Witches, Devils, Reapers, Nightmares, Hell, Werewolves, Ghosts, Monsters, Thrillers

Billboard's Top 10 Halloween Hits

Never mind those sugary sweets. Halloween brings some delectable ear candy, too. But which (witch?) Halloween songs are the most popular? As you prepare your Halloween party playlists, we’re helping to make sure that you don’t miss a single graveyard smash, as we present our creepy countdown of Billboard’s Top Halloween Songs. Because when it comes to Halloween, these are the songs you wouldn’t want to be caught … dead … without.

10.”Witchy Woman”

It’s hard to think of the Eagles’ good ol’ rock and roll as Halloween fodder, but get ’em singing about a ladyfriend whose wiles cast a spell and         they earn the No. 10 spot on our list. “Witchy Woman” hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.

9. “Runnin’ With the Devil”

Van Halen
Mixing lyrics about living wild with hard rock was a winning combo for Van Halen, who ran this song to No. 84 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

8. “Somebody’s Watching Me”

Paranoid much? This big 80’s pop wonder about constantly looking over one’s shoulder sounds Michael Jackson-y because MJ literally lent a hand. Having the King of Pop sing backup certainly seems to have helped Rockwell watch “Somebody” shoot to No. 2 on the Hot 100 in         1984.

7. “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

Blue Oyster Cult
This mid-tempo rocker, which hit No. 12 on the Hot 100 in 1976, isn’t spooky at all until you consider the lyrics told from the point of view of some  death-friendly dude trying to induce his gal to join him and not “fear the reaper.”

6. “A Nightmare on My Street”

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (aka, Will Smith) brought hip-hop into the Halloween game in 1988 when they took their tune about “Nightmare on Elm Street” villain Freddy Krueger all the way to No. 15 on the Hot 100.

5. “Highway to Hell”

Pitch-black metal from down under, AC/DC drove “Highway” to No. 47 on the Hot 100 in 1979.

4. “Werewolves of London”

Warren Zevon
A perfect Halloween entry from the (late, great) man who also famously sang “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is this howling Me Generation rocker that rose to No. 21 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

3. “Ghostbusters”

Ray Parker Jr.
When October rolls around, the clear answer to the lyrical question, “Who ya gonna call?,” is “Ghostbusters,” which topped the Hot 100 in 1984.

2. “Monster Mash”

Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers
Though it’s been decades since this kitschy, creepy faux-Frankenstein party tune scared up a No. 1 slot on the Hot 100 in 1962, “Monster Mash” has been on Halloween party playlists ever since.

1. “Thriller”

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, cropped from Image:Michael Ja...
 “Thriller,” which hit No. 4 on the Hot 100 in 1984, is the most-downloaded Halloween-themed hit of all-time, with digital sales to-date of 2.8 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (It’s also Jackson ‘s  best-selling download, ahead of runner-up “Billie Jean,” which has sold 2.3 million).

Billboard’s Top Halloween Songs ranks the most-played Halloween-themed songs, as determined by total plays on all Nielsen BDS-monitored U.S. terrestrial and network stations and channels Oct. 25-31, 2010.
Text by Gary Trust and Jessica Letkemann


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