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Spotify contains no fewer than 326 recordings of “The Monster Mash,” by everyone from The Beach Boys to the London Theatre Orchestra & Cast. But the undisputed master of ‘The Mash’ is of course Bobby “Boris” Pickett, pictured to the right, who unleashed this ghoulish delight on the world in August of 1962.
People snapped up the album during the week leading up to Halloween ‘62, propelling “The Monster Mash” to the top of the charts, and the song remains quite popular today, but only around Halloween.
There’s not much other music that people only listen to around Halloween — as opposed to a holiday like Christmas, which is associated with over 1.3 million tracks on Spotify, including over 72 years of “Silent Night” (provided you only listen once per night).
Christmas music listening ramps up rather slowly, as anyone who has gone shopping after Thanksgiving can attest. Last year, Spotify data alchemist Glenn McDonald plotted the increase in Christmas listening by country, which looks like this:
Not so with our favorite graveyard smash. Here’s what that spike looks like over the same amount of time:
The Monster Mash Halloween Spike
On many days of the year, “The Monster Mash” isn’t streamed at all, which is kind of amazing considering that Spotify has over 100 million active monthly users. You’d think one of those people would play it, if only by mistake, at least once — but no. And that is what makes “The Monster Mash” the most seasonal song on Spotify. It pretty much only gets played on, and in the immediate lead-up to, Halloween.
Another song that comes close to this kind of crazy spike is “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” by Arlo Guthrie, which spikes every Thanksgiving (the day when Arlo Guthrie received a littering citation – the first of many events that transpire in that song):
Alice’s Restaurant Thanksgiving Spike
However, the “Alice’s Restaurant” effect is not as pronounced as “The Monster Mash” effect, because people listen to it a significant amount on other days of the year.
Here we see another quite seasonal song — U2’s “New Year’s Day,” which spikes on, you guessed it…
U2 New Year’s Day Spike
But again, there’s a fair amount of listening to this song all year round. “The Monster Mash” stands alone as the most seasonal song on Spotify.
Last Halloween, the world streamed 43,253 hours of “The Monster Mash” on Spotify. So, who listens to The Mash the most?
- Men and women favor The Mash just about equally, with women having a slight edge with 51 percent of Mash streaming.
- 18-24 and 25-29 are the strongest age groups for The Mash, but its listeners are spread out fairly evenly across the age groups. 13-17-year-olds listen the least.
- The strongest demographic for The Mash is 18-24-year-old women.
The following cities listen to The Mash the most per Spotify user, and are therefore the mashiest.
- Brooklyn, New York, US
- San Francisco, California, US
- San Diego, California, US
- Charlotte, North Carolina, US
- Glasgow, Scotland, GB
- Nashville, Tennessee, US
- Manchester, North West England, GB
- Madrid, Madrid, ES
- Cincinnati, Ohio, US
- Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber, GB
- Edmonton, Alberta, CA
- Nottingham, East Midlands, GB
- Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, SE
- Cleveland, Ohio, US
- Concord, California, US
- Fort Worth, Texas, US
- Tempe, Arizona, US
- Lynnwood, Washington, US
- Corona, California, US
- Jersey City, New Jersey, US
The following countries have the most Mash listeners per capita:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
Mashiest States (US)
The following states (and districts — hi there, Washington, D.C.) have the most Mash listeners per Spotify user in the United States, home to The Monster Mash:
- District of Columbia
Be that as it may, there’s only one thing we know for sure:
They did The Mash. They did The Monster Mash.