You have the perfect costumes. You've got decorations for a frightfully fun Halloween. But you're not quite done.
What's missing? Some spooky tunes and creepy noises that really do make the bump in the night. We have five tricks to making Halloween noise that has you covered whether you're a digital music downloader or a do-it-yourselfer.
You don't really have to look hard to find the perfect soundtrack to your Halloween night. When creating your Halloween party playlist (or the soundtrack to your Halloween day and night), look to your favorite scary movies for inspiration. Here are just a few to ponder:
- "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
- "Twilight Zone"
- "Friday the 13th"
- "The Addams Family"
- "Theme from 'Dracula'"
One fun way to get into a delightfully frightening spirit is to compile a playlist of Halloween party music. Mix together scary and fun, danceable songs for a well-rounded list. Start by diving into your own music collection (chances are pretty good you'll at least have Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in there), then expand your music search to Halloween CD compilations. Online digital music sites, such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, usually create special themed playlists for holidays. With the click of your mouse you can buy, and instantly own, pre-packaged playlists that include tunes ranging from Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash" and The Who's "Boris the Spider" to the Rocky Horror Picture Show classic, "Over at the Frankenstein Place."
Not all Halloween noise needs to come from ghostly sound effects and scary tunes. Get everyone into the Halloween spirit with spooky stories, played either on the stereo or television to set the mood.
Choose age-appropriate DVDs or CDs; "Arthur's Scary Stories" is a hit with the younger crowd while teens and adults can get their fill of psychopaths and creepy kiddos with movies like "Scream", "Friday the 13th" or pretty much any Stephen King audio book.
Feeling more creative than popping in a DVD? Get adrenaline pumping with your own ghost stories. We'll get you started: "It was a dark and stormy night..."
Professional Sound Effects
When you're looking for high quality spooky sound effects, start by looking in the same places you'd go to for music. Many music sellers - online or brick-and-mortar stores - also frequently stock CDs of scary sound effects. Look for royalty-free sound effects libraries and albums. If you can, browse albums online before you buy - it's easier to listen to samples of each track this way.
While there are a lot of free sound effects available online, buyer beware: Listen to a sample before you download, or risk being stuck with a less-than-blood curdling scream MP3.
DIY Sound Effects
Why spend money on sound effects when many are easy to record around your own house? Look to Foley artists and sound designers - they're the people who make movie and television sound effects, everything from the noise made when a match is lit to a thunderstorm - for tips and tricks. Here are some of the ones we found to be both easy and clever:
- Record ghostly footsteps by knocking the heels of your shoes together.
- Snapping carrots or celery can mimic the sound of breaking bones.
- Pop balloons and slam doors for loud surprises. Slinkys can do more than walk the stairs - jiggle them and they'll sound like rattling chains.
- Creepy moan sounds are even scarier when echoed through paper towel tubes or PVC tubing.
- And when it comes to evil cackles and blood curdling screams? Go ahead and let 'em rip.