Essay: Screams From Somewhere Else

The scream is one of the indigenous sounds of city life, like an automobile alarm that whoops and heaves, then stops, leaving the question hanging like a hawk as to whether a car was broken into, or did its owner set off the alarm by accident, and then lay it to rest. With human screams, the question is more complicated, since screams are not mechanical or automatic. Did you hear that, Harry? What could it be? A scream of delight, of fright? Hilarity, Harry? Do you think that someone is laughing too hard? Could it be hysteria, madness? Or ; is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!