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Electronic Voice Phenomenon - Ghosts or Gobbledegook?

white noise or vices?

Story by Karen Stollznow www.bad-language.com

Have you ever heard an EVP? These are recordings that are claimed to be messages from the dead, spirit voices of angels and demons, or alien contact. Known as Electronic Voice Phenomenon, Raudive Voices or, the scientific-sounding Instrumental Trans-Communication (if you want to add credibility to the practice). Apparently, this is when you want the recorder, television, computer or radio to speak to you.

What does an EVP sound like? Each one is unique. Some resemble language, or human-like noises. Some sound ethereal and otherworldly. Some sound sad, sinister, or scary. Others are simply nonsensical. Are they ghosts or gobbledegook?

Years ago I visited Peppercorn Cottage, a ‘haunted house’ in Turramurra, Sydney. Apparently, spectral screams and ghostly singing can be heard at night. One evening, some friends and I set up a recording device and left it to record for an hour. The recording revealed nothing.

Years later, in January 2007, I attended an investigation of the National Hotel, in Jackson, California (see: www.bad-language.com/ghostmining). The Hotel is reportedly the home to at least 30 ghosts, and much paranormal activity. Apart from some anecdotal ‘evidence’ of spirits and poltergeists, the only real ‘proof’ found were a couple of EVPs. But do these confirm that the Hotel is haunted?

One EVP sounded like the raspy, torturous strains of Sylvia Browne, grunting “chill, chill”. The other EVP was inaudible, although a few people claimed to hear a mumble, or a whisper, or a moan, or a cry. Of course, these sounds all have different tones; a mumble is a low pitch noise, a whisper is a high pitch noise. The disagreement in interpretation undermines the claim, and an EVP is just that, an interpretation of a random noise.

EVPs are subjective interpretations of a recording. We imbue meaning into EVPs, the message is in the ‘ear of the behearer’. EVPs are similar to the idea of ‘Reverse Speech’ and backward messages, to play a recording backwards and ‘hear’ a ‘message’. One theory compares hearing words in noise to seeing faces on food. This is pareidolia, to see people and forms in patterns, such as the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich, the Face on Mars, and Jesus on a tortilla (see: www.bad-language.com/popetart). EVPs, backward messages and pareidolia are all illusions. EVPs can be seen as a form of audio pareidolia. However, thinking we have heard an EVP, or seen Mother Theresa’s face on a cinnamon bun doesn’t make us stupid or insane. It is totally normal for humans to search for these recognisable patterns, in both visual and audio stimuli.

Some EVPs are believed to contain human noises like shouts or cries. Others are believed to reveal language. However, not all noise is language, and not all sounds have linguistic meaning. For example, take the ‘words’ “chill, chill”, as heard in the EVP from the investigation (note that these ambiguous messages could be interpreted differently in different languages). If this is a real message, sent from a real spirit eager to connect with the living, what is the meaning of this? Guessing what was ‘said’ is not proof. Is it more plausible to believe that this is a message from a deceased person, or to think that this is gibberish created by background noise? How disappointing to think that if spirits can contact the living, they can only communicate with grumbles, sighs, mutterings and cryptic ‘words’?

How can EVPs be explained? Again, each one is unique, so no single explanation will account for them all. However, the causes are rather mundane. One of the most common causes is radio interference. Recorders can pick up fragments of radio signals, recording incongruous snippets of real human voices. Other EVP ‘messages’ are often described as garbled, ungrammatical, or featuring different languages all mixed together. These are characteristic of cross modulation. Recording equipment (especially poor quality equipment and poor usage) can also record feedback and other technological hiccups, producing curious voice-like sounds. Some dispute this explanation, claiming that the ‘voices’ often respond to questions, make general chit-chat and address the investigator by name. My response to this is…provide the evidence!

The other cause of EVPs is, again, interference, but of the human kind. Does the EVP reveal a disembodied voice, or an unidentified ‘bodied’ voice? Are these grunts and groans from the bowels of hell, or a burp from someone in the next room? We need to question the validity of the recording and consider the environment in which the recording was made. Even noting those who are present during recording won’t discount the possibility of the presence of others, and the coughs, mutters, echoes, conversations and background noise created by anyone there or nearby. We need to be even more critical if we weren’t there at the time that the recording took place. I doubt that EVPs could be unearthed in a controlled environment using professional equipment.

We also need to question the motives of the person who made the recording. Could it be a fake? A joke? A hopeful interpretation? When we record something, we usually expect to find something. Do we have an emotional investment in the search? Do we really want to ‘hear’ something, and so overlook any evidence to the contrary? Is there a simple (or complex) explanation for the sounds? It can be even more entertaining to sniff out a logical explanation for an event than it is to automatically assume that something paranormal has happened. I think that those who believe in the paranormal want to seek the truth as much as the skeptic does, they just stop searching earlier.


Anyone can make their own EVP, both fake, and real ones (as long as we remember that even the ‘real’ ones are probably normal, rather than paranormal). If you want to create a fake one, record a plausibly eerie message or noise (e.g., help me! or a scream) and superimpose this over a recording of an eerie noise, such as a howling wind or thunderous storm. If you have any audio software applications you can edit them to produce convincingly creepy effects.

