9 Haunting Open Source Melodies

Set the Right Mood for Halloween with These Scary Soundtracks

Man wearing devil costume working in cubicle decorated for Halloween
Mike Powell/Stone/Getty Images

If you're planning a Halloween party, getting ready for trick-or-treaters, or just generally trying to create a frightening atmosphere, you've got to have the right music. Sure, candlelight, scary props, and people in costumes all go a long way, but nothing works better than some creepy music to complete the setting. Luckily, you don't have to spend a fortune buying spooky soundtracks. With open source music, you'll have your monsters mashing for free in no time at all.

Open source music—or audio released into the public domain and through non-restrictive Creative Commons licenses—isn't so hard to find. In fact, The Internet Archive, founded in 1996 as an Internet-based library, is filled with audio, images, software, texts, and even archived web pages that can be used, edited, and re-distributed in the open source spirit.

One problem with the Internet Archive's collection, though, is that it's big. It's really big! So, sorting through all of that content can be time-consuming and tedious. And while there's lots to see and hear there, it's not all available through non-restrictive licenses, so you do need to be careful if you plan to do something with the content beyond your own personal and private use. That said, this list of spooky sounds should help you get your search for scary open source music off to a great start.

General Atmosphere

These tracks are filled with the kind of door-creaking, chain-rattling background ambient sounds that are familiar to ghouls and ghosts everywhere.

    Spooky Songs

    From dark electronica to hip hop to music inspired by horror movies, these individual songs are the perfect addition to your Halloween party's play list.

    Happy haunting ... soundtracks!