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Midterm season can be monstrous, so study with these haunting tracks

When midterms and Halloweekend coincide, it's time to break out a more seasonal version of your typical study tunes. – Photo by Melanie Pongratz / Unsplash

It's the end of October. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling and Halloween is looming. It's time to get in the spirit — decorations up, a scary movie on the TV and a pumpkin spice latte in hand. What more could you want?

For many like me, October and Halloween is the best time of year, the only issue … midterms always seem to get in the way. So how do you get in the Halloween spirit when you're elbows deep in textbooks? A perfectly curated spooky study playlist to get you through your exams while steering clear of FOMO.

As a lover of fall and all things spooky and scary, I have some experience with songs that'll get your heart pumpin', goosebumps bumpin' and bones chillin'.

So for all you fall fanatics and scare seekers, I have just the thing for you: I have compiled a list of the five best songs to get you in the spooky spirit. From pop culture to film features, these songs run the gamut.

So grab your apple cider, pumpkin spice latte or whatever gets you in the mood, put those headphones on and prepare to get scared (and studying).

"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell

The 1984 hit single by young Motown artist Rockwell grew in popularity during the 80s. Its popularity led it to be featured in movies and TV shows, new and old. Bonus for any "American Horror Story" fan: this song was featured in "American Horror Story: 1984," which is perfectly fitting.

The music video features the young artist constantly looking over his shoulder in his own home, being watched by neighbors, statues, taxidermied animals and even the mailman. With lyrics we can all relate to like, "I'm afraid to wash my hair / 'Cause I might open my eyes and find someone standing there," this Halloween hit will have you looking over your shoulder and wondering, "Is someone watching me?"

"I Put a Spell on You" by various artists 

You know this song, I know this song, everyone and their grandma knows this song. This iconic pop hit, synonymous with Halloween, was made famous by the 1993 cult classic "Hocus Pocus." Some versions of this hit include the original version by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, bluesy and soulful, released in 1958.

And perhaps an unpopular opinion, but there is a more popular and better version — the 2014 release by Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox. So queue up this spooky seasonal classic, and don't be afraid. The only spell this song will put on you is the need to keep hitting repeat.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson

If any song screams Halloween, it's this song right here. "Thriller" by the one and only Jackson is another 80s classic from one of Jackson's most famous albums, the eponymous "Thriller."

Everything about the song screams Halloween: The music video features a werewolf flick, a walk through the cemetery at night, creepy narrations and even creepier shrieks, laughs and screams, dancing zombies and all things occult. But hey! Don't be scared! Just dance the night away like Jackson.

"Creep" by Radiohead

Radiohead's hit "Creep" is not the first thing you think of when you hear Halloween, but it sure does give you the chills. As one of the biggest 90s songs in the alternative/grunge genre, "Creep" made its debut on Radiohead's "Pablo Honey" album in 1993.

Something about the dark, somber lyrics and music scream fall to me. With lyrics like, "I'm a creep / I'm a weirdo / What the hell am I doing here? / I don't belong here," the eerie, spine-chilling, perfect-for-Halloween song comes to the surface. So if you're into the alt life, this is the right song for you.

Go ahead, add it to your spooky study playlist — I won't judge.

"Tiptoe Thru' The Tulips with Me" by Tiny Tim

This song needs no scary movie association to give you the creeps. With the artist's eerie high-pitched voice and childlike nursery rhyme lyrics, "Tiptoe Thru' The Tulips With Me" is bound to give you goosebumps. And I know I said the song really needs no horror movie to amp up the scare factor, but still, this 60s hit is probably most known to our generation for its appearance in the first film of the "Insidious" series.

"Insidious" took the world by storm with its debut in 2010. Practically every millennial and Generation Z-er has seen it, loves it and immediately recognizes "Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me" and the scene it's in the minute they hear it. If you're one of the few who hasn't seen "Insidious" and listened to this song, you might want to sleep with a light on after hearing it for the first time. But hey, that's what Halloween's all about, right?


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