Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Donald's Halloween sound effects how-tos

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell shares his favorite Halloween how-to tips for adding scary music and sound effects to your decorations or costume.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell

Halloween is a time for candy, a time for creativity, and a time for scaring the living crap out of people. The secret ingredient for creating true terror: sound.

I don't care how many Jason masks or buckets of fake blood you have, we've seen it all before. The props are played out. We're desensitized. A scary sound, however, triggers the darkest parts of our imagination in ways that are so primal, it transcends even the most shocking gore.

Don't take my word for it. Go back and watch the scariest moments of any horror film, close your eyes, and you'll realize what a huge role sound plays in making something scary. Whether it's John Carpenter's soundtrack to "Halloween" or John Williams' score to "Jaws," it's the sound that puts you on the edge of your seat.

To that end, let's find some creative ways to add sound to your Halloween decorations and maybe even your costume.

In these two included How To videos, you'll find simple ways to create a portable, concealable sound system, as well as a free method for turning any computer into a sound effects machine.

Trigger sounds with a computer
Watch this: Trigger sounds with a computer

Launch sound effects with your keyboard (photos)

See all photos

Add sound to anything
Watch this: Add sound to anything

How to add sound to anything (photos)

See all photos