Film fans in the Northern Ireland have voted the music from the shower scene in Psycho the scariest sound in movie history.
The shrieking strings which accompany Janet Leigh’s screams beat Hannibal Lecter’s slurp in The Silence of the Lambs and Jack Nicholson’s chilling “Here’s Johnny” line in The Shining to take first place in a poll by hearing specialists Amplifon.
The sinister shark attack music from Jaws was rated the second most frightening sound, with the terrifying ‘chestburster’ scene from Alien coming third in the vote.
Amplifon say the survey has been released in Oscars week to highlight how important good hearing is to the movie-going experience.
Although the spine-tingling shower scene in Psycho was never supposed to include music, composer Bernard Herrmann went against director Alfred Hitchcock’s wishes, adding the now familiar jabbing, screaming strings reminiscent of animal cries.
Hitchock changed his mind as soon as he heard it, and the rest is cinema history.
Darth Vader’s heavy breathing in Star Wars also claimed a place in the Top Ten, alongside Tubular Bells – better known as the theme tune from The Exorcist.
The Top Ten Scariest Movie Sounds are:
1. Music from the shower scene (Psycho)
2. Shark attack music (Jaws)
3. An alien emerges from John Hurt’s stomach (Alien)
4. Tubular Bells (music from The Exorcist)
5. Hannibal Lecter ‘slurping’ (Silence of the Lambs)
6. “Here’s Johnny” – Jack Nicholson’s breakdown (The Shining)
7. Darth Vader’s heavy breathing (Star Wars)
8. Annie breaks Paul’s legs (Misery)
9. The sound of the chainsaw (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)
10. Freddy Krueger’s laugh (A Nightmare on Elm Street)