MINNEAPOLIS - Silence, the quiet between words and sounds.
At the world’s “Quietest Place on Earth,” a sound lab inside Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, the silence is haunting.
The experience inside the anechoic chamber is almost as haunting as the new movie “A Quiet Place,” which takes silence to a whole new level.
“Sound is probably the most powerful tool in a scary movie,” sound editor Erik Aadahl says.
The horror film "A Quiet Place" is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a family must live in utter silence to hide from monsters that are attracted by noise.
Critics praised the movie's use of sound, or lack thereof, to play with the audience's emotions.
To promote their new film, Aadahl and fellow sound editor Ethan Van der Ryn visited the quiet chamber to better understand the power of silence.
“Getting into a really quiet environment like this lab here really opens your ears and makes you really listen,” Aadahl says.
The quiet room is used by Orfield Laboratories for a variety of applications.
Owner Steve Orfield says the lab is used by companies to test the noise levels of their products, from appliances to heart implants.
“It’s quiet enough to hear the light ticking of the implants,” Orfield explains.
Workers say the chamber was recently used to test the noise levels of various firearms to make sure law enforcement officers aren’t damaging their ears during training sessions.
Lately though, Orfield says the most common use is for tourism.
“We get a lot of people who just want to experience the chamber,” Orfield says.
Just how quiet is the quiet room? Orfield says it can eliminate 99.9 percent of all sound.
The room is so quiet you can literally hear a pin drop, on carpet.
If you spend enough time in the chamber you will start to hear your own heart beat and even hear the blood pulsing in your veins.
Orfield says you need to turn the lights off in order to get the full experience of the chamber.
He says after several minutes most people will start seeing colors, because your senses are reacting to the void of all stimulation.
Some people even experience visual and audio hallucinations.
“Your ears will start creating fake sounds after enough time,” Orfield explains.
It’s an unsettling experience for most people, but for one of the stars of “A Quiet Place,” sitting in silence is just a daily occurrence.
"I could sit in that chamber all day,” actress Millicent Simmonds says.
“Seeing it from other people's perspectives, people who can hear, I could see they were a little bit anxious, a little bit nervous."
Being deaf in real life, and playing a deaf character in the movie, Simmonds understands silence better than most.
She says the movie itself and sound labs like this help other people understand the quiet world she lives in.
"After watching the film, viewers became more interested in it and learning that you can take advantage of American Sign Language for something beneficial,” Simmonds says.
"A Quiet Place" is now available for streaming on digital and will be available on DVD July 10.