30 Musicals To Listen To This Halloween

October 04, 2020

Now that it's October Halloween season is officially upon us! As well as trick or treating and watching horror movies this year, why not add some spooky musicals to your list? Here is a list of 30 musicals that will get you in the Halloween spirit. Not all of these shows exactly scream Halloween, but they all have something slightly sinister or darker about them compared to you're average musical, or they're just a bit weird!

1. The Addams Family

Andrew Lippa's well-written musical follows the story of The Addams Family we all know and love, focussing on Wednesday Addams, who is now 18 years old, and has fallen in love with a 'normal' boy from Ohio. In an attempt to make the families get along, Wednesday organises a dinner between the two families which doesn't go as planned. In a fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and it turns out The Addams Family aren't the only kooky family in town. 

If you know me you'll know this is one of my favourite show and it's not Halloween without The Addams Family.

2. Sweeney Todd

Judge Turpin lusts for the beautiful wife of London barber Benjamin Barker and so transports him to Australia for a crime he did not commit. Returning after 15 years and calling himself Sweeney Todd, the now-mad man vows revenge, applying his razor to unlucky customers and shuttling the bodies down to Mrs. Lovett, who uses them in her meat-pie shop. Though many fall to his blade, he will not be satisfied until he slits Turpin's throat.

This is another one of my absolute favourites and one of Sondheim's masterpieces. 

3. The Witches of Eastwick

Three small-town friends, Alexandra, Jane and Sukie, each having lost the man in their lives, are feeling unfulfilled -- until a furtive stranger Daryl Van Horne arrives and begins courting each of them in turn. Eventually, Daryl tells them that they are witches. But as the three friends spend more time at his mansion, enjoying themselves and learning about their powers, they begin to worry about Daryl's ultimate intentions.

4. Carrie

Carrie: The Musical (based off the Stephen King novel) follows a young woman with telekinetic powers who is dominated by her oppressive and religious mother. Also an outcast at school, Carrie is pushed to the brink after a humiliation at her high school prom and threatens to devour everyone around her in flame.

I've only recently been listening to Carrie but it's become a favourite of mine and I think it's extremely underrated.

5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The story centres on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle or country home is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.

6. Beetlejuice

After Barbara and Adam Maitland die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their old house, unable to leave. When Charles and Delia Deetz buy the home, the Maitland’s attempt to scare them and their teen daughter Lydia away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice, a boisterous spirit whose "help" quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitland’s and innocent Lydia.

The Beetlejuice score is incredible and has become a huge hit in the past year so it had to be included on this list. 

8. Little Shop of Horrors

Flower shop assistant Seymour pines for co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. After Seymour feeds Audrey's boyfriend, Orin to the plant, he must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant.

This show has some excellent musical numbers however if you know me you'll know I'm not very keen on the show overall. We won't talk about the reasons why but I know this is a favourite for some people and great for Halloween. 

9. The Phantom of The Opera

The plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.

10. Jekyll and Hyde

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic thriller, Jekyll & Hyde is the gripping tale of Dr Jekyll who attempts to cure his father’s mental illness by separating good from evil in the human personality. He ends up creating an alternate personality of pure evil named Mr Hyde and begins committing murders on the streets of London. Struggling to control Hyde before he takes over for good, Jekyll must race to find a cure for the demon he has created.

11. Dracula

Jonathan Harker, a young lawyer from England, travels to Transylvania in order to fix a deal with Count Dracula, who wants to buy a home in London. However, the Count notices a picture of Jonathan's fiancée Mina Murray, which seems to have a strange effect on him. Harker's stay in the remote castle turns more and more into a nightmare. 

12. Hadestown

Hadestown is a musical with music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell. It tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, where Orpheus goes to the underworld to rescue his fiancée Eurydice.

13. Assassins

Assassins is the telling of nine individuals who try to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act musical that explores the dark side of the American experience.

14. Evil Dead

Evil Dead The Musical takes all the elements of the cult classic films, The Evil DeadEvil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness and combines them for one of the craziest, theatrical experiences of all time.  Five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods, and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons.

15. Lizzie

In the late summer of 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe. Testimonies were muddled, evidence was incomplete, and Lizzie was acquitted. The musical delves into the mysterious mind of Lizzie Borden and speculates on the motivations she may have had: loss of inheritance, history of sexual abuse, overwhelming oppression ,and madness. By her side is her older sister Emma, maid Bridget, and neighbour Alice. Together, the four women create a punk rock score to tell Lizzie's story.

16. Bat Boy

Bat Boy: The Musical is an American rock musical with a book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming and music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe. Based on a June 23, 1992 Weekly World News story about a half-boy, half-bat, dubbed "Bat Boy", who grew up living in a cave.

