15 Beautifully Dark Musicals – Our Top Picks

Happy October!! We are excited to announce that we will be releasing lots of fun Halloween-inspired blog posts over the next few weeks, including some new “best audition song” posts for your favorite spooky musicals! But to kick everything off, here is a list of some amazing dark musicals and where you can find the cast albums and licensing rights for each of them!

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1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

There is no better way to kick off the list than with Sweeney Todd! This straight-up horror musical follows the story of Benjamin Barker, a barber looking to take revenge on the man who once lusted after his wife.

Musical Info ➝

2. Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors is about a shop keeper who raises a rare plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. But as the plant grows, he has trouble keeping up with its need for food.

Musical Info ➝

3. Carrie

Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel, Carrie follows the story of a lonely teenage girl who unleashes her telekinetic powers upon her high school classmates.

Musical Info ➝

4. Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde is all about the struggle between good and evil. It’s the story of a man who struggles with his two clashing identities, and it gets darker and darker as the musical goes on.

Musical Info ➝

5. Evil Dead

Named by some as the “next Rocky Horror Picture Show“, Evil Dead was an instant hit upon its opening in 2003. This musical tells the satirical horror story of spending the weekend at an abandoned cabin in the woods.

Musical Info ➝

 6. Heathers

Based on the 1989 film, Heathers tells the story of Veronica Sawyer – an awkward high school student who works her way into the popular crowd and falls in love with some very big trouble.

Musical Info ➝

7. Dracula

This thrilling musical is based on the 1987 Victorian novel of the same name. Dracula is part drama, part suspense, and part Gothic romance.

Musical Info ➝

8. Ruthless!

Ruthless! is one of my favorite musicals on the list, because it turns extremely and unexpectedly dark. And that’s exactly what makes it such a fun show to see for the very first time!

Musical Info ➝

9. American Psycho

A true horror of a musical, American Psycho: The Musical is sexy, psychopathic, and based on the 1991 novel. It follows the story of Patrick Bateman – a successful banker with a dark indulgence.

Musical Info ➝

10. Young Frankenstein

Based on the 1974 comedy film, Young Frankenstein, this musical is a parody about a young mad scientist who brings to life a new creature to rival the one his grandfather created.

Musical Info ➝

11. The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is a dark classic that tells the story of a masked man who lurks beneath the Paris opera house and falls in love with a sweet young soprano named Christine.

Musical Info ➝

12. Ghost Quartet

This is a newer musical from Dave Malloy, the writer of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. It’s a musical song cycle based on love, death, and whisky – spanning a period of seven centuries.

Musical Info ➝

13. Matilda

Matilda tells the story of a young girl with psychokinetic powers. However, the musical is magical rather than scary, and is a joy for children and adults alike.

Musical Info ➝

14. Ghost

A dark yet romantic addition to the list, Ghost is based on the film and tells the story of a young couple who’s relationship faces new challenges after one of them faces an untimely death.

Musical Info ➝

15. Murder for Two

Murder for Two is a hilarious “whodunit” that blends “madcap mystery” with classic musical comedy. The show features two pianist performers who play all the roles!

Musical Info ➝

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Which of these dark musicals is your favorite?

Know any other great Halloween musicals? Let us know in the comments below! And if you like these types of lists, check out the musical database. That’s where you’ll find musicals sorted by composer, theme, setting, and more!

Stacy Karyn, author of Horror Musicals.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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