Halloween songs might not be as celebrated — or profitable — as Christmas music (though that’s changing a bit), but there’s no denying the grave reality that people go batty for spooky songs as Oct. 31 approaches.
Simply put, folks who want to avoid spooky songs around All Hollows’ Eve don’t have a ghost of a chance. And while we all have our favorites, there are some seasonally appropriate songs that loom larger in Billboard Hot 100 history than others.
We decided to round up the 20 Biggest Halloween Songs based on their Hot 100 chart achievements (see below for a detailed explanation). No bones about it — the results might leave some people howling mad. Frightening as it may be to fans of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” doesn’t actually make the top 20 of this list. (“Thriller” peaked at No. 4 in 1984 and spent 22 weeks on the chart.) Although it’s inarguably become a perennial staple – one as essential to the season as those holding Frankenstein’s monster together — it doesn’t quite make the list.
So what did? No need for us to be cryptic – read on and find out.
Billboard’s Biggest Halloween Songs ranking is based on weekly performance on the Hot 100 (through the Oct. 14, 2023-dated charts), and includes Halloween-themed hits or songs with a seasonal word in its title (“spooky,” “devil,” “monster,” “witch,” etc.) Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower spots earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates during various periods.
Additional research by Xander Zellner.
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