The story, the gameplay, THE FOG; there are countless elements that contribute to making Silent Hill almost unbearably terrifying to play. But here we’re going to focus on how the music contributes to the fear you feel when playing.

One key element of the music, particularly in the soundtrack for the first Silent Hill game, is the use of foley and noise in the background. Yanakoa uses what sounds like vinyl record noise and industrial machinery in the background of many tracks. These scratchy, analogue sounds create an unsettling atmosphere; things aren’t quite right, things aren’t going smoothly, there’s something broken and distorted about the world you’re in.

In addition, this analogue noise is reminiscent of the VHS camera look used in found footage psychological horrors such as The Blair Witch Project. Though The Blair Witch Project came out after the first Silent Hill game (it was released later in the same year), modern audiences can’t help but make the association now that the found footage genre has become such a part of the mainstream consciousness.

You too can use sound effects like this to great effect in your music and videos. For royalty free sound effects check out Accusonus’ SFX Cellar.