Chapter 03: EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena)

EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena)

Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, is the process of recording messages from a ghost using an audio-recording device. Parapsychologists first implemented the techniques of communication over fifty years ago. Typical EVP recordings are brief, usually consisting of only a couple words or a short phrase. EVPs can be recorded on a variety of audio-recording devices such as cassette recorders, digital voice recorders, reel-to-reel tape recorders, video recorders, computer systems and other devices that record sound.

There are several different types of EVP recording sessions. The first category is a question-and-answer session. Using a recording device, a ghost hunter asks a series of questions hoping a ghost will answer the questions during the session. Normally, the people in the session do not hear the ghostly replies until after the audio recording has been replayed. There are several popular theories on this subject and some ghost hunters theorize that the human ear is unable to hear the frequency of the ghost’s communication. There are numerous types of sound frequencies that the human ear cannot detect. However, this is not a rule because there are rare occasions when a ghost hunter will hear and record the communication as it occurs.

In a normal question-and-answer session, a ghost hunter should ask a single question and then silently wait about ten seconds before asking the next question. The space of time between questions allows the ghost an opportunity to answer the question. If a ghost hunter asks questions too quickly, there is a risk that the next questions will overlap the ghost’s response. After a couple minutes of asking questions, stop the recording and review the results. Listen to the recording closely for strange sounds or voices. The replies might not be clear or loud so the answers are not always obvious and the voices could be in different languages.

The second type of EVP recording session is a standalone session. The ghost hunter places one or more recording devices in spots where ghosts are believed to be the most active. Several hours later, the recordings can be analyzed. The ghost hunter must attentively listen to each and every second of the entire recording. Voice-activation features are incredibly useful by saving hours of valuable time. A voice-activation feature means that the recording device will sit on pause until a noise triggers the device to start recording. Hours of time can be reduced to minutes of recorded audio files.

Ghost hunters can find success with EVP recordings. However, EVPs also have serious problems. One key characteristic important with EVP is the ghost hunter’s own listening process. The recordings must be carefully reviewed multiple times. People who listen to recordings long enough can begin to misinterpret sounds. Listeners also must be able to weed out background interference. The power of suggestion is an influential force. A ghost hunter should think about giving the recordings to a trustworthy impartial listener. It is normal for a ghost hunter to hear what they want to hear from a recording. The ghost hunter knows what questions were asked and they have an idea of what answers to expect.

The legitimacy of EVP recordings is impossible to prove regardless of what is recorded. Critics have a valid point when explaining that the sounds or voices recorded can either be misinterpretations, interference caused by radio signals, low-quality equipment malfunctions or hoaxes. Even when an EVP recording is not a misinterpretation or a hoax, there is still no way to prove that these recordings are actually the voices of the dead.

Once an EVP sample has been recorded, the next step is to make backup copies of that recording in case something causes damage to the original. Digital recorders have an advantage over cassette tapes because digital files can transfer easily to a computer system without sound distortion. Analog tapes can be transferred to a digital format but sometimes the recording quality will suffer during the transfer. Store the backups in multiple locations such as the computer’s hard drive, on a website, on a CD or a flash drive.

Computer software programs can help analyze EVP recordings. Audio programs can remove background noise, highlight audio channels, increase or decrease the volume, and offer a variety of editing filters. It is important to remember the following rule: never make changes to the original EVP recording. Leave the original copy untouched. Only edit and make changes to copies of the original. There are plenty of audio software programs available. Deciding which audio programs are best is a matter of personal preference.

NEXT Chapter: Tips for Good EVP Recordings