Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is the recording of sounds or voices on electronic devices that were not audible to the human ear at the time of recording, and is one of the most fascinating pieces of data in paranormal investigation.
EVP clips vary widely in their volume, length, and tone, and many clips are almost impossible to hear at all without special software to amplify them.
The most common type of EVP that I have heard sound like whispers. This is one reason no investigator should ever whisper while recording, as it is easy to mistake these unidentifiable whispers as EVP. Other EVP clips have an electronic sound to them, some are just voices, as if someone was standing outside of the room, and yet others are as though someone was standing right next to the microphone talking.
What makes EVP vary so much? A skeptical theory is that these are just mostly regular sounds that our mind translates into patterns that we recognize. This is called auditory pareidolia. Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon that can occur both visually and auditorially. Many skeptics believe that this is a valid explanation for most, if not all, paranormal experiences and data. Since the sounds that we might pick up with our recorders both from the environment and from within the recording device itself can vary so much, the tones and volumes of the words that we perceive would vary as well. Another skeptical theory is that many of the random words and phrases that we pick up are radio signals. While analog recorders using tapes are bad for producing their own background noise, digital recorders have the reputation for easily picking up radio waves.
But what if these radio waves aren’t a bad thing? One theory that is fairly prevalent in the paranormal field is that electromagnetic energy plays a big part in paranormal activity. Part of the electromagnetic spectrum is radio waves. If electromagnetic energy is used to cause activity to be visual, such as with the light spectrum, it is very possible that it could be used to create EVP as well. All electronic recorders raise the noise floor, in order to be able to catch every sound and produce high quality recordings. When this noise floor is raised, it also creates white noise, which is a combination of all frequencies. This creates an electromagnetic environment that allows any type of wave to be taken and converted to another type of wave to produce a desired sound.
EVP is just one form of Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC). ITC is when communication occurs through any type of electronic device. While EVP is a form of ITC, it is unique in that it was undetectable by human ears at the time of recording. Other forms of ITC may be heard or seen at the time of occurrence. An example of instrumental trans-communication would be audio clips that are unexplainable, but were heard at the time of the recording. These clips can sound exactly like an EVP, but are different in that you may hear someone say “Did you hear that?” or “Someone just said…” Some forms of ITC are visual, such as images seen on a television screen.
The Ovilus and ghost boxes could be considered newer additions to the ITC category. The manipulation of the Ovilus to create sounds can be quite amazing to hear. With a 500-word dictionary programmed into the machine, along with the ability to just produce phonetics, the combination setting can exceed the dictionary’s limits very successfully. My experience with the ghost box has been with using what is known as a Radio Shack Hack. The Shack Hack operates by removal of the pin that mutes the signal to keep it in one place, allowing the radio to randomly sweep the AM or FM bands. This also provides endless radio waves and endless amounts of white noise to be used to create words, sounds, and phrases. The AM band is the most successful, as there is more white noise and less active stations in most cases that can come through during the perpetual scanning.
Of course, it is possible that everything we hear using a ghost box is random words filtering in from radio stations. The problem with this is that many groups’ results have not been so random. There are documented cases of people’s own names coming through the ghost box for hours with nothing else coming through. Also, questions have been asked such as “What is your favourite colour?” and not one relevant answer is given, but sometimes 5, 10, or even 15 colours are named in different voices.
It is just as possible that we have given entities many new and easier ways to communicate with the living. Proving it is what seems to be the problem.