"I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again,
that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the
dead are in existence." Socrates
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)
No one can deny that computers and electronics have revolutionized
life on this planet. There are electronic controls and computer
chips in everything from the small appliances that toast our bread
to the cars we drive, and make possible myriad forms of new
entertainment, from DVDs to video games and iPods. We're just at
the beginning of this remarkable revolution.
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is a form of "Instrumental
Tran communication" (ITC). ITC is a newer term that includes all
of the ways these unexpected voices and images are collected
through technology. Electronic Voice Phenomena are simply
unexplained voices - or voice type sounds - occurring on audio
recordings. Sometimes these voices were also heard by people present
at the time of the recording, at other times the voice
was only discovered later.
Sometimes amplification and noise
filtering is required to hear the voices. Some EVP are more easily
heard and understood than others. And they vary in gender, age,
tone and emotion. They usually speak in single-words, phrases or
short sentences. Sometimes they are just grunts, groans, growling
and other vocal noises. EVP has been recorded speaking in various
The quality of EVP recordings varies widely. Some are of such low
quality that we're left to guess what the voice is saying. There are
many, however, that are quite clear and are usually categorized as
Class A recordings.
In the 1920’s, one of the world's most respected scientists, Thomas
Alva Edison, believed that it would one day be possible to build a
machine that would help humans communicate with the dead. He
believed that that the soul was made up of what he referred to as
“life units.” These microscopic particles or life units could
rearrange into any form. They retained full memory, personality and
were indestructible. He once said:
“If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or
scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other
faculties, and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore
... if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by
our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument,
when made available, ought to record something.”
Edison never succeeded with the invention, obviously, but it seems
he did believe that it might be possible to capture disembodied
voices with a machine.
The first voices were captured on phonograph records in 1938 and on
tape recorders in the early 1950's.
Two of the pioneers of EVP were Konstantin Raudive, a Swedish
psychology professor, and Fredrich Juergenson, a Swedish filmmaker.
In the late 1950s, Raudive began to hear words recorded on blank
audio tape and eventually made more than 100,000 recordings. Around
the same time, Juergenson first captured unexplained voices while
taping bird songs outdoors. He continued his research for over 25
Belling and Lee, a British laboratory, conducted some experiments in
EVP, suspecting that the "spirit voices" were actually caused by ham
radio broadcasts bouncing off the ionosphere. The tests were
conducted by one of the leading sound engineers in Britain, and when
phantom voices were recorded on factory-fresh tape, he was baffled.
"I cannot explain what happened in normal physical terms," he is
quoted as saying.
Another interesting case is that of two Italian Catholic priests who
in 1952 were trying to record a Gregorian chant, but a wire in their
equipment kept breaking. Out of desperation, one of the priests
asked his dead father for help. Then, to his amazement, his father's
voice was heard on the tape saying, "Of course I shall help you. I'm
always with you." The priests brought the matter to the attention of
Pope Pius XII, who reportedly accepted the genuineness of the
Where do these voices come from? This is the big question. Do they
come from our own subconscious? Are they angelic or demonic in
nature? Do they cross over from other dimensions of reality? Are
they the voices of the deceased? EVP represent the best evidence for
a phenomenon yet to be fully understood.
Electronic Voice Phenomena process
The process of recording a ghost's voice on tape is referred to as
EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena. It's a concept that has really
caught on in the past few years.
The idea behind EVP: Go into an area that could contain spiritual
entities and literally have a conversation with the ghosts. Ask them
a question, wait a few seconds, then ask another question. It's not
important to actually hear the ghost's response to the questions.
If you do hear a verbal response then your ghost hunt has just found
When you've finished asking all of your questions go back home
and rewind the tape. Listen carefully from the beginning to the end
for anything out of the ordinary. It has been reported in some
haunting cases that the ghosts at the site have answered the ghost
hunter's questions. You have to listen closely, the answers are not
always clear, and may even be in a different language.
Many people have had success with this method however there are some
serious problems that need to be addressed. One key characteristic
important with EVP is the ghost hunter's own listening process. The
tapes have to be reviewed and carefully listened to several times.
The problem with that is that if you listen to anything long enough
you can begin to hear things. You also have to be able to weed out
all the background noises such as passing cars, barking dogs, the
There's also the nature power of suggestion. You may want
to give the tapes to a trustworthy, impartial listener. Ghost hunters
have the tendency to hear what they want to hear from
the tapes. They know what questions were asked and have an idea of
what answers to expect. Because the technique's authenticity is
impossible to prove no tape, regardless of what's recorded on it,
can be considered hard evidence. Critics have a valid point when
they say that the sounds or voices recorded are either natural noises
or hoaxes. There's no way to prove that they're wrong.
1.Use a full size tape recorder, or digital models.
2.Use an external, static free microphone.
3.Always use brand new, high quality tapes. Never record over old tapes.
There's always a chance that the overlapping recordings
will mix and you'll hear things that shouldn't be.
4.Don't bump the microphone and if you do, make a verbal note of it on
the tape. You may also want to note any other nature sounds such as
gusting winds, creaking doors, etc.
5.Record in 20 to 30 minute sessions. You can record longer, but keep
in mind that you have to listen to the tape later. If you record two
hours of tape then you have to listen to two hours of tape. That can
be very time consuming.
Ask clear and precise questions.
6.Don't whisper during the recordings. You are not going to scare the
7.After each question wait at least 10 to 15 seconds before asking the
next question. It won't do much good if you never let the ghost get
a word in edgewise.