Pumpkin Up the Volume: Another Halloween Playlist

Image courtesy biscuitbear via Flickr.

Last year, I posted a Halloween playlist titled Bring Your Own Boos. It was a huge hit at the Halloween party I never had…. But, at least I enjoyed it. (It got me through several boring class assignments and maybe a few boring conversations.) This year, I almost didn’t make a new playlist because, as it turns out, I had already used up all my favorite spooky songs. But then I realized, personal challenge! I would find some new favorite Halloween songs. And an even better (read: more cringeworthy) pun! (Yes, this is really what my personal challenges look like.)

Thus, Pumpkin Up the Volume was born. If you listen to only one awkwardly-titled Halloween playlist made by a stranger who makes you feel vaguely uncomfortable, let it be this one. It’s got wolf songs, devil songs, and even a song about a monster hospital. I cover all the bases.

Song list: 

Howlin’ For You—The Black Keys | The Crook of My Good Arm—Pale Young Gentlemen | Devil in Me—22-20s | Dead Man’s Party—Oingo Boingo | Evil—Interpol | Wolf Like Me—TV on the Radio | (You’re the) Devil in Disguise—Elvis Presley | See No Evil—Television | Spider Cider—Man Man | She Wolf—Shakira | Pumpkin—Starlight Mints | Haunted House of Rock—Whodini | Spooky—Dusty Springfield | Monster Hospital—Metric | There Goes the Fear—Doves | Pet Sematary—The Ramones | Hungry Like the Wolf—Duran Duran | Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare—Matt & Kim | Turkish Song of the Damned—The Pogues | My Body’s a Zombie for You—Dead Man’s Bones

Bring Your Own Boos: A Halloween Playlist

Image courtesy cmar via Flickr.….

The best holidays, I would argue, are the ones that can last longer than a single day, those celebrations for which anticipation builds weeks, even months, in advance. They are associated with a specific, undeniable mood, which elevates them, in essence, to a state of mind. Christmas, ideally, is a holly jolly fest of goodwill toward men, with the sights, sounds, and smells inspiring kindness (at least, outside of shopping malls), high spirits, and the overindulgence of various questionable food items, like eggnog and gingerbread. Halloween, in contrast, is like Christmas’s evil twin, exploring a darker side of human nature, which delights in tricks and treats in equal measure. Halloween is a celebration of the macabre and the attendant thrill that comes with being unnerved. It’s not all slasher flicks and haunted houses, but if the darkest you get is watching the Charlie Brown special with the lights out, then you’re not doing it right.

Every year, I create my own playlists for both of these holidays in an effort to promote the right mood even when I am doing something decidedly un-festive, like writing a paper. Below I have included this year’s Halloween playlist. (Coming November 1st, my Christmas playlist! …No, no, I’m better than that.) Some of these songs are par for the course, just shy of “Monster Mash” ubiquity, while others are more obscure, but still thematically related. All of them, naturally, are songs that I like, and that I think capture the Halloween “spirit.” Yeah, that’s right, spirit. I went there.


Looking to make your own Halloween playlist? All it takes is a crappy image editor you downloaded for free, Halloween clipart you found by doing the most obvious Google search imaginable, and, of course, the first execrable pun you can think of! Have fun!

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