What Did Noisemakers Drive Away in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, people used noisemakers to drive away various creatures and even evil spirits. These noisemakers were made from a variety of materials such as bones, shells, and metals. The sounds they produced were believed to have the power to scare off unwanted beings.

One of the most common creatures that people attempted to drive away with noisemakers was the bird. Birds could be a nuisance, stealing crops and damaging property. Ancient people believed that by creating loud noises, they could frighten birds away from their fields and homes.

In addition to birds, noisemakers were also used to drive away rodents such as rats and mice. These pests could spread disease and damage food stores, so it was important to keep them away from human settlements. Noisemakers made from tin cans or other metal objects were particularly effective in scaring off rodents.

Noisemakers also played an important role in spiritual practices in ancient times. Many cultures believed that evil spirits could be driven away by loud noises. In some cases, noisemakers were used during exorcisms or other rituals designed to banish demons or malevolent entities.

The use of noisemakers continued into more recent times as well. For example, during Chinese New Year celebrations, firecrackers are still set off to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year.

Overall, while modern technology has provided us with more sophisticated ways of dealing with pests and spiritual threats, the use of noisemakers remains an important part of human history and culture. Whether made from bone or metal, these simple objects have had a profound impact on our relationship with the natural world and the unseen forces that surround us.

The Science behind Noisemakers

While it might seem like using a simple instrument like a noisemaker would have little effect on animals or spirits, there is actually some science behind their use. Loud noises can be highly aversive to many creatures, causing them to flee from the source of the sound. This is known as a startle response, and it is a natural defense mechanism that many animals have evolved to avoid danger.

In addition to the startle response, some animals may also be sensitive to certain frequencies of sound. For example, birds are known to be particularly sensitive to high-frequency sounds, which they use to communicate with one another. By creating high-pitched sounds with noisemakers, humans may be able to disrupt bird communication and drive them away.

Similarly, some cultures believe that certain frequencies of sound can have spiritual significance. The use of noisemakers during rituals or exorcisms may therefore be seen as a way of harnessing the power of sound vibrations for spiritual purposes.


Noisemakers may seem like a simple and archaic tool for dealing with pests and spiritual threats, but their use has persisted throughout human history for good reason. Whether scaring off birds from crops or banishing demons from homes, these instruments have played an important role in protecting humans from harm. While we may rely on more advanced technology today, the power of loud noises and sound vibrations remains a potent force in our lives.