The Ultimate Halloween Playlist

springis here!

I searched “Halloween Playlist” and came up with the same sort of boring lists over and over again. I also noticed that a lot of the music doesn’t go together and isn’t really *party* music. So I set out to create a playlist that I actually want to listen to and just so happens to have a creepy/spooky/disturbing/devilish/Halloween theme to it. Today I’m sharing my playlist with you!  Really, I’m sharing a long list of music including ones that didn’t make the cut for me so that you can pick and choose which songs to put on your own playlist. I thought it might help to explain a few of the songs so I did that too. Some songs make the cut for their meaning and lyrics, some for the somber mood they evoke, some for both! Some just have keywords in them like “wicked” and “devil”. Do you know how many songs have the word “DEVIL” in them?! I could have called this “Devil’s Playlist” but that was bit much for me. There’s definitely enough material to go in that direction if you want to be super dark and creepy for Halloween.


If you just want to see a list of song titles you can skip to the end of this post where I’ve listed them and linked directly to my playlist on Amazon Music.


When we are HOME on Halloween we like to set up a table out front with adult beverages, hot cocoa, and non-sweet treats in addition to all the candy. For this, I like to play music that’s more background and leans towards that “spooky sounds” cassette tape we played out of a front window at my house growing up! Of course, this doesn’t have to be all instrumental but that whole *Organ playing at Dracula’s castle* is the vibe I’m going for. This year, I’ve added a little fast paced Tiesto (from the Hotel Transylvania 3 Soundtrack) because, well, I can. I But this post is really about the party music – with lyrics. No instrumentals.

For the indoor, get in-the-halloween-mood, dinner party, crowd pleasing playlist, I have a LOT of options to go through with you and I’ve got a pretty Pinterest-worthy graphic with the exact songs I have on my personalized playlist. I’ve also got a link to the playlist on Amazon Music in case you’ve got an Amazon Unlimited subscription! (Get a 30 Day trial!) My exact playlist is in a specific order. It starts slow and builds to a more danceable beat and then slows back down again. It runs for just under 2 hours at 1:52.

First up, is the FIRST song on my playlist and is the perfect thing to set the tone for All Hallow’s Eve. Seriously…if you’ve got a dinner party and your playlist is doing it’s thing in the background, hit the restart button when you all sit down to dinner so everyone can have the heebejeebees. It’s called The Unquiet GraveThere are many variations of this song because it’s an old folk song that dates back to the 1400’s. The version I’ve got is from the TV show Penny Dreadful because it’s a short snippet of what is truthfully a long song and some full versions are even a bit peppy (in tune, not content). The long-and-short of the story is: guy talks to dead lover – guy wants to join her in death because he misses her too much – girl tells guy, if you join me our hearts will simply decay so please go live your life.

The Penny Dreadful version by Abel Korzeniowski is basically the girl’s part of the folk song at the end, in a quiet and folksy whisper of a voice complete with lightning strikes in the background. This song would be an equally good choice to END the playlist.

While I’m at it, the whole Penny Dreadful Soundtrack is good for Halloween tunes if you like the spooky instrumental thing. The Unquiet Grave is really the only one with words and it’s short.

Penny Dreadful

The second song on my playlist (which, again, is meant to be played in order but would be fine on *shuffle*) is The Devil & The Huntsman from the King Arthur soundtrack. It would work well as the intro song on the playlist too and I debated doing so. If you start here and put the whole thing on *repeat* then I guess it doesn’t really matter!

Ain’t No Grave from Johnny Cash is the next song on my playlist.

When I hear that trumpet sound I’m gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down

You can’t go wrong with Hurt from Johnny Cash either or there’s also a Nine Inch Nails version of Hurt. It’s twice as long, has explicit lyrics, and isn’t for everyone but it picks up tempo at a few different points and definitely fits the slasher movie type of vibe. Another heavy metal slow ballad is Disturbed’s version of The Sound of Silence  which isn’t as spooky sounding from any other artist or group. And did you know that Marilyn Manson recorded This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas? The OG version is great too but I took it to the next level with the MM version.

