I have been working a lot with EVP lately. While the most common and easiest way to do an EVP session is to break out your recorder, ask 'What is your name?' pause for 10 seconds and move on, this becomes very same same when you have done it several hundred times. There are so many different ways that you can work with EVP, and it also has a purpose. When you are looking at an experiment that you can try use any technique not just EVP, the biggest question that you should be asking yourself, is why? Why am I doing these steps? Is it because it what you think you should be doing or is it because that is the way everyone else does it? We need to take a step back and think about what it is we are looking to achieve out of particular exercise. The next step is looking at how you are going to do that. You don't have to do it in a certain way just because you have seen other people do it that way. Adjust it to what you want to get out of it. Remember this is the paranormal. Nothing is proven and there is no set way to do things. If you watched me do an EVP session 2 years ago, it probably looked completely different to how I do one now. From my findings, I learn and I adjust. I do watch others and see what results they get and take that on board but create my own way of doing it. The same applies not only in the way that you investigate, but also in the way that you review evidence.
One of the biggest problems that most will agree with is that when reviewing an EVP, it is very difficult to trust what you are hearing. Let's put aside for a minute things like contamination and someone whispering etc. The more you work with EVP, the more you will find yourself introducing control measures. Even simply just tagging your audio makes a big difference when you are reviewing your audio. Things like 'Tag - car driving past' can save a lot of debunking time later one. When I say that we can't trust what we are hearing, it is more that we cannot trust our brain. If we are told or expect a certain word to be heard when we review the audio file, we can unknowingly interpret a random noise to be the word which we were expecting to hear. A lot of investigators usually incorporate a rule when reviewing audio and that is not to tell anyone what they think they hear. That means that there is no power of suggestion at play and so if a few different people interpreted the word to be the same thing, then they have likely caught a class A EVP. There is however still something that may not be considered. That power of suggestion is still there, but you don't realize it. It comes from the questions that you are asking. For example, if you are asking 'What is your name?' of course you are going to expect to hear a name. What if you know that the spirit of Annie is thought to roam this room. When you ask the question 'What is your name?' your brain is already anticipating to hear Annie. While care can be taken in some cases by going into an investigation blind and not knowing any history, you can still anticipate results. When you are investigating a prison, you tend to ask questions centered around a prison. 'What was your crime?'. Quite often we expect the answer to be something like 'murder'. We don't know what the crime was but again our brain is anticipating the answer. So in order to have no hint of suggestion, we need to somehow ask a question without knowing what the question is. How do we as investigators even do that? It is a method that I have called 'Envelope EVP'. It goes by other names as well, most commonly 'Learned Jot Sessions'. So how does it work?
Investigators start by having a pile of around 10 blank cards. Throughout the day, they ask different people to write down a question on the card. The investigator is not to look at the question being written on the card. This is important! The card is then put in a sealed envelope. Once all 10 envelopes have been sealed with a written card, they are randomly numbered between 1 – 10. Remember none of investigators should know what is written on the cards.
During a session, the investigator holds up the envelope and asks spirit to communicate the answer to the question inside the envelope. For example: ‘Can you please tell me what is the answer to question number 5?’. Remember the investigators do not know what the question is so they cannot predict what the answer will be.
Now have the investigators review the audio. They are each to write down any responses they believe they have heard. Up until this point, the envelopes have still not been opened.. Once the audio has been reviewed, open the envelopes and read the question and compare it to the answer that the EVP has given you. Is there a match? If there is, you know that there is no contamination through the power of suggestion if you have conducted this experiment properly. There are a few different ways you can do this experiment, don’t be afraid to change it up a little bit. There is a lot of possibility here!
You will now understand the basic premise of this experiment. There are other ways that you can work with this. I can think of a few different ways, but I am not going to tell you. I want to hear from you. What are some suggestions you have to work with this experiment? Perhaps it is something that you already do. Does it work? What would you do differently?
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