Kid-friendly Halloween music for Chicago families

Each October, when the leaves turn and the nights get darker earlier, I find myself on a quest to seek out some spooky sounds to serve as a sinister soundtrack for the season. This year, the new offerings have been light, but the best pumpkin in the patch comes from none other than Berwyn’s own The Boogers, with a Halloween anthem called “ I’m a Jack-O-Lantern.”

In fact, the Chicago roots of this pumpkin-y punk band led me to feature this quartet of family-friendly sonic frights, each with the distinct flavor of the windy city:

The Boogers – “I’m A Jack-O-Lantern” (2013)

Ghosts, ghouls and witches; they’ll run a mile when they see the Jack-O-Lantern’s scary smile.

Mr. Singer and The Sharp Cookies – “Cartoon Saloon” (2012)

From their Bouncing Ball of Energy album, this song spins a tale of a place where those who enter as flesh and blood will never leave, as they’ll all be turned into cartoons.

Poochamungas – “Bah Humbug Halloween” (2012)

Initially issued as a single last year, this track appears on the just-released Block Party! album, and puts a Christmas Scrooge smack dab in the middle of an earlier holiday.

Justin Roberts – “Trick or Treat” (2010)

On Halloween morning, tune into the PBS Kids Sprout channel to catch Roberts as he performs this song live in The Sunshine Barn with Chica and the gang on The Sunny Side Up Show.

There’s a lot of great Halloween music for kids and families outside of town as well. Some seasonal staples that are essential for each year are Gustafer Yellowgold’s “Werewolves Rock,” Andy Z’s “The Grand Scream of Things,” Secret Agent 23 Skidoo’s “Shambles,” and The Hipwaders’ “Howling at the Moon.” But what about the smallest ghoul in your crypt? Your “boo”-tiful baby? You’d be surprised just how creepy lullaby versions of popular songs can be.

From the Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star collection comes lullaby versions of Slayer, Slipknot, Korn and more. Each takes the greatest hits of each metal act and transforms them into eerie instrumentals that are not only nursery-friendly, but quite Halloween-y as well.

Then again, “Lullaby Versions of The Nightmare Before Christmas” just takes things straight to 11. In fact, while these might be marketed as music for your little ones’ nursery, they’d make a fine soundtrack for you to greet the trick-or-treaters at your door come next week. In fact, they’ll probably be playing at my house.

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