A more classic Halloween song is Sympathy for the Devil, a story from the Devil’s perspective about some the world’s most awful and violent acts. This song (by the Rolling Stones) is one that fits in with Halloween more for it’s lyrics and meaning than it’s tempo but a playlist can’t be all depressing slow music if it’s for a party, right? There are many recordings of this song like the Motörhead and Guns n’ Roses versions, but I like the tempo of Jane’s Addiction from the Son’s of Anarchy album. The song The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie is not nearly as popular but has a similar sound and would make a great addition to your playlist if you like this sort of beat and the same type of story-telling song. I love a raspy voice in an artist and Colter Wall has a good one!

Speaking of slower-paced, Lana Del Ray has a song called Ultraviolence that is quite slow (and quite sad). It’s a beautiful song but the lyrics are quite dark – they almost make me feel uncomfortable! A woman who is addicted to the violence put upon her? Haunting, but appropriate for Halloween. (It’s not on my personal playlist.) A recent find that is slow, creepy tone, is all about the demons and the devil, and IS on my playlist is Devil’s Playground from The Rigs. I’m LOVING this one for Halloween and it definitely made the cut for my personal playlist.

Also slow but more playful is I Put a Spell on You. This one is featured in everyone’s* favorite Halloween movie Hocus Pocus and is probably on most of the internet’s Halloween playlists but this year I’m using the Annie Lennox version. It’s less Halloweeny but has a bit of a bluesy vibe to it which I lean towards for a more intimate dinner gathering.

*I realize that other people have a different favorite Halloween movie so not literally everyone…but those people are WRONG 😉

Another sort of jazzy song but that picks up the tempo a bit is an old favorite of mine from Esthero called Wikked Lil’ Grrrls (Wicked Little Girls). I discovered this song from SATC (if you don’t know, look it up) and it has NOTHING to do with Halloween other than having the word “wicked” in it. But, that’s a qualifier and I like the song. Similarly, I added a Taylor Swift song to my mix using the same qualifications. The song is from her latest album and has been on a bit of a repeat for me lately – it’s I Did Something Bad and you can analyze the lyrics all you want, but I think it loosely translates to a Halloween theme enough to make the cut. It’s also super catchy and peppy enough for a party.

Also peppy and a good dance vibe is a Justin Timberlake song, True BloodIt. Is. LONG. Nine and a half minutes. It’s not a favorite JT song of mine, but it is perfect for Halloween.

Some other songs that I haven’t heard much (or at all in some cases) before but have great beats are Devil, Devil by Milck; Blood // Water by Grandson; Raise Hell by Dorothy; Dancin’ With The Devil by Lindsay Perry; and Dracula by Bea Miller.

I have never seen an episode of HBO’s True Blood. (Don’t Hate.) But it’s about vampires and has some pretty great music. There are tons of songs from the show that would be awesome but I narrowed it down to a few favorites. The more popular of the bunch is Bad Things by Jace Everett. It works with the theme but is definitely more about romantic bad things than scary bad things. Me and The Devil by Gil Scott-Heron has a jazzy voice mixed with a more modern track and is all about headed hell (to majorly paraphrase). And When I Die by The Heavy is about what it might be like after you die and if there’s a Heaven or Hell. It’s worth mentioning that there are a few songs from The Heavy (not from the show) that are worth checking out for Halloween.

If you’re sticking to “traditional” Halloween songs (that seems like a bit of an oxymoron to me?) then the top of the list is Michael Jackson’s Thrillerduh. To be completely honest, I get annoyed during all the non-song parts of it unless I’m watching the music video. But the song is quintessential Halloween, everyone knows it kids and adults alike. It always makes the list. I wanted to take a second to give a shoutout to the SCREAM album though. It was released after MJ’s death, but is a compilation of  any and every Jackson family song related to anything mildly scary. It’s named after the MJ and Janet duo titled ScreamIt’s PERFECT for Halloween if you are a Michael Jackson fan. Aside from Thriller I only picked one other MJ song for my playlist, Threatened. It’s on the SCREAM album too.

