Horror is about atmosphere more than any other genre. The right music can crawl under your skin, and it will unsettle your players more than your hushed whispers could achieve.
Some gamers prefer metal for their horror games, but I like something slow and subtle. Something that will stalk you and get you before you know it’s there. Not something that’s just going to pop out of the shadows for a cheap thrill.
Daniel Licht – “Intro Perk Walk”
Into the Haunted Mansion
Daniel Licht had big shoes to fill for the Silent Hill games, but this song from Silent Hill: Downpour shows he was up to the task. This song plays in the beginning of the game as the hero is leaving prison. The game implies he’s safer in prison as the song grows more sinister as he nears the nightmarish ghost town.
Ennio Morricone- “The Thing”
What’s down that dark hole?
Ennio is a master. I’ve always loved his score for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, but this track from The Thing proves scientists need to keep their poking and prodding to themselves. A steady beat of terror suits an investigation in the darkest corners of your game’s haunts.
Angelo Badalementi – “Bookhouse Boys”
The Spooky Speakeasy
David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is bizarre, and and Baldalementi’s score is a perfect, jazzy accompaniment. This song hints at mysteries just outside the character’s perceptions.
Sigur Ros – “Avalon”
I try to avoid lyrics, but Sigur Ros gets a pass. They sing in a fictional language called “Hopelandic.” Their unusual music may not be terrifying or unnerving, but it does provide a haunting atmosphere.
Jocelyn Pool – “Masked Ball (1999 Extended Cut)”
The Cultists Chant
To be honest, I don’t always listen to a whole song when assembling these playlists. I skip around and try my best to get the feeling. Then I’ll listen to the playlist all the way through and tweak as I need to. But I can’t make it through this song at all. It is terrifying. You may recognize it from Eyes Wide Shut. The hymns on the track were played backward for extra nightmare fuel.
Bumps in the Night- A Horror Gaming Soundtrack
Recommended Games: Dread, Call of Cthulhu, World of Darkness, All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
1. Daniel Licht – Intro Perk Walk
2.Christopher Young – The Suffering Begins
3. Danny Elfman – The Story…
4. Harry Gregson-Williams – Suicide Blonde
5. Danny Elfman – The Tree of Death
6. Ramin Djawadi – Addiction
7. Ramin Djawadi – Unwelcome Partner
8. Danny Elfman – Tales from the Crypt HBO Theme
9. Thomas Newman – To the Shock of Miss Louise
10. Alan Silvestri – First Grendel Attack
11. Akira Yamaoka – The Darkness That Lurks In Our Minds
12. Akira Tamaoka – Silent Heaven
13. John Carpenter – The Haunted House
14. John Carpenter – Better Check the Kids
15. Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Version Point Five)
16. Daniel Licht – Blood Theme 2010
17. Daniel Licht – Wink
18. Hans Zimmer – The Citrine Cross
19. Mogwai – I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
20. Nine Inch Nails – Gone, Still
21. Nine Inch Nails – 22 Ghosts III
22. Daniel Licht – Don’t Go in the Basement
23. Jack Wall – The Thorian
24. Sam Hulick – A Very Dangerous Place
25. Sigur Ros – Sigur 6 (Untitled)
26. George Crumb – Black Angels: Devil Music
27. George Crump – Black Angels: Danse Macabre
28. Hans Zimmer – She Never Sleeps
29. Ennio Morricone – Main Theme from The Thing – Desolation
30. Angelo Baldelementi – Night Life in Twin Peaks
31. Angelo Baldelementi – The Bookhouse Boys
32. Mogwai – Scotland’s Shame
33. Christopher Young – Theme from Hellraiser
34. Jocelyn Pook – Masked Ball (1999 Extended Mix)
35. Jocelyn Pool – Flood
36. Petri Alanko – Mirror Peak
37. Petri Alanko – Bright Falls Light & Power
38. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – With the Flies
39. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – How Brittle the Bones
40. Sigur Ros – Valtari
41. Anton Coppola – The Brides
42. Anton Coppola – The Ring of Fire
43. Michael Giacchino – Cloverfield