Have you always wanted to be a paranormal investigator? Do you follow those TV shows about aliens and cryptids and ghosts hunts in old castles and prisons? Do you like hanging out in graveyards and trying to photograph the mystical orbs of light that appear suddenly only to disappear again?
If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, chances are you were born with a keen interest in parapsychology and spirit communication. And what better way to correspond with ghosts other than to have your very own EVP session?
Electronic Voice Phenomenon — or EVP, as it’s called for short — refers to the voices of spirits or supernatural entities found on recorded media, along with static and background noise. It is a clear and reliable way to communicate and document correspondences with spirits and to use that documentation as evidence. EVP consists of the sounds (i.e., voices, cries, laughter) that can be heard only on playback and not (usually) at the time of the actual investigation.
EVP sounds are of various types, and are classified according to their sound quality. Class A EVPs are comprised of voices which are easily discernible, and do not require amplification or the aid of headphones. Class B EVPs are slightly lower in quality, but can still be properly distinguished. Class C EVPs require additional amplification or enhancement. Class D or Class R EVPSs refer to very poor quality recordings, typically presenting with breathing, whispers or vague, strange sounds. Class G is the lowest quality EVP of the group, and needs a good bit of tinkering and enhancing to determine whether it’s even an EVP in the first place.
It’s hard to really say who discovered EVP; records show that Thomas Edison himself was working on a device that could communicate with the dead. However, it wasn’t until a Swede named Fredrich Jurgenson found himself reviewing his recordings of bird songs that a real movement was born. Jurgenson claimed to hear the voice of a man talking about bird songs when he replayed his recordings, and could also hear other voices telling him how he could continue recording such phenomena, if he was so inclined. Years later another man, Konstantine Raudive, recorded thousands of EVPs and published his findings in his classic book, Breakthrough. As a result EVPs are often called Raudive Voices to this day.
1982 was a particularly interesting year in the history of EVPs. Two men — the first being George Meek, an engineer, and the second a psychic named William O’Neil — built an EVP device known as a Spiricom. They claimed the directions for the device were given to them from the world of Spirit and that it could produce two way communications between the dead and the living. Dozens of people have since created ghost or spirit boxes of their own, from the classic Frank’s Box to Steve Huff’s modern day Portal.
EVPs are best recorded on analog/digital recorders. While high quality recorders are best — and you can certainly get fancy and fandangled with the host of spirit boxes and apps on the market today — you can still catch quality EVPs on simple things like answering machines, video cameras, radio and even cell phones. When I’ve conducted my own EVP sessions I’ve relied on nothing more than an Olympus hand-held recorder, and it’s worked beautifully.
The only thing your chosen device needs to do is sufficiently catch anomalous sounds. To that end, keep in mind that EVPs don’t always have to be human voices; they can also be unexplained knocking, banging, rapping, tapping, whispering sounds, laughing, crying, animal sounds, and all manner of other noises. These sounds are typically not heard as the recording is being made, although some have claimed to hear and also catch phenomena in real time.
There are two ways to conduct an EVP session. One is the active way, where the investigator asks a question (preferably in the Yes/No format), waits for a period of time, and then asks another question, waits, and then asks another. The investigator later replays the recording, typically wearing headphones so as to hear all the nuances, and searches for anomalous sounds. Alternatively, the passive way involves setting up the recorder in a safe place and letting it run for a period of time. No questions are asked; no protocol is followed. When the time is up the investigator retrieves the device and reviews the recording. In my opinion the active method is typically better as it allows you to communicate and participate with the spirit world.
How To Have An EVP Session
1. Set It Up Correctly:
First you must choose a good location. Choose places where there have been known hauntings and other kinds of paranormal events. Choose places that where you will be relatively undisturbed.
Next, determine whether you will be conducting the session alone or with others. If you will be with others, make sure you choose a good team. Someone within the group with an overly negative, fearful, mocking, or anxious energy/disposition can throw off the entire investigation. Choose serious team members; ones that have respect for the process and also for the spirits with which you hope to connect.
Before beginning, take note of date, time, temperature, lighting and weather conditions. It is largely accepted that atmospheric factors can greatly impact the quality of communications. Stormy nights — or nights with a lot of electricity and energy — can often enhance or amplify spirit communication. Noting these types of details allows you to later compare notes from different sessions to see if this proves to be the case for you. If so, you can use this to plan more sessions in the future.
If working with a team, give them quick instructions and stress the importance of treating the entire process with respect, especially the spirits. Let them know that the investigation will stop if any of them break form or protocol. Last, tell them that the less everyone talks the better; these recordings are for spirits, not for team members to fill with startled exclamations or useless chatter. Nothing ruins an EVP like a member talking over or through it.
2. Engage The Spirits And Document:
Let the spirits present know that you are there to talk. Just as you addressed your team, it is now time to address the spirits. Let them know who you are and that you are there with nothing but good intentions. From there ask simple questions. Begin with questions like “Can you give me a sign of your presence?”, “What is your name?”, “Where are you?”, “Is anyone with you?”. After each question give the spirit adequate time to respond — I recommend at least a minute, if not more. Do not rush; this is how you end up talking over a quality EVP.
After asking the simple questions, move on to others such as, “What happened to you?”, “How can we help you?” and anything else you’d like to ask. It is helpful to write your questions out beforehand, and also to take notes of anything that happens of interest while you are interviewing the spirits.
When you are finished with your questions, consider if there is a way you can help the spirits. Any spirits who are haunting a location are earthbound spirits, and these types of spirits should cross into the light, not linger in the earth realm. For this reason it is extremely helpful during investigations to have a psychic medium present who is able to assist the spirit in properly passing on. If one is not available, do your best to lovingly instruct the spirits to go into the light, where they belong.
After that, thank the spirits and turn off the recorder.
3. Review The Data For EVPs:
I recommend taking a break before reviewing your recording. When you’re ready, grab a quality set of headphones and begin listening. Take notes. Look for any noises that were not present when you conducted the session. Eliminate your own talking and the voices of your team. Cross-check everything with the notes you took the night of your session. Document anything unusual. Identify and single out any EVPs you can readily make out, and then move on to your preferred software to enhance and amplify the recording. This will help you to pick up sounds/noises/voices that you might have missed.
Run everything by your team members; have them listen too, if you’re so inclined. Compile your findings. If you found some provocative EVPs, considering publishing them in a paranormal group or on your own website. There is no shortage of people interested in listening to these types of recordings.
So, are you ready to communicate with the world of spirit? It’s a lot easier than you think, and can be extremely exciting and fulfilling. If you want to learn even more about the types of spirits you might encounter — and also other ways to communicate with them — make sure to check out my class, Everything Psychic!