A cry in the dark: The howls of wolves in horror and heavy metal music | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3275
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3283



Deranged howling is a hallmark of wolves, horror texts and heavy metal music artists. This article discusses how wolves, heavy metal music artists and horror text directors use diegetic sound to interact with listeners. Wolves use howls in real life to communicate their location and identity to their pack-mates. Howling in heavy metal music is used either as a literal sound or as a metaphor, to unite their audiences as one cohesive pack, or as a reunion call. The sound of a wolf in horror films indicates something wicked coming along, often in the form of a werewolf or other nefarious monsters. This article shows how a cry in the dark in horror texts, heavy metal music, and in the wilderness is a means of communicating an emotion or identity to a mass human or lupine audience.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): diegetic sound; heavy metal music; horror; howls; wolves
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