WIHM: Music and Writing

Some writers need quiet while they work, but I find silence unnerving. Perhaps this is a consequence of coming from a large family? Or it could just be that I’m a total music nerd and would quite happily walk around all day, every day with a pair of headphones on.

When writing, I prefer music without lyrics (otherwise I get distracted singing along, or accidently typing lyrics into a paragraph…) and my favourite go-to’s are movie scores.

Specifically, horror movie scores.

So I wanted to share my top three with you.

  1. Sinister. Awesome movie staring Ethan Hawke about true-crime writer who discovers a snuff-film and uncovers the presence of an evil paranormal entity. Chills, right? The first time I watched this movie I fell in love with the score. It’s incredibly dark and sets the tone for your horror writing like nothing I’ve listened to. There is some talking in some of the songs (e.g. “I want to show you the piano wire in my hands…” a line from Judgehydogen’s “A Body of Water) but it’s murmurings or whispers. I could play “Gyroscope” by Boards of Canada on a loop when I’m writing!


  1. Insidious. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne. Need I say more? What says creepy better than a horror movie set between the real world and the astral plane? This score absolutely reflects that vibe and I highly recommend the listen. Mind you, I always skip the song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” or else it gets stuck in my head for days…


  1. The Mothman Prophecies. My favourite. Staring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, it’s about a journalist investigating the mystery of his wife’s death and finds himself caught up in the strange activity in a town miles away. Another fantastic score for setting the scene, with lots of eerie melodies to take with you down the rabbit hole.


Check them out and get your horror writing vibes on!

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1 Response

  1. Willow Croft says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love film scores as well. And the soundtracks to video games. I have two of the Myst scores, as well as American McGee’s Alice!