8 Mysterious Sounds Guaranteed to Freak You Out
If you look long enough and hard enough, you can find anything on the internet – including creepy, mysterious sounds that will mess with your head.
Halloween is almost here, and that means it’s time to get down and dirty with the weirdest and strangest things that can be found on the internet. Well, to be clear, the weirdest things that have a spooky tinge to them. There’s no end to how weird things can get online. Things can get real scary and real adult in cyberspace, and not in a fun way.
In this edition of “what the hell is that” we look at a different type of online phenomenon: weird and mysterious sounds. Some are cryptic transmissions, others are natural phenomenon that are just freaky to hear. Some have logical explanations, some don’t.
While there is an aspect of the unexplained to these audio clips (presented in video format because why not?), it’s not accurate to call them supernatural. These aren’t ghost videos, but they may be just as disconcerting.
So with that in mind, here are eight mysterious sounds that will freak you out.
Backwards Music Station
The “Backwards Music Station,” is one of what are known as “Number Stations,” phenomena in their own right that have created a passionate following online. Number stations are shortwave radio stations that send out mysterious signals that don’t immediately make any sense. Most are believed to be used to address intelligence operatives in foreign countries, and the sounds they send out are actually coded messages.
There are dozens of these stations (The Cornet Project is a great resource if you’re interested), including one known as the “Backward Radio Station,” which transmitted low pitched sounds that repeat. The transmissions stopped in 2004, and they were believed to originate in the U.S. and U.K. The sounds didn’t follow any known schedule and never repeated, but it appeared during times of major geopolitical events around the world.
A popular theory is that the tones are actually compressed data of some sort, which causes the distortion; another is that it is actually feedback from naval transmitters. Regardless, it is a bit freaky to listen to.
In August, it was revealed that workers and their families working in the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba were harmed by an unexplained sound that left them suffering from hearing loss and cognitive difficulties. So far, 24 people have been affected by the sonic waves, nearly half of the entire embassy staff.
The U.S. State Department has quietly (and unofficially) suggested that the sounds are actually part of an attack, potentially perpetrated by the Cuba government. Many scientists, however, are unconvinced.
Whatever the actual cause, you can listen to the audio above – don’t worry, it won’t cause you any harm, but it is a little off-putting.
Operation “Wandering Soul”
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military invested a lot of time and effort on “PsyOps,” with the idea that psychological warfare could help lead to victory on the battlefield. It came up with all manner of weird ways to mess with the North Vietnamese, including flooding potentially hostile areas with bizarre sounds meant to disturb those that heard it, enough that they would potentially lose sleep and/or just make mistakes.
One of those PsyOps projects involved loud sounds played at irregular intervals. It’s actually similar to a tactic used to interrogtesuspects by keeping them awake for days at a time by playing loud noises. The military researched these particular sounds and decided that these were the winners. So check it out – just don’t listen for too long.
This entry has more than a touch of conspiracy theory to it, but it isn’t a huge stretch as far as conspiracy theories go. And if it is exactly what many claim it is, it is just incredibly sad.
During the early days of the Space Race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., both sides kept a lot of the specifics of their programs secret – especially the Soviets. NASA played it close to the vest, but ultimately its plans were subject to the approval of dozens, even hundreds, while the free press hunted for any details. The Soviets, on the other hand, were under no similar restrictions.
While the Soviet space program had many successes, including sending the first person into space and successfully returning him and the first spacewalk, there are rumors that there were also a few attempts that ended in tragedy – they just weren’t reported. There are theories that Yuri Gagarin was not the first Russian in space, he was just the first to survive. Another theory involves the death of a female cosmonaut as she burned up on re-entry. The Soviets had a proven track record of hiding its failures, so the recording – obtained by amateur radio operators in Italy in May 1961, may be legit. And if so, it’s unquestionably tragic.
Sounds from Jupiter
While many of the entries on this list are unexplained or mysterious, this one is very much explained and is based on science. That doesn’t make it any less creepy to listen to.
When the Juno spacecraft orbited Jupiter in 2017, it recorded these sounds as it entered the gas giant’s electromagnetic field. When supersonic solar winds passing through space hit this field, they slow down and heat up, creating an effect known as “bow shock.” It’s not all that dissimilar from a sonic boom.
The sound above is just a strange scientific phenomenon captured by Juno’s Waves instrument, but “hearing” a planet is odd.
The Sounds of a Hurricane
If you’ve ever heard anyone describe what it’s like being ups close and personal with a hurricane or a tornado, you’ve probably heard something to the effect of “it sounds like a train” – and they aren’t wrong.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike reached the power of a category 4 storm. Its final landfall hit Galveston, Texas, and in total it was blamed for at least 195 deaths. The clip above was recorded by a producer for The Weather Channel as he wanders through the 11th floor of a hotel as Ike strikes at its most powerful. The sound is augmented by things like corridors and other barriers that channel the wind, but it is still haunting.
Strange sound over Finland
On October 12, 2012, a strange sound resonated over a chunk of Finland. There have been several theories as to what the sound is, but similar sounds have been recorded all over the world.
The most common theory is that there is a power plant nearby and the sound originated there. When the temperatures drop, the powerlines can “hum.” That may be what caused this, although the other, similar recordings don’t always have that easy of an answer. Regardless, it is bizarre.
UVB-76 – The Buzzer
Of all the number stations around, this is arguably the most famous. Originating in Russia on frequency 4625 kHz, it emits a strange sound, and occasionally there are words. It has been operating constantly since 1982, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, its activity actually increased. It even moved in 2010 after its signal was traced. No one is sure what it is, who continues to operate it, or what it is meant for. There are plenty of theories, however.
UVB-76 operates 24 hours a day, and occasionally there is a voice that reads off a series of numbers that are almost certainly a message of some sort – most think there is a one-time cypher needed to understand it, so there is no code to crack. The name “UVB-76” is actually from an early recording where someone seemed to say “Ulyana Vasili Boris – 76” over and over. The signal is now believed to originate somewhere near Moscow, which lends credence to the theory that it is actually a “Dead Hand” nuclear switch.
The theory goes that the station is beaming the signal uninterrupted, but if it is interrupted for a long period of time – as would be the case if Moscow were hit by a nuclear strike – even if there was no one left alive, the buzzer would cut out and automatically launch retaliatory missiles.
This theory is just that – a theory. Where would the missiles be sent? What if the signal transmitter breaks down and no one notices? The Dead Hand theory is compelling (and creepy), but it raises plenty of questions too. Another theory is that the buzzer is related to weather research.
The Russians refuse to comment, and the buzzer continues.