Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)
Voices of the Dead

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)
Voices of the Dead

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sections of static noise on the radio or electronic recording media that are interpreted by paranormal investigators as voices speaking words usually attributed to ghosts or spirits.

Recording EVP has become a technique of those who attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones or during ghost hunting activities.

In addition to deceased spirits, various paranormal investigators say that EVP could be due to psychic echoes from the past, psychokinesis unconsciously produced by living people, and the thoughts of aliens.

According to parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who popularized the idea, EVP are typically brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase.

Skeptics of the paranormal attribute the voice-like aspect of the sounds to apophenia (finding of significance or connections between insignificant or unrelated phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language which might otherwise sound like random noise to a foreign speaker), artifacts due to low-quality equipment, and simple hoaxes.

Likewise some reported EVP can be attributed to radio interference or other well-documented phenomena.

A number of paranormal explanations have been suggested for the origin of EVP.

Explanations include living humans imprinting thoughts directly on an electronic medium through psychokinesis and communication by discarnate entities such as spirits, nature energies, beings from other dimensions, or extraterrestrials.

References to EVP have appeared in the reality television shows Paranormal State, Celebrity Paranormal Project, and Ghost Hunters, the fictional television series Supernatural, Medium and Ghost Whisperer and Hollywood films such as White Noise and The Sixth Sense.

As the Spiritualism religious movement became prominent in the 1840s–1920s with a distinguishing belief that the spirits of the dead can be contacted by mediums, new technologies of the era including photography were employed by spiritualists in an effort to demonstrate contact with a spirit world.

So popular were such ideas that Thomas Edison was asked in an interview with Scientific American to comment on the possibility of using his inventions to communicate with spirits.

He replied that if the spirits were only capable of subtle influences, a sensitive recording device would provide a better chance of spirit communication than the table tipping and ouija boards mediums employed at the time. However, there is no indication that Edison ever designed or constructed a device for such a purpose.

As sound recording became widespread, mediums explored using this technology to demonstrate communication with the dead as well.

Spiritualism declined in the latter part of the 20th century, but attempts to use portable recording devices and modern digital technologies to communicate with spirits continued.

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are electronically generated noises that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings.

Common sources of EVP include static, stray radio transmissions, and background noise.

The Most Horrific EVP Ever Recorded
This is an EVP that was obtained by Central New York Ghost Hunters in January 2007. The EVP has not been altered in any way, except it was edited for time.

CNY Ghost Hunters have tried to reduce the noise, amplify and "clean" it up, but found it difficult to make out exactly what was being said.