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Top 10 Creepiest Sounds You Can Hear in Nature

by Paul Medina
fact checked by Rachel Jones

You know that feeling when you hear a sound, and it just sends chills right down your spine? Creepy, right? We all know that nature produces all sorts of interesting sights and sounds. From creepy animals to (previously) unexplained sounds that go bump in the night, there’re all sorts of sounds to be wary of in the wild. So check under your bed, turn on all the lights, and join us as we go through the ten creepiest sounds you can hear in nature.

Related: 10 Creepy Ghost Animals You’ve Never Heard Of

10 Alligators

DRAGON SOUNDS – Alligator bellowing

Even without making any noise, alligators are creepy enough! Alligators have been around for so long that they look like almost nothing else (except crocodiles, of course). American alligators can be as long as twenty feet. During their mating season, they call out to each other with a bellow. Both male and female alligators bellow, but the male alligator (often called a bull) is much louder.

The sound makes me feel like I’m watching Jurassic Park! The low growl or bellow from a male alligator is so loud and deep that it even makes the surrounding water vibrate. If you hear one of these, make a run for it! Though alligators rarely attack humans, the sound alone would make anyone get out of the area and fast!

9 Lynxes

Lynx sounds somewhere in the north. Wild lynx scream at night.

If you have a cat that is anything like mine, you know they can make all sorts of crazy noises. Big cats, like the Canadian lynx, take this to another level. However, lynxes aren’t simply trying to get a cat treat. They make a variety of interesting noises for a variety of reasons.

Lynxes let out a long, moaning wail to attract mates. Since lynxes are relatively rare, it makes sense that this mating call is so loud. I’m not sure it needs to be so creepy, though! Lynxes have several other sounds that they can make as well. They have a short, lower sound that almost sounds like a bark to help their kittens. Lynxes use a third kind of sound when they’re confronting another adult. For such a beautiful animal, Lynxes sure make some creepy sounds!

8 Howling Wind

You know what they always say in horror movies, right? The main characters hear a loud sound in some creepy location and say, “It’s just the wind.” Well, in the movie, it’s not the wind! But, the wind surely can create some eerie and creepy sounds.

Scary sounds made by the wind happen for various reasons. Most often, it’s due to the shape of the land and foliage nearby. Think about whistling. You can whistle when you hold your mouth correctly by blowing air through that shape. The same shape can occur naturally. In nature, you can hear a variety of sounds from the wind. It may sound like a howl, a whistle, or a growl. Even though we understand what causes the wind to make these sounds, that doesn’t make it any less creepy!

7 Ruffed Grouse “Drumming”


The Ruffed Grouse is a musical bird with a talent for percussion. This bird’s “drums” can reportedly be heard or even felt up to a quarter-mile away. Hopefully, you don’t have any Ruffed Grouses as upstairs neighbors!

While this noise may be less scary than some of the others on the list, it’s certainly eerie. The deep, percussive drumming sound comes not from the Ruffed Grouse’s mouth but its wings. The Ruffed Grouse repeatedly pumps its wings, creating a deep, muted sound like a drumbeat. However, Ruffed Grouses don’t make that sound to keep a beat. They make their trademark drumming noise to claim territory and attract mates. Only male Ruffed Grouses make the drumming sound.

6 Crows

Interesting Crow Vocalizations (crow sounds)

Crows are a regular fixture in horror movies. They’re said to represent death in many cultures. As well as being iconic for their appearances in horror movies, crows are known to be extremely intelligent. They have even proven capable of using tools to some degree.

However, there is no denying that a crow’s “caw” is just plain creepy! Crows can create a wide variety of noises, but their trademark “caw” is the start of countless horror stories. As scary as a crow “caw” is on film, it can be even creepier in person. If you start hearing crows too often, you may want to think about investing in a scarecrow to give those crows a taste of their own medicine.

