Asbjoern Andersen


Halloween is just around the corner, and the days are getting colder and darker here in Denmark.

So I dimmed the lights, sat down with a cup of the blackest coffee we have in the studio and picked out some of the libraries that would work particularly well for horror projects.

They’re great for those of you working on projects where you want to give your audience the chills – and perhaps make them jump a bit.

Oh, and at the end of this guide, I’ll tell you how you can make eight creepy horror sound effects yourself. But let’s start out with the 13 libraries first – here we go:

Eerie atmospheres
 
  • Drones & Moods Drones Play Track 40 sounds included $40

    40 Two Minute Long Drones

    Drones are essential for every sound designer and composer. Combine and layer Drones to add more depth, tension, and suspense to your track. Drones can act as a great background to any sci-fi scene and make your music more interesting.

    Bonus:
    This library includes the Suburb Rain SFX collection at no extra cost - featuring almost 50 minutes of rain recordings
When you want to create an unsettling atmosphere, this library of 40 2-minute drones will come in handy – check out the demo and hear for yourself.

 

Shock Effects
 
  • The Impact Collection is a library of 304 impacts, whooshes, swells, static, rises and zaps all designed with Trailers and Promos in mind.

    These sounds were designed using anything I could hit, bang, rumble and smash. In the process I destroyed a couple tools and put a healthy dent in a spare refrigerator, not to mention the smashing of dozens of plates as well as my neighbor’s leftover ceramic tiles.

    After recording all of my source material I got to work on building pre-made impacts in various ways as well as adding a healthy dose of plug-in abuse. My Genelecs may never be the same! Thanks for listening.

Want to shock your audience? This collection features more than 300 sounds that will help you do just that.

 

Creatures
 

When you need some otherworldly creature sounds, Russell Gorsky’s aptly titled ‘Creatures’ library could be just the ticket. It features a total of 242 growls, hisses, roars, screeches.

 

Gore
 
  • A collection of over 530 96k/24bit HD Gore sound effects that comes with an additional 262 48k/24bit sounds FREE!  Come and get your body damage galore.  Punches, bone, blood, intestines, goops, splats, flesh movement, chewing, tearing, snapping, breaking, blade sounds… It's BLOODY CARNAGE!

Need blood-dripping sounds? The Gore Toolkit HD gives you almost 800 sounds total to work with – including sounds of punches, bone, blood, intestines, goops, splats, flesh movement, chewing, tearing, snapping and breaking.

 

Strange sounds
 
  • Drones & Moods LiquidMetal – Waterphone Play Track 263 sounds included
    5 out of 5
    $71

    The LiquidMetal – Waterphone SFX pack contains a lot of great material for your next deep impact horror project, when you need eerie, suspenseful and deep sounds that bring the fear out in you and your audience.

    We hit, rattled, bowed, snaped and swashed the real Waterphone – a unique instrument – for really formidable sounds.

The Waterphone is a unique instrument – and it emits some very eerie and unsettling sounds. The Soundcatcher managed to record the original Waterphone in this library featuring 263 sounds.

 

Alone in the dark
 
  • Drones & Moods Kyma Ambiences – vol.1 Play Track 56 sounds included, 112 mins total From: $49

    Kyma Ambiences [USO003] is the third sound effects bundle created by Matteo Milani.

    The generation of these “Artificial Reality Ambiences” starts entirely in Symbolic Sound Kyma from the processing of white and pink noise by filtering – in the time/spectral domains – and convolving these sources with custom FM, additive, formant and granular synthesis.

 The composition’s resource of sound material is drawn solely from these processed stochastic sound elements: coloured noise is a raw material already full of life and can be sculpted into a variety of temporal forms, movements and textures.

    The interaction with Kyma was typical of a composer who explored a device’s potential for sound transformation like a musical instrument. The goal was to obtain an organic and acoustic quality using only a restricted sound source, in order to evoke real spatial characteristics attached to each invented sound.



