13 spooky pieces of Halloween music for children

28 October 2022, 16:26

Halloween classical music for children
Picture: Rex

This Halloween, treat (or trick) your kids to these spooky and fun pieces of classical music.

Whether you’re carving pumpkins or getting ready to go trick-or-treating, here are some of the best pieces of classical music to get children into the spirit of Halloween.

Read more: 21 petrifying phrases to tell a classical musician this Halloween

  1. The Addams Family – Victor Mizzy

    The Addams family themselves are pretty spooky, but the music is undeniably charming for a theme about a haunted house and family. This version takes its opening from Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D minor, one of the eeriest tunes in classical music.

    The Addams Family intro cartoon theme song HD 720p

  2. The Twilight Zone – Jerry Goldsmith

    Have you ever wondered where that creepily dissonant “DO-do-do-do, DO-do-do-do” tune comes from? Look no further. The theme tune to this series is the perfect piece to create a spooky atmosphere.


  3. Danse Macabre – Saint Saëns

    This has to take the crown for the most truly terrifying piece of classical music. Saint-Saëns’ dark little dance emulates Death, who makes the dead rise from their graves on Halloween and dance to the sinister tune on his violin. *shudders*

    Danse Macabre is the spookiest piece ever written

  4. The Skeleton Dance – Disney

    ‘The Skeleton Dance’ comes from a 1929 Disney short film called Silly Symphony, and it’s a perfect example of classical music at its most creative. The light-hearted music scores the dancing skeletons’ movements with various percussion instruments – and one of the skeletons themselves even gets used as a glockenspiel.

    silly symphony - the skeleton dance 1929 disney short

  5. A Night on the Bare Mountain – Modest Mussorgsky

    ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ – also known as ‘A Night on the Bare Mountain’ – was included in the soundtrack to Disney’s Fantasia. It’s a frightening Mussorgsky masterpiece perfect for kids.

    Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bald Mountain' by Melodica Men

  6. In the Hall of the Mountain King – Edvard Grieg

    Grieg wrote his masterpiece of tension-building music as incidental music to accompany a scene of set in a cave full of trolls, gnomes and goblins in Henrik Ibsen’s play, Peer Gynt. This is one for the adults as much as the kids...

    Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King

  7. Hungarian Dance No.5 – Johannes Brahms

    Brahms’ fun dance has a slightly sinister edge, particularly in its opening. It’s a great piece of music to accompany a game of musical chairs – perfect for brightening up a languishing Halloween party.

    Johannes Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 5

  8. Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Knights – Sergei Prokofiev

    You might recognise it as the ‘Getting-fired-in-the-boardroom’ song – but while some associate this piece with Lord Sugar, it actually comes from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. It’s wonderfully dark, and perfect for Halloween.

    Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, No 13 Dance of the Knights (Valery Gergiev, LSO)

  9. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Paul Dukas

    Thanks to the influence of a certain Mr Walt Disney, Dukas’ impish theme will forever be associated with images of Mickey Mouse attempting to chop up an army of possessed mops. We’re not complaining.

    Read more: A superfan made a montage of 76 Disney characters singing in their native languages

    Fantasia 1940 The Sorcerer's Apprentice Walt Disney Cartoon Movie

  10. Funeral March of a Marionette – Charles Gounod

    This piece is all about the funeral of a puppet – specifically, a marionette. The piece begins as the funeral procession commences; then, a central major section depicts the mourners taking refreshments, before returning to the funeral march at the end of the piece.

    C. Gounod: Marche funèbre d'une marionnette

  11. Hansel and Gretel: Prelude 'The Witch’s Ride' – Engelbert Humperdinck

    This music scores the witch’s ride in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The child-friendly story has been told time and time again, but never quite like this.

    Hänsel und Gretel: Prelude "The Witch's Ride"

  12. Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium – Saint-Saëns

    This piece isn’t technically supposed to be scary, but there is an eerie feeling to this aquatic music that is perfect for child-friendly Halloween celebrations.

    Read more: This cellist performed The Swan at 3,356m and in minus 15 degrees…

    The Carnival of the Animals - Aquarium

  13. Carnival of the Animals: Fossils – Saint-Saëns

    ‘Fossils’, another movement from Saint-Saëns’ colourful piece Carnival of the Animals, is dedicated to everyone’s favourite extinct beasts. The composer cleverly uses the xylophone to evoke the image of skeletons playing card games, their bones clacking together to the beat. It also hints at the instrumentation Saint-Saëns used in his even creepier Danse Macabre.

    Saint Saens: Carnival of the Animals~Fossiles (Fossils)