Like many who investigate the paranormal, you tend to learn from investigators around you and even what you see on YouTube and TV. This is particularly common when it comes to EVP. There are a few generic basics that people follow, and most of the time it is something we have learnt while watching others in action (or even from paranormal shows on TV). While it was one of my favourite ways to investigate, I was actually quite skeptical of anything and everything when it came to a potential EVP. I also had some issues with the very concept of it for a few reasons. A spirit doesn't have a voice box so how can it speak? If an EVP is at a frequency we can't hear with our ears why is it most EVPS are caught within a range we should have been hearing? Then of course you have things like audio pareidolia and just natural sounds that are mistaken. While I spent a lot of time exploring these things, many people would tell me that it was the message that was more important than how it got there. I do understand this perspective, especially when you are researching or investigating a certain way - such as for spirit communication, but that isn't my own goal. I do of course enjoy trying to get answers and information I can validate with history books etc, but I am the kind of the person that needs to understand the how it is possible, not why.
While I had researched different components and worked with some great ways to experiment with it and to implementing different controls etc, it still wasn't answering my own fundamental question .... how was it possible? So I hit the books. It was a process that started probably a year ago, however once COVID came along, I dedicated hours a day to solid EVP research. When I say EVP research, I am not talking about doing my own recordings at home, I am talking about reading the research from others. I started at the beginning reading the work of the pioneers, and then reading the critical reviews of their work by their peers. It is very interesting to see just how much EVP research has changed over the years. It certainly was not something that was necessarily developed for 'ghost hunting', and in fact it has evolved in a way that is very different to its original intention. EVP was pretty much discovered by chance. In fact it wasn't even referred to as EVP until much later. Most people will never have heard of the person who coined the term or how it came about.
This exercise for me in particular was quite eye opening. Seeing how the research evolved and more importantly why was so very interesting and changed my perspective. I thought I knew things, but I really didn't. It was a lot of the critical research and back and forth with research that really opened my eyes. While I knew the basics of the work that the pioneers did, I didn't really know why. I didn't know their reasoning for doing things the way they did them. While it can be easy to think that EVP starts and finishes with pressing record and listening back, there is a lot more to it than that. There is even a link that in a lot of ways to me makes sense as to how working with EVP has evolved into people walking around with ghostboxes. I am not a big fan of ghost boxes or even soundbanks etc, but reading the research why things are used the way that they are left me feeling a little more open to a possibility.
As investigators, we often just rely on the information we hear from our peers. That information is based on their own experiences and beliefs which could be different to yours. A lot of people have told me to concentrate more on the message and not worry about the logitstics. While this suits their style of research, it doesn't suit mine so we both need to understand and empathise that we are all approaching our research in different ways. It is important to ensure the way you approach your research is true to what you want and what you are looking for. It doesn't mean that one of you is right and one of you is wrong, it means you are different. Believe it or not, these different approaches can work together, so we must be open to the feedback and even constructive criticism from others, but we also have to understand that not everyone wants to do things 'our way'. Someone asking a question is not necessarily an attack, but it can provoke a new train of thought. When someone questions what you are doing, it is natural to become defensive. We often become even more defensive if it is a question we cannot answer. Instead of getting defensive, maybe we need to look at why we cannot answer the question? Maybe then we can work together to find the answer.
Modern day paranormal investigatoring has certainly evolved and changed. In some ways for the good and in others way maybe not so much, but this is where we are at right now. Diving head first into the research books has really changed my perspective and opened my mind. From that it has ecnouraged me to look at EVP research from a different perspective. I now have a better understanding of why things are done the way they are and even some of my own ideas on more ways to be able to work with it. I am really excited to try some new experiments and I am taking on board some of the basic principles our pioneers worked with decades ago.
I can honestly say that researching this area properly has help renew my passion for the paranormal and given me the insight on a particular topic that I have perhaps been more close minded to in the past. I have no doubt that we pick up voices or sounds on tape. It is dechipering what these are which is the true mystery. In the past I was maybe too quick to write something off because I didn't understand the true principal behind it. The whole exercise has made me look at myself as a researcher and really try to understand the how and the why. As I mentioned above, this approach is not for everyone, I do believe that research can really help you.
For myself, I am looking for the how and the why. How is it that we can experience this phenomena and why do we investigate the way we do to experience it? In doing so, I wrote the LLIFS Guide to EVP which is a short eBook which starts at the beginning and ends with you walking away to continue the research our pioneers first started. While it is currently in eBook format, I am working on some experiements and other research which I will add to a paperback version down the track. I learnt so much from writing this guide and I think anyone with an interest in the paranormal regardless if you have investigated for 1 week or 10 years can benefit from.
Ghostly voices have been appearing on tape recordings for decades. Known as EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), learn all you need to know about EVP like where it came from, how it works and the theories as to why these voices appear on recordings. We start by exploring the research from pioneers such as Friedrich Jurgenson & Konstantin Raudive and how EVP research has evolved throughout the years.
How can you do you own recordings?
What are the different recording methods and equipment you can use?
What techniques and experiments can you try besides just the typical question and answer sessions?
How do you review your audio?
What natural causes can be mistaken for this phenomenon and what interferes with our recordings?
Finally let's talk about what these voices potentially are. Are the voices from the other side or maybe from out of this world?
This is a comprehensive guide suitable for anyone interested in the paranormal designed to make you think and question everything you think you know about EVP and the paranormal. Whether you are a fan of watching your favourite television personalities walking around with a digital recorder or starting out as a paranormal investigator yourself, this will give you everything you need to know and more! If you have been out in the field for years, there are some new ideas and technical information for those wanting to take their research a little further. There is something for everyone in this guide!
I would like to finish up with recommending some great books that really helped with the writing of this guide and changed my perspective on EVP! Books are where it is at!
‘Voices of Eternity’ Sarah Estep (1988)
‘Breakthrough an Amazing Experiment In Electronic Communication With The Dead’ Konstantin Raudive (1971)
‘Speak with the dead: Seven Methods for Spirit communication’ Konstantinos (2004)
‘Voice transmissions with the dead’ Friedrich Jürgenson (1967)
‘Voices from space’ Friedrich Jürgenson (1964)
‘Voices from the tapes: recordings from the other world’ Peter Bander (1973)
‘Parapsychology: A handbook for the 21st Century’ Etzel Cardena, John Palmer & David Marcusson-Clavertz (2015)
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Grab a copy of my book Stuff Paranormal Investigators Need To Know Volume 1: What the eyes see and the ears hear the mind believes. This series takes a rational approach to paranormal investigating, offering natural explanations for common paranormal phenomena while exploring spiritual and other possibilities. What you are left with is a great reference guide for paranormal enthusiasts of all levels to compare against their own experiences.
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