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Scare Chord

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Stranded Visitor: [to Scientist] How big do [the shrews] get?
[creepy music plays]
Tom Servo: How big does that music make it sound?!

An eerie shadow moves across the hallway behind a character, or maybe the Not Quite Dead villain's eyes suddenly snap open. Whatever the case, it's a quiet event that's supposed to be shocking, but if the visual cue doesn't spook the audience, then the obligatory Scare Chord will do the trick.

A cousin to the Sting, the Scare Chord is a sudden, sharp sforzando of dissonance or sheer noise intended to make viewers jump clean out of their seats. The thing that separates it from a Cat Scare is that it's non-diegetic: nothing on-screen causes the noise; instead, it's added to the soundtrack as a way of eliciting a jolt in the audience, often preceded by a deliberate lull in both narrative and musical action.

(Music Theory nerdiness: the chord traditionally used in such a case, namely the diminished seventh, is inherently tense since it demands resolution to a more stable harmony yet implies more than one such potential resolution. When transposed in sequence, the chord is frequently added to old-timey Damsel in Distress scenes, now the subject of parody.)

Perhaps the most common addition to a Jump Scare, even more than a loud scream these days.

Often part of the Screamer Trailer. Compare "Psycho" Strings and Drone of Dread. Compare and contrast with Last Note Nightmare.


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  • Played for Laughs in that series of "scary" Verizon ads (i.e. "Towels are kinda scratchy!").
  • Referenced in this ad for bloody handprint shower curtains and bloody footprint bathmats on ThinkGeek.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Happens too many times to count in Psychological Horror like Elfen Lied, Monster, and Higurashi: When They Cry.
    • The original Umineko: When They Cry sound novels, where these techniques are used QUITE liberally. The first one happens when the victims of the first twilight are found in the garden shed, their face smashed. Thou shalt shit your pants.
    • Also the original novels of the When They Cry novels have almost perfected the act of causing the same effect as the Scare Chord without using music at all just by suddenly shutting off all sounds. This effect is quite nervewracking since it can come out of nowhere and it is always a sign that something very bad will happen.
  • Lucky Star used a Scare Chord in only one episode, which nevertheless made it to the released soundtrack with a title of "Gyaaaaaaaaa".
  • One episode of Ghost Hunt had Mai psychically experiencing the kidnapping and murder of another character. She couldn't scream, so somebody's violin screamed for her, and very convincingly.
  • In the first The Garden of Sinners movie, the moment Shiki opens her Glowing Eyes of Doom and initiates a Curb-Stomp Battle against a group of ghosts is accompanied by a Scare Chord, which quickly changes to Shiki's recurring theme.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, Russia's version of Maru Kaite Chikyuu has a well-placed scare cord, followed by,
    "Maru Kaite Chikyuu!/Maru Kaite Chikyuu./...Maru Kaite Chikyuu..."
    • "Draw a circle, that's the Earth, looking closely... KOLKOLKOL"
With the third Marukaite Chikyuu being said in possibly the scariest tone known to man.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Doctor Who audio adventure Dead Air does this several times. It's written like a recording rescued from a sunken ship, complete with out of tune, too-slow voices and frequent staccato bursts of sound and creepy record screechings.
  • The audiobook novella Hours (2012) features a couple of scare chords, done using an original sound effect which fades into a creepy musical jingle.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Strangely enough, used quite a bit in the soundtrack for How to Train Your Dragon. Be prepared to jump out of your seat a lot. In an interesting twist, a scare chord is used to start off one of the score's most popular and heartwarming tracks.
  • Wallace & Gromit:
    • The Curse of the Were-Rabbit puts a lampshade (... windowshade?) over his in a scene where thunder and lightning clashes whenever the characters say the word, "BULLET!" Annoyed, Lord Victor slams down the nearby windowshade, which stops the entire effect.
    • With the exception of A Grand Day Out, all of the shorts and The Movie have music in their title sequences which end on a Scare Chord.
  • Dinosaur: The scene where the head Velociraptor lunges at the camera.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Similarly to the Logo Joke seen (or rather, heard) in Alien³, the final note of the first part of "Out of the Penthouse, Off to the Race" is held in an intense crescendo; the scene in which that part plays is when Ralph notices Vanellope's artwork on the side of the game console, a realization that shows part of the movie's big twist and kicks off the obligatory Misfit Mobilization Moment.
  • Cars 3: The finale of “When All Your Friends Are Gone/Crash” is held in a rather horrible crescendo as Lightning is struggling to catch up to Storm; the moment when he begins to lose control is when that crescendo becomes a terrifying horror sting, which leads into him slamming into the wall hard enough to send him into the iconic crash that follows.
  • Dingo Pictures have their signature "DUNNN! of death" (as Phelous calls it), which sounds like a Blaster Beam. Often, it gets played at moments where it has no reason to be.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: The Prowler has a low, almost-demonic sounding screeching howl that punctuates nearly every move he makes, with part of it made from an elephant's trumpet.
  • Toy Story 2: Parodied when a girl's Barbie reveals the other half of her face (covered in garish decorations) to Stinky Pete, who is also about to get a "makeover".
    Barbie: She's an artist.
  • In Turning Red, this is heard when Mei and her friends hear that the concert they've worked so hard to attend conflicts with the date and time of the red moon ritual that Mei has also committed to, putting her in a bind. Cue Mei having a complete Freak Out.
  • Up: Can be heard during the latter half of the scene where we discover Muntz's true colors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Go ahead, pick any slasher movie. Psycho is probably the best-known example. Psycho's particular scare chord even has its own trope.
  • One of the Scream movies had a subversion where a guy opens a door accompanied by a Scare Chord... and nothing happens. Then Ghostface comes out of nowhere and kills him with no warning.
  • Jaws is the first film to prove that people can be scared of cellos. Duh-Dun... Duh-dun... Duh-dun...
  • Cult Classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) had lots of these, although it sounded more like the piano was being dropped off a building.
  • The first Spider-Man movie had a scene where Norman Osborn has a quick, half-second flashback to his transformation into the Green Goblin, accompanied by a jarring and extremely loud scare chord.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man has four of them in one scene, when Gwen is hiding from the Lizard. The first is in relatively quick succession of each other, followed by a long silence, making the viewer think that was all of them. Then the final and loudest one is when he suddenly appears in front of her.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street dropped a lot of the scare chords from the stage version, but left in the overpowering Scare Chord when the Beggar Woman is wandering in the shop— and Sweeney suddenly appears in the doorway, silhouetted.
    • Even louder, in the Final Sequence, when Sweeney kills the Judge.
  • John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) features an overpowering scare chord that sounds like a microphone held up to a speaker while being sucked into a black hole. It's VERY loud and jarring, the rest of the film is relatively quiet, and to top it all off, it's used in one of the most mundane Jump Scare moments ever: a guy walks in front of Fuchs. Frightening.
  • Like everything else, taken completely unseriously by Monty Python, as in the Knights Who Say Ni scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    Knight Who Says Ni: We demand... a shrubbery!
    [cue a very loud, screeching chord]
  • David Lynch loves these. See for example the first appearance of BOB in Twin Peaks, the hobo/monster behind the Winkie's dumpster in Mulholland Dr., or their extremely frequent use in Inland Empire. The orchestral chaos noise that occasionally punctuates Wild at Heart (driving up to visit Isabella Rossellini?) is a Badalamenti version of this.
  • The M. Night Shyamalan films The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village (2004), and Lady in the Water are rife with these.
  • Shortly after the car accident in The Orphanage.
  • The "Corpse Chords" that accompany a slam-cut glance at any of Samara's victims in the US remake of The Ring.
  • The Amityville Horror (2005) had so many of these that, if you replaced them with a bass drum, you could use the film's soundtrack as the beat to a piece of house/techno music.
  • Scare chords are used in Serenity, both during River's Stealth Hi/Bye moment in the beginning and when the Reavers attack.
  • There are a whole bunch of these in Kubrick's The Shining.
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)— the one that comes when the power goes out toward the end is the Scariest Chord of Them All.
  • Saw does this a lot. The first movie has an especially obnoxious one when Adam looks at the photo of Lawrence's family held hostage.
  • In The Exorcist III there is a long shot down a hall in an asylum. Nothing special is going on, the night guard is getting off his shift and a nurse is delivering medicine. As the nurse begins to walk away, the camera suddenly jumps to her end of the hall, and that is when somebody wrapped in white linen and wielding large scissors and a "scare chord symphony" comes from the other side of the hall with the blades raised high. After a millisecond of that, the scene finishes on a shot of a clean white headless Jesus statue.
  • Sure, it's a blatant ripoff of Carrie, and sure, probably everyone in the theater knows it's coming. But combined with some really excellent timing, the scare chord as the Inferi hand grabs Harry's in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie is going to make the entire theater jump a foot in the air. It doesn't help that they draaaag the scene out, feinting at least three times before it actually happens.
  • Every time James Bond hits the tarantula with his gun in Dr. No, there's a scare chord. The first time it just seems a little cheesy, but after that, the scene starts to be funny.
  • Drag Me to Hell uses this to a ridiculous degree. Even a drifting handkerchief that suddenly lands on a car's windshield makes a VERY LOUD Scare Chord. The people in the last row of the theater probably died of laughter after seeing everyone jump out of their seats during the séance scene when a demon's head suddenly zooms at the audience SCREAMING with a fire background..
  • I Am Legend does a similar thing with sound effects: Will Smith discussing Bob Marley. Then a nasty window-closing sound comes in, 1 to 3 seconds before the window is shown. And it's just before a tense sequence (his house being invaded).
  • Used frequently in Aliens, most effectively in the scene when Hicks pokes his head up into the ceiling and sees several aliens crawling upside-down towards him.
  • Used at one point in Planet Terror, where it sounds like someone mashing low notes on an old synthesizer.
  • After a long uneasy build-up, John Williams utilizes one of these to underscore the first sight of one of the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein has fun with this trope as a horror movie convention, using a horse's neigh as a scare chord every time the name "Frau Blucher" is mentioned. Finally, the hunchbacked assistant (Marty Feldman) says the name just to set off the horses.
    Igor: Blucher!
  • The Howling plays with this as well; in one scene there's a tracking shot with a sudden Scare Chord - at which point nothing happens, and then a scene or two later a character searching a file cabinet in a darkened office has a monster stand up behind her in total silence - wonderfully jarring.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, shortly after the reveal that "Judge Doom" is a toon, his voice builds higher in pitch until his eyes turn into daggers and pop out and the soundtrack jolts.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. After the children and parents board the Wonkatania, it is rowed along the chocolate river— and then goes through what seems to be a tunnel straight to Hell at an extremely fast speed, past a range of horrific images, topped off by Willy Wonka reciting a poem that would make Edgar Allan Poe shit his pants. Cue the Scare Chord at the words: "Is the grisly reaper mowing?". However, it is low-pitched and drawn out.
  • The 2009 film Dorian Gray. The first time we see the portrait in all its ugliness, it's not really that bad... Until the thing gasps horrifically and some petrifying music makes you fall back from your chair. Damn.
  • The Joker's chord in The Dark Knight. Chilling and ratchets up the tension. About the only time two notes have been considered Oscar worthy.
  • Youth in Revolt. An organ chord plays when Trent pulls out the letter incriminating Nick, only for the camera to reveal that it was just Mrs. Saunders, high on mushrooms, exploring the organ.
  • In Inception, when Ariadne is looking into Cobb's dream and sees Mal in the hotel room. Mal suddenly looks up at her and BAM! Out of your seat!
  • A scare chord accompanies some of would-be Presidential assassin Mitch Leary's appearances in In the Line of Fire.
  • A good example is in The Terminator, right after Kyle's Heroic Sacrifice, blowing up the Terminator using the last pipe bomb. When Sarah goes over to Kyle's dead body you can see a large chunk of the Terminator move slightly, then WHAM! right as it sits up and starts to chase her once again, barely moving using its only other arm. The scene is punctuated by a screeching chord that changes the tone of the scene from a Bittersweet Ending to a terrifying reminder that almost nothing gets in the Terminator's way.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service features one right when Fräulein Bundt pops out from under the sheets after Bond thought he was sneaking up on Ruby Bartlett instead. Cue a Tap on the Head and the screen becoming blurry.
  • Batman gets a few when attacking the mooks on the dock in Batman Begins, followed by some serious "Psycho" Strings.
  • The Raptors in Jurassic Park have a lot.
  • In X2: X-Men United, Pyro's leitmotif contains some scare chords, most evident when he uses his powers on the policemen.
  • Back to the Future Part II gives a scare chord when Griff calls Marty "chicken". It's the first time we hear of it.
  • Parodied in Back to the Future Part III when Doc Brown, startled by Marty, backs into an organ and accidentally plays one. Amusingly, as Marty approaches the Doc, he keeps scooting along the keyboard away from the younger man— resulting in the scare chord raising in pitch (and yet remaining on key).
  • In The Neverending Story, Gmork gets an absolutely terrifying one.
  • Whenever the happy, cheery Munchkin music in The Wizard of Oz starts to get more dissonant and chaotic, you know something bad is going to happen soon.
  • There is one near the beginning of Gravity. After their space shuttle is badly damaged, the two main characters inspect inside for survivors. They shine a flashlight inside to see that the hull has been breached. There is silence for several seconds, until the lifeless, frozen face of a female astronaut, not in a space suit and exposed to the vacuum, appears right in front of Sandra Bullock's character. Bullock screams, accompanied by a loud, prolonged glissando and tremolo of violins.
  • In Minority Report, Anderton's wife manages to get past the Precrime security using one of Anderton's previously removed eyes. She reveals this by plopping them down on top of one of the guards' pianos, thus causing the scare chord.
  • The overwhelming majority of the frights in The Wolfman (2010) are solely due to this, rather than anything that actually happens on screen.
  • Insidious - The title theme is a shrieking horde of violins, intentionally evoking the connotations of this trope.
  • Independence Day - Two of these can be heard within the timespan of a few minutes.
    • The first one occurs when Dr. Brackish Okun and a few medical assistants at Area 51 are attempting to remove the biomechanical suit from the unconscious alien and it suddenly rips open.
    • The second one occurs after the alien wakes up, kills the medical assistants plus Dr. Okun, and destroys most of the containment laboratory. With most of the room in a dense fog, President Whitmore gets near the glass separating the rooms when Dr. Okun's lifeless body abruptly appears from out of the fog right up against the glass.
  • Used very effectively in Dead Again, right after the film's Wham Line.
  • In Bitter Feast, the Villain Protagonist is a vengeful former television chef, so the score uses the sound of a knife hitting a chopping block in lieu of a conventional scare chord. It's only diegetic the first time.
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith almost used one after the Opening Crawl. In contrast to the other movies, in which the main theme fades into a quiet, atmospheric underscore, the original opening (heard on the soundtrack album) launched immediately into a brassy fanfare.
  • Shiva Baby: These are used all throughout the film to symbolize Danielle's increasing anxiety over the strong awkwardness of running into her ex Maya and other things.

