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The 9 most horribly shiver-inducing sounds

Stryofoam, cotton wool, blunt pencils…shivering already?

WE ALL HAVE AT least one sound that is guaranteed to make us uneasy – a bone-chilling noise that sets our teeth on edge.

Here are nine of the most shiver-inducing sounds we experience in our daily lives, ranked by shiver factor.

Apologies in advance for the shudders and grimaces you will inevitably do throughout this post.


The tinkling sound of tinfoil is sometimes very nice, but the noise of a large sheet rattling around gives us low-level creeps. And don’t do it around cats. They’ll hate you.

Source: SkaterTG

Shiver factor: 2

Speaker feedback

Oh, what a lovely song! This band is gre-AAARRRGHH. What’s happening?! How could something so beautiful turn ugly so quickly?

speakers Source: Flickr/gluemoon

Shiver factor: 3

Blunt pencil scratching on paper

Why are you scratching away like that? JUST SHARPEN IT. You’re torturing the rest of us.

parepencil Source: Shutterstock

Shiver factor: 4

The scraping of cutlery on a plate

Worse still when someone can’t hear the high pitched squeaks themselves, and continue to allow their knives and forks to sing the song of their people on the dinner plate. STOP.

squeaky fork Source: Flickr/drs2biz

Shiver factor: 5

The squeak of cotton wool

This sound haunts many of us from childhood. You can use cotton wool without any harrowing incidents, sure, but if you accidentally tear off a piece… Shudder.

cottonballs Source: Flickr/bmjames

Shiver factor: 6

A chair being pulled out loudly

Picking up a chair and pulling it out properly is a bit of effort, but it’s worth it to avoid the almighty screeeeeeeeeech of chair legs against a tile or wooden floor.

kitchen chairs Source: Flickr/alexik

Shiver level: 7

Joints cracking

This one affects some people more than others – a few might openly wince at the sounds of knuckles being cracked, but everyone will grimace upon hearing an elbow or a knee pop.

Source: Shutterstock

Shiver level: 6


The horror of the Styrofoam noise has many levels.

It’s bad enough hearing your own fingers holding a Styrofoam cup, or your teeth clashing against the rim.

styrofoam Source: Flickr/skyepeale

But having to endure the sound of a plastic fork or spoon grinding around inside the cup is probably what hell sounds like. All the time.

Source: MyPinkElephants

DAAARRRGH. Stop that.

Shiver level: 9

Someone grinding their teeth

This is the worst. The absolute worst. The sound differs from person to person – some pop, some click, others clunk – but each sound inspires the same godawful heebie-jeebies.

06-10-06smile Source: Wikimedia


Shiver level: 10

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