Want to Hear Hollywood's Most Horrifying Sound? Legendary Tape is Finally Discovered

Want to Hear Hollywood's Most Horrifying Sound? Legendary Tape is Finally Discovered
Image credit: Legion-Media

Have you ever heard of a certain Wilhelm Scream? If you have not, then this article is definitely what you need tonight.

Crawl up in your blanket, turn off the lights, and hope for your dear life that someone would hear you scream. And possibly, even record it to make it the most notorious sound to ever befall Hollywood.

Quite recently, an engineer has stumbled upon a piece of cinematic history.

Craig Smith, a graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, was conducting maintenance works on old college tapes when he discovered one of Hollywood's best-kept secrets: the original take of the Wilhelm Scream.

The Wilhelm Scream has made its debut in the 1951 movie Distant Drums. There, a character named Wilhelm (thus the name of the sound) yells the infamous sound while being dragged underwater by a crocodile.

Little did anyone know that the Wilhelm Scream would go on to become one of the most recognizable sounds in all of the mass culture. Below, we will prove that you have heard it. Again and again, you did.

Don't believe us? Check out the video.

The Wilhelm Scream, along with many other sounds, quickly became a staple in the industry. Over the years, the Wilhelm Scream has been used in countless films, TV shows, and even video games.

Despite being widely used, the origin of the Wilhelm Scream remained a mystery for many years. That is, until Craig Smith stumbled upon the original take while doing his job.

Over the years, the Wilhelm Scream has become a staple tradition in Hollywood.

Perhaps its most famous appearance is in the Star Wars franchise, where it has become a sort of an in-joke among the series' creators and fans.

To prove that you've heard we'll just mention that in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, as a stormtrooper is blasted by Luke Skywalker and falls from a height, the Wilhelm Scream is heard loud and clear.

The scream has also been used in several video games, including World of Warcraft, Red Dead Redemption, and Star Wars: Battlefront.

The rediscovery of the original Wilhelm Scream takes us back to the origins of Hollywood sound design.

It's a reminder of the artistry and ingenuity that went into creating the sound effects that we often take for granted.

More than 70 years later, we can most literally hear how Hollywood used to… scream.