    The “Kyma Ambiences vol.1” sound effects collection is published @ 96kHz (native) – and is also available as dual-layer separated “Elements”, suitable for recombinant stratification, varispeed and spatial positioning in the surround field (for a total of 112 files @ 96kHz).

If you’re looking to instill a feeling of desolation and loneliness, Matteo Milani has generated some truly strange soundscapes for you in his Kyma Ambiences library – check out the demo.

 

Screams
 
  • Horror Scream Collection Play Track 441 sounds included $25

    Introducing the Scream Collection (A Tribute To Wilhelm). This library pays homage to the infamous Wilhelm Scream first heard in the film Distant Drums as well as dozens, if not hundreds, of other films. This compilation includes 441 vocal effects ranging from startled gasps to all out screams.

Blood-curdling screams are of course a vital part of any horror project.

And in Bruce Bueckert’s Scream library, you get no fewer than 441 vocal sound recordings (screams + many other strange vocal sounds) to work with.

 

Blades
 
  • Blades is a collection of 54 audio files containing a whopping 260 individual audio clips. This collection gives you sheath sounds, blade scrapes, clanks, hits, schings, and yes, even scissors snipping. Best of all, if you need 10 sword hits in the scene, you only have to import one or two tracks.

When your project calls for a bit of knife-wielding, David Fienup’s library has you covered.
His Blades library gives you sheath sounds, blade scrapes, clanks, hits, schings, and yes, even scissors snipping (!). A total of 260 sounds are included.

 

Smashing and breaking
 
  • We recorded an old abandoned school and gained a lot of nice and very unique sound fx for your next sounddesign project. You’ll get up to 1.26 GB / 172 mono & stereo files, tagged (for trouble free use in your loved data base program) and carefully mastered in 24Bit/96kHz.

Chances are that there’ll be some destruction going on in your project – and this library features 172 audio recordings of things breaking, recorded with natural ambiences at an abandoned school.

 

Odd strings
 
  • The Soundcatcher is proud to announce a new sound design library called “Desolated Strings & Wood“. The found Markneunkirchen Zither from Wernitzgruen was in a very poor condition. I collected it and wrecked it like there was no tomorrow.

    You´ll get 272 stereo files (1.48GB total), tagged for trouble-free use in your favorite database program and carefully mastered in 24Bit/96kHz.

The zither is capable of making some really odd noises – and this library features 800+ sounds in 88 files of stringy weirdness. Hear some of the examples in the demo above.

 

Creepy resonances
 
  • Horror The Metal Shelf Play Track 134 sounds included $20

    This library features recordings of a metal shelf being shaken, slammed, scraped, and other torturous things.

    In this library, you’ll find metal slams, moans, squeals, shakes, taps, and sounds of rocks being poured over it.

    There are lots of nice resonant sounds filled clangorous textures. Great for creating creepy tones for suspense and tension.

    This library was recorded with a Barcus Berry Contact Mic going into a Barcus Berry 4000 preamp and a Sound Devices 702.

    Bonus:
    This library includes the Suburb Rain SFX collection at no extra cost - featuring almost 50 minutes of rain recordings
Sound designer Russell Gorsky managed to get a surprising number of creepy, resonant noises out of an old metal shelf. It sounds a lot scarier than it looks!

 

Scary squeals
 
  • Terrifying squeals, grunts, barks, and sneeze from adult pigs weighing up to 400 lbs, and ambiences from the stables. The second part is recordings of smaller pigs (80 lbs) on the day they were picked up by truck to go you know where! The pigs knew exactly what was going on, which is represented in the sounds recorded.

    Needless to say, this library has been ear wrecking to put together, but the reward is 246 single files of pure pigs.

Ah, pigs – these creatures can emit some pretty horrific sounds indeed. Sound designer Mikkel Nielsen spent days on a farm recording terrifying squeals and grunts + ambience from the stables. Check out the demo to hear what he brought back with him.

Need more sounds?