  • Dave Barry parodies the use of this trope in World War II movies in Dave Barry Does Japan by concluding that “The Japanese would have won the war if the soundtrack hadn’t kept giving their position away.”

    Live-Action TV 
  • As if the scary mask isn't enough, the first Vanity Plate of the Russian TV company VID had five scare chords to go along with.
  • The Vanity Plate for Paramount Television in the early 1970s also featured a Sting so over-the-top that it could only be described as a Scare Chord — the plate is affectionately known as the "Closet Killer". Ironically it was considerably less scary than other vanity plates of the era, just a bit startling if you didn't know what to expect.

  • In one episode of 30 Rock, Devon Banks announces his arrival by saying a scare chord out loud—- "Bum-bum-bum." As Jack realizes he's in trouble the actual scare chord sounds.
  • Often parodied in Blackadder. For example in season 3 episode "Nob & Nobility", where the guest star expects to find a party, but instead stumbles on an empty dungeon. "Don't worry! In a minute we will hear the sound of music and happy laughter!" Cue Scare Chord and Evil Laugh.
  • Parodied in the slasher movie-themed episode of Boy Meets World. Every time one of the characters makes a dramatic and scary statement Eric goes "Duh! Duh! Duh!" in imitation of a scare chord. The other characters get annoyed after he does this several times and they get him to stop.
  • A recurring gag in The Colbert Report and its successor The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has Colbert assuming there's a disturbing twist to something as the camera snaps to his face, then wiggling his eyebrows dramatically to a stock scare chord.
  • Doctor Who:
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: A form of this is used in "Cool Hands, Luke and Bo," where the episode's villan, Col. Claybourne, tells Jesse he intends to have his nephews, Bo and Luke, shot on sight for escaping the Osage County prison camp ... underscoring Jesse's fear that he will soon be burying his nephews.
  • An all-brass version is built into the middle of the opening theme of Ellery Queen, over a sudden close-up of a pair of glasses with broken lenses. The theme then does a calming little piano trill, picks up its walking bass again, and continues panning across various clue-like objects, as it had been doing before the scare.
  • Parodied in an episode of Family Matters where Carl had a dream in the style of an old Western movie. After each Scare Chord, everybody in the saloon looked around to try and find where the chord came from.
    Steve Urkel: Let's form a posse and track down that dang orchestra!
  • In the miniseries In a Child's Name (Based on a True Story), cops suspect that a man murdered his wife. They spray their bedroom with luminol, turn off the lights... and the scare chords kick in full force as they (and the audience) see that the entire room was covered in blood.
  • Done at the end of Episode 5 of the first season of The Irish R.M., as Lady Knox walks in and discovers the elaborate plot Major Yeates and Flurry were trying to keep secret.
  • Parodied in The IT Crowd when you hear 'Dun dun DUN!' only to find that it's Moss' ring tone.
  • The dramatic "chunk-chunk" noise in Law & Order and its spinoffs. Parodied by Sesame Street.
  • Lost uses this from time to time, although the preceding (both short-term and long-term!) suspense is more unbearable, naturally. One example is in the season 4 premiere episode "The Beginning of the End", while Hurley is peeping into a cabin window: an EYE closeup abruptly comes into view.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • Nobody expects the jarring chord of the Spanish Inquisition! Its chief weapon is surprise; surprise and loudness!... Loudness and surprise, two weapons; its two weapons are loudness, and surprise, and its shock value... Its three weapons are loudness, and surprise, and shock value, and being a Subverted Trope due to the harmlessness of the inquisition... Damn. Amongst its weapons... It's not very scary anymore, is it?
    • Also used, or abused, in the "Science Fiction Sketch", following such lines as, "He was not so much a man... as a blancmange!"
  • During the subplot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where everyone is stuck back in ancient Rome, every time Pearl and the Observer would get in trouble (usually at the end of each episode in a cliffhanger) a loud scare chord would play.
  • On Orphan Black, Helena's Leitmotif incorporates a high-pitched scraping noise, usually indicating blood about to spill.
  • Parodied in one episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse. Several of Pee-wee's kept turning up missing, and every time, Pee-wee would exclaim "It's a mystery!" It would then cut to a creepy looking organist playing a scary chord. At one point, the organist missed a cue and Pee-wee had to repeat the line. Finally, at the end of the episode, Pee-wee turned to the organist and asked, "By the way, who are you?"
    Organist: It's a mystery! [plays scary chord]
  • Rome. After complaining that Caesar's assassins haven't killed Marc Antony as well, Cicero turns and bumps into Antony who's just entered the room. At that exact moment, a household slave shuts the door behind Antony, producing an ominous thud.
  • Also parodied in an episode of Roseanne where the Connors were dealing with taxes and the IRS. A Scare Chord sounded every time someone said the word "audit", prompting everyone to look for the source of the chord.
    Roseanne: I think we need to get out of this house!
  • Sonny with a Chance uses the scare chord twice in one episode. The first time, it was Zora playing it on a violin to scare Tawni and Sonny. The second time it happens, Sonny tells Zora to stop it, only to reveal that it wasn't Zora. Tawni and Sonny look around the room in confusion and fright.
  • In the Star Trek original series episode "Court Martial", the prosecuting attorney badgers McCoy into admitting, "Yes, it's possible" — whereupon we get one of the series's trademark overly-dramatic musical stings.
  • Supernatural almost always has at least one in The Teaser of each episode.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" has one when the man decides to open the curtains, revealing the Gremlin's face right up against the window.

  • Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9's fourth movement opens with a chord that Richard Wagner called the Schreckensfanfare (Horror fanfare), and consists of a B-flat major chord over a D minor chord. That chord appears again later, but with the B-flat chord replaced with a diminished 7th for even more dissonance.
  • Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94, nicknamed the "Surprise Symphony", which features an unexpected fortissimo chord in the middle of the quiet second movement, is the Trope Codifier.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the "Pathetique," includes a massive leap in volume in the first movement transitioning into the development section—which is preceded by a nigh-inaudible descending clarinet linenote .
  • Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" also does a pretty impressive leap in volume when transitioning to the main portion of the piece.
    • Fantasia 2000 uses it very appropriately for an Eye Awaken moment. The two combined are nearly enough to give the viewer a heart attack.
    • That's hardly scary compared to some passages the suites don't use, such as "Magic Carillon" and "Kastchei's Death."
    • Allegro non Troppo uses the chord to introduce Satan in one of its animated segments.
    • The scare chord of "Infernal Dance of All Koschei's Subjects" has entered popular usage as the first "Orchestra Hit".
  • The Beatles used this several times:
    • The opening chord to the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" can be shocking to those who aren't expecting it.
      • Cirque du Soleil's LOVE takes full advantage of this in its opening sequence, thanks to Sir George and Giles Martin's clever remixing: after the opening procession set to "Because", the famous last chord of "A Day in the Life" is played backward, which means it gets louder and louder (and the theatre gets darker), and then...BAM. All they need is that chord, and then it's off to "Get Back"...
    • The Beatles' album Abbey Road "finishes" with the gentle fade-out of strings that concludes the song "The End". Approximately fourteen seconds later, the short hidden track "Her Majesty" jumps in with a loud chord (originally the final note of "Mean Mr. Mustard") which is out of place with the rest of the song.
    • Also on Abbey Road, the song "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" somehow manages to have a negative scare chord - an abrupt silence in the middle of a bar, after a long period of hypnotic repetition. The sudden absence of sound is just as startling.
    • The famous piano chord at the end of "A Day in the Life" might function like this for anyone who hasn't heard the song.
  • The electroclash band Fischerspooner enjoyed peppering the music video versions of their songs with random scare chords, even stopping the song entirely for a few seconds.
  • Halloween by Aqua, since the song is sort of a homage to old horror films.
  • You Don't Love Me Anymore, by "Weird Al" Yankovic, does a variant of this. After the song, the track continues for a good ten minutes, silently, until a sudden 8-second burst of screaming and what sounds like a chainsaw. Apparently, this was supposed to scare people that left the CD playing.
    • It's also a parody of some similar randomness from Nirvana's Nevermind album, "Endless, Nameless".
  • Scissor Sisters' first album contains an unnamed track between the CD bonus tracks, which encourages the listener to either start the album from the beginning or to keep the disc playing after a (fairly creepy) sound clip of people screaming to hear the bonus content.
  • Julee Cruise's "Into The Night" is a languidly paced haunting ballad (as used to eerie effect in Twin Peaks) - then about 3 and a half minutes in, there's a slowly rising backward cymbal, followed by 5 rapidly played ominous notes that are much louder and more high pitched than the rest of the song. Not quite a Last Note Nightmare though, as the song then goes on for another minute or so as though nothing ever happened.
  • Mike Oldfield examples:
    • The ending of Tubular Bells (the original 1973 mix or the 2009 5.1 remix, but not the 1976 remix on Boxed) does this; the "caveman" passage segues into a very quiet and soothing guitar/organ segment and then suddenly, without warning, the Sailors' Hornpipe drastically ups both the tempo and the volume.
    • The point thirteen and a half minutes into Part 1, where a long, mellow Hawaiian-guitar-like sequence is interrupted by a horrible, raspy guitar. And, of course, the sinister voice of Vivian Stanshall appearing out of nowhere to speak the words "Grand piano" after 20 minutes of pure instrumental.
    • Oldfield's later work Amarok is absolutely full of these, including a section where some light African chanting is punctuated by scare chord stabs and a sampled voice saying "Happy?" in increasingly processed and chopped-up ways. Supposedly, his falling out with Virgin Records prompted him to produce an album that Virgin couldn't possibly lift a 3-minute single from, as every theme in the piece would inevitably move on faster than this, or be subjected to these bizarre interruptions.
  • The Doors' 18-minute odyssey "Celebration of the Lizard" has Jim yell "WAKE UP!!!" after a few silent seconds somewhere in the second or third minute.
    • Can also apply to the beginning of "The Soft Parade" if you're not familiar with the song... YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!!
  • The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" does this with a gong at the end.
  • There's a pretty dissonant scare chord at the beginning of Depeche Mode's "Love In Itself."
  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik's "Love Missile F1-11" opens with a terrifying orchestral hit.
  • Pink Floyd have done this a few times.
    • Sysyphus", from their album Ummagumma; eerily calm ambient music, accompanied by the sound of a babbling brook, then suddenly DUNNNNNNNNN!!! Then back to ambiance, as you go change your underwear.
    • Speaking of Ummagumma, try the live version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". Starts with very eerie, calm sounds, yet it constantly grows into something unknown, something strange, making you shiver... Even though Roger Waters warns you (in a way), you can't help with your reaction to first hearing the second part of the song.
    • The intro to song opener "In The Flesh?" from The Wall, coming out of nowhere out of a gentle brass/accordion melody.
  • Coheed and Cambria pull this one a number of times throughout their albums, most notably at the end "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)" — the sound of rain and a vaguely creepy piano are punctuated by sobbing and an absolutely terrifying scream.
  • The beginning synth-organ chord to Def Leppard's "Rock! Rock! Till You Drop", from Pyromania, can be startling.
  • Paul Hardcastle's "19" used this a lot.
  • "Sensual Impressions" by the German group Joy Unlimited is basically an extended flute solo with pianissimo organ/cymbal backing, save for two instances of fortissimo "scare chords" which are TERRIFYING when listening to the piece for the first time.
  • The freaky synth-squawk at the end of Todd Rundgren's "Golden Goose" probably applies here, too.
  • The post-drum duet jam from The Grateful Dead's The Closing of Winterland concert has a Scare Thunderclap, which is very jarring if the sound is turned up.
  • Who could forget Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima? The entire song is a scare chord mashup, and parts of it were even used in one of The Shining movies. Most of Penderecki's other early symphonic works are similarly atonal and scary.
  • Elbow does this with a blast of trumpets and percussion that repeats several times in "Starlings", an otherwise quiet song. It's more of an awestruck sense of surprise than a scare, though.
  • The last chord of Gustav Mahler's Das Klagende Lied, which thus doubles as a Last Note Nightmare. Mahler must have liked the effect because he did it again in his sixth symphony.
  • In Mahler's 2nd Symphony:
    • The first movement has a pair of massive bass drops accompanied by tam-tam crashes when the violins suddenly reintroduce the opening theme in the key of E♭ minor after a Fake-Out Fade-Out.
    • The opening chord of the last (5th) movement. Nicknamed the "Resurrection" Symphony, the work was intended by Mahler to initially portray states of despair and happiness here on earth, followed, in the last movement, by a portrayal of the resurrection into the afterlife. The 4th movement illustrates the longing for relief from earthly woes and ends quietly. This mood is rudely interrupted by a shrieking, dissonant chord in the whole orchestra at the very opening of the last movement. This has sometimes been described (including by its composer) as portraying the state of the damned after death, although, as the symphony progresses towards its triumphant ending, this portrayal of the damned is shown to have apparently been only an illusion believed in by people while still on earth. All ends in peace and love and all humanity is included in that.
  • Charles Ives in the second movement of his Fourth Symphony, which has several unexpected outbursts from the brass section and one particularly huge one near the end; this circus march portion then cuts off rather abruptly.
  • Venetian Snares' "Szamár Madár" has quite the horrifying number of scare chords at the beginning of their piece.
  • The climax of Fantômas' 'Delìrium Còrdia'... for a whole minute.
  • "Waking The Witch" by Kate Bush starts off with around 80 seconds of quiet, relaxing piano music and ambient noise, with lots of reassuring voices urging the listener to wake up. Except for the last, who exclaims "look who's here to see you!". It's never explained what it is that's paying a visit, but it most certainly sounds terrifying. Then, after you've gotten over the initial shock of the music crashing in, a terrifying demonic voice shouts at you, just to make sure you've completely evacuated your bowels.
    • For whatever reason, the CD mix sucks a lot of the life from the song, merely making it sound a bit strange. While it's still shocking and unexpected, to really get the full effect you have to listen to the mix on the original vinyl run.
  • Black Sabbath do a rather impressive one on their self-titled song off their self-titled album. After a 1-minute jam session, the song ends. No less than 3 seconds, you're treated to a sudden blast of sound. Shouldn't be surprising considering it's the first "official" Heavy Metal album.
  • There's a really effective one at the end of Alice Cooper's Da Da album. It seems like a regular ol' fadeout and when the song is almost gone... BOOM.
  • Klaus Schulze's "Bayreuth Return" abruptly ends with a white noise blast.
  • Vernian Process's single Something Wicked (That Way Went) contains a scare chord at the beginning of the second verse (as well as creepy laughter at the end of the song).
  • In Bach's St. Matthew Passion, the movement "So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen" starts out as a peaceful duet, only with very startling and unexpected interjections of "Laßt ihn, haltet, bindet nicht!" (Leave Him, stop, don't bind Him!). This happens several times in the duet before it turns into a chorus filled with Ominous German Chanting.
  • The very last movement of Handel's Messiah oratorio, "Worthy is the Lamb", contains a moderately long and soft instrumental part in the middle of the movement's famous "Amens". At the end of the instrumental, the chorus abruptly starts singing "Amen" again; this can be startling to even those familiar with the work.
  • Deathspell Omega, quite atypically for a Black Metal band, have a chant section in their song "Carnal Malefactor" (frequently mistakenly assumed to be Gregorian chant, it's actually in Old Church Slavonic). What qualifies the song for this trope is that immediately after the chant's conclusion (before it's even finished echoing, in fact), they go straight back into blasting black metal, and if you're not prepared for it, it is terrifying.
  • Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper" contains at least two of these near the end of the song.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven exploited these on occasion:
    • In the Piano Sonata in F minor Op. 57 "Appassionata", the final repetition of the theme of the slow movement variations ends with a Deceptive Cadence on a diminished seventh chord which is then repeated fortissimo to begin the allegro finale.
    • The fourth movement of the Symphony no. 8 in F major Op. 93 begins very quickly but also very quietly... until the sudden fortissimo D-flat in the eighteenth bar. The coda emphasizes this jarring D-flat, making it enharmonically C-sharp, to transpose the main theme into F-sharp minor for a few bars before suddenly modulating back to the original F major.
  • Dir en grey has "OBSCURE", which opens with a fairly audible ambient section, but very suddenly transitions into the song's incredibly brutal main riff, then transitions again into a discordant wall of drum blasting and grinding guitar noises. That's just the intro, and that's just one fact, they have made Scare Chords an essential component of their musical style.
  • Most of Merzbow's material contain at least a ton of these.
  • Nothing can prepare you for the sudden guitar note that occurs at 1:44 in Thom Yorke's cover of Miracle Legion's "All For The Best"
  • An electric guitar variation precedes the chorus in Poets of the Fall's Obsession Song "Carnival of Rust." In its video, it accompanies Zoltar the fortuneteller pulling "The Nine of Swords" (anguish, entrapment) after declaring his customer a "savior," and she staggers backward in startlement as he begins his Love Hungry demand that she love him to set him free from the Carnival.
  • Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me" has one after its soft piano intro. In the music video, this chord occurs at the exact moment her Love Interest is killed in a motorcycle accident.
  • King Crimson: "The Devil's Triangle" slows down midway through before a loud, booming siren blares out.
  • Lingua Ignota's "The Order of Spiritual Virgins" employs this many times in the back half of the song.
    Sickness finds a way in...

