodLife.
“I watch Horror Hotel and Black Sunday. I buy a bag of those orange pumpkin candies from Rite Aid, I eat two…I feel guilty and then throw them out and go to bed,” Count D told HollywoodLife.
Originating some 2,000 years ago – give or take – Halloween was first a festival marking the end of the harvest and the start of a new year (click here for a quick rundown of how Samhain turned into a night where you can dress up as a sexy version of Freddy Kreuger.) In modern times, it’s a chance to celebrate your freaky side, to embrace the inner monster before letting them run loose in a world that turned creepy. The spooky season has been soundtracked by many sinister songs, more than just Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “The Monster Mash.”
Since there was popular music, there have been songs that flirted with the supernatural — early jazz and R&B songs laid the foundation for this spooky empire. “The Monster Mash” arrived in 1962, six years after Screamin’ Jay Hawkins released “I Put A Spell On You” (which would be famously covered by Nina Simone in 1965.) As Dino Stamatopoulos covered in “Rahr! Rahr! Rahr! (Backed With Surf Guitar),” the mixture of 1950s surf culture and the rise of the monster movie resulted in a lot of music that melded rock and roll and creatures from the crypt. The Horror Hop and Monster Bop from Buffalo Bop collect some of those splatter platters.
Screaming Lord Sutch released “Jack The Ripper in 1963, as he was one of the many acts that took the Love Generation and covered them in blood. Alice Cooper‘s debut album, Pretties For You, closed out the sixties, and the group cemented its place in the horror hall of fame with Love It To Death. The seventies brought metal, which embraced all things dark and horrifying (Black Sabbath, anyone?) and continues to do so today (Ghost, GWAR, and more.) The decade also brought punk, with The Ramones singing about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on their debut album. Deathrock and horror punk bands like 45 Grave, The Misfits, The Cramps, Screaming Dead, and TSOL were just a few who embraced the dark sound in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Horror punk developed into its own genre in the late 80s/early 90s, the same time hip-hop began its rise to prominence.
While DJ Jazzy Jef & The Fresh Prince’s “A Nightmare On My Street” and The Bad Boys’ “Are You Ready For Freddy?” mixed horror themes and early rap, more point to The Geto Boys and Doctor Octagon as planting the seeds for the horrorcore hip-hop subgenre.
As of this decade, horror is more mainstream than ever, allowing more artists – from pop to hip-hop to even Ryan Gosling’s rock-duo Dead Man’s Bones – to embrace the dark side. The Weeknd spent his most successful year (so far) performing in a mask.
So, who will wind up on this year’s playlist? Feel free to tick or treat this post throughout the month to find out.