How can you snag a ‘real’ EVP? EVPs are usually recorded in stereotypically haunted spots, such as a cemetery, an old school, hotel, prison or abandoned building with a haunted reputation. Grab a recording device and record in an appropriate location. You can even coax the ‘spirits’ to respond, ask them questions and sweet talk them a little. Finally, listen to your recording and interpret any sounds you hear. These might be anything from strange background noises to the sound of some idiot stepping on your recorder, but be sure to rationalise each sound.

Karen Stollznow is a linguist, author and has been a paranormal

Karen Stollznow is a linguist, author and researcher who lives in
the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a prolific investigator of paranormal and
pseudoscientific phenomena and is Associate Editor of The Skeptic journal (Australia).

Visit www.bad-language.com/evp to hear some EVPs, including the one from the investigation. Don’t forget to submit your own creations!

Also See: White Noise Written by: Todd M. Bates Founder of Haunted Voices

Electronic Voice Phenomena

HAUNTED

DANGER ZONE

Electronic Voice Phenomena


A SERIES OF CAUTIONARY TALES

BY JANE J. WICHERS


GRAVEYARD SHIFT: Part One: Vox Fatum

The Search for EVP:
READ MORE VISIT HERE

EVP'S Submited by: MICHAEL FIRMAN

I am ghost hunter from New York... These are the EVP's of the little boy ghost that haunts my house.

To hear these EVP's use the highlihted links below.

KITTY WAV. This is the little boy ghost that haunts my house the first one my cat meows and the little boy spirit voice will say kitty. Recorded Jan. 8, 2006

 

MOMMY AND DADDY BROKE UP WAV. He will say mommy and daddy broke up. Recoeded June 12, 2006

 

PAPA WAV. A train goes by and he says papa. Recorded Jan. 8, 2006

The Dead Do Speak...

Michael Firman New York

And Michael Firman listens!

On our journey of all that goes bump in the dark of night and the light of day... We are prepared for anything to happen as we explore the world of ghosts, haunting's, and the spine tingling proof offered in EVP (electronic voice phenomena).

I am ghost hunter, a paranormal investigator I live in Dunkirk, New York, I have been a Evp investigator for four years, and what I plan to do with the info I have gathered is to share it with people. I work with two other wonderfully dedicated investigates on the team, Kenny Narducci, and Tim Carrow, both paranormal researchers dedicated to finding new technology to enhance and better understand EVP's.

Electronic Voice Phenomena >More Here<

 

 

 

Learn about Transcommunication (ITC) EVP's here: http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghosthunting/itc/

GHOST MUSIC

How about that song that just stays in your head and you can't get rid of it. Haunting isn't it? A song is a relatively short musical composition for the human voice (commonly accompanied by other musical instruments), which generally (exceptions would be scat songs) features words (lyrics).

Many songs are written for many reasons some about all the things in the world. But many or about the real ghost and the things that haunt us. Often songs are written about lost love and friendships. And some songs take on a haunted or haunting story as time goes on. The Ghost Song, The Doors - Greatest Hits [Elektra], The Ghost Song is a song by The Doors, and was released on An American Prayer in 1978, 7 years after Jim Morrison's death in Paris, France. The song is Morrison's poetry recording with the rest of the band's music. Part of the song "indians scattered on dawns highway bleeding" refers to a childhood experience, where him and his family where driving down a desert highway and they pass 3 truckloads of indian workers. He says that, during that experience, the souls of the dead indian workers just leapt into his soul and stayed there until his death.

AND SOME SONGS HAVE EVP'S READ MORE HERE NOW

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghoststories/ghostsong/evpsong/

 

EVP'S ON THE INTERNET

AA-EVP Home
The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena public web site offering "how to" help for EVP and ITC. What is EVP and ITC.

http://www.aaevp.com/

electronic voice phenomenon (EVP)
The belief in EVP in the United States seems to have mushroomed thanks to Sarah Estep, president of the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena, ...

http://skepdic.com/evp.html

EVP
EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. This Phenomena occurs when the ... 1:) Some EVP is extremely hard to hear. We will be posting some of our best ...

http://www.ghostpix.com/gis/E.V.P.html

The Shadowlands Ghost Sounds page
EVP is a way to communicate with spirits. Researchers believe that the voices of ... He obtained a "B" class EVP of a voice saying what sounds like "what's ...

http://theshadowlands.net/ghostwav.htm

Anomalist Feature: This is EVP
I first heard about EVP several years ago, but I never paid much attention ... Later, Jurgenson admitted that he had been trying to record EVP voices for a ...

http://www.anomalist.com/features/evp.html

EVP
We have prepared a list of ghost voices known to ghost hunters as EVP, ... for help in getting these EVP's uploaded properly and functioning correctly. ...

http://www.ghoststudy.com/evp.html

International Ghost Hunters Society Electronic Voice Phenomena Page
Today, many ghost clubs include EVP on their web sites. Electronic Voice Phenomena is a process whereby the voice or voices of the dead are embedded onto ...

http://www.ghostweb.com/evp.html

Real Ghosts - EVP
Real Ghosts has many incredible spooky ghost photographs. Learn how to take Ghost Photos yourself!

http://members.tripod.com/~GSOLTESZ/evp.htm

 

 

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