The Aztec Empire lasted between the years of 1428-1521, during which it produced everything from a complex and productive agricultural system to a unique form of hieroglyphic writing, a detailed calendar system, and, of course, famous pyramids and temples.
Unfortunately, the pyramids that once punctuated the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán have long since disappeared.
But the Aztecs left behind countless artifacts that are still being discovered by curious history buffs in today’s day and age, including the infamous “Aztec death whistle.”
The sound of this haunting instrument has been described in countless ways.
Perhaps most memorably, it has been described as “producing the scream of a thousand corpses.”
After you hear it, you will understand exactly why.
These whistles typically look like a skull with a small handle on the end, and a place to blow into, which produces the aforementioned sound.
Simply put, this instrument is not for the weak of heart, and would make the perfect addition to any scary Halloween costume.
The colorful and visually arresting designs of these whistles may remind you of ‘Day of the Dead’ (aka
Día de Los Muertos) style merchandise from Mexico’s celebrations of that holiday.
Just check out these awesome designs!
These death whistles are actually being sold online as we speak, yet they look like something out of a horror movie, or perhaps even a spook-tacular temple where virgins are sacrificed to the Gods.
Some artisans have even taken to making Aztec death whistles under the moniker of the Krampus, a “horned, anthropomorphic figure” in Alpine folklore who scares children who have misbehaved during the Christmas season.
The historically colorful Aztec death whistle concept has even been used in popular TV shows and series, such as ‘Game of Thrones,’ as shown by the death whistle from that particular series below.
The Terrifying Aztec Death Whistle Mystifies Scientists
While these historically inspired items may look like harmless children’s toys, the sounds they produce are no joke to anyone who may not be prepared to hear them.
In 2013, a video of a man playing the infamous death whistle made the rounds on YouTube, confounding scientists with its bizarre and terrifying tones, which sound just like a blood-curdling scream.
The whistles have also been found in the hands of victims of human sacrifice in Mexico, believe it or not. Some were even found to carry a death whistle in each hand.
After 15 years of study, the archeologists who excavated these instruments finally dared to test them for the first time.
How could these tiny instruments produce such ghastly shrieks?
Watch the video below to hear them for yourself, and to learn more.
What was the Purpose of These Artifacts?
As shown in the video above, the death whistles may have been used to frighten enemies in the midst of war, along with drums and trumpets designed to produce a distracting and terrifying symphony of combat.
They also may have been used in a therapeutic way to create a “hypnotic and sort of soothing atmosphere” that would assist in healing the sick.
Aside from being sold on Amazon.com and other outlets (check out the different styles here), you can also make your own Aztec death whistle at home, without clay.
According to the video below, which has been viewed over 168,000 times on YouTube, you will need the following items:
-A piece of 40 mm diameter pipe
-A 25 mm PVC cap
-An aluminum tube (6 mm internal)
-A plastic washer
Check out the video below and let us know what you think.
Please do us a favor and try not to scare anybody too badly with these things!