Other go-to “traditional” Halloween songs that are mostly self explanatory include (but are certainly not limited to): She’s a Zombie Now by Meteors; People Are Strange by The Doors; Black Magic Woman by Santana; Shout at The Devil by Mötley Crüe; Witchy Woman by The Eagles; Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels; Ghost Town by The Specials; Witchcraft by Frank Sinatra; Maneater by Hall and Oates; Runin’ With The Devil by Van Halen; Devil in Disguise by Elvis Presley; The Devil’s Rejects by Rob Zombie; Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum.

And if you just want a list of *all* the possibilities, in (mostly) alphabetical order, here you go:

  1. Ain’t No Grave – Johnny Cash
  2. And When I Die – Heavy (from True Blood)
  3. Bad Things – Jace Everett (from True Blood)
  4. Black Magic Woman – Santana
  5. Blood – My Chemical Romance
  6. Blood on The Dance Floor – Michael Jackson
  7. Blood // Water – Grandson
  8. Bloody Mary – Lady Gaga
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (or Panic! at the Disco)
  10. Dancin’ With The Devil – Lindsay Perry
  11. Devil – Shinedown
  12. Devil Devil – Milck
  13. Devil Eyes – Hippie Sabotage
  14. Devil in Disguise – Elvis Presley
  15. Devil Like Me – Rainbow Kitten Surprise
  16. Devil’s Backbone – The Civil Wars
  17. Devil’s Haircut – Beck
  18. Devil’s Playground – The Rigs
  19. Devil Went Down to Georgia – Charlie Daniels
  20. Dracula – Bea Miller
  21. Dracula’s Wedding – OutKast
  22. Friend of The Devil – Mumford & Sons (or Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Counting Crows)
  23. Ghost Town – The Specials
  24. Ghosts – Michael Jackson
  25. Gonna Be a Darkness – Jakob Dylan (from True Blood)
  26. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  27. House of The Rising Sun –
  28. Hurt – Johnny Cash (or Nine Inch Nails)
  29. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  30. If You’re Going Through Hell – Rodney Atkins
  31. I’m In Love With A Monster – 5th Harmony
  32. I Did Something Bad – Taylor Swift
  33. I Put a Spell On You – Annie Lennox
  34. I Put a Spell On You – Bette Midler (from Hocus Pocus)
  35. I Feel Like I’m Drowning – Two Feet
  36. Little Drop of Poison – Tom Waits
  37. Maneater – Hall and Oates
  38. Me and The Devil – Gil Scott-Heron (from True Blood)
  39. Miss Murder – AFI
  40. Our Little Doll – Rael Jones (from Harlots)
  41. People Are Strange  – The Doors
  42. Raise Hell – Dorothy
  43. Run Devil Run – Crowder
  44. Runin’ With The Devil – Van Halen
  45. Scream – Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
  46. Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine
  47. She’s a Zombie Now – Meteors
  48. Shout at The Devil – Mötley Crüe
  49. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
  50. Speak of The Devil – Logan Henderson
  51. Spells – Orgy
  52. Spirit in The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  53. Sucker For Pain – Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons… (from Suicide Squad)
  54. Sympathy for the Devil – Jane’s Addiction (from Son’s of Anarchy)
  55. Tell That Devil – Jill Andrews
  56. The Devil & The Huntsman – Sam Lee and Daniel Pemberton (from King Arthur)
  57. The Devil’s Rejects – Rob Zombie
  58. The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie – Colter Wall
  59. The Devil You Know – X Ambassadors
  60. The Sound of Silence – Disturbed
  61. The Unquiet Grave – Abel Korzeniowski (from Penny Dreadful)
  62. This Is Halloween – Marilyn Manson
  63. Threatened – Michael Jackson
  64. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  65. True Blood – Justin Timberlake
  66. Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey
  67. Where The Devil Don’t Go – Elle King
  68. Wikkd Lil’ Grrrls  – Esthero
  69. Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra
  70. Witchy Woman – The Eagles