  • Toy Story 4 (2022): Every time a Benson post pops up on its own (primarily during "My Good Friend Benson," a mode dedicated to them), a dramatic sting accompanies the Demonic Dummy suddenly appearing on the display.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons uses this every week in the opening where Captain Black appears and often repeats at various intervals in the story to denote the appearance of a Mysteron agent.


  • The Sosumi ("so sue me") beep sound on Macintosh computers is a tritone piano chord. Also the Chimes of Death on older Macs.
  • The original PlayStation had a creepy off-key version of the logo sting when an error occurred on boot-up, known as "Personified Fear".

  • In the final minute of The Consul, Magda is rudely awakened from her Dying Dream by the telephone ringing, and each ring is followed by a discordant slam which is the pianistic equivalent of Symbol Swearing (though only loud in comparison to the preceding diminuendo). There is also a nasty chord at the climax of the Act II Nightmare Sequence.
  • The Phantom of the Opera employs this tactic frequently, with its famous organ riff.
  • Being modeled after the thriller scores of Bernard Herrmann, the score to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street features quite a few scare chords, a particularly notable example being the release of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" (the "Swing your razor wide ..." section).
    • Also notable are the ear-piercing factory whistles used to punctuate various dramatic moments.
  • The shrill, piercing factory whistle in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is first used to make the audience jump and shut up in time for the opening number. Every subsequent use of the thing gets more and more hardcore - Sweeney's first kill, for instance - until the final use of the factory whistle coincides with Toby killing the main character in the world's creepiest Freak Out. Yeah, you're still going to jump when you hear it on the soundtrack later.
    • Stephen Sondheim was conscious of this trope and wrote what amounted to miniature scare chords into the Overture and main theme of the score. They were tiny crescendos every two measures. The audience automatically expected something to happen during these crescendos and the fact that nothing happened added to the suspense already present.
  • In Tristan und Isolde, the second act love duet has its would-be climax in B major crushed by a deceptive cadence accompanied by Brangane's piercing scream.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni's reprise of "You and Me and Pokemon" starts with jarring vocals and guitars.
  • In Matilda, scare chords are used during the transition from the reprise of "Miracle" to the "School Song", and at the end of "Pathetic" when Miss Honey enters the Trunchbull's office.
  • The opera Lulu has a nightmarish, overpoweringly loud orchestral chord as the title character meets an untimely end offstage at the hands of Jack the Ripper.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado and Ruddigore each have a first act finale in which the principal couple's wedding is disrupted by an antagonist (Katisha in the former, Sir Despard in the latter) whose irruption onto the scene is underscored by a loud diminished seventh chord.
  • On the Town: At exactly 6 AM ("Aw, six o'clock, will ya!"), the opening scene's tranquil music suddenly gives way to dissonant and forceful chords as the ship's whistle blows and the stage begins to swarm with workmen and sailors, including the three protagonists.