5 “Trumpets” in Alberta, Canada

Strange sounds in Conklin, Alberta Jan. 12/2012

The next item on our list is a lot harder to explain. There has been a mysterious trumpet noise heard in Alberta, Canada, on several occasions. It’s undoubtedly eerie and creepy, made even more so because there isn’t a definite explanation.

While many report these sounds as “coming from the sky,” some potential theories are in place. Some scientists believe this is happening because of tectonic movement beneath the Earth’s crust (the same movement which causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). Other scientists speculate that it’s a wind-based phenomenon. Nobody is entirely sure.

Some of the creepiest things are those we can’t explain. The “trumpet” sounds in Alberta are another example of this. Whatever the reason for the mysterious sound, it sends a chill up my spine!

4 Owls

Hooting Male Great Horned Owl

Owls are commonly associated with intelligence, large eyes, and nocturnal nature. You have to admit, though, those quiet, big-eyed birds are a little bit creepy too! Owls also produce various sounds, most of them pretty eerie and unsettling when out in nature.

The sound that most people think of when they think of an owl is a gentle “hoot.” Typically, this sound is associated with the great horned owl. However, owls make various noises, including screeches that’re very disarming. Young owls are very noisy and scream piercingly when begging for food. Adult owls can make all sorts of noises, like barks, shrieks, hisses, coos, cries, and screams. Any one of those sounds at the wrong time could give you a case of the willies.

Maybe the sounds of an owl wouldn’t be so creepy if they were active during the day. A quiet night in the woods interjected with a hoot from an owl may be all it takes to send you running for cover!

3 Bats

The Sound of a Bat at Night

The phrase “blind as a bat” is used pretty often. However, bats aren’t actually blind. They simply use sounds to make it easier to hunt prey at night. This technique is called echolocation. Echolocation works like sonar technology: A bat emits a high-pitched screaming sound and hears the echoes. The bat then uses those echoes to create a mental picture of its surroundings. This allows bats to be active at night.

While this is a cool and interesting ability for a bat, it’s downright creepy. The sounds of a bat are so high-pitched that you can hear them easily over long distances. On a quiet night, it’s possible to listen to the bats’ wings flapping as well. Thanks to horror movies and scary stories, most of us already have a healthy fear and distaste of bats. Unfortunately, none of this knowledge will make them sound any less creepy.

2 Bears

Grizzly Bear Sounds

Most of us are familiar with the sound that a bear makes. However, this doesn’t prepare you for hearing that sound in nature. Hearing that growl is not only creepy; it can be downright scary.

In actuality, though we picture bears growling and making a lot of noise, they generally don’t make noise without reason. Bears are known to make a variety of sounds. Bears grunt relatively quietly to communicate with other bears or their offspring and may sometimes hum when enjoying a meal (though cubs do this more often). Typical bear cubs may scream or cry when separated from their mothers. However, the grizzly bear roar is by far the creepiest out of all these sounds.

Typically, grizzly bears only roar when facing a conflict (generally with another bear). This loud, low roar is meant as a warning. I can imagine that a grizzly bear’s roar is creepy to just about every mammal, including humans.

1 Giggling Hyenas

Roxy the hyena “laugh” loudly in front of her meal

There is nothing quite so joyous as the laughter of children. On the other hand, there is nothing quite as creepy as a laughing pack of hyenas. In fact, for the hyena, their high-pitched laugh isn’t an indicator that they are amused.

A hyena’s laugh sounds maniacal. It sounds like a person who has completely lost their mind just cackling and chortling. However, the hyena is actually trying to communicate.

Hyenas generally laugh for three reasons; they laugh because they’re scared, excited, or frustrated. If you hear a hyena laughing, it’s most likely because they’re on the hunt. Hyenas may also laugh when they’re not getting their share of a kill (or don’t want to share with the rest of the pack). An eerie, creepy laugh often echoed throughout a pack of hyenas is, for me, the creepiest sound you can hear in nature. It’s probably best to steer clear of the whole list, though.

fact checked by Rachel Jones