Series or Movie Soundtracks

  • True Blood
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Harlots
  • American Horror Story
  • Haunting of Hill House

Halloween Playlist | City Southern

Listen to my Amazon Music Playlist here.  If you don’t have Amazon Unlimited Music, you can use this link to get a FREE 30 day trial! You can still listen to most of the songs without a subscription but some of them might be hidden. I started my subscription over the Summer and it’s been awesome because I can listen to any song I want on demand and build some pretty killer playlists. Otherwise, feel free to use this list to purchase songs individually and build your own playlist! Hope you enjoy and if you have any songs to add, leave a note in the comments below!!

Correct Playlist Image

Catherine Calligraphy

Mini Fall Home Tour

Even though most of the leaves on the trees here are still green for some reason, it’s definitely *finally* starting to feel like FALL! Halloween is just around the corner and this is the time of year that really kicks off an entire season of family, friends, decorating, comfort food, fantastic fashion, and all things cozy! It’s my favorite!


I decided to show off some of the spaces and vignettes in our home. I love me a good vignette and have them all over the house, and I’m constantly re-arranging things and tweaking them. As far as I’m concerned, nothing is ever finished (or perfect). As soon as all the Halloween stuff feels *just* right, Halloween will be over and I’ll cycle in all of the Thanksgiving items. (rinse, repeat).


The framed skeleton hiding in the back was a DIY art project I posted about YEARS ago. I just printed an image and soaked it in tea to give that aged look. You can check out that tutorial here. (I really need to go back and update those photos! Don’t judge!!)


I’ve always tried to keep the majority of my seasonal decor looking like it fits in with the rest of my neutral AF home decor. I think one of the reasons why I love this particular decorating season is because most of the seasonal stuff doesn’t look out of place next to the everyday decor. There are even a few things that I’ve truly thought about keeping out year-round and a few other things that ARE year-round items and look like I pulled them straight out of the Halloween bin. Again, don’t judge me!

Of course, ever since I became a Mom there are a lot more *cutesy* seasonal items I’ve added to the mix, but I try to keep that stuff in her areas of the house. Did you guys see the picture on Instagram of the table that SHE styled?? She selected the things she wanted, set them up on her table, and then hid underneath so there would be a creepy hand in the picture. Prop stylist in the making, perhaps?…

This is what her little table looks like now. Well, not at the moment because I’ve already changed up the books a little and my mini stylist likes to change out the decor as much as I do! But, you get the idea. It really does stay some variation of this – maybe not as tidy, but definitely not just for show!


Our bar cart is the one that everyone and their Mama got from Target years ago. If we had the space for it, I’d throw a tray on top of a gorgeous sideboard and make that my bar “cart” or do a barmoire (bar+armoire) but for now, this baby is always styled for the occasion and I’m not sure I’ll ever truly get rid of it!

EXACT bar cart | Similar bar cart here| LOVE this one!!

“Poison” drink stirrers | Champagne Flutes | Drink Dispenser

This little terrarium was super easy to make and I already had most of the pieces on hand. The glass is actually an ice bucket (if you look closely you can see the word “wine” ) and I thought this would end up on the bar cart but it didn’t look quite right.


I seem to have a thing with skulls. There are at least six or seven throughout the house.



There are also a lot of decorations in storage somewhere that I’m just going to have to do without this year. But I’ll keep updating spaces and I’ll try to keep up with the changes either here or on Instagram. My desk-turned-console-table has already been re-styled no less than 3 times since taking these pictures and I don’t think I’m done yet! I think part of this is because these little styled areas of my home are real, living, breathing pieces of our everyday life! I use the candles and move them around as I do. We read the books (or play word-find with our learning-to-read 5 year old). We actually use the marble dishes, boxes, and trinket bowls. I LOVE fresh flowers and would put them on every surface of the house if I could afford it – I don’t just buy them for a picture and move on with life. And once I place decorations, I live with them for a day or two and edit as I go. That’s half the fun!! (And yes, my coffee table really looks like this with books, and candles, and breakable items. If you stopped by right now, there might be a couple toys and an old cereal bowl but don’t you dare roll your eyes and say it’s just for show because I’ve got a Kindergartener!!)

