Analysis of the Similarity and Characteristics between Death Whistle Sound and Human Screams


  • Ik-Soo Ahn, Seong-Geon Bae, Myung-Jin Bae


In 1999, a clay whistle was found beneath the grounds of the Quetzalcoatl Temple in Telatelco, Mexico City. It was the whistle of death that made the most feared sound of man. At the time of discovery, scholars thought it was just a trinket, but it turned out to be a very creepy musical instrument by scholars who accidentally play it 15 years later. This clay instrument shocked many scholars and people because it sounded like a soul-screaming scream. Since then it has been called the Aztec Death Whistle. According to research, the early death whistle was made by cutting and burning the enemy's neck during Aztec civilization, then applying clay to the skull. It was then studied that it was made in large quantities using clay. Scholars continue to study the creations of this ancient Aztec civilization. There are several hypotheses for the use of this death whistle. There are theories that it was used as a tool for overbearing during the war and that it was used to hunt religious sacrifices necessary for human sacrifice. Indeed, if you look at the temple of the Quetzalcoatl, where the death whistle was discovered in large quantities, the hypothesis that it was used for the ritual of human sacrifice is also strong. In this paper, based on the acoustic research, the similarity and fear of the death whistle and the screams of men and women were analyzed. As a result, it was confirmed that this musical instrument resembled the scream of a person, and among them, it sounded like a scream when it felt fear, causing more fear. Among the screams of a person when feeling fear, the scream of a woman was more similar to that of a death whistle. Death Whistle's low-frequency burst sound was similar to the frequency characteristic of a scream when a person felt fear.