Usually as human beings, we rely on our vision, therefore, it’s what we see that often frightens us the most. However, what about what we hear? Whether it’s sudden movements, or just a frightful tone, sound causes a reaction in the brain that is ten times worse than actually seeing something terrifying. Intensifying a fear of the unknown, the sound of something scary could be absolutely anything, sending your mind into complete overdrive. Plus, sound travels faster than the information we process through our eyes, suggesting that humans were using their ears as a form of defense way before using their peepers.
In fact, movies have been getting in on the act for years, using sound as a way of frightening their audience, minutes before the actual visual event. From the slow chilling piano of The Exorcist, to the suspense building chords of Jaws, sound is just as important in building the fear factor in a movie as sight is. And, if you see something scary, the act of closing your eyes comes natural, blocking out the danger and the image itself. But, blocking your ears is not that easy, with the sound still managing to infiltrate with its scary substances thus making the terrifying nature of sound extremely difficult to avoid. So, to prove just why sound is much more scary, here are 15 terrifying sounds and their terrifying backstories. Be warned…
15. Ghostly Sounds Of The Abandoned Mine
Ah Australia, where everything is out to get you. With spiders, snakes, crocodiles, and even plants and trees ready to end your life at any moment, it seems the phantoms of the underworld are also in on the act of total annihilation. Finding this out for himself, one brave explorer decided to put himself in a very terrifying position, when investigating the inside of an abandoned gold mine. Yes, initially thinking it was a really cool and fun idea, the man then began to hear disturbing noises, leading him to then strangely film the entire experience. With sounds of whispering voices and spooky bangs and tumbles, the man is heard saying, “I’ve heard some weird stuff in mines but that is definitely creepy, so let’s get out of here.” No kidding.
14. The Sounds Of Saturn
With space one of the scariest places out there, the fear of the unknown can be one of the most frightening things in the world. A number of UFO sightings, recorded sounds, and other unexplained occurrences have been going on for several years. However, it is the spooky sounds of Saturn that have really managed to get into people’s heads, generating a variety of theories on the matter. Detecting radio emissions in 2002, the Cassini spacecraft picked up several eerie undertones, similar to those of a soundtrack to a horror movie. Extremely disturbing, the sounds have been said to be the voices of aliens from other planets, the voices of dead souls, or even the sounds of Saturn’s very own species, trying to make contact with Earth. Plus, Saturn is not the only planet to generate such sounds; Jupiter also has its own distinct melody, as does Earth, and the voice of our wonderful Sun.
13. Auditory Hallucinations
Known as a form of sound hallucination that causes the sufferer to perceive imaginary sounds, auditory hallucinations can be heard without any real auditory stimulus. Usually effecting those with mental illness, auditory hallucinations can involve anything from hearing voices, distortions, to loud noises. To give those who are curious an idea of what actually goes on during such auditory hallucinations, a recording was devised after several months of research. Based on real accounts that patients had revealed to their doctors, the tapes are extremely difficult to listen to, making you realize just how awful it must be for several men and women all over the world who routinely go through such frightening experiences. Sadly, a huge number of people who suffer from mental illness rarely get the help they need, with the stigma attached to such conditions often ridiculed, or seen as less important.
12. Area 51 Call
On September 11, 1997, a man claiming to have worked within the infamous Area 51, rang Coast to Coast AM, erupting into a frenzied phone call of terror and panic. Describing “extra-dimensional beings”, government coverups, and world domination, the man claimed to be frightened for his life, explaining that he was on the run from whomever it was who was after him. However, this is where it gets really strange, while rambling in despair, the show temporarily went off air due to a supposed satellite failure, with host Art Bell claiming he had no idea what had happened. A few months later, the caller allegedly called back, admitting that it had been a hoax all along. But, with accusations that the first and second caller have different voices, tones and mannerisms, many believe it was a coverup to distract attention.
