Before I get to far into this article about Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), I want to state that this is not meant to be an instruction manual for those of us who have been conducting EVP sessions all of our paranormal lives. This is for the individuals, whom I hope are many, not affiliated with paranormal investigations, spirits, or ghosts until recently. There could be a number of reasons why the sudden interest. This is not to address those reasons. The fact is, you are here to know about them, and we are here to explain them.
Electronic Voice Phenomena, otherwise known as EVPs, is an occurrence where a human sounding voice from a source that is not known are heard on recorders, radios or other electronic media. We capture, as paranormal investigators EVPs on digital voice recorders for the most part. These recordings can be very mysterious in most cases because you cannot hear them with your human ear. Speculation is dogs, rats, or mice, or other animals can hear them without the aid of a recording due to the lower frequency hearing range they possess. There are times where amplification and noise filtering is needed to clearly, and sometimes not so clearly, what is being said. We must be very attentive though because just as with our eyes, our brain will also try to interpret what we hear into something we recognize as speech. Pareidolia, as it is called is when a sight or sound that translated by the brain into something we will understand. In this case, we “hear words.”
There are three types or classifications of EVPs. These are:
Class A - This type of EVP is loud, clear and of very high quality. The voice is easily understandable and does not need enhancement or amplification. Class A EVPs are also often (but not always) in direct response to a question being asked.
Class B - This is the most common type of EVP. This type of EVP is of somewhat lower quality and clarity than a Class A EVP but still very audible. Class B EVPs often do need some amount of enhancement or amplification to be heard clearer. The voice may not be clear enough to be totally understood or there may be disagreement as to what it is saying. Class B EVPs are often not in direct response to a question.
Class C - This is the lowest quality EVP. With a Class C EVP even the best enhancement and amplification may not be sufficient to make the voice audible or clear. There may even be debate whether or not an EVP is actually present.
Normal human hearing generally ranges between 20 and 20000 Hz. EVPs are captured normally below the 300 Hz range and some have been recorded lower than 20. This is why it is so difficult to hear many without the aid of enhancement. The lower the Hz range in the waveform, the more difficult it is to hear and distinguish what is being said on the recorder. Skeptics will tell you that you are hearing normal everyday conversations or radio transmissions that “bleed over” onto the recording. Now that we have the basics, let us move on to some other more interesting areas of EVP capture.
Since my belief is that spirits are everywhere, then you can conclude that your can conduct an EVP session anywhere, at any time. What you record in a noisy coffee shop will undoubtedly be different from in a quiet location. The noise factor involved is not insurmountable. If you practice long enough you can learn to filter out the background noise and be able to isolate the EVP. It is not easy but it is not impossible. I will say that quiet is much preferred simply because it makes the job of the reviewer easier. Many EVPs have been missed because of the surrounding noise factor. Below are some tips that will enhance your ability to capture an EVP.
Limit the time of your session. Trust me when I tell you that long sessions can be very boring. For every hour you record, you will be listening to that recording for an hour or longer in most cases. Other than recording in empty rooms or locations where no one is present, try to limit each session to no more than 20 to 30 minutes. I have found that this is the easiest period to go through without losing concentration on what you are doing. At the beginning of each session, always remember to state your name, the date, the time, and the location so you will have a marker by which to go by. It is also a great idea if you are videoing and recording at the same time that both pieces of equipment are registering the same time. Most recorders have a file system so when you move from one location to another, begin a new session. Even if you do not move location, when you restart another session always start in the same manner with the information above.
NO WISPERING – Everyone in the room must be made aware that they are to speak in clear normal tones whenever they talk. This includes any one standing in the back trying to talk lower so they do not disturb the session or the questioner. The best practice is that if you are not asking a question then do not talk.
Minimize as much unnecessary noise as possible. Do not move around with the recorder in your hand. Stand still or better yet place it down on some type of surface so that it will not move creating unwanted noise. Make sure that any noise you or any of your fellow teammates is clearly identified on the recording when it happens. If you move from one side of the room to the other, speak in a clear normal voice what you are doing. The same applies for coughing, heavy sighs, or any other human involuntary noise that we make.
Be aware of any ambient noise that may be present both inside and outside the room or building you are investigating. We have all trained ourselves to filter out these noises normally however; your recorder does not have this filtering mechanism. What it hears, it hears you have to be aware of it so when you review the recordings you can distinguish ambient noise from what could be supernatural.
Some investigators have found that having a normal conversation in a room will invite the spirit or ghost to join in that conversation. I personally do not like this idea for the same reason I do not like whispering or other talking. Sometimes you find that though you may pick up some voices, you will not be able to hear what they say over that “normal conversation. They will not always wait until you pause before they chime in. Just like us living, they may just speak while someone else is speaking and that is very hard at times to distinguish.
So, these are the basics. My next blog will be on reviewing the evidence you captured on your recordings. I will be discussing the procedures and practices I use to capture EVPs. Until then, get out those recorders and start communicating with the other side. You will be glad you did.