Photo by matan elihay on Unsplash

Fright Night: 7 Animal Calls That’ll Give You the Creeps

It’s Halloween! The one night of the year when hearing a blood-curdling scream on the wind is to be expected.

But what if those shrieks aren’t coming from a haunted house?

What if they’re right in your backyard?

There are quite a few nocturnal animals whose cries will send shivers down your spine, so before you call the police, acquaint yourself with some of the scariest animal sounds you might hear tonight.


When a pack of coyotes gets together for a good old fashioned scream-a-thon, the chaotic cries are enough to wake the dead. Their raucous yipping, yelling, and yodeling cuts through the silence like a drawer full of knives.

Red Fox

At this time of year, foxes don’t have much to say. But as winter and mating season approaches, they start screaming bloody murder. As you might imagine, this explosive scream has led to quite a few emergency calls by unsuspecting listeners.

Barn Owl

Barn owls are silent flyers, so their warbling, hissing screech seemingly comes out of nowhere, even if you’ve been watching the trees. If you do manage to spot the animal, it might not even soothe your fears — their ghostly-white alien face is the stuff of nightmares.


All North American wild cats have startling calls and cries, but bobcats sound especially disturbing. These felines’ cries sound eerily similar to a screaming child, which is enough to turn anyone’s blood to ice. Plus, they have a surprisingly demonic growl for a cat that only weighs only 20 pounds.


American alligators’ rumbling bellow signals territory lines and call for mates, but also does a pretty good job of scaring off humans. Their prehistoric reptilian hissing and roaring sounds more like Jurassic Park sound effects than anything natural.

Great Blue Heron

This bird may be beautiful but the voice? It’s not. Raspy, choking, and sometimes shouting, the heron’s call is more than a little disquieting if you’re calmly birdwatching near the shore.


To many, the howling of wolves is a thing of beauty. Their smooth voices carrying through the forest is sort of inspirational. But if you’re hiking, you may not want to hear this one. Wolves howl to communicate long distances, warn each other, or call for backup as they descend on their prey.

Of course, none of these majestic carnivores want anything to do with humans. They’re all just out there minding their own business, having not-so-private conversations with each other. We’re just eavesdropping.

Still, their calling, crying, and outright screaming does a pretty good job of boosting our spooky Halloween ambiance.

Have you heard any other animal sounds that scared your pants off? Comment below!

Sarah Czarnecki is a freelance writer who focuses on wildlife and ecotourism while occasionally dipping a toe into fiction. Learn more about who she is and why she writes at her eponymous website.




Usually a travel and animal blogger. Sometimes a music writer, often a pro skateboarding journalist. Always a reader. | Editor of FreeRein

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Sarah Czarnecki

Sarah Czarnecki

Usually a travel and animal blogger. Sometimes a music writer, often a pro skateboarding journalist. Always a reader. | Editor of FreeRein

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