What makes a sound eerie

  • #1
DavidSnider
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What makes a sound "eerie"

Any ideas why droning sounds, echos, etc give us the creeps?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
lisab
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I don't think those sounds are inherently creepy, but we've been conditioned by scary movies to associate them with creepiness.
 
  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
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In 2004 author Jon Ronson revealed a military report titled "Non-Lethal Weapons: Terms and References." There were a total of 21 acoustic weapons listed, in various stages of development, including the Infrasound ("Very low-frequency sound which can travel long distances and easily penetrate most buildings and vehicles...biophysical effects: nausea, loss of bowels, disorientation, vomiting, potential internal organ damage or death may occur. Superior to ultrasound...").

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.

I don't think those sounds are inherently creepy, but we've been conditioned by scary movies to associate them with creepiness.

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!
 
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  • #5
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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.
 
  • #6
arildno
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I don't think those sounds are inherently creepy, but we've been conditioned by scary movies to associate them with creepiness.
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??
 
  • #7
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Scary music is scarier with your eyes closed!

Read more Here
 

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