Watching a horror film at home isn’t the same as seeing a Halloween musical at the theater. Different elements come into play in scary musicals, including the fear factor, shocking plots, amazing acting, realistic costumes, and of course, music that heightens the tension.

With Halloween just around the corner, here are the top 20 musicals to get you and your friends in the spooky Halloween spirit.

1. Sweeney Todd

Sweeny Todd Broadway Scene Scary Halloween

Scariness Ranking: 4.9/5

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is a legendary horror musical that has been on Broadway since 1979. It features a murderous barber who kills people and makes pies with their remains. The musical was later adapted into a film directed by Tim Burton. There are more than a few gruesome scenes in this musical, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.

2. The Addams Family

Addams Family Scene Scary Broadway Theater

Scariness Ranking: 2/5

“The Addams Family” started life as a cartoon in 1938 and has been transformed into multiple TV series, comic books, films, and musicals. Everybody knows the story of the creepy family who lives in a scary house. Even though this musical has a lot of frightening elements, the plot is actually a horror parody and not that terrifying at all. Nonetheless, it’s a great Halloween musical to watch with your family.

3. Dracula

Dracula Broadway Scary Poster

Scariness Ranking: 3.9/5

Dracula is a famous character from an 1897 Victorian novel and the subject of numerous films, cartoons, and theater adaptations all over the world. It premiered on Broadway in 2004. Since it’s a horror musical, expect to see blood, coffins, and of course, vampires. Although it may not be the scariest musical on this list, it’s a fantastic Halloween treat to enjoy with friends.

4. Carrie

Carrie Horror Musical Theater Broadway

Scariness Ranking: 4.5/5

Adapted from Stephen King’s debut novel, the “Carrie” Broadway musical hit the stage in 1988. The story centers around a teenage girl who is bullied at school and who seeks revenge on prom night. While the original “Carrie” Broadway production flopped, its 2012 Off-Broadway revival was quite successful. This horror musical features a lot of blood and violence. If you’re interested in a full-on Halloween experience, this is one not to miss.

5. Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde Broadway Show

Scariness Ranking: 3.8/5

What’s a list of Halloween musicals without “Jekyll & Hyde?” A classic 1886 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, it was transformed into a musical in 1990. Aside from breathtaking acting and unexpected plot twists, you can expect some incredible music. It follows the story of Dr. Jekyll, a scientist who invents a potion that turns him into Mr. Hyde, a murderous criminal. This is a horror musical you definitely should see.

6. The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera Broadway Scene

Scariness Ranking: 4.8/5

If you want to watch a classic horror musical, you need to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” The story is about a disfigured man who lives under the Paris Opera House and how he becomes obsessed with a beautiful soprano who performs there. Since this is a horror musical, expect to see some violence and creepy scenes. The “Phantom of the Opera” is one of the most popular Halloween musicals, and it also happens to be the longest-running show in Broadway history.

7. American Psycho the Musical

American Psycho the Musical Poster Scary

Scariness Ranking: 4.5/5

If you like the 2000 American Psycho movie, you should definitely watch the musical. It’s about a rich investment banker who leads a secret life as a serial killer. The musical first came to theatres in 2013, but it didn’t receive a Broadway adaptation until 2016. Note that this horror musical has some disturbing scenes, including a beheading, murder, and violence. This spine-tingling music is perfect for Halloween.

8. Dance of the Vampires

dance of the vampires Scene

Scariness Ranking: 2.9/5

For those who want to see a Halloween musical that isn’t as scary as they come, but still has captivating horror elements, don’t miss out on the “Dance of the Vampires.” The original musical is actually a German production, which later came to American theaters. The plot concerns a professor who is trying to prove that vampires exist in Transylvania.

9. Little Shop of Horrors

Top Off Broadway Shows

Scariness Ranking: 2.5/5

The “Little Shop of Horrors” is another classic Halloween musical. What sets this musical apart from the others is that the villain is a giant murderous man-eating Venus flytrap. The musical has been adapted into a successful film. More a combination of horror and comedy, it’s still well worth seeing this Halloween.

10. Zombie Prom

Zombie Prom Poster Script Cover

Scariness Ranking: 1/5

If you’re looking for a Halloween musical for teenagers, you can’t go wrong with “Zombie Prom.” This is an Off-Broadway musical, first performed at the Red Barn Theater in 1993. Keep in mind that this is a comedy musical or a horror parody with zombies. It’s not scary at all, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see it this Halloween.

11. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show Poster

Scariness Ranking: 3.9/5

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a classic horror musical that truly captures the spirit of Halloween. There is also a cult movie adaptation, which has the highest rank for horror movie musicals on IMDB. The story follows a young couple who have to seek shelter in a giant mansion when their car breaks down. This 1973 musical is more weird than scary, which is perhaps what makes it so creepy.

12. Into the Woods

Into the Woods off Broadway best shows

Scariness Ranking: 2/5

“Into the Woods” combines characters from popular childhood stories like “Rapunzel,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The musical was later turned into a Disney film, starring Meryl Streep. The plot may seem scary, but it has a lot of comical elements too. This is a fantastic musical that will have you on the edge of your seat this Halloween.

13. Ghost

Ghost the Musical Scene Close Up

Scariness Ranking: 3.3/5

“Ghost: The Musical” is perfect for those who like thrillers combined with a bit of tragic romance. The story is based on the eponymous movie, which came out in 1990. It follows the story of a couple who get attacked. When the boyfriend dies from his injuries, he becomes a ghost and tries to save his girlfriend from danger. This musical is not like the others on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching.

14. Evil Dead

Scariness Ranking: 4.5/5

The “Evil Dead” musical is based on the horror film franchise of the same name. More specifically, the play combines all three “Evil Dead” movies. It’s an Off-Broadway rock musical, which follows five teenagers who are staying at an abandoned cabin in the woods. If you want to see a Halloween musical with your friends, the “Evil Dead” is the perfect option.

15. Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein Movie Poster

Scariness Ranking: 1.5/5

If you don’t want to see a scary musical for Halloween, “Young Frankenstein” is highly recommended. Based on the movie of the same name, this musical is a horror parody of the famous novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. This musical is so funny, that it will bring tears to your eyes. It’s the ideal Halloween musical to see with your friends or family.

16. The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Scariness Ranking: 3/5

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is based on the last novel Charles Dickens ever wrote. This story is a gripping murder mystery that will keep your eyes glued to the stage at all times. The show is also known as the first Broadway musical that has more than one ending. “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is a great choice for those who enjoy reading mystery novels.

17. Lizzie: The Musical

Scariness Ranking: 3.8/5

If you want a truly unforgettable experience this Halloween, make sure to watch “Lizzie: The Musical.” This production is a combination of a musical and a rock concert. It’s based on the real-life story of Lizzie Borden, who killed her father and stepmother with an axe. If you enjoy horror stories and live rock music, you don’t want to miss this musical.

18. Phantom of the Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise Poster

Scariness Ranking: 4.2/5

 “Phantom of the Paradise” is another rock musical that had its first production in 1974. It tells the story of a troubled composer who sells his soul for love. This musical is inspired by “The Phantom of the Opera.” There are many other references of other classic horror stories. If you want something different, definitely check out this musical.

19. Beetlejuice

Bettlejuice Scene

Scariness Ranking: 1/5

“Beetlejuice: The Musical” is an adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 movie. It’s a classic horror story with fantasy and comic elements. The musical focuses on the film’s funnier side, so it’s family-friendly. You can expect to see amazing costumes, funny scenes, and songs to sing along to. Not to mention that it still screams of Halloween.

20. The Woman in White

Scariness Ranking: 4/5

“The Woman in White” is another horror musical you can watch this Halloween. It’s based on an 1860 novel and was adapted into a West End musical in 2004 and made it onto Broadway in 2005. The West End production had a revival in 2017. While it’s primarily a mystery story, it has a few scary moments.

Enjoy Halloween With a Scary Musical

It’s a Halloween tradition to meet up with your friends and watch horror movies. However, if you want to take this experience to the next level, you should see a Halloween musical at the theater. From truly scary musicals that will make you tremble in your seat to funny parodies of horror classics, there’s something for everyone this Halloween.

Author

My full name is Gary Finklestein, and I’m what you might call a theater geek. But, for better or worse, I don’t have the formal education that often goes along with the title. My reviews and advice for Broadway are quick and too-the-point. Prepare to not be bored.

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