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What makes a sound eerie

  1. Sep 29, 2009 #1

    DavidSnider

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    What makes a sound "eerie"

    Any ideas why droning sounds, echos, etc give us the creeps?
     
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  3. Oct 1, 2009 #2

    lisab

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    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    I don't think those sounds are inherently creepy, but we've been conditioned by scary movies to associate them with creepiness.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2009 #3
    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    I would say that it is a sound that you can not immediately identify and induces feelings of panic or worry. A sound that stimulates your fight or flight response perhaps.
     
  5. Dec 18, 2009 #4
    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Less-lethal_weapon

    Eerie sounds probably contain low frequency components below the range of human hearing that cause nausea, loss of bowel control and other symptoms associated with fear and disgust.

    Scary movies are scary mostly because there is no audio from the scene, only the creepy background music. In real life it would be almost impossible for a monster, homicidal maniac, etc. to sneak up on you in the dark because you would hear him. But in the movies, the victim is always taken completely by surprise when the villain grabs her from behind.

    The military has done experiments on sneaking up on sentries and they found that, basically, it doesn't work - even elite soldiers often fail to sneak up on the Gomer Pyle of the outfit. But in the movies all you hear is creepy music and then - gotcha!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  6. Dec 18, 2009 #5
    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    I agree it should be hard to sneak up on someone who is on the alert. However I once covered several yards rapidly in the woods during a paintball game to sneak up on my friend, who was laying down facing away at an angle on open ground. I quickly moved to point blank range and said "SURRENDER" and totally startled and embarassed the dude. He gave up without my having to fire a shot. Very gratifying.

    Sounds that were unidentified in the dark when I was a kid were beyond eerie, and I loath creepy horror music.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2009 #6

    arildno

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    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    Well, that could be readily be controlled for, by playing them before a group of individuals not used to scary movies.

    Besides, who really gets scared by scary movies??
     
  8. Dec 19, 2009 #7
    Re: What makes a sound "eerie"

    Scary music is scarier with your eyes closed!

    Read more Here
     
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