10 Killer Halloween Tunes for Queer Grrrls

Over the river and through the dark woods, imagine a bunch of goth grrrls, witches, slayers, and shape shifters (hopefully, Angelina Jolie is here and she’s dressed as zombie Gia) have gathered for the Halloween party of your wildest dreams, because in your world, you’d take an All Hallow’s Eve music fest over that babysitting gig you promised you’d show for. Babysitters don’t make it on Halloween. Kids don’t make it either (especially if in a trance via Sarah Jessica Parker’s lullabies in Hocus Pocus). And anyway, Joan Jett said she’s bringing the fog machine.

Women have always possessed bewitching qualities—having oneness with the midnight hour, the changing of the seasons, the moon, nature, and music. Some of the most mystical, creative artists have chosen to write or sing about this time of year. What if they were all gathered, on the night where the dead come alive, to shred like the Devil and sing their souls out? Consider this your scary Sapphic go-to for a raging Halloween.


Sonic Youth opens with “Death Valley ‘69” featuring the one and only Lydia Lunch. It’s unearthly—we all go into a time warp.


Le Tigre is up next with “Don’t Drink Poison.” We learned this lesson five times fine/ fake left/ go right/ back stabs read minds!

Praise the goddess, don’t stone the witch: Courtney Love howls a haunting rendition of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” It’s like we’ve stepped back in time to MTV Unplugged.

Patti Smith floats up on stage wearing a magician’s cloak—yep, she’s just fucking levitating. It’s probably purple. There’s sage burning. She plays “Summer Cannibals” as the moon reaches above the trees. The cauldron was a-bubbling/ the flesh was lean/ and the woman moved forward/ like piranhas in a stream.

The Cranberries are here tonight, so they deliver “Zombie” and bring out an entourage of creepy golden-painted figurines like the ones in their music video. It’s sexy. Hope someone brought psychedelics, or just U4EA because this is so ’90s right now.

Speaking of ‘90s, Grace Slick and Linda Perry are about to bring down the house—or the forest glen, with “Knock Me Out” which you might also remember from the cult ‘90s film The Crow.

You can smell a theme here, right? Hope you’re keeping notes, because there’s no cell phone service out in these parts. Siouxsie and the Banshees fly in on their broomsticks singing “Spellbound.” The earth shakes, because this is better than witches brew.

The Gossip leads everyone to a nearby graveyard singing “Keeping You Alive.” Fear is a curse/ the terror of twilight/ the fear of the nighttime.

Sinead O’Conner is back y’all. She won’t be singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” but she has something actually way better. And that’s “I Am Stretched Out On Your Grave.”

By now it’s way past midnight. Tegan and Sara close out the night with “Hell”—and no, no, no—they are not wearing matching twin dresses from The Shining. Although, that truly would be hell.

What other songs would you add to the list? Maybe we’ve inspired you now to dress as Zombie Gia? Tweet me @the_hoff and give me the low down on your Halloween music favorites!