Celebrating Halloween with YouTube's top spooky videos

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

It’s time for Halloween, which means it’s time for Halloween parties, which means it’s time for Halloween playlists! Since there are sure to be plenty of frightening festivities taking place, YouTube decided to take a look and see what music videos have been most frequently added to Halloween playlists.

Surprise: These aren’t necessarily traditional Halloween songs — but all the videos include seasonally fun elements such as spooky outfits, creepy visuals, and references to the supernatural. Counting down from No. 10 to No. 1, here are the ones that made the list!

10. Panic! At the Disco, “It’s Almost Halloween.” With 3,962,884 views, this video is a no-brainer, as it straight-up references the holiday, as well as features the band in (amusing) classic costumes bopping around gravestones.

9. The Cranberries, “Zombie.” The Irish band’s 1994 hit features decidedly nonsupernatural war imagery, but it’s still on the skin-crawling side due to its eerie black-and-white footage and singer Dolores O’Riordan’s howling chorus. With a whopping 604,541,361 views, it’s clearly a popular choice year-round.

8. Backstreet Boys, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Director Joseph Kahn is adept at monstrous videos, having directed this haunted-house-themed party in which the boy band prances about in various famous horror movie character costumes, including a mummy, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, a werewolf, and a two-faced Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. It’s a delightfully goth container for a song that is absolutely anything but … and with 121,585,014 views overall it’s a hands-down classic.

7. twenty one pilots, “Heathens.” Any band that’s famed for routinely wearing face-obscuring masks onstage just has to be perfectly suited for a Halloween playlist, full stop. This is undeniably their creepiest video (and an insanely popular one, with 899,983,420 views), however, featuring footage of Suicide Squad‘s Task Force X in Belle Reve Prison.

6. Michael Jackson, “Thriller.” This is the quintessential Halloween music video, and we’re a little surprised it wasn’t in the top slot. Still as gruesomely fun as it was back in 1983, the 14-minute film continues to inspire artists to this day. (Most recently? Check the graveyard scene in Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”) The creepiness of the production was so profound that Jackson was compelled to put a disclaimer at the beginning that he was not professing any belief in the occult. It has 454,554,119 YouTube views to date.

5. Ray Parker Jr., “Ghostbusters.” This one needs no explanation, save to remind viewers that this theme from the 1984 film of the same title has endured through the decades. It’s way more playful than scary, mostly frightening grammatically correct types with its chorus of “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” Parker scored an Academy Award nomination for the composition (he lost to Stevie Wonder), and the video currently has 24,392,953 views.

4. Rob Zombie, “Living Dead Girl.” Rob Zombie is music’s undisputed king of horror, sci-fi, and shock-rock imagery, lovingly curating vintage references into his work. This video was directly inspired by the 1920 silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and features the aforementioned well-appointed Joseph Kahn as co-director. It has racked up 27,598,212 views on YouTube, proving that it is indeed an “irresistible creature” in itself.

3. Rihanna, “Disturbia.” Am I scaring you tonight? That’s an apt summation of pop princess Rihanna’s unexpectedly dark and twisted video, which is a fitting visual for what is probably her most complicated song (and a popular one, with 148,822,024 video views). Although the tune’s bleak lyrics are buoyed up by a catchy beat, there is nothing floaty about the video, which features the singer in a variety of creepy, torturous scenarios.

2. Rob Zombie, “Dragula.” Yes, Zombie made it onto the list twice … no surprise. The second entry is a whirlwind of his favorite monster-kitsch imagery (the song’s title comes from the TV show The Munsters: Grandpa Munster’s dragster is called “DRAG-U-LA”) and proves to be a fun romp, entertaining 68,843,456 views, despite its ominous details.

1. Rockwell: “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Rockwell, the son of Motown CEO Berry Gordy Jr., scored a record deal without his father’s knowledge — that itself is a supernatural feat — and produced this pitch-perfect massive 1984 hit, which featured his childhood friend Michael Jackson singing the irresistibly catchy chorus. The video may seem slightly hokey to 2017 sensibilities, but a closer view proves that it’s creepier below the surface, with the final vision of a derpy-eyed mailman particularly apt to stick in one’s craw. As 53,297,256 views can’t deny, it’s a treat.