    Video Games 
  • Titanic's hidden mystery'' can seem like this not by note, but with the sudden sound of a camera shutter, which is accompanied by a transition where a quick face flashes on the screen.
  • Victoria: An Empire Under The Sun just knows how to play this trope. The distinctive sound that comes with a declaration of war is by far the loudest and terrifying one. It doesn't help either when the full message reads "Sir, the rotten swines in GERMANY have declared WAR upon US".
  • Mortal Kombat: Let's get this out of the way first: FINISH HIM! DAH-DAH-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! (Or "DU-DU-DUNNNNNNN!" post-UMK3)
  • The original Alone in the Dark trilogy used a classic string tritone hit to good effect.
  • Tomb Raider III makes frequent use of these, and they're extremely effective. At some points, such as in the Expansion Pack, Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact, it uses the scare chord for no reason at all. Damnit!
  • Illbleed had every single trap, even the deactivated ones, prefaced by a classic scare chord. The upside to this is that people who've played this game tend not to jump nearly as high whenever a movie tries to pull one on them.
    • *Violin screech* (+ 30 Adrenaline) "Cool!"
  • Minecraft's cave noises have this in spades! You're walking around in a dark cave, when suddenly, "WHOOOOooooooooooo!"
  • Being spotted in the Metal Gear Solid games results in an iconic sound best described as '!'.
  • An unfriendly NPC getting suspicious in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell triggers a sound. An armed enemy seeing Fisher clearly warrants a much more vibrant variant.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis first signals the approach of the Implacable Man Nemesis with a piece composed of low tritone string chords, then when he enters the room, the music elevates to a scare chord crescendo. Horror, along with his demonic growl of "STARS", which you sometimes hear before he enters.
  • Resident Evil 2 had at least two scare themes in the various scenes where zombies broke in through the windows or doors. There was also a big choral scare chord played at the beginning of the Final Boss battle of each scenario, especially disturbing with the One-Winged Angel forms William has taken on.
    • Another scare chord was played during the appearances of Mr. X in the second scenario.
    • A secondary character hands the player a key before locking himself into another room. Finding a way into that other room triggers a cutscene with the above-mentioned scare theme playing as he slowly transforms into a zombie.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Carbon play a Scare Chord to a camera pan every time you're spotted by a squad car.
    • Sort of happens in NFS II and III with the Variable Mix music when crashing your car before resuming the previous section of music it was playing.
  • Heavy Rain: A symphony of high instruments play at some points when Norman starts to suffer from the effects of Triptocaine. It's also included in Norman Jayden's main theme.
  • Gears of War does this in the PC version when a wretch runs past a door, and it's a very loud one too.
    • The Xbox 360 version does this, too. Several times. Whether it's finding people on meat hooks in the prison, seeing a wretch, or kicking open a door only to have a handful of krill escape into the night, they really like to use this...
  • Silent Hill has a Scare Leitmotif, heard in the first encounter with an Air Screamer and in the scene where you have to save Dr. Kauffman from a Romper.
    • Certain rooms in the otherworld hospital serve little purpose other than to scare the hell out of you with a loud crashing or banging noise as you turn to exit, often accompanied by possessed nurses appearing just outside the door.
  • Silent Hill 2: Played right off the bat on just starting a new game in the menu.
  • XCOM Terror From The Deep had quiet, eerie tension music that suited its deepsea environment, until DAH!DAH! Agh! [Panicked search for aliens who are still hidden.] These scares had nothing to do with events; they just jerked you out of your seat.
  • In Half-Life, the same chord played when you killed the Gargantua with the generators in the level "Power Up".
  • Half-Life 2:
    • The first time you get a good, up-close look at a Hunter in Episode 2 you know, where you turn around AND IT'S WATCHING YOU THROUGH THE WINDOW NEXT TO YOU! a scare chord goes off. It's actually the Hunter bellowing a war-cry of sorts, but it's to the same effect. To make things worse, it then guts the Love Interest in front of you and buries you under rubble. Hunters = best enemy ever.
    • In Episode One, in the first of the tunnel sections with several Zombines with them, a loud, grating chord is played which sounds just like distorted Combine "death beeps"... it's actually a context-activated piece of music, like all the others in Half-Life 2, but just as effective.
    • In the original Half-Life 2, after the beach section of Sandtraps, there's a nice Scare Chord when the Antlion Guard rises from the sand right in your face. Exact same thing happens when you down the hunter chopper at the end of Water Hazard.
  • Monster Hunter plays a scare chord whenever you are spotted by a large monster, or if you dropped an egg or a valuable rock. In Monster Hunter: World, there's a creepy strings glissando whenever a monster like Bazelgeuse approaches at you and joins the battle.
  • Star Trek: Elite Force 2 is riddled with these, every time an enemy comes at you, or you die by, well, anything.
  • Happens with Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy when the Player Character dies.
  • Halo:
    • The song "Devils, Monsters" from the Halo: Combat Evolved soundtrack, aka the Flood theme, seems to be made up entirely of scare chords. Two more scare chord and "Psycho" Strings based pieces, also associated with terror or the Flood, are "Shadows" (prominently heard at the beginning of CE's "Two Betrayals" when Cortana tells the Chief about what Halo really does) and Halo 2's "Ancient Machine".
    • Then there's that sound that sounds like a rusty metal trapdoor that appears in several soundtrack pieces, eg Halo 2's "Shudder" and Halo 3's "Guilt and Punishment".
    • During the cutscene right before encountering the Flood in Combat Evolved, a scare chord is played when MC opens the door and a Peek-a-Boo Corpse falls out. It is heard on the OST in "Lament for Pvt. Jenkins". The same chord plays if Capt. Keyes is killed during his Escort Mission.
    • After an ominous choral and "Psycho" Strings build-up, a scare chord plays when the Arbiter kills Truth in Halo 3.
  • Several tracks from the EverQuest II soundtrack, such as Nektulos Forest, seem almost entirely composed of scare chords or rapid string notes. A scare chord which signaled a player character had broken from combat and is attempting to flee has been removed.
  • So you're playing Bioshock, and you've just beaten the second boss. The game has changed level, and you're happily walking down a narrow pathway with no enemies in sight. With no warning whatsoever, you have a very sudden vision of three pictures with a Scare Chord (in this case a scream) along with it. Managed not to jump up and yelp like a little girl? No? You're not alone.
  • F.E.A.R. makes heavy use of the Scare Chord in conjunction with sudden appearances by Alma or Replica attacks. Or sometimes just for false scares.
    • It's also used - in slightly less dramatic fashion - to alert the player to a crisp packet on the floor, letting them know that Norton Mapes is still alive.
    • On levels with automated gun turrets, a certain scare chord plays when a turret activates.
    • Assassin encounters are also usually signaled by scare chords.
    • Players of the series have also noticed the major flaw in a Scare Chord. In the first (and scariest) game, the chord was a subtle, creepy little ringing sound. Later games had much sharper, louder scare chords... which often did more to ruin the suspenseful atmosphere than make anything scary.
    • Rattling objects. In the first game, they can be ignored safely, because it's possibly a malfunction of the collisions engine, and it's only things like soda cans, chemical flasks, and other small gadgets. Doesn't detract any from the scary factor, especially if you remember the common aspect of ghost stories that they lightly disturb objects with their presence alone. And then you go through the Vivendi sequels... Where the rattlers are much larger objects, and it often means a pack of the mostly invisible Shades is out to get you. Don't be surprised if you shoot a steel drum you're walking on top of just because it scraped on the floor, especially after the nuclear explosion in Perseus Mandate.
      • It doesn't help that near the end of Perseus Mandate, you have to go through an area where all the automatic doors produce a sound similar to the cackle/laugh that was the only hint those near invisible shades gave you before attacking.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • Twilight Princess
      • Whenever Zant appears, a Scare Chord that sounds a bit like an unearthly scream plays.
      • The ReDead are also infamous for this. You're wandering around in a dark temple, or below a scary well or tomb, minding your own innocent business...then suddenly, a terrifying mutilated scream sounds and before you can even spin around to see the source, BOOM, you're frozen in the paralyzing fear as the ReDead shambles toward you...
    • In The Wind Waker, a scare chord plays when Ganondorf shouts, "Your gods destroyed you!" just before the Puppet Ganon battle, accompanied by a controller rumble. A different scare chord plays during the Forsaken Fortress stealth sequence towards the beginning, each time you're spotted by one of the Moblin guards.
    • Breath of the Wild
      • The Blood Moon has a horrible leitmotif of a reverse sound and deep piano notes before the Blood Moon itself rises over the sky painting even the clouds in crimson and reviving the monsters you killed.
      • The first thing you hear when you enter Vah Naboris is a heavy and loud piano chord. It proved to be a Jump Scare for a lot of players.
      • The intro to the Guardians' Leitmotif, which plays when one is activated, starts with a loud, distinctive "BONG!" sound, often inducing terror if the player doesn't have a lot hearts and/or hasn't mastered the combat system, since the Guardians are Bosses in Mook Clothing that can One-Hit Kill Link early enough in the game.
  • In Resident Evil 4, in the kitchen section of the last chapter, the music is silent for several seconds before a disquieting piano chord. This turns out to be part of the leitmotif of the Regeneradors, which you encounter shortly after.
    • In Chapter 4-1, scare chords are used when Verdugo is stalking you right before you fight it.
  • The NES adaptation of Friday the 13th plays a scare chord whenever Jason appears, or when he kills one of the children.
    • The Commodore 64 game is even worse, with the scare chord being a blood-curdling scream combined with a scary image, such as an ax in someone's head. These come up whenever someone is killed. It doesn't help that the music playing the rest of the time is calming nursery rhyme music.
  • Dead Space practically runs off this trope. It's both used straight and played with - At times, you'll hear what sounds like a scare chord, bring up your weapon and frantically look around the room for something to shoot, only to find that the noise was made by something completely harmless, like a sprinkler system starting up. Other times, you hear one right before you get your head clawed off, so... Yeah.
  • Metroid
  • One of these, appropriately titled "Shock", shows up in Super Mario RPG, when Mallow finds out he isn't a tadpole.
  • At times in Condemned 2: Bloodshot, fights will be accompanied by a scare chord every time you or an enemy takes a hit or blocks, along with a long violin screech when an enemy dies. This happens only in certain fights, but the enemies are not at all different from the others.
  • The Oregon Trail II. DUN DUN!!!!