11. The Bloop (3:30)
Described as a powerful sound captured underwater, scientists recently revealed that ‘The Bloop’ was one of the largest sounds ever recorded in the deep and darkest depths of the ocean. But what exactly is The Bloop? Captured in the Pacific Ocean in 2002, the sound was detected a number of times, causing scientists and regular people all over the world to massively freak out. With some believing the sound to be that of a submarine or even a bomb, scientists put it down to icequakes or huge icebergs moving in force. However, creating a lot of buzz, speculation began to rise, with theories that the noise was actually a humongous sea animal. Nicknamed The Bloop by television network Fox, rumors began to circulate that the government had organized a coverup, with leaks that the sound was in fact an enormous sea creature, one hundred times bigger than any whale. What do you think?
10. Aztec Death Whistle
When a skull shaped grave was found by archaeologists decades ago at an Aztec temple in Mexico, the archaeological world began to get excited. Jumping deep inside, a number of toys and ornaments were discovered, with experts believing them to be regular items, used by the Aztecs on a daily basis. However, after a number of years, specialists began digging deeper, realizing that these ‘toys’ were in fact spooky instruments, creating a noise that resembled that of a human scream. Nicknamed the ‘death whistle’, the instruments were found to be used during Aztec sacrifices, as a way to instil fear. And that it did, with the whistle creating one of the most frightening sounds ever to come out of an instrument, with some going as far as describing it like, “the scream of thousand corpses”. Lovely.
9. The Old Tape
With radio transmissions a common theme within the realms of creepy sounds, it is no surprise to see them crop up on a list of scary recordings. That’s right, captured by a 15-year-old in the USA, the recording detailed a number of spooky and bizarre sounds. Discussing the tape, the anonymous teenager wrote, “in around 1995, I was about 15. I used to stay up late in my room listening to the radio on a boombox with an integrated tape recorder. I’d dial through the stations, and when I heard something interesting I’d hit record for a while, then move on. One night, I came across this. I don’t think this was the beginning of the broadcast, but I caught a lot of it. Right at the end, an announcer says that the station I was tuned to was WKCR 89.9 New York. There are a bunch of names and dates in there, but… I’ve never run into anything else like this.” Creepy to say the least, the tape has seemingly gone into hiding, with information on the whole affair extremely scarce. Hmmm.
8. David Parker Ray’s Toy Box Tape (WARNING: EXTREMELY DISTURBING)
Dubbed the Toy-Box killer, David Parker Ray was an American serial killer, specializing in the torture of women. A strange case to the say the least, no bodies were ever found, with Parker Ray’s accomplices accusing him of killing several people instead. With as many as 60 victims attributed to the serial killer, the details of the murders themselves are extremely disturbing, with rape, torture and sadomasochism heavily involved. Building his very own homemade torture chamber, nicknamed the “toy box”, Parker Ray regularly used whips, chains and saws, which he called his “friends”. Recording the events, Parker Ray would then play them back to the victims, as well as listen to them regularly with his accomplices. With the real tapes nowhere to be found, this YouTube user reads out a full transcript of the tape. Extremely disturbing and graphic, the tape is beyond upsetting, forcing you to fully imagine what these poor women went through.
7. Operation Wandering Soul
Starting life as a propaganda campaign by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, operation Wandering Soul was derived from the idea that the Vietnamese believed that the dead must be buried in their homeland, otherwise their soul will wander aimlessly in pain and suffering. Spending weeks recording the extremely eerie sounds, voices were later added, designed to be that of imitating killed Vietcong, wandering the jungle. Hoping to ingrain a sense of terror into the opposition, the plan was to force the soldiers to flee, running away in horror at the supposed dead souls. However, with the results not known, the world will never know what truly happened, with the Vietnamese later winning the war, resulting in one of the biggest tragedies of American warfare.
