A Murder Of Crows

Check out the story, “A Murder of Crows” on Spooked, Season 5, Episode 11.

Story 1: The Head

Superstition: A bird in the house means someone in jeopardy and if the bird is injured then the person will die.

The basic storytelling used foreshadowing with the death of a bird which was trapped in an old lady’s house. Dan, the officer who responded to a call to remove this bird from the lady’s house tells the story from his perspective. He attempted to help the lady get rid of the bird, but it was killed in the process. Because the bird died when exiting the house, the old lady thought that someone in her family would now die. This proved to be the case when just a few moments later, Dan, was called to respond to a terrible accident. The person who died was the son of the old lady. He was beheaded during the accident. When Dan returned to tell her about this death, it was like she already knew. He said she was there waiting for him.

Public domain image entitled, “The Death Mask of Blaise Pascal.” http://www.publicdomainfiles.com/show_file.php?id=13932063611216

The story used sound effects. The sound effects were kind of spooky. They didn’t match any sound of what was happening in the story. I found that a little distracting. Instead, they were effects to build suspense. These sounds were used during the description of the death on the road and when Dan returned to the old lady to report the death of her son. There wasn’t much music or anything. Dan is the only storyteller and his voice is fairly monotonous and very matter-of-fact.

Very upbeat and rhythmic music was used to transition from Dan’s story to Mike’s story.

Listen to the full story at: https://spookedpodcast.org/

Story 2: A Murder of Crows

Mike moves into a new place and happens to meet some people he knows who live in the same building: Susan and Becky.

Music is used during Mike’s retelling of his conversation with Becky. The story is innocent, interesting, lighthearted, and the music reflects this.

Whenever Mike discusses Becky’s physical condition, the sound of a ticking clock plays. At one point, this ticking sound is layered over the same lighthearted music used earlier in the story. It made me think that this good feeling is going to be temporary. Perhaps something bad will happen to Becky. I guess she will probably die before the end of the story.

Becky does die. Mike has a dream not long after that about a crow. The sound effects here are the echoing sounds of a crow cawing. There is also an odd ringing sound. I’m not sure why it’s there. They probably could have omitted this sound. Upon waking, Mike talks about taking his dog out for a walk. I can hear the sound of the dog whining and birds chirping. Then Mike says he sees crows sitting in a row on a fence. The music starts again. It’s somber music. A little mysterious. It symbolizes something important. Perhaps an important connection to the dream Mike had. Layering of the crow sounds and the mysterious music, along with a sort of rhythmic, clock-like sound, creates an uncomfortable feeling. I don’t like it when so many sounds are layered together. It’s overwhelming and hurts my ears.

Image from clker. Royalty-free, public-domain image. http://www.clker.com/clipart-crows-2.html

Later, Mike mentions a picture in his room that flies across the room and breaks. Then the light fixture on his front porch shatters. The sound effects are of glass breaking. There is very soft humming music playing while Mike tells this part of the story. It is almost non-existent, but I still hear it there. I guess it’s creating an atmosphere. Sound effects and this same consistent humming sound are used to describe crashes, the dog’s movement, panting, creaking floorboards. As the story crescendos to pots and pans rattling in the kitchen, the music swells with a sound similar to that of pots and pans hitting each other. That is not the actual sound though. It’s just an effect that mimics how it might sound to hear these kitchen items rattling around.

Then, Becky’s mom visits Mike. She tells him that she keeps dreaming about Becky. She thinks Becky is trying to communicate through birds. At this point, the sound effect of crows is getting annoying. I added a sound link below where you can here an example. This was not used in the original story. The sound file is 3 minutes long, so stop it whenever you get super annoyed.

There is also the sound of camera clicks when Mike photographs a crow eating a rabbit carcass. There is no music playing during this part.

The story pretty much continues with the same sounds and effects until the end. Basically, the story ends with Mike being protected by a spirit Becky, in crow form, from an older spirit which takes the form of a bat. Mike is able to get rid of it but he still chooses to move out of his home.

Listen to the full story at: https://spookedpodcast.org/

Want to hear what I learned? Listen below!

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