Why are music boxes haunted in movies?

Pirate Of PC Master race

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I don't know, because it is generally associated with girls and/or children(whom are prime haunters in any fiction)?

Mismatching tones from the music box compared to dark scary environment is very good for creating discomfort within people, so that makes #2.

Lastly music box looks fancy enough to be haunted. When was a last time you saw a haunted wrench, or a can of beer?
No, it has to be fancy, expensive or cool. Music box, Piano, desk...
 

Asita

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1) Music boxes are associated to at least some degree with innocence and sweetness. Juxtaposing that with the undead is often disturbing. (What's creepier than a zombie? A zombie child.)
2) There's also a strong association with nostalgia due in no small part for music boxes to be used as mementos in fiction. Probably more often than not this nostalgia is tinged with sorrow or regret, which makes them thematically appropriate as tethers for spirits.
3) What? You've never heard of haunting music? Eh? Eh? ...I'll go now...
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Hollywood and many other people intent on following horror trends all seem to believe that using anything related to children, or even the children themselves, is an easy trope to ride that will never get old. It is because they lack the imagination or understanding to make new ideas that these are wheeled consistently out for so many horror attempts. Personally, the bettef uses of children as worthwhile scary antagonists in films are Eden Lake and (uninspiringly named) Children. The genre needs a hefty shock to the balls and a dose of adrenaline to get past the apparent creative barrier it has been stuck at for some while now.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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slo said:
I have this rabbit here. A stuffed toy that laughs if you hit it or drop it.
It was gifted to me quite long ago and the battery is almost dead.
And there's no way to replace it.
The sound it makes if you hit it isn't just creepy, it's TERRIFYING.
I assume that an out of tune old music box sounds sounded creepy enough for someone to make it a haunted thing and then it just stuck.
Technically there is always a way to replace the battery, you just have to do some work to do so. You open the seam on the rabbit, find the voice box and see what type of battery is in it. you can look online for a battery replacement if it is not a standard watch type battery that you find in the store, it you are unable to find an exact battery replacement, you can find a battery with the same voltage. If you want to make it easier to replace the batteries permanently, you can change the battery compartment itself and add a zipper or Velcro closure to the toy for future easy access.

OP: When I was little I used to fall asleep with a music box playing under my pillow. I liked to collect them and listen to them growing up. Music boxes being distorted to be scary is similar to how nursery rhymes were done so as well, children being corrupted or in danger is always much scarier than adults due to our natural instinct to want to protect and help children.

 

Johnny Novgorod

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I think it's just their cliche'd association with antiquity and time past. "Old stuff" is creepy.
 

happyninja42

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Nehuen Laje said:
Is it because their innocence? The lullaby?
A lot of reasons. They frequently include a small figure in the box, like a dancer, or some clown, or similar iconic humanoid character. Given they are only in the box to do one thing, dance to the music, it can imply a form of imprisonment/slavery, as it isn't uncommon in stories to have someone's soul trapped in such a device. "The dancer drove herself insane, trying to be the Prima Donna, when they found her body, she had slit her own wrists, her blood all over her music box, her prized possession. They say, that he soul was trapped in the box, forever forcing her to dance, never finding rest." kind of thing. It's basically a super easy plot device that is easily recognizable to most people.

Also, the music in those things usually don't play well, especially if the box is getting old. So the music will sound warped, giving it an unearthly quality. Also, just those little bells and tinkly noises have a feeling of fabrication to them. It's not the real song, but this copy of it with bells. Which can imply deception or trickery.

Also, many music boxes will have a trap/trick to them. The "Jack in the box" is a classic example. It plays this creepy song that is likely to draw children to it, simply because of the sounds, and then BAM! Out pops this thing, usually a clown, to jump scare the person. It has an air of hidden menace to it, that I think just has carried over into our culture.

Those are my reasons as to why it's a common trope in storytelling. Just like "why are mirrors magic" or "why do ancient swords of power always make a "scheeeng!" sound when drawn?" It's just storytelling shorthand.
 

Nehuen Laje

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Happyninja42 said:
Nehuen Laje said:
Is it because their innocence? The lullaby?
A lot of reasons. They frequently include a small figure in the box, like a dancer, or some clown, or similar iconic humanoid character. Given they are only in the box to do one thing, dance to the music, it can imply a form of imprisonment/slavery, as it isn't uncommon in stories to have someone's soul trapped in such a device. "The dancer drove herself insane, trying to be the Prima Donna, when they found her body, she had slit her own wrists, her blood all over her music box, her prized possession. They say, that he soul was trapped in the box, forever forcing her to dance, never finding rest." kind of thing. It's basically a super easy plot device that is easily recognizable to most people.

Also, the music in those things usually don't play well, especially if the box is getting old. So the music will sound warped, giving it an unearthly quality. Also, just those little bells and tinkly noises have a feeling of fabrication to them. It's not the real song, but this copy of it with bells. Which can imply deception or trickery.

Also, many music boxes will have a trap/trick to them. The "Jack in the box" is a classic example. It plays this creepy song that is likely to draw children to it, simply because of the sounds, and then BAM! Out pops this thing, usually a clown, to jump scare the person. It has an air of hidden menace to it, that I think just has carried over into our culture.

Those are my reasons as to why it's a common trope in storytelling. Just like "why are mirrors magic" or "why do ancient swords of power always make a "scheeeng!" sound when drawn?" It's just storytelling shorthand.
Very useful!
 

Erttheking

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The same reason clowns are serial killers that hum nursery rhymes. Dramatic irony. Taking something that's sweet and innocent and making it represent something more sinister.

It's honestly becoming a cliche.