Halloween Sound Effects, Spooky Songs, Scary Voice Effects - 3 Ways to Make Horror Content Pop
Audio is what makes or breaks horror content. You can have the most macabre, menacing prosthetic effects; the most devilish, disgusting gory details. But without equally fiendish audio, your content could be dead in the water:
Halloween Sound Effects
Halloween has a ton of iconic horror sounds. Let’s break them down:
What Sound is Associated with Halloween?
Expected Halloween sound effects can differ depending on your target audience. Younger viewers or listeners often think about creatures around the holiday; a well-placed Halloween Bat sound effect, or some Halloween spider sound effects, for example.
Older audiences will associate more horror-centric, jump-scare sounds with Halloween. You’ve got the classic Halloween scream sound effect:
But also opportunities to use everyday sounds suddenly, for dramatic effect. A simple alarm bell timed right on a scene transition or jump cut, will yield a trademark Halloween alarm sound. It’s all about context!
Where Can I Get Free Sound Effects?
There are many websites offering free effects, and most of them will have Halloween SFX like scary sounds and creepy noises. Be careful, though - while free to download, many of these sounds are not completely royalty-free. Always go with a reputable provider to avoid possible content claims and copyright strikes.
You’ll also want somewhere that has easily searchable, high-quality horror sound effects. We recommend trying out SFX Cellar. Not only are the sounds both royalty-free and free-to-use, but it also has AI-assisted searching, a favoriting system, and a useful ‘find similar’ feature:
What is the Most Famous Sound Effect?
It’s probably the wilhelm scream, and not just because that keeps our theme of horror going! You’ll find it everywhere, from Star Wars to Red Dead Redemption 2.
For horror-specific famous sound effects, it’s hard to give the award to any specific sound. A more useful way to think about it is to think of classic, famous scenarios. What chase scene is complete without a rattling doorknob:
Shrieking and creaking haunted house sounds, like this one included in our free Halloween SFX pack:
Or some good old metal-on-concrete action:
What is the Creepiest Instrument?
Many people would say the Theremin. Via two antennas, an ethereal and creepy sound can be created quite easily. Becoming a master theremist takes time, but you can hear the instrument on horror films from just about every era. The 40s and 50s were rife with theremin sounds, like in The Red House (1947) and The Thing from Another World (1951), but you also hear it in the 00s and beyond. Monster House (2006) instilled the sound in many childhood imaginations, with films such as The Machinist (2004) showing the instrument had a place in more psychological dramas.
What is the Scariest Sounding Instrument?
While the theremin may create creepy sounds, nothing holds a candle to some good old-fashioned strings when it comes to pure scare factor. Often, the ambiance is what directs the sense of horror in a piece of content; you can hear distorted strings in many ambient tracks. Here’s a good example from SFX Cellar’s Halloween free pack:
You should also think of the voice as an instrument of scary noise. A collection of demonic whisperings can be transformed into super-effect background ambiance, or cut into smaller snippets for a specific scary sound to accompany on-screen actions. Again, here’s a good example from the free pack we linked above:
Pretty much every big horror franchise has instantly recognizable music. That’s not just for easy marketing, as it also enriches the horrifying moments within the game or movie.
For copyright free Halloween music, we’ll be using examples from Music Cellar’s Halloween Nightmares album. It’s free, ready to download, and has a mix of spooky songs that cover many different horror scenarios. From classic Halloween music to rock Halloween songs, you can also find other horror albums on Music Cellar! They’re a lot easier than making your own from scratch, but don’t ignore the power of making sounds from household items.
What Are Some Spooky Halloween Songs?
If you need some music for Halloween content, first decide on a subgenre or target audience. Halloween songs for kids, for example, need to be fun, instead of downright disturbing:
Still a spooky, classic Halloween song, but more than suitable. When it needs to be, however, Halloween music can be terrifying. The aptly named ‘Nightmare Machine’ is a perfect step up:
You can also go for a more modern sound. Halloween music loves to play off of childhood memories, but adding in some contemporary genre traits can create useful effects:
Basically, you’re off to a good start if you’re researching spooky songs - but make sure they fit the content they’re being applied to!
What is the Spookiest Song Ever?
Everyone will have a different answer here. The best Halloween songs play off some core fear or phobia, and everyone is scared by different things, in different ways. Our advice would be to create a Halloween playlist of spooky music, drawn from threads you read on Reddit, chats with friends, or discussions in YouTube comments. Once you whittle that down, see how it applies to your content.