    • There's another one besides the infamous DUN DUN, the odd horn whenever a nastier thing such as cholera or an infection occurs.
    • A later version had different banjo riffs associated with different events. The one for your axle breaking sounded like someone had ripped the strings right off the banjo.
  • Left 4 Dead is chockful of musical cues, some subtle and some not, depending on what enemies are nearby or attacking your friends. Or you.
  • La-Mulana plays one if you trigger a trap. Also, the HD version of "Wonder of the Wonder" starts with a shriek.
  • Mewtwo and Arceus both have pretty unnerving cries in the otherwise (fairly) innocent Pokémon games. Arceus compounds this by having a musical theme consisting almost entirely of drums and shrill trumpets.
    • Kyurem's battle theme in Pokémon Black and White starts off with one.
    • Pokémon Conquest throws this at you when you fail a story mission. Not looking at your DS will definitely leave you with a "WHAT HAPPENED?" look on your face.
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky had the dimensional scream. The first you get it, you hear a high-pitched noise as you pass out. If that wasn't scary enough, the 'H-H-Help!' that accompanied it made it so.
  • The drowning music from Sonic The Hedgehog is known to instill panic in fans of the older games even if it's been over a decade since they last played one.
  • Resistance sometimes does this in the middle of perfectly peaceful places, just to keep you on your toes.
  • Clock Tower: The First Fear does this every time Bobby attacks, as well as a few other scenes. It's especially effective because there is (typically) NO music when he isn't there.
  • The scraping, shrieking noise that Husk spikes make in Mass Effect. Worse, the newly spawned Husk will usually charge straight at you, gibbering and screaming the whole way.
  • When Kazuya Mishima is holding his grandfather, reminiscing about the old times when he used to train with him, it seems like a sweet scene. The musical cue that accompanies his evil smile and glowing red eye just before he kills Jinpachi is the classic stinger chord and interrupts this out of nowhere. The way the scene is set up lends itself to this, as when Kazuya picks up Jinpachi, he's facing the right side, thus his left eye (the one that glows) is unseen. When he smirks, the viewer is given a full-on headshot, and then as he looks over his shoulder afterward, his evil eye is the only one visible.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind does this to a lesser extent, the ambient background music will change from "exploration" themes to a random "battle" theme once the wandering player is attacked. The exploration themes are typically quiet and soothing while various battle themes will start with a loud drumbeat or trumpet blast. This can be quite surprising and startling when the player is already fairly tense or concentrated on something else.
  • In The Suffering, in addition to scripted scares, you get sudden, short and completely random flashes of scary images accompanied by a high-pitched scare chord. It happens frequently in the later parts of the game. The result is that you are afraid even if you are backtracking or just standing on a spot with your character.
  • Turok 2: The Mantid Hive music has a lot of scare chords in it.
  • The Sims has a Scare Chord whenever something bad shows up, usually a robber but also for things like a raccoon showing up.
    • Even worse is when the sound appears to play for no apparent reason. No raccoon, no burglar, nothing. You frantically pan around a darkened house where everyone is asleep, and nothing is out of place. Much worse.
      • That's usually because your fish are dead. Still...
      • Or a burglar/raccoon/etc. walks onto your lot and leaves in less than a second.
      • Or you find a bear tiptoeing in to steal your honey. There's another one that plays in The Sims 2 when your sim turns into a plantsim.
    • The Sims 4 did away with burglars and the associated chord because they acted as Paranoia Fuel that made it difficult for some to relax and enjoy the game. However, for those not bothered by jumpscares there are Game Mods to bring them back.
  • Fatal Frame is full of these. From the sounds of doors opening to tinkling bells, to a koto string snapping as you approach a previously locked door. The series is a great example of the scare chord done right: very loud and dramatic chords are extremely rare; most of them are minor background noise. This makes the games a lot scarier, as it alerts the player that something is happening, but doesn't break the suspense.
  • In the Edutainment Game Dr. Health'nstein's Body Fun, there are three two instances where the character you play will visit the Imp's cave. He represents all the bad habits one can have as far as drug use (smoking, drinking, and dope), and to avoid having your character lose points on their health scale you have to answer a question that is usually about "what do you do if so-and-so happens", where only the best answer counts. Get a question right and you get a soft "ta-daaa!" sound while your character avoids actually doing whatever bad habit was thrown at you. Get it wrong, and you not only hear the loud sound of someone slamming two handfuls of keys on an organ blaring in your ears, but it's also followed by the creepiest gif image of the imp overlapping the number choice you picked popping up suddenly that will give ten-year-olds a good freak-out, which is exactly the age group the game was aimed for. Since the game is aimed for kids, the questions are fairly easy and older players or ones equally good at knowing what kids are expected to do in these scenarios can very well go through the game without ever hearing the dreaded organs. However, there is one particular question where your answer may be right to you but wrong to the game. Hmm... So my parents might be getting a divorce. Should I try to see how I can solve this the calmest way possible or just sit it out, "accept" the problem and act as if it is never there or it will never change no matter what I do? According to the game, you have to accept it and do nothing.
  • The original Police Quest 1: In Pursuit of the Death Angel had a "dun dun da dun" stinger when something bad was about to happen, which would sometimes mean Sonny being killed ("bang bang", :dies:). Open Season played a "Psycho" Strings and piano scare chord when you found the dead body in the dumpster, and for other disturbing scenes (eg, the severed head in the refrigerator).
  • A scare chord begins to play whenever you trick-or-treat at a house in Costume Quest. It ends either happily or frighteningly, depending on whether an adult or a monster opens the door.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door had this, accompanied with camera zoom abuse, on a couple occasions, including when you first see Flurrie in a cutscene and she flips out at being unable to find her necklace and when you first meet Ghost T. and he asks for your soul. He's just kidding, though. Unless you read his diary of course.
  • In BlazBlue, Arakune's theme starts off with one... and then segues into an awesome rock theme. It's a Daisuke Ishiwatari composition: it's to be expected.
  • Corridor 7: Alien Invasion plays a strange noise when it decides that it wants to pop a giant red skull in front of you for no reason other than that you were lost and trying to find the elevator. Needless to say, it has caused a number of players to soil themselves the first time it happened.
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations has a scare chord play during a Templar stalker attack. Foreshadowed only by creepy whispers, the scare chord coupled with a completely random attack by what you thought was an ordinary citizen makes a stalker attack absolutely terrifying.
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent plays a very grating variety of scare chord when Daniel spots an enemy.
  • The Action 52 game Non-Human had loud dissonant chords that accompanied the entrance of one type of enemy which may have been intended to look scary but is actually easily dispatched.
  • Fable II has the winter lodge area, which first appears as a pleasant lodge. Upon entering, the entire level smash cuts to a burned out version of the same location with an accompanying scare chord.
  • Get a game over in Dragon's Lair and your reward for failing will be an image of Dirk decaying into a skeleton accompanied by a very effective organ chord.
  • The Slender Man Mythos-themed indie horror game Slender has a rather startling one play any time you turn around and find that Slendy's just a bit too close to you... This noise also means that your running speed is boosted for about ten seconds due to your character having been spooked so badly. Most Wonderful Sound, or Hell Is That Noise? You decide... It's even worse in Slender: The Arrival.
  • A favorite tactic in RPG Maker horror classics such as The Witch's House and Ao Oni has a short track play as the monsters try and kill you.
    • RPG Maker XP already comes with a ready-to-use "Shock" jingle, among a few others.
  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter has a ringing scare chord signaling enemy ambushes. Wildlands plays a similar noise when your character is spotted.
  • Ib uses these to compliment the game's evenly spread Jump Scares, but the most notable example would be the mother-variation of the Ib All Alone Ending, where as Garry yells at Ib to come back, the screen blacks out on the scare chord and comes back to reveal that Ib is following nothing. Back into the dangerous gallery full of malevolent paintings.
  • Used in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas when enemies detect you, and again when the area is cleared. Sometimes in the latter, scary stings are randomly heard out in the wasteland for no particular reason.
  • Every enemy in Metro 2033 has a distinctive audio cue, each of which is heard before an encounter.
    • Lurkers make a very high-pitched which can often be heard near pipes. Only around 50% of the time, will one actually turn up. Another sound: the wet, squelching sound you can hear where one is nearby... and feasting on a corpse.
    • Nosalises growl like dogs, and roar like lions. Like the lurker, sometimes done simply to spook you, at other times it's done to herald an impending attack.
    • Watchers make a wolf-like howl. Hearing one is always the precursor to an enormous horde of them turning up.
    • Librarians make a low-pitched growl. Along with Nosalises, they have a disturbing roar, but even more unsettling is their low, heavy breathing, which can be heard all around the Library.
    • Giant Amoebas make a plopping sound, which is not scary except for the fact it signifies a Giant Amoeba is nearby...
    • The Dark Ones have hissing, rattling voices.
    • The flapping of wings and shuddering roars of an incoming Demon.
  • Metro: Last Light, continuing the Metro series, adds a few more for the newer mutants.
    • The squelching noise of Spiderbugs emerging from their nests, followed by their clicking mandibles when they move in to attack.
    • Amphibian Shrimps only let out their sharp, hissing roar just before they swing their claws to attack. Since they generally just wander around and don't always notice Artyom, it's particularly disconcerting. They are perfectly capable of walking past without attacking... only roaring once they're in attack animation.
  • Alien vs. Predator Game examples: The motion sensor in the Marine campaign. In the remake, they also use the Scare Chord from the movies whenever xenomorphs appear in the Marine Campaign.
  • Psychonauts: The loud, sudden two notes that signal that Raz is about to be nabbed by the Hand of Galochio. Yep, that water is too deep for you to touch.
  • Mario Kart: The infamous whizzing sound of a Blue Shell. Especially if you're in first place. In some games, there's even a warning siren blaring as the Blue Shell gets closer and closer until it explodes. In that case, the siren stops.