If you need more sounds for your project, be sure to check out the many other sound libraries on A Sound Effect – click below to continue exploring:

View all libraries

 

Hope you found something useful above! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also create your own horrifying sound effects from scratch. Here are some ideas for doing just that, courtesy of David Filskov’s great list of sound effect ideas, and some clever sound designers:

How to create your own horror sounds

Bats flying

I used an umbrella opening and closing rapidly for the sound of bats flying one time… turned out great. I think I had to filter out some of the low frequency material, though.
-Tim Clarke

A pair of leather gloves flapped about is a good substitute for wings flapping when a bat takes off.
– Garry Taylor

Blood and guts being torn out

I know how to make a nice sound of blood and guts being torn out. Just make a milk pulp, put it into your mouth, and then try to say “Ghhhh”. Mix it with the end section of any water splash sample or add a sample where you’re moving out your hand from a bucket of water.
– Adam

Gore and squidge

Wet wash leather – fantastic for gore and squidge.
– Mark Estdale

Fruits! Especially tomatoes (for splatters) and potatoes (for wet crunchy sounds). Another classic is making a goo with eggs and dip rags and paper towels into them and play.
– Gustaf Grefberg

Rat shrieks

Pitched-up chickens.
– Ben Burtt

Up-pitched kittens. Especially the screechy ones.
– Gustaf Grefberg

Stone coffin opening

Slide off the top of a toilet tank.
– Ben Burtt

Spirits screaming

Dolphin and sea-lion cries, other animal screams and human vocalizations.
– Ben Burtt

Tentacles, sliding

Get a few day’s worth of stubble on your face. Go somewhere real quiet and record running your hand and arm under your chin – it mixes in nice with the hairs on your arm. Or as I just found out, get a mouse mat with a rubberized or cloth surface and rub that under your chin :-) To further this idea maybe put some shaving gel on and take a credit card and lightly rub it across? That way you get bristly with a bit of slime.
– Dave Sullivan

Having just eaten a bowl of macaroni and cheese shells, I have to say it’s the most convincing tentacle sound I’ve ever heard. It also made the bowl harder to finish :-)
– Jay Semerad

Vocalization of monster

Metal pressed against dry ice.
– Paul Arnold

Slide a straw up or down in a McDonald’s large drink plastic lid. Try pitching it down and stretching it – and voilá! McZilla.
– Max Hodges

 

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THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
  • Foley Buttons, Switches & Levers Play Track 2000+ sounds included $35 $17.50

    This new library gets you a huge collection of all kinds of Buttons, Switches, Knobs, Levers, Sliders – that were pushed hard (and soft).

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  • Sci-Fi Polarity Play Track 975 sounds included $90

    Polarity delivers more than 950 sounds of electricity, science and technology – captured in several locations around the world, from electricity museums to science labs. About 50% of the library is all about electricity, with various types of Jacob's Ladders, Tesla Coils, Ruhmkorff lamp and all sorts of impactful bursts of energy.

    Then we go through welders, plasma spheres, 3D printers, starting to cover a more broad technology theme – like old phones, telegraphs, dynamo wheels, rotary dials, whirling watchers, alarm, lab centrifuges, something scientists call a roller and a rocker, servo sounds, neon lights, a wimshurst machine and sparklers.

    Many sounds in this section were captured from vintage equipment, from a 1928's tram to old telephone switchboards, high voltage levers and control surfaces.

    All content was recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K, a couple of Sennheiser 8040 and a Neumann 81i, translating into final assets that have plenty of ultrasonic content, ready for the most extreme manipulation.

  • Mechanical Cyborg Collection Play Track 3000+ sounds included
    5 out of 5
    $55

    The Cyborg Collection features a wide assortment of over 3000 Sci-Fi sound effects ranging from small user interfaces to massive robots.

    Everything from simple droids to powerful plasma rifles and futuristic transformations are included in this 3.2GB library. Check out the track listing here to see the variety of robots, interfaces, weaponry, vehicles and spacecraft included in the collection.

Explore the full, unique collection here
 
 
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