I go for a looping track of general outdoorsy type spooky sounds. Crickets chirping mixed in with the occasional thunder, grandfather clocks chiming, witches cackling, screams etc..
Sets the ambiance nicely. I might throw Thiller in there every now and then this year but i think the constant movie themes wouldn't go down well around here. I'm the only person who makes an effort to haunt.
I'll be playing Evil Whispers this year to set the mood outside by my 1st attempt at a graveyard. It's 1 track so I can just put it on repeat and let it go. I like that it's themed and it was exactly what I was looking for. Here is a link to a sample clip of it from poisonprops.com
We use two different Midnight Syndicate CDs, and a classic horror theme CD that has things like Night on Bald Mountain and March of the Marionettes.
I actually am making a burn disk of music ranging from the 50s to current times that have a Halloween theme; it's been a lot of fun, and I may play it for our Halloween party and keep with the classic stuff for Halloween itself.
I only do Midnight Syndicate. Last few years was their 13th Hour CD. This year will be their new one The Dead Matter. Midnight Syndicate is the perfect spooky theme sound to my haunt. It really pumps up the drama. I would say the impact of my haunt would be reduced by 50% without that music. It's that effective. Here's a link to their site if anyone wants to hear samples:
I will be playing some selections from various Midnight Syndicate albums (all ordered and looped on MP3 players hooked up to amplified speakers hidden in my haunt) and also a MP3's of background noises, moaning, howling, owls etc (also on hidden MP3 players in my haunt yard. I don;t think it's possible to have a successful haunt without the ambiance created by background noises and music.
Last couple of years we used a 3D quadraphonic sound system (5 speaker: 1 sub & 4 spkrs) with a sound track generated through the Neverwinter Nights video game. DH selected specific sounds (creepy music, crickets, wolves, thunder, groans, screams, etc) which it uses randomly for as long as the program runs. We'll definitely be using that in the cemetery again this year since it works so well for us. It really sounds like things are going on all around the house, down the street, etc.
In the garage I have a monster nursery, and in it I play demented-sounding nursery rhymes and creepy children's voices with thunder mixed in. "It's a Small World" in a minor key is WICKED EVIL sounding!
Even before we got all high-toned with our sound effects, I'd play Midnight Syndicate or similar music. I just can't stand a silent cemetery Even if it's just music and nothing elaborate, TOTs or at least their parents really do notice...
I have never heard of Nox Arcana. I love it! They have a perfect vampire/werewolf soundtrack that'll go great with my theme. I think I'll mix that in with the Midnight Syndicate CD I already have and it'll be perfect. Thanks for bringing it up! By the way, for you pirate fans, they also have a great pirate CD too. Here's the link to their site where you can hear samples: NOX ARCANA
As this year be a backyard walk-thru, I be 'avin' mostly PoTC music playin' in th' front yard fer atmosphere, numerous Disney clips playin' at each spot (We want's th' red'ead, Pirate/Spanish fort cannon battle, burinin' jailed pirates gettin' key from dog, A Pirates life fer me, etc) an' numerous cannon blasts, be no doubt wha' th' theme be. 'tol' everyone last year tha' this be a 5yr (or so) project.. neighbors on either side livin' vicariously thru me Lots o' music out thar, commandeered (ok stole) me kids ipods, ta plug inta speakers fer each spot.. even using me kar-e-oke player ta play looped background ocean wave an' seagull disks.. atmosphere be everythin' mate...
I used to use a mix of horror-movie themes, but I made the switch to Midnight Synicate 5 or 6 years ago and I haven't looked back! I find that the horror soundtracks are more or less spooky by associations, whereas the MS tracks are actaully haunting.
We use Sounds of Horror cds turned down a little outside and Midnight Syndicate turned up inside usually. It gives it a "what's in the shadows" kind of effect. It's surprising how few kids actually want to go that way