  • Max Payne: The sharp clack... clack of a grenade bouncing on the ground. Scripted sequences often involved fleeing enemies suddenly tossing them through doors or down flights of stairs, and they are often difficult to see. Once you hear that sound, you've got about a second or two to haul ass, or you're toast.
  • Castle Wolfenstein: The original version had the random chance of an SS officer shouting "SS" in computerized Mockingboard speech and appearing out of nowhere behind you. Back then it would scare the bejeebies out of you.
  • Every Track in the OST of Baroque's remake contains the noise one of the enemies on those floors will make. They make this noise only when you can't see them.
  • In Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Buildings can collapse. While you are in it. They possess a distinctive creaking sound prior to that happening, giving you a chance to sprint out of the building. Better try it, no matter how many people are firing at you at the moment.
  • In Penumbra, a tone plays whenever monsters are nearby.
    • You can hear most monsters before you see them. The low, demonic growl of a rabid dog, or the shuffling of a spider getting closer...
  • The Dragon Quest series has a Scare Chord that plays when you don a cursed item that can scare the pants off of an unsuspecting player, especially when it's their first time equipping a cursed piece of equipment.
    • You'll also hear that tune in the NES games if one of your save files gets erased.
  • EarthBound (1994) has one remarkably startling scare chord: "Whoops!" which plays when you are attacked by the zombies in the Threed hotel and immediately upon eating the Magic Cake. There are some fairly less frightening (but still shocking nonetheless) chords, namely "Whoa!" when something unexpected occurs in a cutscene (Pokey entering your house at the beginning of the game, Paula being kidnapped by the Dept. Store Spook, etc.) and the one you hear when an enemy touches you from behind and triggers the red swirl.
  • Pathologic:
    • You wouldn't think that an infant would ever be able to utter one of these, but this game accomplishes it. The game is game already known for being one of the most horrific experiences ever created (by the few who have heard of it) and it has this gem: if you kill an innocent person, you get treated to the disturbing sound of a baby crying. The fact that this means your Karma Meter just took a hit (in a game where keeping it high is problematic and very, very important) doesn't help matters. The sound that plays if you kill an evil person (a boy laughing maniacally and applauding) is arguably even worse.
    • There's also the sound effect that plays when you're infected. It sounds like a distorted, drawn-out sound of glass screeching and then shattering, all while freaky whispers that sound like they're played backward assault your ears. It doesn't help that infection level is one of the hardest meters to manage, so this will quickly evoke feelings of dread from players due to gameplay reasons as well.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: The bloodsucker. It is preceded by a weird shriek when the beast spots a prey and grows louder and louder as it closes in on you. Veteran players immediately start looking around for distortions in the landscape, as the bloodsucker becomes invisible while hunting and is one of the most dangerous creatures in the zone.
  • Batman: Arkham City: Solomon Grundy. I mean, you beat the thing down twice, take all the fight out of it, hop on top of it, and are about to deliver the final blow. BAM. Suddenly, you're in this long-dead monster's grasp, and it's angry, and you're backing away from your TV in fear because of that stupid chord.
    • Similarly, there's the Killer Croc encounter in Batman: Arkham Asylum. You're walking through Croc's lair trying not to make too much noise, and suddenly Croc appears accompanied by a loud crescendo of horns. It loses its impact after the first dozen encounters, though.
  • Dishonored has one when you're seen by enemies. Very disconcerting if you're trying to be sneaky.
  • Project Firestart uses one several times for any shocking encounter, such as Jon finding mutilated bodies or running into a new creature.
  • On Sunday night in Scratches, two loud jumpscares are pulled on you. Aptly, the two tracks containing these are called "It Is Here" and "The Lurker".
  • Far Cry has a metallic sound when an enemy spots you or an alarm is triggered.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's does this to you when you click on the light to find an animatronic lurking in the doorway, and unleashes this God awful sound when you're jumped by one of them. It could have been called "Jump Scare: The Game"
  • In the third dungeon of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, the Lovely Doll FOEs are invisible until you get next to them, at which point they appear right in your face with a piano chord and laughter. You can avoid the Jump Scare and piano sound by walking backward.
  • Upon simply hovering your cursor over the square for Shin Megami Tensei IV, you are greeted not with a character telling you the game's title but just one ominous DUUUUUUUN! It's also part of the background music when on the title screen.
  • Parodied in Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion. The jump scares of the title are actually cardboard cutouts of spiders, ghosts, skeletons and other monsters done in a cutesy style. Some sounds that accompany their appearances do qualify for this trope, while others are not scary at all.
  • The soundtrack of Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi turns scare chords into an art form. Easily half the music features them in some way.
  • Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II made use of this trope for their Giant Spiders. You're wandering about a cave, dungeon, mage basement, etc, then boom, their hissing announces them teleporting in from above or right behind you (as in they are just about jumping out of your screen to attack you). Fun times.
  • In Undertale, there is a loud power chord as the camera suddenly zooms in on the Mad Dummy as it reveals its Game Face in a moment reminiscent of the "Gutsman's Ass" meme.
  • Let It Die plays one whenever a Hater spots you. Da-nah, da-nah....
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 through Tony Hawk's Underground 2 does this every time when you fail the goal.
  • [[Franchise/Kirby]]
    • In the original version of Kirby Super Star, a musical sting pops up like this in the opening of Gourmet Race as a partially-shadowed King Dedede tauntingly looms over Kirby from his point of view, appearing to be much bigger than usual, and gives him a Psychotic Smirk before the scene fades back to the title screen. Of course, this sting is actually the beginning of the music that plays on Gourmet Race's title screen after every time the scene fully finishes.
    • In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, There's a particularly loud one in the intro of the world map theme to Redgar Forbidden Lands, as well as a few during Fecto Forgo's boss fight.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen plays these both upon nearing combat with an enemy AND at random, to keep the player on edge. Spooky!
  • In Fe, the otherwise silent Silent Ones emit a blood-chilling shriek when they sight the eponymous protagonist.
  • In Syphon Filter 2, the BGM for the Aljir Prison Escape and Agency Biolab Escape levels periodically has a scare chord that sounds like a bullet hitting glass.
  • In A House of Many Doors, when your sanity drops below a certain point the music goes silent and gets replaced with intermittent scare chords, among other sounds.
  • Animal Crossing plays one to accompany a character's "shocked" reaction. Like when Blathers accepts a bug donation from you or when you knock down a wasp hive and are about to get stung in about five seconds.
  • If you're a Crewmate and are killed by an Imposter in Among Us, one accompanies your death.
  • In Disney Sorcerer's Arena, Big Baby's animation in the character roster starts with him facing away from you, before his head does a sudden 180 degree spin to face you with a scare chord.
  • Sweet Home (1989) uses these to good effect, despite being an 8-bit game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Encounters with enemies are preceded by a slowly building tune, before a sharp shriek brings the enemy onto the screen. The same shriek comes with the many talking corpses you find before their picture shows on the screen.
  • Later Alligator:
    • During the Navi-Gator minigame, a scare chord plays whenever Pat spots something in the hallway that scares him.
    • The same scare chord plays in the flashback in the Golden Ending, when Pat notices a partly-obscured ad in the newspaper which he misreads as someone asking for help because they're ill, and which is what set the events of the game in motion.
  • In Dangun Feveron, a low-octave piano chord plays if the player allows a cyborg to float off the top of the screen.
  • In Lost Judgment, Kazuki Soma's Leitmotif "Viper" extensively uses "Psycho" Strings, which fits a Psycho Knife Nut Professional Killer that he is.
  • Revenge of the Sunfish gives you a Pop Quiz: listen to the animal noises and pick out which one is making the sound. The noises all overlap and are impossible to distinguish. From then on, choosing a wrong answer will give you a horrifying gory image with a loud, murderous scream accompanying it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors LOVES doing this. Mercifully, the scariest moments are usually not accompanied by these.
  • The original sound novels of Umineko: When They Cry use these occasionally, and get some bonus points for actually making the damn things scary rather than just startling.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry does this even better. Especially when a sentence stops midway for a second, and when the shocking part is said, SCARE CHORD! If the text itself isn't enough to make you go 'oh shit', then the scare chord is the push that WILL make you go 'oh shit!'
  • Hatoful Boyfriend, in the BBL route, has the faint creaking sound that presages an appearance by Labor 9. The characters think they'll be able to hear it coming and avoid it. They don't imagine that it could be lying in wait.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has one when the player walks into Sayori's room and sees her body hanging from the ceiling.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, instead of the usual "Take That!" sound effect you get when presenting something or someone, you get a dramatic chord when Apollo has to present that the second person that was channeled was Dhurke, Apollo's adoptive father, whom he didn't know was Dead All Along.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Chick's review of Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: "It's like... bad fanfiction!" [Scare chord!] She cringes from the dramatic strike like there's something awful approaching. There is; it's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
  • Dramatic Chipmunk. That is all.
  • The parody ads protesting the AT&T&T Mobile merger play the T-Mobile jingle ending with a discordant low piano note.
  • There Will Be Brawl:
    • The music playing when Olimar takes Luigi to his spaceship in Episode 5 is haunting, but not quite scary. It does, however, start setting the tone for what comes next. Once they enter the spaceship, the music gets creepier, and the violin screeches when Olimar kills and chops up the Pikmin, combined with their death screams, will make you shudder every single time, even when you know it's coming.
  • Tomska's "The Hole" (POOOOOO ♪) emphasizes almost every mentioning of said Hole (POOOOO ♪) with a Scare Chord.
  • Scare chords are used to punctuate bizarre or unsettling moments on Abroad In Japan, with one flavour sounding like a typical horror sting, and the other resembling the brass sting from Inception''.
  • Parodied in the Joueur du Grenier's Nightmare Circus video, where the scare chord is provided by Fred screeching away on a violin on-camera.
  • Also very popular when parodying Christopher Nolan's films.

