Whispering Ghosts

There's something about horror movies and that annoying and/or creepy whispering noise in the background. It seems to simply be a soundtrack thing; seldom do the characters actually hear it. Maybe it indicates that the supernatural horror is nearby? Perhaps it's simply indicative of the characters' paranoia? Who knows, but everyone uses it.


  • The American remake of Shutter was both extremely egregious and random in its use of the whispers. Hell, the whispers were used both so often and in such strange contexts that they were more likely indicative of the ghost not being present in the scene.
  • Friday the 13th (1980) has the "ki ki ki ma ma ma" leitmotif. Yeah, probably the Ur-Example considering how that movie predated most other uses.
  • Used in The Amityville Horror (2005). Here they symbolize the late Ketchum messing with the husband's head.
  • Whenever a Dementor shows up in the Harry Potter movies, whispers are heard in the background.
    • Also, whispering can be heard from the arch in the Department of Mysteries.
  • Lots of this in the background noise for Black Swan, along with what sounds like fluttering wings, to symbolize the protagonist's mental state.
  • In The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow, unintelligible whispering and echoing voices mumble and sussurate over the opening credits and through a pan over several Fictional Documents owned by an Occult Detective until settling on a photo (which contains evidence of a Mystery Cult), fading out when the opening notes of the soundtrack play. The whispering begins again during the closing credits.

Live-Action TV
  • Lost, for apparently no reason but to be creepy. But wait! It probably means something after all!
    • Actually, the whispers are caused by people who died on the island and can't "move on". So, in fact, they are literally Whispering Ghosts.
  • In Teen Wolf, one of Lydia's powers is to hear the whispers of other banshees and, presumably, the dead.

  • While on a derelict space station in Galaxy of Fear: Ghost of the Jedi, Tash hears these even though no one else does. It's a while before she can better understand the ghost.
    • Army of Terror has the Kivan wraiths furiously whispering "Mammon! Murderer!" when a group that includes someone who helped kill them shows up.
  • A sign of paranormal activity in Lockwood & Co.. Only those with the particular Talent can hear them.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, Bogna can hear bodies of the dead whispering to her about how they died. It helps her work as a pathologist, even though they're cryptic sometimes.

Tabletop Games
  • In Wraith The Oblivion, Pandemonium is the wraithly art used to create the sorts of things that go down during classic hauntings. One of its powers, "The Haunting", found in Wraith: the Great War, allows you to produce basic effects like this.

Video Games

Web Original
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the Sinlarine can hear and see ghosts, allowing them to communicate with the spirits of the departed. This is why they are often referred to as ghost whisperers.

Real Life
  • Employed in Ripley's Haunted Adventure by means of sound positioning so that as you walk through one the hallways, you start getting voices whispering from right behind you.