The Sounds of the Cemetery, 2014

I wanted to take a second to share with everyone the audio that I used in this year's yard haunt.

I'm always on the lookout for the next great track to use in my haunt, and I usually gravitate toward dark ambient tracks. They provide a dark and creepy sound that fills the yard, yet manages to stay in the background, not becoming the focus. I find that these kinds of tracks support the visual aspect of the haunt perfectly. A constant, unrecognizable sound that instills atmospheric dread and discomfort.

A week or two before Halloween, I discovered the track that would be used for the main cemetery audio. I honestly can't remember how exactly I stumbled upon this track, but once I heard it, I knew that was the track to use.

Pioneering dark ambient artist Jeff Greinke has been composing music since 1984, but it was a track from his 1992 release Lost Terrain that really caught my attention. His track The Moor sets a perfect mood of layered dread that slowly creeps from the dark corners of the cemetery. A truly eerie track that waited 22 years to be used in my Halloween setting!

On top of this main track echoing throughout the front yard, I used a support track for my front porch crypt. I picked this track solely for the purpose of supporting my newest prop, Le Cadavre de Vodoun. When I heard this track, I new that it would fit perfectly as it swirled out from beneath the coffin, enveloping the two figures shrouded in foggy darkness (my mom and aunt!) as they handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters...

Alongside dark ambient, another go-to for audio inspiration for me has been horror movie soundtracks. The genre has been very popular lately, with stellar releases and re-releases coming out from great labels like Death Waltz, Mondo and Waxwork.

In September, Death Waltz released The Equestrian Vortex, a 10-inch record with tracks composed by Andrew Liles, using audio cues from the 2012 film, Berberian Sound Studio. While the prospect of a blue and yellow swirled 10-inch record excited me, hearing the cut from side two, Lord, We Beseech You stopped me in my tracks. Not so much a structured audio track as a long, demonic repetitive female chanting that added a whole new depth of creepiness to the crypt.

And unfortunately, I couldn't find the track online, so to hear it at Death Waltz, you have to first click on this link. On the menu to the left, click on the "Listen" tab. Then click on the little blue arrow icon next to "Side 2. Lord, We Beseech You" and be prepared to be creeped out.

Together, these two tracks added the perfect underlying effect of dread that really supported the visual punch of my yard haunt. Over the past couple of years, I have really focused more on the audio aspect of my haunt and I no longer use the traditional "spooky sounds" tracks. I think going outside the standard audio selections can really take your haunt to a frightening, new level of terror and unease.



Mark Faucett said...

Excellent finds!

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