EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. In basic terms, it is sounds that are detected on an audio recording device that were not heard by the human ear. These voices are considered to be spirit voices. If you would like more information on what an EVP is, check out my article What is an EVP and how do I capture one.
EVP itself is one of the staples of a paranormal investigator. They are easy to do, you don’t need to carry a big case of equipment with you, and it is something you can do at any location at any time of day. Generally an EVP session is conducted in two ways. There are burst sessions which are quick recordings of a couple of minutes and you then review the audio file straight away to see if you have heard anything. The other method is to either do a recording or leave it running and review it after the investigation (which can take a long time). You can also listen to the audio in real time by plugging earphones into the recorder and you will hear exactly what the recorder is taping. These are the simple most common methods that investigators use, but what if you want to try some new things? Here are some different things you can try to spice your EVP sessions.
A lot of people like to experiment with white noise to use in the background. White noise is defined as a combination of all the different frequencies that a human ear can hear. We know that the human ear can hear between 20 and 20000HZ. This means that you are hearing approximately 20000 tones of sound at the same time. Some people believe that just by playing white noise in the background can help the spirits communicate as many believe there is a connection to frequencies and the paranormal. Some people like to make special sound files which have 'fractions of words or phenoms' in them. There are programs now on computers where you can prerecord words into a sound file. It will then chop them up randomly. When you hear it, the words are all mashed up and make no sense. The theory is that the spirits can manipulate these words and form a full word. Much like a spirit box or soundbanks but you will pick it up during your EVP recording. This again is used as a background noise. Other techniques are simply playing some music in the background or even playing a song in reverse. There is a lot you can experiement with here, you just need to think a little bit. As always with working with sound and words, be careful of audio pareidolia.
I first became aware of this experiment when doing an event with Brian J Cano of Haunted Collector fame. It was something he created some time ago. It is based on the concept of the Phillip Experiment where instead of trying to make contact with the spirit world, it more looks at the possibility that we ourselves can project our thoughts onto a recording. In the Phillip Experiment, parapsychologists made a fake story of a fake person and then did an investigation trying to contact this fake person. The theory was that by using collective thought, they could project their thoughts to manifest a spirit. Following on from this, the psychic projection experiment is seeing if by using collective thought, can we get a word to appear on the recorder just by a group of people willing it to happen.
To complete this experiment, you need to find a comfortable quiet space. There is no set number of people needed for this experiment. It may work with only 1 person or it may work with 10. It probably depends on a lot of things, but it would be worth trying it with different numbers of people. Find a word that is significant to the members of the room. Brian explained in his experiences that when the word had some sort of significance to the group, he had a higher success rate as there is an emotional attachment to word. It could be something funny that has made everyone laugh or it could be the name of someone in the group. It is up to you which word to choose. Aim to record for about 1 minute. The group will sit in silence and purely concentrate on the word that they want to appear on the recording. (Silently in your head , don’t chant the word). You can close your eyes or you can focus on the recorder, whatever you are more comfortable doing. At the end of the one minute, review your recording. Did the word appear? When reviewing of course, you must be very aware of audio pareidolia. When you are reviewing audio, you are searching for the one particular word you were trying to project so you are more likely to interpret sounds to be the word you are looking for. It is the nature of our brain. It would have to be a class A EVP that is easily recognisable by anyone listening to it to even be considered as a success due to this influence.
It is not an experiment I am told that works all the time. I have never had it work myself, but other investigators have had success. In fact over many years, Brian had said it only worked a handful of times out of the hundreds of times he had done it. I suppose it makes it all the more interesting when something comes through. Investigators are more and more now starting to look past the general concept that a spirit was a living person. Some are looking more into the notion that hauntings could in fact just be people unknowingly projecting their own energy. This is the perfect way to see if this is true.
This concept was first introduced by Dr Konstantin Raudive who was well known for his ground breaking work with EVP. To enhance his EVP sessions, instead of using the built in recorder on an audio device, he would plug in a Germanium Diode into the microphone jack. The diode does not record human voices. It actually records electronic waves. As it can pick up AM radio frequencies, to eliminate interference, you can put the recorder into a faraday pouch. Raudive claimed he had excellent results with this method.
Raudive created his own device which is quite elaborate, but you can make your own or pre purchase a much simplier version that does the same thing. (If you google Germanium Dioide you will find diagrams and videos its pretty simple.) Why not give it a try?
Following on with a similar concept , there are special devices especially made now for paranormal investigating called EVP mics. Like above they plug into your EVP recorder. They are an inductive microphone that picks up on electromagnetic energy. It does not record human voices or normal sounds so if something comes through, it is thought it could be something trying to communicate. It is the same idea and concept as above, however they pick up on different things, but importantly both do not pick up on human voices as they are not audio recorders. A good idea would be to have it running with a normal recorder side by side to compare the results. If the other recorder is picking up the same thing, then you know it is a case of interference. It's always good to have a control recorder, which brings us to the last point.
If you want to be a little bit more serious about the EVP work that you are doing, then it is essential to have more than one recorder rolling while you are doing a session. A lot of investigators will have a second recorder running which is called ‘a control recorder’. It basically helps you to eliminate rogue sounds that you may misinterpret to be an EVP. These environmental sounds will be picked up on both recorders. If someone is talking or whispering, it will be picked up by both recorders. If you were to receive what is considered to be a genuine EVP, it would only show up on one recorder. If you come across something on a recording you think may be something, listen to the same recording that you taped on the control recorder. Is that sound still there? It is a very good debunking tool.
There is no set rules to EVP and it is always good to try something new. As always, I encourage you though to log all your results in some sort of diary or even just put some notes in your phone. What works, what doesn’t work. You may find certain methods work better than others. Then you can put on your investigator hat to try and work out, why does it work better doing it this way? There is still so much that we do not understand. Do we even understand anything? This is a good step in the right direction to find out and it keeps it interesting for you as well. It can get a bit boring doing the same thing every single time. Don’t limit yourself. Come up with your own experiments or adjust current ones to make it work for you. Good luck and if you have a great EVP experiment or something that you find works well for you, I want to hear about it! Tell me in the comments below.
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