Electronic Voice Phenomena
Electronic Voice Phenomena – or EVP, as it is more commonly known in the paranormal world – are sounds of static noise on the radio, or electronic recording media, that are interpreted by paranormal investigators as voices speaking words said to be uttered by ghosts or spirits of the dead. In other words, EVP’s are unexplained voices captured on audio cassette tape or digital recorders that could not be heard at the time of the taping. Over the years, there have been many cases of such mysterious voices and sounds being captured on tape all over the world.
The general quality of the electronic voice recordings varies tremendously. Occasionally it is clear speech and perfectly audible; more often, it is faint and/or distorted. The EVP recordings often need to be amplified before anything can be made out at all.
It is a stark fact that many people have been shocked to learn that the so called “dead” – or “discarnate entities” – have been communicating with the living world through electronic devices since the early 1900s, and there is no preventive maintenance software guaranteed to block EVP. Paranormal history is full of cases where certain individuals and psychic investigators claim to have heard mysterious “voices” speaking to them through such everyday electronic objects as a tape recorder.
Recording EVP has become a technique of those who attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones, or during ghost hunting activities. In addition to deceased spirits, various paranormal investigators say that EVP could be due to psychic echoes from the past, psychokinesis unconsciously produced by living people, and the thoughts of aliens.
According to parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who popularized the idea, EVP are typically very short in duration, usually the length of a word or short phrase
Skeptics of the paranormal attribute the voice-like aspect of the sounds to apophenia (finding of significance or connections between insignificant or unrelated phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language which might otherwise sound like random noise to a foreign speaker), artifacts due to low-quality equipment, and simple hoaxes. Likewise, some reported EVP can be attributed to radio interference or other well-documented phenomena.
Portable digital voice recorders are the main instrument of choice for EVP investigators. Because these devices are very susceptible to Radio Frequency (RF) contamination, EVP enthusiasts sometimes try to record EVP in RF- and sound-screened rooms. However, in order to record EVP, there has to be noise in the audio circuits of the device used to produce the EVP. Therefore, those who attempt to record EVP often use two recorders that have differing quality audio circuitry and rely on noise heard from the poorer quality instrument to generate EVP.
Investigation of EVP is the topic of thousands of Internet message boards, both regional and national. Many paranormal investigators, equipped with electronic gear such as EMF meters, video cameras and audio recorders, investigate reportedly haunted locations, trying to detect visual and audio evidence of paramormal activity. Many use portable recording devices in an attempt to capture EVP.
Stories of EVP have appeared in the reality television shows Paranormal State, Celebrity Paranormal Project, and Ghost Hunters, the fictional television series Supernatural and Medium, and Hollywood films such as White Noise and The Sixth Sense.
Anyone can attempt EVP. Just go to a reportedly haunted place, set up your tape recorder, and you’re away. Whether you’ll be successful or not in capturing “ghostly voices” is, of course, another matter!
EVP is one of the most discussed and fascinating aspects of paranormal phenomena. Whole books have even be written on the subject.