Stina's Halloween Playlist

If you’re after a playlist that will feature Top 40 feel-good bops and power jams, this is absolutely not the playlist for you. This is the type of playlist you put one when the evening’s full swing. Masks have been taken off, pheromones are purring off the charts, there’s already a heck of a pile of empties in the corner. People have long forgotten about the characters their costume dictates they should play.


  1. Creedance Clearwater Revival- Bad Moon Rising

I’ve always pictured this song in an ironic but scary as all get horror movie; the killer emerging from the trees and we see the protagonist's silhouettes booting it across a field lit by the moon before someone inevitably slips and eats a knife. Bonus points; there’s a Simpson’s episode where someone is not breathing and a character yells “Quick! Someone give him CPR!” to which Homer busts out “I SEE A BAD MOON RISING!” Classic.

2. Letters to Cleo- Dangerous Type

Before there was Regina George there was Nancy Fucking Down’s. Except her brand of “Mean Girl” wasn’t bitchy, it was witchy (yes, I love what I just did there). The villain you love to hate, star of the 90s cult classic; The Craft. Crank this up and strut into the party. I said strut girl!

3. Angus Stone- Napoleon’s Dream

Much to the dismay of my sweet mother, I know that Ayahuasca is in my future. I’ve experienced things, seen places and people beyond my consciousness and I know it’s barely the tip of the iceberg. I want more, but will I want what I see? (At the very least I’ll get another column out of it.)

4. The Doors- People Are Strange

We’ve all done it; made fun of something to hide how we’re really feeling on the inside. Jim and the boys get a bit tongue and cheek about the maniacal forces lurking ‘round corners and in people. I’d like to think that Jim subscribed to the old adage “If you can’t beat ‘em, join 'em.” Get your strange on- he sure did. All hail the Lizard King.

5. Dusty Springfield- Spooky

So mod. So sleek. The guy she’s singing about sounds like just the type of asshole I would’ve gone for in my early 20’s. There’s no way I’d ship that kind of nonsense now- just make out with it at the Halloween party and get lipstick all over it so the other girls he’s winking at know to back the heck off.

6. Leonard Cohen- Bobby Bazini

Aww, the female equivalent of “Spooky”. Sometimes it just hurts so good to desire someone so desperately, longing to be devoured by them. She’ll share her flask of whiskey out on the porch, all while you hope she’ll leave a lip print on your neck, hope that the world knows she claimed you. It’ll never happen; her lipstick is smudge-proof.

7. Donovan- Season of the Witch

Happy Scorpio season! Donovan gets it, he feels it; the atmosphere is thick and people are shifting and becoming all kinds of strange. Things are passionate and intense and ferociously honest- “Oh no”.

8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Red Right Hand

Ugh, it’s just eerie and intriguing, and troubling. Nick Cave’s duet with PJ Harvey on the macabre love song, “Henry Lee” nearly made it on this playlist. However, it’s that singing saw and this song’s affiliation to Scream (one of the few horror movies I’ll watch) it just had to make the cut.

9. The Talking Heads- Psycho Killer

Does that bass line make anyone else uneasy? There’s a climax coming and I don’t mean an orgasm. “I hate people when they’re not polite”- I deeply relate to the line. But I wonder, is that something that could set psycho killer off? Totally play this one near the end of the night where people are dancing sloppily with limbs flying everywhere. Attached. The limbs will still be attached just flailing.

10. Richard O’Brien- Science Fiction/Double Feature

When I was a kid, Much Music would always play Rocky Horror at midnight on Halloween and I always thought “What is this colourful cluster-fuck that doesn’t make sense and makes me feel weird?” Now, I dies for this colourful cluster -fuck. Pass me some fishnets I want some terrible thrills cuz it ain’t Halloween without some sweet transvestites.

11. Joy Division- Love Will Tear Us Apart

Don’t you @ me (but if you do it’s @stinaeastmeetswest), this is as a Halloween song. Dark 80s is always Halloween. Why? Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland. (Shameless plug to go read my accompanying East Meets West Halloween Feature).

12. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- I Put a Spell on You

Whoa, Nell! Jay is NOT playin’. He got chills and they’re multiplying. He’s so raw and extreme, equal parts scary and alluring. I don’t know if I could handle that much unfiltered, wanton testosterone proclaiming its lust for me. Who am I kidding; I’ll take two, please!

13. Stevie Wonder- Superstitious

Stevie may be singing about trickery, but this song is a heck of a treat. This is my version of a banger. After the making-out you’ve been doing earlier on in the playlist, the sugar finally kicks in after mowing all that chocolate and Stevie will happily get you dancing.

14. Blue Oyster Cult- Don’t Fear the Reaper

Winnie in Hocus Pocus bade the people at the party she was casting a spell on to “dance! Dance until you die!” but what if meeting death was a heck of party? Now with more cowbell! Sometimes you need a bit of levity. Even to the eternal darkness.

15. Echo and the Bunny Men- The Killing Moon

A blue moon. Fate vs will. Shit feels dangerous because it is. But then again, the title gave it away. It’s not the “Let’s hold hands and skip Moon”.

16. The Eagles- Witchy Woman

Pretty much every playlist I make proudly features Dad-rock. The Eagles are PEAK Dad-Rock. And sometimes you really just need a jam that you can sing along to. This Witch is a desert dweller, the kind who would hang out with the vampires on Ventura Boulevard, but now I’ve stumbled into a different song and that’s another playlist unto itself.

17. Desire- Under Your Spell

And with that, the party ends in a whisper, not a whimper or a scream. Everything and everyone, drunk, and the first snippets of orange skies are making their way onto the horizon. And you wonder how much longer this spell and buzz will last. Fortunately, it’ll get renewed. You only have to wait 364 days...