10. The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy (NES version) - Mine & Graveyard
The Fantastic adventures of dizzy is about an adventuring anthropomorphic egg, which is an insane concept, but not really scary. Most of the music in the game is the sort of thing you'd expect from a 3rd party adventure game on the NES upbeat, bouncy, repetitive and a little annoying. This track however manages to have a distinct creepy feeling, when you go into this area where this track plays, the normally happy-go-lucky and ever-smiling dizzy looks sad and concerned. It does suffer from a really cliched creepy sound, but it's still pretty effective for an 8-bit era game.
9. Doom(PC)- Suspense
Doom's tracks are mostly a mix of hard rock inspired compositions to get you pumped for killing hordes of invading hell-spawn. There are a few however that are meant to impart a sense despair, dread and distress. Suspense is one of the creepiest in the purest musical sense. It's a piece that wouldn't sound out of place in a classic Hollywood thriller. It starts with anxiety inducing pure strings and slowly layers in low ominous bass and a baleful melody. Suspense fills you with a sense of unease as you explore the dark demon infested halls of the Phobos Lab.
8. Resident Evil Dual Shock Director's Cut(PS1) - Safe Room Music
In the Chaos that is the Mansion in the first Resident Evil the safe rooms are havens. No zombies, a typewriter, all your extra items, which makes this creepy little tune all the more upsetting. It sounds like an old dusty music box that's slowed with age, with an ethereal dark undercurrent. It's on the surface childlike and innocent but makes you uneasy sort of like the twins in The Shining. It leaves you wondering what might be lurking in your safety. (Please note that the Director's Cut Dual Shock safe room music is entirely different from the original cut safe room music)
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7. Castlevania SOTN (PS1)-Abandoned Pit
Symphony of the Night has one of the greatest game soundtracks ever, full of beautiful multi-faceted tracks ranging from orchestral to hard rock. While they all provide proper ambiance for exploring the twisted interior of Dracula's castle, this is the only track that's creepy. The main Piano melody is reminiscent of a 1940's film noir score played by ghostly hands with an ambient undertone of cave creature sounds. The overall effect is unsettling to say the least.
6. Friday the 13th (NES)-Cabin Theme
Say what you will about Friday the 13th as a game, but it does have some very good horror elements. Perhaps the best implementation of these elements is the search for Jason. Once you're in a cabin that you know Jason is in (or sometimes don't know) you've got to search the cabin to find him, going around every corner bit by bit until you confront the hockey masked killer. The cabin theme sets the perfect mood for these searches.
5. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)- Misty Menace
The Donkey Kong Country Games all had great music, ranging from upbeat Jungle level tracks to relaxing new age Water Level tracks to Grinding Industrial level tracks and everything in between. The music is always very complimentary to the level you're on so naturally the abandoned mines are going to have songs with a slightly darker spookier feel. This track however takes that to a whole new level, sounding more like it came from a survival horror game than an adventure game about monkeys seeking their banana hoard.
4. Legend of Zelda (NES)-Dungeon Theme
The original Zelda dungeon music is unquestionably eerie. It's so startlingly different from the adventurous bravado evoked by the main theme and in it's subtlety, creepier than the in your face aggressive sound of the final dungeon. It really captures the feeling of being a dark, dank creepy place where you're alone, confused and scared.
3.Super Metroid (SNES)-Crateria underground
Most of Super Metroid's soundtrack is disquieting, a haunting blend of sci-fi and horror. This is one of the earliest tracks and it really impress upon you that you're on a strange, frightening, and very hostile alien planet. There's a perpetual drum beat reminiscent of theatrical slave ship drummers overlaid with resonating choral style high tones and long droning midtones, it puts you on edge nervous for what manner of evil may come crawling out of the alien darkness.
2. Manhunt (PS2) - Deliverance (Piggsy's level)
This track is heard in the final area of Manhunt where you meet the chainsaw-wielding lunatic known simply as Piggsy. It starts off with an ambient eeriness and uncertainty and as Cash's stress level increases, it builds to an unclean-sounding medley of distant grinding, breathing, and squealing. Once the chase begins, this vile track hits its climax, louder pained squealing, like the last breaths of a hog being strangled to death, exacerbated by the subtle but effective sawing noises and haunting screams, perhaps the tormented ghosts of the past as they bear witness to the next victim to be slaughtered within the rotting walls of this decrepit place. As creepy as it is though this track really could have been truly terrifying if used as a mood builder while you're creeping through in the crumbling squalor of Piggsy's lair. Instead the climax hits while you're being chased and not really appreciating the ambiance, a real missed opportunity by Rockstar.
1. Silent Hill (PS1) - For All ( Nightmare School )
Let's just first say we purposefully only selected one Silent Hill tack so this list wasn't exclusively Silent Hill. Almost every piece of music in every numbered Silent Hill game is horrifying. The first Silent Hill game is by far the worst offender with some of the most discordant, cacophonous and downright disturbing music to ever be inflicted on a living being. This track is the worst of the worst. It starts with a pounding drum beat building behind rhythmic breathing sounds and gives you a disconcerting lull before culminating with what could only reasonably be described as a piano being battered with a sledgehammer with ever increasing soul crushing intensity. This track could easily be used as a weapon of psychological warfare.
Honorable mention: Earthbound (SNES)-Giygas battle
Really there's no debating that this is a creepy track, but the fact is, that really it's not so much music as it is a series of frightening noises. It's borderline music at the end, but still mostly just upsetting noise. It is however very effective upsetting noise so it deserves at least a nod here.
With that, our systematic assault on your psyche comes to a close. We take no responsibility for any internal scarring you may have suffered.
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