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Old Mansion
The Quiet Sounds of Belle-Motte
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Fire PlaceTimelessGramophoneGhost in the LivingroomThe Old House Lives AgainWeather ChangeThe Library Surprise!

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Haunting and haunted...

Recording the sounds of a haunted house - not the fairground variety, but a 'real' one - has been on my list for a long time.

With the help of my friend Etienne, we sampled the sounds of Belle-Motte manor, an old property that has belonged to his family for many generations. If ever there was a haunted house in Belgium, or a place that felt haunted, it would be Belle-Motte! Though we saw no ghosts, this property has a soul of its own, and an eerie one.

The family has kept the property and its furnishings in original condition. Upon entering the manor, you travel back in time; to a time when there was no electricity, and the wind-up gramophone set was the latest technology.

The manor makes a myriad of sounds on its own. Its timbers creak when the wind blows outside, or when the fireplace heats the place on a chilly day. With the temperature change, the building takes on life as structural movement produces varied noises in the different rooms. At least, the rational part of me thinks that this is the cause. Maybe I am simply not willing to admit what the local people say; that this place is haunted!

I have to confess, it troubled me when the gramophone started playing while my microphones were supposedly recording the silence of the empty dining room. I guess the spring-loaded mechanism fired by itself, due to the poor working condition of the phonograph, and the fact that we had woken it from its lethargic condition a little earlier in the afternoon, when we sampled some old 78RPM records.

When it started up on its own, there was no disc on the turntable, and the sound produced was almost like human breathing! This sound can be found under the fourth slider, for your own inspection.

Haunting, for sure, but haunted? You tell me.

Special thanks to my friend Etienne for giving me access to his family property and willing to stay with me overnight there!

Published on June 9th, 2020

User Stories

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  Without the gramophone & creepy bits, it's actually pretty soothing. It's multifunctional!

  I like to play this when I'm having my middle-school students write about Edgar Allan Poe. It thrills them and creeps them out so much... Perfect!

  Wonder what song was sampled on the gramophone track? If I make horror related stuff, I usually put this on, thanks for this!

  I had some classical music in the background and the voices from the other room harmonized. Weirdly creepy and soothing. Thanks for this unique machine Stephane :]

  The Old Mansion played in the background with some soft instrumental music going (or coupled with 88 Keys) makes for an incredibly relaxing, peaceful experience. Just sitting in a big library, listening to the fireplace crackle while music filters in. Perfection.

  I love the old Mansion: it sounds great when you have them all in the middle.

  This makes me think of old PC Game "I Spy Spooky Mansion", a favorite of mine.

  Oh I enjoy this! I can see myself sitting in a nice chair in front of a fire, flipping through a nice book (with a whole bookcase behind me!) fire going in the center of the room. Maybe my wife doing some work on her Mac next to me. My evil Grandmother in law in the other room watching some creepy movie. :)))

  Sounds like haunted music. Spooky but soothing.

  I feel like I'm sitting in someone's office watching them do paperwork. Feels almost, comforting?

  The atmosphere to this is so eerie yet so calming! Really takes you to a whole new point in time and it's absolutely beautiful.

  This mixed with Poltergeist RPG is really creepy, There's a scratch, wait a bump over there, no shuffling down that way! So much random noise where to start investigating first...

  This creates an exceptionally comfortable background ambience. It immediately puts me right into the stuffed library in this old mansion, where time doesn't matter and everything besides the books in front of me is irrelevant.

  It's a cold autumn day, and you're sitting in the library of a vast mansion. There's a grandfather's clock in the corner, a blazing fire in the fireplace, and a broken gramophone playing softly in the background. You're sipping a steaming cup of tea, and reading your favorite book. Ahhh... Peace.

  ← Good morning! Up so early... Did you have a good sleep? Did you like the master bedroom?

  This feel very real, immersive. The comfy chair just a bit too close to the clock, the book distracting you only slightly more than the wind, a subtle smell of old books and a warm fire. The new stray cat is sleeping in front of the fireplace again, how did he get in? Oh well...

  I'm not even kidding. When this came out I RUSHED to my computer to listen to it. I LOVE haunted places. They're full of history and are somewhat calming to me. THANK YOU!!!

  Oh my word! I ADORE this. A virtual time machine.

  I feel like a little orphan girl in the Edwardian era who was just adopted by a rich old man who spends all his time in his office and the grumpy housekeeper has told me not to disturb him.

  I wish my house sounded like this. I want to have my work set up in a creepy old manor library with a fire blazing and a broken gramophone playing in the background. And every now and then, I lift my head wondering if that creak in the next room was just the house settling or a ghost. (I also would love a separate station with just lots of old broken gramophone music playing.)

  Brilliant. I like the way the different sounds combine. This is a work of art.

  I am always looking for good background noises for while I study or work (especially when the neighbours are being loud), and this is another brilliant addition! Thank you SO much for providing all of your brilliance!

  I didn't know I needed this in my life, but I'm very glad it's here.

  On écoute de la chanson francaise en fond! Elle est si jolie <3

  This is so creepy, but so cool! Love this noise, it's so realistic!

  Perfect timing! I'm writing a story about a haunted house. Thank you for adding this!

  I have been wanting this type of atmosphere for a while - my dream is to sit in a haunted mansion and wait for a... special guest :)

  Old houses are cool!