music for horror writing

i want to write a horror story, but every time i look for horror music i never find anything good. does anyone know any good songs to listen too while writing?

Interesting… When I wrote ‘Songs of Insanity’ which is almost a 100 page chapter to my HIM book. I’ve used songs to cover each of the subchapters. I’ve been hearing so much about copyright issues that I later changed the chapter to: Screams from the Nightmare Man.

Songs were used to inspire emotions and maybe insert ideas.

Beatles song: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was used used as a map for a subchapter. The killer killed a stranger at a theater, then his girlfriend in the hotel, then a teacher (he felt wronged him) but he ends up getting captured… Then he kills the Judge while on trial. I’ve used Maxwell’s Silver Hammer as a road map but I didn’t follow the song completely.

Rob’s Zombie song: How to Make a Monster was used to start the subchapter because my focus was how bad the killer’s parents were…

Danzig’s song: How the God Kill was used to help me write the subchapter when the killer killed his first victim a neighbor’s dog.

Song’s don’t have to be creapy…

Total Eclipse of the Heart was used to inspire the killer’s emotions when a girl he liked died by an accident he created. And changed him into a darker killer.

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maybe horror movie soundtracks?

like what

“Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima”, a musical composition by Krzysztof Penderecki, always gets my blood pumping.

Personally, whenever I need a quick shortcut into the horror writing mood or settle into my villain’s mind space, I put J. Robert Oppenheimer’s (father of the atomic bomb) “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” speech on repeat over a dark ambient drone noise track. Does the trick every time.

I have spent 10 years doing this. Here are some suggestions.

Songs from Silent Hill
-Never Forgive Me, Never Forget Me
-Room of Angel
-Silent Circus

Self Esteem Fund by Kelly Bailey (From Portal, one of my absolute personal favorites)

Love is an Infection by Lzn02
Fleur du Lune by Lzn02
Emotional Instability of the End Credits by Lzn02

SCP-087-B Ambience (look for this on YouTube, it’s horrifying)

And the biggest gold mine of them all, the YouTube channel Cryo Chamber. ( They have literally HUNDREDS of tracks that are just ambient horror.

Maybe I should just make a thread for this and people can add to it and it can be a sort of unofficial archive because there’s more.

Hope this helps.


I’d recommend looking at the soundtracks of films with horror elements. Lots of horror/sci-fi films have some pretty great music:

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I don’t know any songs, but I do use this from time to time when I’m writing horror.


There’s a playlist of noir music on the classical section of spotify- incredibly atmospheric and creepy


Depends on what kind you’re looking for. There are great ambient tracks by the user “Iron Cthulhu Apocalypse” in youtube… plus the titles themselves are great.

The Weight of All Being

If you’re looking for something veering to terror and insanity, postal (the game) soundtracks are the pinnacle of that sort of thing.

Central Park

If ambient isn’t to your liking, preferring more ‘normal’ type music, slow-burn country horror and / or death metal are good. Country:

Coffinshakers - Whispers through the Black Veil

Instrumental death metal:

Death Breath - Cthulhu Dawn

Listen to some 80’s synthwaves! I think there’s even a compilation on YouTube called “It came from the 80s.”

The Resident Evil soundtrack by Marilyn Manson is pretty dark for horror writing. Also try out King 810, quite aggressive but seems to work.

Calling all the monsters by China Anne McClain and Monster by Skillet

I prefer to juxtapose the music with the mood. Happy music in dark situations is fun.

Atrium Carceri. Most everything on the Cryo Chamber label, really.

Aphotic Apathy has a series of albums themed on the Alien series.

…and then there’s Lustmord.

anything by the chordettes

Tapping The Vein.
Aesthetic Perfection.
William Control.
The Birthday Massacre (especially their old music).
Schoolyard Heroes.
Jack Off Jill.
And there are so, so, so many others that offer great ambience when writing!

Depends on the flavor of horror, setting, and themes. Can’t go wrong with soundtracks to horror films (though a lot of soundtracks in horror work in time with the actual film and can get distracting when it jumps).

I’ve been working on American Gothic styled stories and tend to lean into the Twin Peaks soundtrack, The Bones of J.R Jones, Eliza Rickman, Mother Mother, Hozier, etc.

I do have a playlist for a bit more jazz themed horror with a bit of synth music at the end, which includes The Dear Hunter, Voltaire, Hot Sugar, etc.

OH! There’s some jazz elder god themed playlists on youtube that I used to