That’s all she wrote, folks. Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!

Catherine Calligraphy


Baby Valentine

Valentine’s Day was truly never a favorite of mine. It still isn’t a favorite holiday but it’s nice to feel extra loved and wear hearts, and I do get a little bit excited for Avery. She still has no clue what a “holiday” is and she can’t grasp the concept of having a Valentine but she does love all the things that go along with February 14th! A few weekends ago we snagged a few new pieces for Avery’s wardrobe that are perfect for the lovey-dovey occassion. I thought I’d share a bit of our heart-filled favorites for baby girl this year!

Baby Valentine

1: Heart Pajamas | 2: Sequin Heart Tee {long sleeve version} | 3: SMOOCH Hoodie | 4. Mother & Daughter Heart Necklaces | 5: Stripe Heart Tee | 6: Pink Hearts | 7: Knee Patch Jeggings | 8: Canvas Tote | 9. Heart Tutu Skirt

Avery uses hoodies and jackets as a security blanket. This morning she cried {REAL tears} because she wanted to put on “Jackie” but it was downstairs. This cream colored *smooch* hoodie from J.Crew will make her so insanely happy! These tops and bottoms are great for mixing and matching. None of them are too over-the-top so they can be worn until she grows out of them {which, let’s face it – could very well be BEFORE Valentine’s Day! #growslikeaweed} The canvas tote from is adorable for Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year! I hardly ever use a “diaper bag” these days but this provides just enough room for a few extra toys and clothes when we are going to a friend’s house or to visit with the g-parents. It might also find it’s way to Trader Joe’s!

Catherine Calligraphy






DIY: FREE Halloween Art

A few weeks ago when I was looking for my Halloween decorations, I happened upon an image that inspired me to DIY a little Halloween art. You can look back at that post and see my inspiration here. As promised, I’m going to share how I made it so you can do the same!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - ONE

I looked at Wikimedia Commons and found a bunch of options. This one was my favorite. It looked aged and hand sketched like it actually had a scientific or medical purpose instead of just a picture of a skull. Intentional Art – I love that!

Skull aged WikimediaCommons

Here are a couple of my other favorites. I ended up searching both skulls and full skeletons.

Skull Wikimedia Options

The first option looked aged already but I wasn’t sure if it would look the same after I printed it, and the others were bright white. I decided they all needed a little doctoring {wait, I seriously didn’t say that to be funny}. Do you remember in grade school when you soaked paper in tea after you crumpled it up and smoothed it back out? Well that’s exactly what I did. I printed the image on a regular printer, soaked it in tea, crumpled it up, let it dry, and then framed it and hung it on the wall. Take a look:

What you need:

1. An image printed on regular white printer paper

2. A 9″x13″ pyrex baking dish, or other container that is at least the size of your paper and can hold hot liquid

3. Three to Four tea bags {any variety you have on hand is fine}

4. Hot water

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 2

First things first – get your water hot. I used my tea kettle on the stove but you could just as easily heat some water in the microwave. It needs to be hot enough to release that beautiful color from the tea leaves in your tea bags, and the warmth of the water will also help the paper absorb the color.

Once your water is hot {but not boiling} pour it into your dish so that you have about an inch of liquid. The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your dish {and the size of your paper} but I used between 2.5 and 3 cups of water. Add your tea bags and dip them repeatedly so the tea leaves inside are fully saturated and plenty of the color is released. Then place your piece of paper in the water and use a utensil to make sure it is fully submerged – you don’t want it to just sit on top of the water. When I did this I used my finger but the water was pretty hot. Please make sure you don’t burn yourself!