17. Zombie Prom

Zombie Prom is a musical based on John Dempsey's fictional story of a teenage boy that is brought back to life by the love of his high-school sweetheart.

18. Monstersongs

Following the journey of a child who opens a portal into the psyches of often misunderstood creatures; Monstersongs flips the switch on the monster narrative, inviting audiences to explore the humanity that binds us all. 

19. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Based on the 1996 Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells the story of Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and his desire to one day be a part of the outside world. When he summons the courage to attend the Feast of Fools, he meets Esmeralda, a compassionate gypsy who protects him from an angry mob. When Esmeralda catches the attention of Quasimodo's guardian Frollo, Quasimodo must help to keep her out of his clutches. 

This isn't the first show you think of when it comes to Halloween however I wanted to include a Disney musical and this was the first one that came to mind due to the dark themes behind it.

20. Jasper in Deadland

Jasper, a high school swimmer, finds himself in Deadland after he dives off a cliff into a lake - the same reckless stunt that killed his friend Agnes, who was mad at him when she leapt. He’s certain her death was his fault. He seeks admission to the underworld, where he’s determined to find his freshly dead best friend.

If you're a fan of Hadestown this show is very similar, with a more modern twist.

21. The Grinning Man

Grinpayne, a man whose face was carved into a hideous permanent smile as a child, struggles with the pain of his past and the uncertainty of his future. He lives with his makeshift family: his father Ursus, the man who found him and keeps them afloat with a travelling show, and Dea, the beautiful blind girl who Grinpayne found love with. Meanwhile, an unconventional Royal family and their malicious clown servant, Barkilphedro, discover Grinpayne, who can finally learn the truth behind his smile.

22. American Psycho

Set in Manhattan during the Wall Streeboom of the late 1980s, American Psycho is about the daily life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy young investment banker who is also a serial killer.

23. Lazarus 

Inspired by the book, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Lazarus focuses on Thomas Newton, as he remains still on Earth - a 'man' unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin and haunted by a past love. We follow Newton during the course of a few days where the arrival of another lost soul - might set him finally free.

24. The Devil's Carnival

Sinners - including a conniving kleptomaniac, a gullible teenager, and an obsessed father - are invited to a theme park where they experience their transgressions over and over again.

25. Ghost Quartet

Ghost Quartet is a musical song cycle written and composed by Dave Malloy. The show tells four interwoven stories: "a warped fairy tale about two sisters, a treehouse astronomer and a lazy evil bear; a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher"; a purgatorial intermezzo about Scheherazade and the ghost of Thelonious Monk; and a contemporary fable about a subway murder." 

26. Wicked

Wicked tells the untold backstory of Elphaba, a green-skinned social outcast unloved by her fellow peers and her Munchkinland governor father. At university, Elphaba strikes up an unlikely friendship with popular fellow sorcery student Glinda, but the pair’s opposing personalities and rivalry over the same love-interest Fiyero, ultimately sees them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

27. Into The Woods

Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family.

I adore Into The Woods and think it's a great one for families at Halloween as it puts a dark twist on the the stories we all know and love.

28. Heathers

Heathers tells the story of Veronica Sawyer: once-bullied, now-popular after she is taken under the wing of the schools most popular group, three girls called Heather. She soon meets JD, the mysterious-but kinda-hot new kid in school. Together, JD and Veronica become the school’s murderous power couple as they knock off teenagers within the school. As JD becomes blood-thirsty, Veronica sees the light and decides she’d rather not be with a psychotic, manipulative killer like him.

Heathers definitely isn't a show you'd immediately think of when it comes to Halloween but the dark storyline and themes within the show make it perfect for this time of year if you're wanting something different to listen to. The score is incredible and perfect for dark humour.

29. Cats

The musical follows a group of cats, known as Jellicles, who meet every year at the Jellicle Ball to decide which one of them should ascend to the ‘Heaviside Layer’. In essence, Cats rapidly introduces more and more Jellicles until we find out which cat is chosen. It is based on T.S Eliot’s 1939 poetry book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, with the songs in the musical consisting of Eliot's verse set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

I included Cats on this list as it's just a bit weird really... I really do think Cats its underrated however and doesn't deserve the hate it gets.

30. Wonderland 

Wonderland is a story about a new Alice who has lost her joy in life. Estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, Alice finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life while searching for her daughter.           

Alice in Wonderland is one of the craziest stories out there and such a classic and this retelling is perfect for this season.

So that my top 30 shows to listen to this Halloween and I'm sure there's more out there. What are some of your favourite shows to listen to this season?

Mia x



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