There’s a Reason Why Howling Wind Is So Spooky

There’s a reason why the sound is always used in horror movies and on Halloween soundtracks.


Jack-o’-lanterns, haunted houses, creaking floorboards, dark woods, dead trees, howling wind, all things that come to mind when you think of a spooky Halloween night. But what makes the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and the leaves being rustled around on the ground so creepy? It’s just wind, right? (If you think howling wind is creepy, just wait until you see the creepiest things caught on security cameras.)

There’s actually a scientific reason why the howling breeze sends shivers down our spine. Wind howls when it’s broken up from passing through or around objects, such as trees. The gust of air will split up to move around the tree and then comes back together on the other side. Due to factors such as the surface of the tree and the air speed, one side of the wind is going to be stronger than the other when the currents rejoin. The mixing of the two currents causes vibrations in the air, which produce that ghostly howling noise that gives us the creeps. (But let’s face it: That noise is nothing compared to any of these chilling real ghost stories.)

If there are leaves on the trees, they absorb some of the vibrations. That’s why you never hear the wind howling in the middle of summer—only around Halloween when the leaves are falling off the trees, or in the dead of winter. So, the reason everyone finds howling wind so creepy is because it’s associated with the Halloween season when the trees start to become bare, or with the dark, vast, naked forest in winter. Want to stay overnight in a hotel befitting of a horror movie? These are the spookiest tourist attractions in every state.

Spooked yet? These Halloween movies will scare you senseless.

[Source: Mental Floss]

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.