A couple of days ago I went to Walibi Fright Night with my cousins. The entire month of October the theme is Halloween and there are Haunted Houses and various scare zones where people scare the hell out of you.
We were planning to visit a Haunted House called Jefferson Manor. According to their site it’s the least scariest house on the premises.
I’m not a fan so I’ve been nervous ever since I knew we were going there. Ofcourse the park is packed and people are excited, you have those who are scared and those who are playing it cool.
Throughout the park creepy music is playing and eventhough it’s playing softly in the background, it does add this extra feeling to the whole vibe.
Waiting in line for the Haunted House was already an adventure, cause everyone is nervous, having no clue what to expect. Entering the unknown makes your imagination run wild and the scary music plus the actors doing their best to intimidate you is not helping you make you feel at ease.
Once you’re inside the house there’s no turning back. People dressed up as ghosts and demons popping up everywhere, people screaming, but we also laughed a lot cause of the way we react to things. If people could only see us jump, scream, crawl.....o boy. Of the entire day this was the best experience and I’m happy that I did eventually enter that house.
But what made the experience scary? Ofcourse the influence of our own imagination and the setting plays a big part, but just like in the movies it’s the noise, the sounds, the scary music is what makes it more thrilling. But what is scary music?
We associate certain sounds and melodies with situations or experiences and when we connect those factors it creates an emotion. It can cause, happiness, sadness, excitement, fear.
There’s a group of people who researched this topic and after examining more than a 100 movie soundtracks they discovered that nonlinear sound (a brand of physics and acoustics dealing with sound waves of sufficiently large amplitude) is an important part of scenes that are meant to stir up fear and negative feelings. It can cause emotional distress and it is disturbing and harsh to the ears. Think "Psycho," "Jaws," "The Shining," "Halloween."
Noise doesn’t necessarily mean loudness, but can be described best as a disturbance in sound. As a result it evokes strong feelings.
Ever heard of the Tritone? It’s two notes that are three whole steps apart (like F and B), also known as diabolus in musica (devil in music) in the Middle Ages. Certain combinations of notes, like the tritone, have been carefully avoided throughout history so as not to be associated with any kind of negative emotion.
It proofs again the strong influence music has. Most of the times those “scary” tunes are the ones that stick in your head. I bet each one of us once took a swim in the sea and in our heads the Jaws theme was playing. The combination of sounds/experience/feeling is what creates the memories and what can also trigger your imagination. Music can take you back to a certain time in your life.
So tell me....what piece of music made an impression on you? Leave your comments below.