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Spooky Classics: A Halloween Party Playlist

Ghost jack-o-lantern halloween pumpkin

With any scary movie, the perfect soundtrack is key — so why not a soundtrack for your Halloween party?

This playlist could certainly play in the background for your spooky celebrations, or you could use it to make the little kids think twice about ringing the doorbell for candy!

There’s booming pipe organ music, thundering orchestra, ominous sounding voices, and even a dark waltz played on two surprisingly disturbing toy pianos.

It starts off with Bach’s intimidating Toccata in D minor, then moves on to another obvious choice — Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.

In addition to standard spooky classics by Liszt, Berlioz, Grieg and Saint-Saens, you’ll find some surprises. The Night of the Electric Insects by George Crumb is frenetically frightful, and some of the more terror-filled moments from Game of Thrones are sure to give you goosebumps (think dragons and White Walkers).

And have you ever noticed how dark some of the pieces from Pictures at an Exhibition are? They fit in perfectly here — The Catacombs, The Old Castle, and The Hut on Fowl’s Legs. Extra candy for you, Modest Mussorgsky.

Plaintive vocals by Henryk Gorecki, a waltz by Philip Glass, and a dance of death by Liszt. I’m sure we’ve left out some perfect choices. Check it out and see what you would add.

Classical 101 Program Director Cheryl Dring moved to Columbus in 2016, having worked in public radio since college. With stops in Austin, Madison, Dayton, Sacramento, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana, she has seen much of the country through the lens of public radio and local arts.