Elden Ring players are being jumpscared in the recently released Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, but not by a terrifying new enemy or deadly environmental trap. No, the source of this fear is a simple, screeching bird.

A sparse forest located southeast of the expansion’s initial site of grace checkpoint on the Gravesite Plain is one of the earliest landmarks you see (and can reach) in Shadow of the Erdtree. It’s there you’ll find a few of the expansion’s new crafting materials, a difficult human foe named Logur, the Beast Claw who drops his eponymous weapon upon defeat, and a variety of ruined stone structures just begging to be investigated.

Some of these landmarks are home to eagle-like birds who don’t take kindly to a player’s approach. And while they don’t attack, they do make an awful shriek when disturbed that’s apparently catching some people off guard. Messages dot the ground around these areas, cautioning fellow Tarnished to “listen carefully ahead” and “be wary of sound.” The ghostly emotes attached to the warnings depict brave-looking adventurers assuming the fetal position and raising their hands to the sky in defensive terror.

Similar stories have been shared on real-world social media.

“The jumpscare noise birds in this Elden Ring DLC might be the most insane thing they’ve ever done,” said one player on X (formerly Twitter). “It’s not even an enemy you fight, they’re just part of the local fauna.”

“Dude, the bird sounds are literally making me crap my pants,” another Redditor said.

“Damn jump scares!” said a third. “Got me twice within 20 minutes of starting the DLC. Need to get an Elden Ring-brand defibrillator.”

Soulsborne vets may remember developer FromSoftware pulling the same trick in Dark Souls 3’s Irithyll Dungeon, where picking up certain items would elicit a loud, horrifying scream from an unseen creature. The birds aren’t quite as bad, but there’s an argument to be made that their tranquil surroundings make for a more effective scare.

It’s far too early for me to have an educated opinion on Shadow of the Erdtree, but if anything, it’s nice to see FromSoftware continue to mercilessly mess with players.

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