Songs About Ghosts

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?”

14. “The Ghost Inside” by Broken Bells

Song Year: 2010

“The Ghost Inside” by Broken Bells reflects on the life experience of one of the band member’s wives. The incident left her so shaken that she refused to enter the house for several days. She entered the basement, saw a shadow moving, and felt a presence.

This single is undoubtedly on the scarier side of the ghost songs on this list, but the horror of the music is what helps it stand out.

15. “Spirits In The Night” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Song Year: 1975

“Spirits In The Night” is a classic ghost song by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band; the single portrays spirits who cannot rest because their murderers still walk the streets. Instead, these ghosts haunt the living, taking out their frustration on those within their reach, yet unable to find any peace, forever haunting the Earth.

16. “Haunted” by Taylor Swift

Song Year: 2010

This heartwrenching breakup song by Taylor Swift is the perfect addition to any heartbreak playlist. It describes how haunted she feels after a bad breakup, like she’s being followed and seeing him everywhere.

17. “Ghost On The Shore” by Lord Huron

Song Year: 2012

“Ghost On The Shore” is a song about two lovers, one who drowned at sea and one who refuses to believe her lover is dead. They walk hand-in-hand along the shoreline, where they can always stay together. The Lord Huron single stems from the songwriter’s experience of mistaking the silhouettes of two lovers for his dead grandfather while walking along a foggy shore.

18. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot

Song Year: 1976

In 1975, the cargo ship SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank to the bottom of Lake Superior in a fierce storm. Legends of a ghost ship bearing its name spread around, and in 1976, Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song about the spectral ship. The lyrics describe the ship’s final day at sea and how all ships would do well to heed the dangers of the water of the Great Lakes.

19. “Watching You Without Me” by Kate Bush

Song Year: 1985

“Watching You Without Me” by Kate Bush tells the tale of a shipwrecked woman who goes home and tries to speak to her loved ones. However, her cries fall on deaf ears, and she must watch them live on without her. It’s sorrowful to her that the woman grieves her own life and tries to find a way to move on, though it breaks her heart not to tell them goodbye.

20. “Midnight In Montgomery” by Alan Jackson

“Midnight In Montgomery” by Alan Jackson

Song Year: 1991

Alan Jackson’s single, “Midnight in Montgomery,” sings the story of Hank Williams Sr., a prominent country musician who passed away in 1953 in the back of his automobile.

This song was supposedly inspired by the singer’s experience, as he performed at a midnight gig in Montgomery when he spied Hank Williams in the crowd. Between the steel guitar and mournful voice, you can picture Hank Williams standing beside you as you listen to this song.

21. “Jenny of Oldstones” by Florence and the Machine

Song Year: 2019

This single by Florence and the Machine is one of the newer songs on our list, but it’s well-deserving of its position as HBO’s Game of Thrones featured the song. You’ll find one of the best modern ghost stories in song form between Florence’s hauntingly gorgeous voice and the compelling lyrics.

22. “Pet Sematary” by Ramones

Song Year: 1989

One of the best horror movies of all time was Pet Sematary, and Ramones initially wrote this song for the movie, although the single stands perfectly well on its own. The creepy horror vibes of the ghosts of beloved pets make it stand out on this list.

23. “Ghosts” by Stevie Nicks

Song Year: 1989

This song is chill, more sentimental than horror or heartbreak-themed. It refers to ghosts of the past, of reflecting and reminiscing about old memories rather than actual ghosts, but it’s still an excellent ghost song.

24. “Ghost Towns” by Radical Face

Song Year: 2011

If you’re looking for a somber, emotional song about being unable to go home, then “Ghost Towns” by Radical Face is precisely what you’re looking for. This single is less about ghosts than being unable to return home and every town you go through feeling empty, but it’s haunting in a different way that keeps you up at night.

25. “Living In A Ghost Town” by The Rolling Stones

Song Year: 2019

Another newer song, “Living In A Ghost Town” is about a once lively and thriving town falling into ruin with only the singer left to enjoy the party. It sounds like a classic Rolling Stones single and is perfect for both rock and a melancholy message.

26. “Ghost” by Ella Henderson

Song Year: 2014

This upbeat, catchy tune by Ella Henderson is one of the most popular songs about ghosts. It’s about the singer struggling to give up a past love and unable to move forward. If you love pop, you’ve probably heard this song at least once, and it is heart-wrenching as you listen to the lyrics.

