Horror Musicals By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Horror Tree
4 min readFeb 27, 2024

Horror Musicals

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Ever since we were little, we’ve both been obsessed with the horror genre and musicals. How could the two possibly go together? Surprisingly well, to our delight. We’ve had the privilege of seeing several horror musicals in-person in the theatre over the years and need to tell you our favorites, in no particular order.


In 2019, we had the absolute joy of seeing Beetlejuice the musical at the Wintergreen Theatre on Broadway. As OG Beetlejuice and Tim Burton stans, we were thrilled to witness the glorious writing, acting, and directing of this Broadway production. While the plot was slightly changed for the stage, we were blown away with the characterization, performances, and design elements. We walked away happy campers and encourage others to give it a chance.

Evil Dead the Musical

As Bruce Campbell fans from birth (an exaggeration, but close) we couldn’t wait to witness the musical version of the Sam Raimi classic on stage. With a “splatter zone” complete with blood covered floors, chairs, and people, we laughed hysterically and smiled ear to ear like Deadites through the whole production. Pro-tip: don’t wear clothes you don’t want stained when attending. But, worth it either way!

Carrie The Musical

Initially, this Stephen King classic musical adaptation wasn’t well received but with rewrites, additional songs, and outstanding staging, this play has become a classic in our eyes. It is heartfelt, romantic, and terrifying. We had the great opportunity to help produce a production of this musical in 2019 and still grin happily when remembering it.

The Toxic Avenger

It may be hard to believe that this Troma cult classic could possibly become a touching, moving, hilarious stage musical but it’s true! We attended not once, but twice to take in the music, choreography, and staging of this unexpected joy.


You had us at hello, aka, a musical about the life and loves of Edgar Allan Poe. The production we saw had Tim Burton-esque costuming, set design, and tone so we were SOLD. With great writing, staging, and choreography, we became instant fans.

Sweeney Todd

Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical has had many iterations over the years including Broadway productions, a film adaptation starring Johnny Depp, and community theatre productions. We have witnessed all of them and love it. Revenge, angst, and twists will draw you in and mesmerize you.

Little Shop of Horrors

With a man-eating plant, a loveable dweeb, and multiple sing-along/dance-along numbers, Little Shop of Horrors delights and terrifies. While we’ve both only seen community or high school productions in-person, we still felt the joy emulating from this stage musical.

The Addams Family

Not only did we initially relate to Wednesday in The Addams Family with her dark, macabre, personality, we now relate to Morticia as a mother, goth girl, and absolute queen. The Addams Family musical is exceptionally moving with its message but doesn’t lose its sense of humor along the way.

LIZZIE the Musical

For our upcoming book Travels of Terror, we were able to stay at Lizzie Borden’s ACTUAL house to do research, take in the surroundings, and participate in tours. Years prior we attended the musical version which focuses on the murders and subsequent investigation. It was thrilling to attend in-person and moved us in ways we didn’t expect!

The Phantom of the Opera

This musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn’t need any publicity, but we have to include it in our list because, as goth girls, we LOVE and root for an underdog! Christine! Why didn’t you fall in love with the Phantom? We know, logically, he probably wasn’t the best choice but…the dedication!

Bonus horror movie that doesn’t yet have a stage adaptation as far as we know:

Anna and the Apocalypse

With catchy, sing-along songs and fun choreography, we were immediately on board with this movie. Love stories, family dynamics, and power struggles solidified Anna and the Apocalypse as a yearly rewatch near the holidays.

And a staged horror musical we both WISH we’d seen:

The Shining Opera

Premiering in our home state of Minnesota in 2016, The Shining Opera sold out and we were unable to attend. With generally favorable reviews, we hope the opera will be restaged someday so we can witness our favorite Stephen King classic come alive on stage.




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