I have a fascination with ghosts and research into the paranormal, and love writing about it.
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is something that paranormal investigators have been researching for many decades in an effort to communicate with the spirit world and find conclusive evidence that the spirit world exists. As far back as the 1940s, people trying to connect with spirits utilized phonograph recorders in attempts to capture voices from the other side. Since then, thousands of people from parapsychologists to paranormal investigators to ordinary people have captured voices of unknown origins on various types of recording devices. While some of the apparent EVP recordings of spirit voices are hard to understand and are open to interpretation, many others are quite clear, are quite startling, and require a sensible explanation.
Thomas Edison Weighed In On Capturing Recordings From The Afterlife
Are EVP Recordings Actually Evidence That We Can Communicate With Spirits?
Parapsychology, which is the study of paranormal and psychic phenomena, has often been relegated to the back bench of scientific research. It is derided by many scientists as a pseudoscience since the reproducibility of results in the realm in which it focuses is quite difficult and in some cases simply impossible. Reproducing exact EVP results is quite difficult or impossible since a researcher cannot control what intelligent words or phrases are recorded during an EVP recording session. However, the fact that so many clear words and phrases can be captured over and over again by people attempting to communicate with the spirit world using recording devices does provide a certain degree of reproducibility of results. This reproducibility is bolstered by the fact that many EVP recordings that are recorded in the same location often pick up the same voice or voices. The fact that these voices of unknown origin often directly answer questions posed to them is a tantalizing piece of evidence that communication with an intelligent being of some kind is occurring.
There are, of course, a number of non-spirit based explanations that scientists and critical thinkers must consider regarding the origin of such eerie voice recordings. These include outright hoaxes and fraud to random radio signals that could contaminate EVP recordings or even non-verbal communication with the minds of people who are alive.
It is fairly easy to eliminate outright hoaxes and fraud as explanations. If another researcher or other credible sources perform their own experiments in an area know to produce EVP messages and find conclusive evidence that confirms voices are being produced on recordings, the hoax and fraud explanation quickly falls by the wayside. If they confirm EVP voices on their recordings, then they are obviously not defrauding themselves.
Random radio signals are harder to discount as an explanation for EVP recordings. However, when the responses to questions appear to be directly related to the questions asked by a researcher and demonstrate intelligence, the random radio signal explanation falls apart. Yes, one can pick up random radio signals with a recording device, but their randomness and irrelevance to the questions asked differentiate them from EVP responses that often appear to be the same voice that addresses specific questions asked by the person making the recording.
Another alternative explanation is that the recorded voices are actually coming from very much alive human minds, perhaps even the researchers themselves. This assumes that other humans can use non-verbal telepathic means of communicating and for some reason respond subconsciously to questions during EVP recording sessions. While this is a possible explanation, it is also hard to accept since telepathic communication has not been confirmed as a viable method of human communication and EVP recordings in known haunted locations often state historical facts that are known about a haunting. Sometimes the researchers are not even aware of the historical facts until after their EVP recordings have been completed and they are analyzing them and researching the haunting. The responses sometimes appear to come from an intelligent source that has extensive knowledge of the circumstance surrounding a haunting.
By the process of elimination of alternative explanations, spirit communication from the beyond can be put forward as the most likely source for what is found on EVP recordings.
Whatever Their Origins Are, EVP Recordings Are Picking Sounds
Communicating With Spirits Using Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)
Parapsychologists define Electronic Voice Phenomena as telepathic communication between spirits and the living. The interesting thing about these supposed spirit recordings is that you do not have to be a psychic or a medium yourself in order to record them and build your own body of evidence. There is no need for a sixth sense or a sensitivity to the spirit world that psychics and mediums have. All you need is an open mind and the fortitude to spend some time recording in places known to be haunted by spirits.
Just be ready for the unexpected. You never know what kind of responses you will receive once you open up a channel to the spirit world. What seems to be consistent about spirit communications via recordings is that their answers are sometimes surprisingly clear and directly related to questions asked. They may mention your name or provide other clues that they are intelligent beings. You may not find such startling results on your first attempts, but over time some of the recordings will be so clear and relevant to questions asked that it will cause you to think hard about where they are coming from. Attempting to communicate with the spirit world using recording devices is a fascinating area of investigation.
Actual Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) Recordings
A friend of mine who lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania became interested in trying to capture recordings of spirits. The following video includes four EVP recordings he captured in a library that was built decades ago. I do not want to taint what you hear by including any suggestions of what he captured, but the first response is so clear and unambiguous that it is really quite startling.
Researchers have categorized EVP recordings into three distinct categories.
- Class A: An identifiable word or phrase that anyone who listens to the recording can clearly understand.
- Class B: A word or phrase that is identifiable without the need for headphones, but is not clear enough for every listener to necessarily agree on what was said.
- Class C: A word or phrase that is very soft and faint, even with the use of headphones, and is so hard to distinguish that its meaning is open to the interpretation of the listener.
The first response in the above video is obviously a Class A EVP recording since it is so clear and easy to understand. The following three responses (which were from other recording sessions done in the same location, but do not include the prelude questions) are generally unclear and up to the interpretation of the listener. These responses fall between Class B and Class C EVP recordings.
Shows Such as Ghost Hunters Have Heightened Awareness of EVP Recordings
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) Poll
Ghost Hunters EVPs
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 John Coviello
John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on August 06, 2018:
Thanks for your feedback everyone! I'm glad you found this article to be interesting and worth a read.
The thing that I find intriguing about EVP communication is that you don't have to have a gift or anything of that sort in order to communicate with spirits using voice recorders. I imagine communicating with spirits as a medium is much more efficient and personable since it's a two-way dialogue.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 01, 2018:
I believe that truly spiritual people communicate with spirits, and we don't have to prove anything to anyone else. I believe that the spirits are either laughing at or are insulted by paranormal curiosity seekers. Regardless, I believe that they are out there.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 01, 2018:
Hmm, I thought the existence of these sounds was proved and reproved and accepted as fact. And I understand that a connection with humans has been determined to be real - brain waves and all of that.
But it seems we are still unsure what kind of thing/being produces such sound matter.
Very good read here, thank you.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 01, 2018:
This used to fascinate me but I have not done anything the past 30 years so I have not really followed recent development in this area. I am still interested but I still don't know what to believe.