27. “Ghosts of Beverly Drive” by Death Cab For Cutie

Song Year: 2015

“Ghosts of Beverly Drive” is open for interpretation, either as a failed past relationship, the haunting crimes, and ghosts of Beverly Drive, or social commentary about capitalism. However you interpret it, there’s no denying this indie rock hit’s haunting melody and lyrics.

28. “Ghost” by Halsey

Song Year: 2015

Next on our list, “Ghost,” is a song about a young woman mourning the loss of a lover. While this is a common theme among ghost songs, Halsey manages to put a fresh twist on the topic with her music.

29. “The Ghost of You” by My Chemical Romance

Song Year: 2004

“The Ghost of You” is one of My Chemical Romance’s biggest hits and is about a man haunted by the ghost of a former girlfriend. Its upbeat and catchy tune will have you thinking about your past relationships and how they ended.

30. “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

Song Year: 1984

This titular song was first featured in a movie of the same name and has since become a pop culture icon. Everyone knows who they need to call if they’ve got ghosts, and they should add this banger to their Halloween playlists.

31. “The Kingdom of Dreams” from The Sandman OST

Song Year: 2022

While there are no words, the haunting melody and sweeping wonder of “The Kingdom of Dreams” originated in the short horror series and can easily transport you to the realm of ghosts. The series itself has plenty of creeping horror, and it’s reflected in this gorgeous song.

32. “Ghost On The Dancefloor” by Blink 182

Song Year: 2011

When that one song hits you and reminds you of a person or a period of your life so clearly that you have to sit down, it can be hard to describe. Blink 182 describes how certain pieces are associated with people and memories and how hearing them hits us like a bus on the dance floor.

33. “Haunted” by Evanescence

Song Year: 2003

You can interpret Evanescence’s “Haunted” literally or metaphorically, but either way, you probably won’t be able to sleep at night. The lyrics depict being haunted by someone from your past as they follow you everywhere and occupy your mind. It’s the perfect ghost song, where heartbreak and horror collide in one beautifully tragic song.

34. “Ghosts of Cape Horn” by Gordon Lightfoot

Song Year: 1979

Gordon Lightfoot had a gift for writing haunting historical epics, and “Ghosts of Cape Horn” is no exception. The song features lyrics about sailors and ships who drowned in the seas during the dangerous journey around Cape Horn at the bottom of Africa.

35. “Ghost Behind My Eyes” by Ozzy Osbourne

Song Year: 1995

Ozzy relates the idea of not being able to get someone out of your head to living in a haunted house and seeing their ghost when you close your eyes. “Ghost Behind My Eyes” has a creepy horror theme that matches the message and haunted house descriptions, relating to the awful part of being unable to stop thinking about someone.

36. “O Death” by Jen Titus

Song Year: 2015

Popularized by the show Supernatural, “O Death” by Jen Titus perfectly encapsulates the experience of dying. A woman is bargaining with death trying to avoid becoming a ghost but is facing the inevitability. The haunting lyrics will echo through your head days afterward, and the incredible vocals will leave you craving more.

37. “Long Black Veil” by John Anderson

Song Year: 1982

“Long Black Veil” is one of John Anderson’s most famous songs, initially written in1959. It’s about a man on death row for a crime he did not commit. His former lover, wearing a long black veil, visits him as a ghost. The woman forgives him for leaving her at the altar and tells him she still loves him. Haunting and beautiful, you can’t listen to this song with dry eyes.

38. “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult

Song Year: 1976

This single is one of Blue Oyster Cult’s most famous songs, and it has a great message about not fearing death because our loved ones are waiting for us on the other side. The catchy, upbeat tune is fantastic to play at Halloween parties or similarly spooky occasions.

39. “Steven” by Alice Cooper

Song Year: 1983

If Alice Cooper is known for anything, his haunting, gorgeous songs seem to creep around corners and linger in the corner of your eye long after you listen to them. “Steven” is about a man haunted by the ghost of his brother and tortured by his screams day and night, praying to God that his brother will finally be able to rest in peace.

Best Songs About Ghosts, Final Thoughts

Ghosts have always captured the human imagination, and songs are one of the best ways to express their indescribable quality that is a little scary, unsettling, and mostly very depressing. This list of songs about ghosts encapsulates the reality of these ghostly apparitions.

From songs about past lovers and regrets to scary epics, ghosts represent things that haunt us, whether it’s all in our minds or an evil entity out to steal our souls.

Next up, why not see our top songs about magic?

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