It may be worth adding some ambiance from SFX Cellar, too, as having solely music in scenes could sound jarring. For instance:
If your story is set in a remote seaside town, with a rundown funfair on the pier, that combo would work well. A happy Halloween music, with disturbing characteristics It all depends, as we said before, on context! The scariest song ever depends on what it’s paired with.
What is the Number One Halloween Song of All time?
Another question, another non-answer; it depends! Many people would say John Carpenter’s Halloween Movie Song/Theme:
The franchise helped cement Halloween as a time for movie monsters and mayhem, instead of just superstition and trick-or-treating. The best Halloween songs have often come with movies, after Carpenter’s foray into horror.
Just be careful. These iconic tracks are not pieces of royalty free Halloween music. They’re haunted music pieces alright, but they’ll also haunt your YouTube channel if it gets struck!
What Makes a Song a Halloween Song?
Usually, it’s the time of release or association with a specific horror franchise. If the iconic Thriller video didn’t exist, would the track be known as one of the top Halloween songs? Probably not. Scary Halloween Music is often creepy, but only credited as such because it was used on a certain film.
The best example of this would be Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. It was a renowned minimalist track, that then transformed into The Exorcist’s theme of choice. It’d be impossible to drive the two pieces of media apart now: Tubular Bells is one of many Halloween themed songs, and that will not change. It even defined a whole genre of instrumental Halloween music, and remains one of the quintessentially classic Halloween music pieces.
Halloween Voice Effects
A scary voice effect is a mainstay of horror. Whether it’s a creepy stalker with a scary voice saying hello, or a more subtle ghost voice effect, adding some Halloween SFX to your dialogue will help your content.
How do you get a Spooky Voice?
A lot of scary voices, like Halloween ghost sounds, are done mainly through acting. Voice artists can shape their tone and alter their cadence, creating sinister effects with no extra tools.
You can always use a Halloween voice changer to accentuate these effects, however. Many people Google questions like ‘is there an app to sound like Ghostface?’ and there is! Voice Changer.
Ghostface, for example, is a mix of a scary hacker voice and some telephone effects. You can find profiles like ‘VHS’ and ‘90s Robot’ on Voice Changer, mix them with a little acting, and get a super similar effect. Just adjust the intensity, and you’ll be able to switch between Scream and Scary Movie styles in no time!
How do you make your voice sound like a zombie?
Zombie-style effects are really easy to do with a tool like Voice Changer. Just deepening your voice with a preset like ‘Deep Voice’ can improve attempts at a Halloween scary sound, or going all-in on a Corpse voice changer style effect can be done in seconds by turning the dial.
To add some extra gravel from the grave, check out the Monster, Ghost or Giant filters included with Voice Changer. Loud scary noise effects, made easy. There’s even a ‘Crypt’ setting, if you want voices to reverberate like on your chosen holloween music.
How Can I Make My Voice Sound Like a Monster?
The aforementioned Voice Changer actually has two specific profiles for this: Monster and Monster (Small). Think about how large the monster being portrayed is, then just select the corresponding profile. As always, they’ll be helped by a bit of pure voice acting, but you’ll be able to get your monster sound in no time.
Where to Go Next?
Download the free Halloween SFX pack over on SFX Cellar! 17 super useful sounds, from unsettling drones to ambience to accompany songs for Halloween. Scary noises can also be found by searching for the specific things you need, and everything’s always royalty-free!
Music Cellar recently released an exclusive, free Horror album, packed with spooky Halloween music for your content. Good Halloween songs that are royalty-free are hard to come by, but not if you download this free album. From creepy Halloween music to fun Halloween songs for kids, you’ll find something you love. And, if you don’t, check out Music Cellar’s other albums for lots more choice.
You can start a free trial for Voice Changer, and try out everything it has to offer before becoming a full subscriber. Use it to test some voices, apply horror effects to dialogue, and boost the scare factor of your podcast, video, or audiobook. There are a bunch of filters that cover horror, household scenarios, creatures, archetypes, and beyond!
The All Access Suite
Get premium versions of SFX and Music Cellar, with higher quality, unlimited downloads, and finetuned metadata. Receive the ERA Bundle Pro, a collection of audio repair and optimization plugins to solve any audio issue, and improve any audio track. You’ll also get a full version of Voice Changer! It’s the best way to save if you plan on using multiple accusonus tools in your content creation process. Start a free trial now, or watch this quick video for more info: