The American Folklife Center, The Music Division, and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division preserve a great variety of sound recordings of Halloween-related or supernatural-themed songs and music.
The American Folklife Center holds thousands of field recordings of traditional folksongs, some of which are on supernatural themes. Titles include "The Unquiet Grave," "The Devil's Nine Questions," "Sweet William's Ghost," and "The Outlandish Knight."
In the Library of Congress National Jukebox, you'll find commercial recordings of classical music and popular tunes appropriate to Halloween, including "Greenwich Witch," "Witches Dance," and a surprising number of songs about ghostly musical instruments.
You can find plenty of printed titles in the Music Division’s coffers that tell of ghosts, monsters, jack-o'-lanterns, and more. Sheet music at the Library includes horror movie scores such as “Dracula’s Daughter Theme” (1936), as well as popular tunes, including “When That Vampire Rolled Her Vampy Eyes at Me” (1917).
Below, find links to blog posts and podcasts highlighting some of our best spooky music in both audio and printed forms!
At the link above, you'll find some of our favorite haunting or spooky songs for the Halloween season. It includes songs about vengeful ghosts, haunted fiddles, and our inevitable final confrontation with death. There’s even a spooky story about a skeleton that plays the fiddle, complete with its favorite tune! Guests include Halloween expert Jack Santino and folksingers Jeff and Gerret Warner.
More Scary Song Podcasts
Supernatural Folksongs and Ballads: Field Recordings from the American Folklife Center
Spooky Sheet Music
Scary Commercial Recordings from the National Jukebox