Sunday, July 20, 2008

Electronic Voice Phenomenon

Electronic Voice Phenomenon is also known as EVP. It is an occurrence where images or sound will appear on recording media with no explanation as to how it got there. A few movies have been made about the subject where the main character opens up a window to the Other Side to look for glimpses of a deceased loved one. There are always horrific consequences for this when the main character finds that when you look through a window you make yourself just as visible to the less benign denizens of the Other Side. It makes for a gripping story but surely that’s all it is right, a story? Wrong. In reality this phenomenon is surprisingly more common than we think.

With the prevalence of digital voice recorders it was a statistical certainty that someone would notice sounds in the background that had not been there at the time of recording. It’s so common in fact that we are likely to have seen or heard dozens of such examples without realizing it. When listening to a recording on tape, mp3, or CD a voice might be so soft as to be unnoticeable against all the noise. But this phenomenon is not limited to the auditory. Your television has probably been home to EVPs. One very common example is when looking at your television you might see shadow images of people or faces behind the program that’s playing. It’s easy to rationalize this as another channel bleeding through to the channel you’re watching. Do a quick check of the other channels, its very rare to find that anything matching the phantom shapes is playing. To see this for yourself just pop in an old VHS tape and pay particular attention to the sections that are black at the start or ending of a scene. VHS tapes are rewritable and are based solely on magnetism; as such they register EVPs more often than DVDs.

Popular belief is that our electronic recording equipment is catching sounds and images from spirits or the dead in places that were familiar to them in life. Several suggestions as to just how this is possible have been presented, the most credible of which states that the presence of spirits, according to paranormal psychology, are associated with particularly strong and active electro-magnetic fields. All current audiovisual recording devices are easily influenced by electro-magnetic fields. It is postulated that such spirits are able to deliberately use their surrounding electromagnetic fields to imprint their presence on these recording devices.
If you’re worried about the consequences of EVP like you see in the movies, don’t be. There are many organizations that pursue the recording and research of EVP diligently and there have been no threats nor accidents amongst any of them. That is not to say that you won’t find a spirits message to be spoken in cryptic or disturbing phrases. In these cases it often helps to know the history of the site where you’re making your recordings. Often the spirits will refer to specific occurrences which had great meaning to them while they yet lived.

The basic method to recording your own EVP involve simply running a tape recorder and having a source of white noise in the background with no other outside noise. When the tape is finished recording simply play it back and listen very closely. As the voices one might hear using this method are difficult to discern this isn’t always very effective. A better method is to use a blank VHS tape and record it while tuned to a channel that has no reception. When it’s finished taping, play back the tape. Human beings’ brains are designed to pay particular attention to visual stimuli. As they say “Seeing is believing”.

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