I just want to find out if anyone knows how to create the "ghostly dialogue" in 13 Ghosts. What effects are used and how did they mix it together?

  • Maybe if I heard it I can tell you what it was. Where can I find a sample? You-Tube doesn't have the ghosts talking. The movie was released in 2001 so it can't too hard to figure out.
    – Utopia
    Commented May 15, 2010 at 20:09

5 Answers 5


I haven't seen 13 Ghosts, but if you can find the clip let us know and we'll try decipher how they did it.

In the mean time, Jim Stout on Designing Sound shares a classic trick for creating scary voices.


13 Ghosts is a guilty pleasure of mine! :) The effect used is the classic "reverse reverb". It doesn't really work in real time, but it easy enough to creat. Take your voice clip and reverse it. Now add a nice reverb to it - reasonably long decay, not too much early reflection, predelay to taste, keep the low end tame. Be sure to include enough time after the sample to get the whole tail of the reverb. Now reverse that whole mess AGAIN. Voila, the reverb comes from BEFORE the voice and gives you that effect. I've used that effect on a number of indie horror flicks!


A classic effect. I've never seen Poltergeist but by experimenting came up with the exact same effect many years ago. I love using it but rarely do my projects need such an effect.

My tool of choice at the moment is MondoMod to create a fluttery effect to a voice. Add on a phaser and instant computer voice.

UltraPitch can be used to create some cool effects beyond simply adding the harmonics to a voice.

  • You've never seen Poltergeist?! Some remarkable sound design in that film, courtesy of Richard Anderson and Steve Flick. Commented May 17, 2010 at 15:46
  • It's on an incredibly long list of films I really ought to see (and hear) but have never got around to it. I might just have to rent it now we've finally got iTunes films here in Ireland.
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented May 17, 2010 at 21:10

+1 on the reverse-reverb trick, and with the short delays as seen in Jim Stout's video it's extra creepy. I've done the reverse-verb thing a bunch, and plan to play with delays a bunch on the next project that needs it.


Howarth himself speaks about this effect in an interview on this website: http://constructinghorror.com/index.php?id=142 (it's the 7th part of the interview).

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