After its 1931 use in Frankenstein, the effect was used in many films from the 1930s until the 1980s and occasionally in the 1990s and 2000s, including Citizen Kane, Cleopatra, The Hindenburg, The Rescuers, An American Tail, The Fox and the Hound, The Brave Little Toaster, Ghostbusters, Dinosaurus!, Airplane!, The Muppet Movie, Murder by Death, Kronos, Twilight Zone: The Movie, History of the World Part 1, Clue, Back to the Future, Big Trouble in Little China, Trading Places, Short Circuit, The Land Before Time, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Reluctant Dragon, Snoopy Come Home, The Monster Squad, Beethoven, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Death Becomes Her, Prophecy, Escape from Alcatraz, 'Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, Chicken Little, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, Make Mine Music, The Aristocats, Pete's Dragon, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Ben and Me, The Little House, Noah's Ark, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Swiss Family Robinson, Savage Sam, Robin Hood, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, The Great Mouse Detective, Conan the Destroyer, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, The Secret of NIMH, Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Space Jam, Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers, ,First Blood, The Sound of Music and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman.
It was also heard on various Disney and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, particularly the original Scooby-Doo cartoons, while more recent Scooby-Doo series only used the thunder sound effect in a couple of episodes to make way for newer, digitally-recorded thunderclaps.
The "castle thunder" effect has also been utilized as part of various different sound "mixes" along with other sound effects to achieve a desired outcome. For example, in the 1974 film Earthquake, the effect is mixed with several others (including rumbling, cracking, waterfall, and glass breaking) to simulate the sound of a dam bursting. It was also used as the sound effect of the bombs dropped from a TIE Bomber in the video game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, as well as on The Powerpuff Girls when the girls would zoom off in flight.
It was also heard regularly on the TV series Gilligan's Island and in the opening credit scene of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The sound effect is used in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland within the Stretching Room, as well as on the Disney World version of the ride, though it is not used in the Stretching Room since the 2007 renovation (replaced with newer thunder sounds), but can still be heard in the Haunted Ballroom portion of the ride. It was also heard on a Mike's Super Short Show segment on Disney Channel advertising the movie based on the Haunted Mansion attraction.
The sound can be found on the 20th Century Fox Sound Effects Library from Sound Ideas, as well as on the Network Sound Effects Library.
Castle thunder can also be heard on the Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and other studio shows SpongeBob SquarePants, Codename: Kids Next Door, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Pucca, The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Doug, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, George of the Jungle, 1 Night in Paris, Samurai Jack, The Batman, Loonatics: Unleashed, The Powerpuff Girls, The Ren & Stimpy Show (mainly the Spumco-produced episodes), New Zoo Revue and Little Bear (TV series). Similarly, the sound effect was also used in the closing logo for Thunder Pictures, the company that produced Clarissa Explains it All. Since the late 1980s, Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. Animation have used a slight restored version which includes an electrical zap-like sound at the beginning. Castle Thunder was also used extensively during Nickelodeon's "Shocktober" show.