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 3

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt 5

CitySouthern DIYHalloweenArt - 4

Now that the paper is fully covered in brown water, you can leave it alone or you can place the tea bags directly on top of the water. This will create a few spots of darker color when you remove the paper from the water – it’s completely optional but I like the effect because I want the end result to be imperfect and uneven.


Let your paper soak in the water for a while. 30 minutes is probably long enough. The time will vary depending on what type of paper you use, how saturated the tea is, and how dark you want the result to be. I would suggest not leaving the paper in the tea for longer than an hour so the paper doesn’t get too soft.

When it’s time to remove your paper from the tea, use caution because the paper is delicate and will rip easily. Carefully transfer the paper to a flat surface for drying. I used a cookie sheet with two layers of paper towel on top. This helped to prevent a big mess and also absorbed some of the excess tea.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 6

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 7

If you want to take the aged look one step further, there’s one final optional step to this process. Take that piece of paper that I just told you to be super careful with, and crumble it up into a ball! Of course, you have to be even more careful when you open the paper back up.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 9

See how much more authentic that looks? Instant age!

Once your paper is completely dry, the only thing left to do is frame it and hang it on the wall. I used a simple black frame that I happened to have on hand. You can get the same one here. I figured a black frame would help the image stand out now that I made it all a bit darker. Plus it’s for Halloween and black is the obvious choice for the theme.

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt

CitySouthern FREEDIYHalloweenArt - 10

So there you have it, friends. A fun little Halloween DIY that will cost you nothing but your time and a few items you probably have on hand already. This is also a fun project to do with kids! If you try it for yourself, be sure to come back and let us all know how it turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy




Getting Ready for Halloween

The end of September is near and I’m getting ready for Halloween. Avery was just a little lump of a tiger {she was Aubie} last year for Halloween at 3 months old. But this year she can walk around and is a little more aware of what’s going on which means I’m excited to see her reaction to it all! When it comes to holidays, there’s something about having a kid that gives me back the kind of excitement I had when I was a kid. We have plans for a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and I’m researching costume ideas. I also decided to locate our Halloween decorations…and had no luck! I was in a slight panic last week thinking that the tub of Halloween stuff was donated with the last trip to Salvation Army. If the plastic skeletons that hang from our front tree didn’t make it, then I’ll be okay. But the actual home decor that’s a little more chic {and expensive} is what I’m worried about. Not to mention I’ve been collecting it since before Chris and I ever started dating so it would take me a long time to build back up to what I had before!

Should the old stuff be truly gone forever, I need a backup plan. So I started thinking ahead to how I can quickly and cheaply add some new decorations this year and I came up with a few ideas. I was inspired by this picture I found on Houzz.

CitySouthern Halloween Decor Ideas

See the skeleton picture reflected in the mirror? I saw that and thought – that would be great to hang on the wall for Halloween! I began searching Etsy for a skull print and there are tons of options. This one seems to have similar qualities to the inspiration photo with it’s sketched look and antiqued paper.

Skull Artkurka Etsy

It’s a really reasonably priced little print which makes me happy. And I’m sure I have an empty frame I could use. But I’ve got the DIY bug and I don’t want to just buy an aged-looking crisp piece of art. I want something that looks and feels like a page from an antique book, or was hanging on the wall of creepy haunted mansion. Maybe it was salvaged from an abandoned asylum? It’s Halloween afterall! So…I decided I’m going to DIY it. For FREE! I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out but at least I know I’ve got etsy as a backup plan!

And because I love a good happy ending, I found the box of missing decorations when I cleaned out the entire garage this past weekend. {There was definitely an embarrassing happy dance in the driveway for all the neighbors to see.} I can’t wait to start putting them up!

So when do you put up your Halloween decorations? Comment below, and stay tuned to see how my creepy skull print turns out!

Catherine Calligraphy



UPDATE: My artwork is complete! To see the tutorial for my DIY Project, click here!