Created By: Goldfritha on May 20, 2011 Last Edited By: NightShade96 on June 10, 2017

What Is That Sound

Mysterious noise

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What was that sound? It can be hard to tell if it was even something human. Prone to happen at night, or otherwise in the dark, especially in the Haunted House, the Abandoned Area and the like, all places where wandering off is probably foolish.

Has a magnetic attraction for characters, even ones who are not the Fearless Fool. An opening not so innocuous as Follow the White Rabbit.

Repetition, especially if no one ever figures out what it was, can turn it into Hell Is That Noise.


  • In The Secret Garden, Mary hears a strange sound like crying. She is told it's the wind, or one of the servants crying, but she tracks it down and finds Colin.
Live-Action TV
  • In one episode of Star Trek DS 9, Quark spends a shuttle trip trying to work out what a buzzing sound is that only he can hear. Turns out it is a bomb.
Web Comics

Web Original
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • May 20, 2011
  • May 20, 2011
    err nm this is definitely ^
  • May 20, 2011
    Overlap is possible but not necessary
  • May 22, 2011
    Also takes the form of "What's that noise?"
  • May 22, 2011
    Web Original:
  • May 23, 2011
    This is just Hell Is That Noise. The only difference stated in the description is that HITN is this YKTTW, but repeated, which is odd, since HITN doesn't require any kind of repetition (though I can see how one might think so due to a few ambiguous phrases on HITN).
  • May 23, 2011
    Hell Is That Noise is required to be creepy, and frightening, and to haunt you. There are plenty of mysterious noises that don't do any of this. And Hell Is That Noise doesn't require it to be mysterious.
  • May 23, 2011
    Then it's a Ridiculously Similar Trope. The line between "creepy" and "mysterious" is not well-defined as is likely to be completely ignored when adding examples.
  • May 24, 2011
    And, as is stated in the Hell Is That Noise trope, its purpose is to drive you crazy, and this, to draw you somewhere.
  • June 5, 2011
    ^^ The difference is that, uh, in the first case the characters react by being scared and in the second by trying to discover what it is?
  • June 5, 2011
  • June 5, 2011
    In one episode of Star Trek DS 9, Quark spends a shuttle trip trying to work out what a buzzing sound is that only he can hear. Turns out it is a bomb.
  • June 5, 2011
    Could be tropeable, but make it more distinct from Hell Is That Noise, for example by requiring that the noise be relevant to the plot, and that the characters actually investigate. Also, as mentioned, the sound doesn't have to be creepy and haunting.
  • June 6, 2011
    Yeah, if you're going to go forward with this, the description needs a massive rewrite. Right now the distinction between this and Hell Is That Noise is not only explained poorly, but completely wrong (HITN has nothing to do with repetition).

    Furthermore, the examples don't really have anything to do with each other. "Any noise that someone doesn't recognize" isn't really a tropeable topic.
  • June 6, 2017
    Title violates No New Stock Phrases.
  • June 7, 2017
    Mysterious Noise, which is the laconic now, would work better as a new title that doesn't violate No New Stock Phrases.
  • June 10, 2017
    I back Mysterious Noise and Hell Is That Noise should be renamed as its title is very missleading.

    • In Until Dawn when Ashley falls behind when the group is exploring the tunnel, she can either rejoin them, or investigate a mysterious noise she hears in a side path. When she investigates the noise she might find out that it was the Wendigo who will then tear her head of. Then Chris, who was behind Ashley, will hear the same noise and if you are Genre Blind or sadistic enough, you can do the exact same thing to him as well.
    • In the Hitman games starting with Blood Money 47 can throw coins or other items to make NPC's check out the sound.
      • In Hitman 2016 you can even unlock a special device that plays a beeping noise to lure NPC's to it.
  • June 10, 2017
    This is about noises that leads to the plot, right? It seems like it doesn't have to be scary unlike Hell Is That Noise.
  • June 10, 2017
    Someone should grab this.