Why Are Certain Sounds Scary?
Nonlinear sounds are typified by abrupt changes in frequency, discordant harmonies, and a tendency to go outside the normal range of a voice or instrument. Composers seem to gravitate towards them in horror films; animals make them when they are alarmed or afraid.
from It's Okay To Be Smart
Key Facts In This Video
Fear is an instinctual response that helped our ancestors to survive and reproduce. (1:22)
Your sense of hearing is never truly shut off, even when you're asleep. (2:33)
Scary movies tend to contain more nonlinear sounds, such as rapid frequency jumps and nonstandard harmonies. (3:46)