It also didn't need to strategically drop into U.S. listener consciousness at just the right moment or even be related to Halloween at all to be a holiday hit. Psy one-upped the King Of Pop by sneaking into Halloween without donning a costume any scarier than that worn by a pop star in just about any other video.

This year's Halloween novelty of choice not only draws a direct lineage from Gangnam Style, but it owes Psy a tremendous debt. Merge Psy's beat, the mindlessness of the Wilson songs and a costume party that would make the Monster Mash writers proud, and you basically have Ylvis' The Fox (What Does The Fox Say). Not only has the Norwegian duo's video been seen by roughly 148 million people, but its animal costumes and childhood creature noises are driving fox costume demand at Amazon and Spirit Halloween.

The shift from dance-crazed movie monsters to electronic-dance-music-mocking woodland animals over the last half century doesn't seem like a whole lot of growth, but in niche music terms it's just the same fun in more modern costumes. The venue has changed, but the Halloween dance party is still on.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.

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