    Western Animation 
  • Probably the most famous scare chord in Western cartoon history isn't even 30 years old! Dick Walter composed a 6-second-long, three-note jingle for The Ren & Stimpy Show and it's been used EVERYWHERE. It's this one, right here.
  • In The Adventures of Figaro Pho, a scare chord is used in every title card, which are always displayed when the conflict for the episode is first set up.
  • Angela Anaconda: the episode "I'm With Stupid" ends on a final shot of Mr Mooey, the ventriloquist dummy that Angela has just thrown in the garbage. The episode seemingly prepares to end with the usual upbeat lead-out music, only for a chord to replace the final note as Mooey's eyes bolt open.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Every single time the camera focuses on Azula's face, a Scare Chord plays. Though instead of the standard blaring piano keys, she gets a distinct bell-like sound that is a lot quieter and means she's up to something sneaky.
      • It seems like a modified gamelan...which would sound pretty weird to western ears. But even if you're used to the noise, this one is a little off.
      • Pretty much any music during her Villainous Breakdown, and the noises she makes when she finally breaks down and cries.
    • The music playing when Ozai fought is basically one long series of Scare Chords.
  • The Legend of Korra: Amon's Leitmotif probably counts.
  • The famous "West" episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack features an ominous noise whenever the word "West" is spoken.
  • Drawn Together uses this trope often, both played straight and for laughs.
  • Garfield's Babes and Bullets: Two occur close together when a thug who is actually Sam Spayed's angry landlord looking for rent can be seen spying on Spayed.
  • Sofia the First: In the Pilot Movie "Once Upon a Princess", the camera revealing the sleeping spell Sofia is holding behind her back as she descends the staircase is accompanied by an eerie tremolo in the background score, hinting toward the situation Sofia ends up in later.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants does this all the time, often accompanied by a Gross-Up Close-Up.
    • The Ominous Music Box Tune that is heard during Patrick's Break the Cutie moment in the episode"Nature Pants": "If I can't have you as a friend, I'm gonna make you a trophy!"
    • The song "Ghost Child" from "Scaredy Pants".
    • The music that plays in this video. It's the 'generic' SpongeBob creepy music.
      • It also plays during the sequence in "Squid's Day Off" where we see Squidward going insane and blocking off his door to his house to prevent him from going back to the Krusty Krab to check up on SpongeBob.
    • The "I DON'T NEED IT" scene in "Tea at the Treedome". SpongeBob's dried up face is zoomed in on in terrifying detail, complete with an unnerving heartbeat sound.
  • Animaniacs often parodies this, after a Scare Chord it is usually revealed, that one from the trio plays it on a piano or even church organ.
  • A subtle, but very disturbing, one happens in Adventure Time, in the episode "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II''. When we first see Simon Petrikov, the music is soft, but it's obvious there's tension brewing. When he opens the cabinet to reveal the the Ice King's crown, there's a quick crescendo on a rather unsettling chord, and it quickly dies down, as Simon narrates his tale.
  • Even Beavis and Butt-Head got in on the act. During one music video, Beavis complained that he had a nightmare where everything sucked, to which Butthead replied: "But Beavis, everything DOES suck!" Cue the "Duhn duhn DUUUN!" while Beavis flipped out. This repeated for the rest of the segment whenever someone said that something sucked.
    • And in the episode where Beavis was watching a show of a woman with morning sickness, and thought his nacho-induced stomachache was the onset of pregnancy. Every time someone mentioned pregnancy, it would play a Scare Chord, followed by Beavis's trademark "Ngyaaaah!".
  • King of the Hill invoked this in one episode when Dale bought a keyboard to mess around with while everyone hangs out and chats in the alley.
  • Happens towards the end of Ice Age 3. The main characters have succeeded in rescuing Sid and are heading towards the exit of the lost world. However, once they reach the tunnel, the previously cheery music turns downright unsettling and Rudy emerges from the cave.
  • Parodied in The Emperor's New School, where whenever the words "Condor Patch" are uttered, ominous music will play. Cue Kuzco saying it over and over.
  • Several Garfield Specials from the 1980s were known for having the loud noise of a trumpet blare to startle the viewer. This happens in Garfield's Halloween Adventure when Garfield and Odie first encounter the creepy old man and later when the pirate ghosts first notice them, in A Garfield Christmas when Garfield climbs up the Christmas tree and then realizes just how high up he is, and Garfield's Babes and Bullets when it shows a giant thug spying on Garfield/Sam Spayde.
  • "THE PICNIC! I should go see my frieeeeeeends!"
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog loves this trope.
    • Whenever Katz made an appearance. You could tell a few seconds before he was actually shown, by the creepy beat that suddenly started playing. And it kept playing. Until it could cause shuddering years later.
  • Invader Zim, unsurprisingly, given its love of the macabre.
    • "Dark Harvest" gives us the music that plays when Dib goes looking for Torque after losing sight of him.
    • The credits music and the theme music (especially that growling/screaming noise at the end when the title "Invader Zim" comes up)
    • In "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy", you can hear what sounds like a ticking clock in the background starting after Dib is hurt for the second time and lasting up until he flatlines.
  • Used in a few early episodes of Phineas and Ferb, when Candace is ready to show the evidence to her mom.
  • Rugrats:
    • The first Halloween episode had some pretty creepy background music.
    • The ending credits music from the episode "Mega Diaper Babies".
    • The music that plays in the background when Not!Tommy and Not!Stu speak, while the voices of Not!Tommy and Not!Stu are a Hell Is That Noise to Chuckie.
  • From The Simpsons:
    • The music at the end of "Rosebud".
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 2" there's one that plays at the very end of the episode as it hints that Maggie shot Mr. Burns intentionally.
    • Frequently used in the Treehouse of Horror episodes. Appropriate, considering these are supposed to be more horror-based.
  • In Thomas & Friends, Diesel was always accompanied by his theme music to put viewers on edge.
  • The ending theme to Action League NOW! ends with this.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day has one accompanying Tigger's bouncing another character. It pops up twice in the featurette, each after a bouncing, and is never heard again.
  • Home Movies - Cho, the goalie who had it in for Brendon, confronts him and his friends - Jason, in his nasal deadpan, intones the three-note "BUM-pum-pum-m-m-m..." breaking off at the commercial break and resuming after: "...-m-m-m-m-m-m!"
  • The Owl House uses a very distinct and unsettling rattling noise, vaguely reminiscent of a cicada's call, throughout "The Intruder" whenever the eponymous monster (Eda's "Owl Lady" form) is nearby.

    Real Life 
  • The Emergency Alert System's initial soundnote  can invoke this. It doesn't help that sometimes it's proceeded by dead air. Then again, it is supposed to get your attention.
  • Aircraft with a "Stuka Scream", after which the trope in question is named, intentionally invokes this trope. The infamous Junkers Ju-87 Stuka was fitted with "Jericho Trumpets", wind-powered sirens that would sound as the bombers got into their dives. The sirens started low, but rose into a terrifying, wailing scream, terrifying and demoralizing troops below. Another plane that was infamous for this was the Douglas SBD Dauntless, and unlike the Stuka, its sound was accidental, caused by air blowing through its perforated air brakes as it deployed them during the dive. The Dauntless was also a rather quiet plane, and was often used in conjunction with low, slow torpedo planes that tended to attract the enemy ship crews' attention, so their arrival could literally be seen as a Scare Chord because the first sign that the ships had that Dauntlesses were even there was the sudden banshee wail of the brakes being deployed...and by that time it was too late to do anything.


Clock Tower (1995)


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