To rehash what I said the last time I covered this topic, royalty free music is music which can be used in a haunted attraction without requiring you to pay every time it gets used. In all but a few rare cases, a haunt owner only has to pay for the initial purchase of the music and its royalty free nature does NOT apply to use on in radio broadcasts, films, YouTube videos and the like (unless noted otherwise). I have divided the artists into three categories based on their policies for royalty free use. The order of my listing them is based solely on the order I learned about their policies for each category. It’s also a good idea to get permission in writing from the artist! Please do not hesitate to contact the artist if you have any other questions about using their work:
Registration and Public (and/or Web) Display Required:
Jeannie Novak – All tracks from her “Horror Show” albums (and only those albums) may be used on a royalty free basis as long as you provide proper credit and include a link on your website after registering. Alternately, providing public credit at your haunted attraction would suffice. If you contact her after purchasing her work, Jeannie will publicize your haunt online for free. If you are a nonprofit organization planning on running a fun house or wild west town during other months of the year, you could use the neutral selections from Horrorshow: Big Top and/or Horrorshow: Ghost Town on a royalty free basis in them as well.
Shadow’s Symphony – You must contact him in order to obtain a poster to display at your haunted attraction. Posters are available both via postal mail and digitally.
Virgil Franklin – Please contact him to get release forms that will allow you to avoid fines by BMI or ASCAP when you play his music in your haunted attraction.
ExPsyle – You must provide public credit at your haunted attraction (or website for said attraction) if you want to use spooky music from A Collection of Creepy and/or Music Box Melodies. If you contact her with a link to your haunt’s online presence once you do so, she will include it in the albums’ descriptions so you get some free publicity.
Poison Props – Credit is required if the music is used on your haunted attraction’s website. If you only plan on using it in the attraction itself, then providing credit is optional.
The Blue Mask – You can use any music purchased from his royalty free sections, but providing credit is optional. He is happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Incompetech – If you give out program booklets at your haunt which discuss sponsors and the like, you can use his work under a free Creative Commons license as long as you provide the required credit and give the name of each track used in the program. This is a rare case of a Creative Commons license being allowed for a commercial venture. To use his work without having to provide credit, then you have to use one of the paid licenses. The $30 standard license covers the use of a single track and the $95 site license will allow you to use multiple tracks over a 10 year period. Although you have to pay again after the time period expires in order to renew, the site license is worth it since it allows you to use any new tracks he puts up during that time. Higher quality versions of his work can be obtained for a small price on other sites (which he provides links to). Please consult the licensing terms in the provided link for more information.
Fauxrror – After purchasing their album from the provided link, you can use their work in your haunt without providing any credit. They are also open to the idea of letting people use their work in films, so please feel free to contact them if you have any questions. The free download of Richard Glenn Schmidt’s album Terror that you get with your purchase is NOT part of this policy; it’s just a neat bonus from one of the members of Fauxrror.
Psych Ward Psymphony – Proper credit must be given at your haunted attraction or on your website.
Scaretrax – As this is a side project by Sam Haynes to provide royalty free music for films and the like, no public display is required once you purchase the desired tracks. But you can print out and use a poster if you want to. Credit might be required for use in movies and YouTube videos, but you would have to ask him to be certain.
Even if the artist whose work you are using does not require you to provide any credit, I suggest that you do so anyway. Providing credit can set you apart from your competition. Customers might even like your haunted attraction more if they notice how other haunts in your area never publicize the music they use. Besides, it’s just a good thing to do! They might even share any pictures you might take of your doing so on their social media feed, especially if you provide the credit in an interesting way. If you have a graveyard in front of your attraction, having a custom tombstone promoting the use of their music is sure to get plenty of attention. A spooky wooden sign with the credit written in fake blood is also great, especially since wooden pallets can usually be obtained for free. The Monster Page of Halloween Project Links has numerous tutorials on making both types of props (among many others).
I’m sure I haven’t found all the sources of royalty free haunt music out there and will continue my search. Please feel free to send any leads you have my way.
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion. Nobody here is a lawyer and all legal matters discussed above are done so in the simplest, bare bones way. Consult a lawyer whenever possible. This is merely a collection of policy details from artists and not an endorsement.