6. A Castrato
Dubbed as a special type of male singing voice, a castrato is achieved through the castration of the singer before puberty. Resulting in a unique voice, the practice was extremely common during the 17th century, especially throughout Italy. With the men in question usually undergoing the treatment by force, they were then treated to much ridicule from people all over the world, often subjected to intense name calling, such as “evirato”, meaning to be “emasculated”. However, castration was universally banned in the 19th century, with the treatment seen as barbaric by the Catholic church. Now, with only one recording ever to exist, the tape captures 50-year-old Allesandro Moreschi, the last surviving Castrato. With the sound coming off exceptionally eerie, especially when informed of how it was created, Moreschi was later taken in by then Pope Leo XIII, for a quiet life away from the media and intense ridicule.
Another unexplained, underwater ocean noise, Julia, has been making the rounds for a number of years. Much in the same way as ‘The Bloop’, the sounds were picked up in the Pacific Ocean— just what on earth is going on down there? Loud enough to be heard over its entire Pacific region, the recording only lasts for a mere 15 seconds. Resembling that of a cooing noise or somebody who is whining, the racket has been attributed to that of a large iceberg that had run aground off the coast of Antarctica. No stranger to the main cause, ‘large icebergs’ have often been cited as the main culprit, with a number of other strange sounds credited to the runaway mountains of ice. In fact, in 1997, a long and lingering sound was heard from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, named ‘slow down’, due to the increase and decrease in frequency. However, with some clearly not buying it, suggestions of a mammoth squid have been put forward as the cause of all unidentified underwater sounds.
4. Alexander Crain Death Call
On December 9th, 2010, fourteen-year-old Alexander Crain picked up a firearm and shot both of his parents to death. Calling the police soon after, Crain then chillingly proceeded to sob over the phone, begging the authorities to come quickly. Heard crying uncontrollably, the call lasted for 16 minutes, during which Crain shouted that he had killed them for “no reason”. Claiming he’d had no idea why he shot them, Crain stated, “I was sleeping and the next thing I knew, I had a gun in my hand. And my parents were on the ground”. Sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, Crain repeatedly claims he didn’t know why he did it, explaining that they hadn’t been arguing, or that he suffered from any form of mental illness.
3. Sky Trumpets
Heard in a variety of places all over the world, sky trumpets have been attributed to some kind of supernatural or unexplained phenomenon. From Indonesia to Canada, the sound has been captured almost everywhere, with some skeptics deeming it a hoax. Displaying the sound of a thousand trumpets that seemingly come from absolutely nowhere, the noise is as chilling as it is incredibly creepy. But what on earth is it? With some suggesting that it came straight out of the Bible itself, witnesses have attributed the book of Revelations to the noise, citing, “the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven,”. And for those atheists out there? Put it down to a major government coverup, in which the USA is testing illegal warfare and advanced technology…
2. Flight 123
Probably one of the most heartbreaking on the list, the fatal crash of Japanese Airline Flight 123, has gone down in history as one of the worst single-aircraft accidents of all time. Exploding just 12 minutes after take off, the aircraft suffered an engineering problem due to a faulty repair several years prior. Crashing into Mount Takamagahara, casualties included all 15 crew members and 505 of 509 passengers, meaning four people survived the deadly incident. However, it was the recorded voices of the pilot and the team that showed the sheer terror of what a plane crash must feel like, with the captain’s tireless efforts to save everybody on board forever captured. Often called the Titanic of the aviation world, Flight 123 will be forever remembered for such an unnecessary turn of events, with the tireless efforts of the team that tried to combat other people’s failings.
1. Deadly Sounds Of Hurricane Ike
With the USA no stranger to hurricanes, we can often forget how interesting they are in terms of science, rather than that of an irritating or a deadly force to be reckoned with. Damaging, destructive and absolutely terrifying, hurricanes are not only out to eliminate, but they sound extremely scary too. That’s right, captured on tape during the havoc endured by Hurricane Ike in 2008, the recordings were just as frightening; making you feel as if you had been thrust into the middle of the eye of the hurricane itself. With the wind howling, trees breaking and distant screams, the recording is rather like a taping of hell, surrounded by panic and destruction. One of the worst hurricanes in history, hurricane Ike lead to a number of deaths, as well as missing people. Causing tremendous damage, the name Ike was officially retired and never to be used again.