If you’re in the mood for something spooky, our below list on songs about ghosts could be exactly what you’re looking for! This list ranges from paranormal and frightening entities to the more common sad and lyrical notes of missing loved ones or regretting past actions.
Whether you’re after some music for Halloween or just want to listen to some spirit related songs, here are the best songs about ghosts ever.
1. “The Ghost in You” by The Psychedelic Furs
Song Year: 1984
This song is about how everyone is haunted by ghosts, whether it's the ghosts of past loved ones or memories. These ghosts stick around until you finally hear them out and move past them, a moving narrative about grief and letting go of past trauma. This song might even inspire you to go looking for your ghosts.
2. “Misguided Ghosts” by Paramore
Song Year: 2009
Inspired by the suicide of Hayley William’s thirteen-year-old best friend, this Paramore single addresses regretting past actions, being unable to make up for them, and how they become accidental ghosts that will haunt you forever. Everyone has troubles, though not everyone is willing to share them, a theme heavily featured in the music video.
3. “Give Up The Ghost” by Radiohead
Song Year: 2011
This Radiohead song is about a ghost who haunts loved ones, driven to make them notice him, even if he must resort to violent means to get the attention he craves. The anger in this single is palpable as the ghost must go through extreme means; this anger is perfectly conveyed through the music, along with the pain of being unable to be with his loved ones as he could before.
4. “Ghost Song” by The Doors
Song Year: 1978
When the song is haunted, you know it’s a good song about ghosts. When Jim Morrison wrote this song about his dear friend who died, his family didn’t want him to record it.
According to rumors, after he first sang the song, he saw a pair of ghostly blue eyes watching him. To this day, performing the song causes bad luck and brings ghosts in to listen. However, it remains a fan-favorite and is one of the most covered songs from The Doors.
5. “American Ghost Dance” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song Year: 1985
This song may not have a specific ghost, but it’s still very haunting. This Red Hot Chili Peppers single is about the lost tribes and Native Americans killed in the name of progress as newcomers took over their lands. The lyrics state they shall rise again one day against the foreigners who conquered their soil. Most of the world has forgotten them, but they remember the blood spilled and will enact revenge through an “American Ghost Dance.”
6. “Ghosts That We Knew” by Mumford and Sons
Song Year: 2012
While the lyrics don’t mention specifics, “Ghosts That We Knew” by Mumford and Sons details something from their past haunting the singers. This single is very open to interpretation, like dealing with demons from a previous relationship or even political undertones, as the song came out right after Obama gained the presidency.
7. “Ghost Town” by The Specials
Song Year: 1981
“Ghost Town” by The Specials is about a town devastated by the nuclear holocaust and left to nothing more than a ghost town now, and a haunting statement for the future.
While political unrest is undoubtedly an important theme, the song is also relatable as it’s about several band members leaving to form their group. Their band has also become a ghost town, a simple statement in the song's more somber lyrics.
8. “Ghost Dancing” by Simple Minds
Song Year: 1985
Inspired by one of Simple Minds’ band member’s wives, the single “Ghost Dancing” describes a time she was dancing when she felt a cold presence pass through her and disappear. The lyrics depict a body’s haunting and the physical presence of ghosts.
9. “Ghost of the Navigator” by Iron Maiden
Song Year: 2000
A rock song by Iron Maiden, “Ghost of the Navigator,” relates to life’s journey, likening it to the final journey of an old ship. It sails to its destination, not knowing where it will lead but determined to get there anyway. The ship sees the ghosts of other navigators along the way, but it only fuels its desire to reach the end.
10. “Thriller” by Micheal Jackson
Song Year: 1982
This song tops every Halloween playlist, as it's one of the original spooky party songs. You can get down, moonwalk, and boogie with many featured Halloween monsters, not just ghosts.
11. “Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1979
If you know the old story about “The Wild Hunt,” where faeries and other strange creatures roamed the skies in search of prey, then throw a Western spin on the story, and you got this song.
It’s about cowboys, desperados, and outlaws riding through the sky on their horses with rattlesnakes at their heels.
12. “Ghost” by Micheal Jackson
Song Year: 1997
Michael Jackson makes his second appearance on our list of songs about ghosts with, you guessed it, “Ghost.” This single is heavy with religious symbolism and based on Micheal Jackson’s experiences with spirits. The lyrics depict ghosts who refuse to move and stay tied to those they love, touching and breathing in the world around them to make their presence known.
13. “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” by Taking Back Sunday
Song Year: 2006
The singers of the American rock band Taking Back Sunday wonder what it’s like to be a ghost and whether ghosts can feel anything in this emo/punk rock song, “What’s It Like To Be A Ghost?”