Some of my thoughts, experiences and theories on EVP recordings
EVPs can still be some of the best evidence a paranormal investigator can obtain from a haunted location. Although many captured audio clips can easily be debunked as voices from team members in the room, outdoor contamination, animals sounds, structure noises and so on, there are a handful of valid EVPs which still defy logic and reasonable explanation. These are the EVPs that interest me the most. These EVPs don’t seem to fit anywhere that logic exists. They cannot be explained by voices in the room and even if we apply the logic of the possibility of an investigator causing the EVP, it still does not make sense from a verbal explanation because the reference in the EVP is very much out of character for the investigator(s) in question.
Ruling out stray radio signals, other investigators, random noise, recorder noise, media contamination and so on becomes very easy and trying to apply a logical normal phenomena becomes exponential difficult especially with recordings from devices in non-human isolated areas.
Many of these EVPs in question are true “Class A” EVPs. There is a rating system used for the quality of an EVP and it allows for four classifications which are A, B, C and D. A class (A) EVP will be clear and understood by all individuals listening to it. There will be no argument as to what it says. A class (B) EVP will be clear enough to be understood as a human voice by all individuals listening, but there may be a difference of opinion as to what is being said by these individuals. This type of EVP can easily be miss-labeled and a false meaning can be assigned to the EVP based on miss-interpretation to what is being said. A class (C) EVP will be understood by most as a human voice but no words or phrases will be intelligible. MFPS does not use class (C) EVPs as evidence in a case because they are embedded too far into the white noise or background noise to be usable. We have even found in some cases where contamination sounds can sometimes be interpreted as human voice. Class (C) EVPs should never be used or cataloged in a serious investigation. Last, class (D) EVPs, this classification is useless in EVP research. This is an EVP that is basically unidentifiable noise that stands out among all the background noise. This class is not used by MFPS and many others; although I still see it listed in use from time to time by other groups. There is a Class (G) EVP used by some, the G stands for Garbage! Class (G) EVPs are not recognized by MFPS as a usable classification therefore we will not spend anymore time discussing it.
The Class (A) EVPs, which defy all logic, are interesting because they appear to reference names, surrounding activity, answer questions and even ask questions. An example of this type of EVP occurred when we were investigating the Akron Civic Theater, I was sitting alone in the upper balcony seats in the theater conducting an EVP session. I had just started and was about 5-10 minutes into the session when we recorded a female voice say “What’s your name?” There were no female investigators with me, none anywhere nearby or even on the same floor as me! Later in the evening Jennifer was conducting an EVP session in an area that was known to have high levels of paranormal activity. Jessica and Sandi accompanied her. At one point Jennifer witnessed an EMF spike on the Trifield EM Meter and asks Sandi for a flashlight. We here Sandi talking in the background and then a voice picked up on the recording which states, “Where are you?” Immediately after this voice we hear a much stronger voice state; “Light… Light… Cuts the night”.
During both of these EVPs, Jennifer noted that she felt extremely dizzy.
These recordings are interesting because they appear to happen simultaneously with magnetic and sometimes biological effects such as Jennifer feeling dizzy and the Trifield EM meter spiking. We have recorded this phenomena many times in the past.
The sensations which are sometimes felt as dizziness, weakness, tingling, and agitation are believed to be a symptom of manifestation from an intelligent entity or perhaps a strong residual energy field that is influencing the individual conducting the EVP session. For clarification to the reader; an intelligent entity would be any spirit or ghost that is aware of your presence and can interact with the environment, equipment and the individual conducting the EVP session. A residual anomaly or occurrence is not aware of your presence but can interact with the environment, usually as a phantom image or sound which has characteristics much like a video or voice recording.
These images and sounds can be triggered in the environment by people present, time of day, electrical influences, and thunderstorms to name a few. It is important to remember that residual activity is not a real ghost or spirit, it’s a recorded impression of energy that may have been present in a past tragedy, joyous occasion or negative situation. You can simply think of this as a video tape recorder playing back one of your cherished memories that was recorded sometime in the past. Instead of using magnetic tape, the residual is using minerals such as quartz crystal, limestone and some granite building materials. When these materials are present in the right configuration, and at the right location, it can act very much like the magnetic video tape that recorded your memory.
Residual energy can be imprinted on to a digital recorder. In certain circumstances, it can also be heard with the human ear. Recordings which appear to be residual tend to have a unique characteristic such as sounding very generalized and not usually answering a question. These types of EVPs can show up on the recorders overlapping voices of the investigators present. They can also sound like conversation in the 3rd party, meaning they may appear to be talking to other entities in the area.
Another incident comes to mind from London England which involved 3 investigators conducting an EVP session in an old castle. One investigator holds a video camera, another holds a digital still camera and the third a voice recorder. During the EVP session the investigator holding the voice recorder picks up 2 fascinating EVPs, the first EVP which states “Who are they?” and the second one stating “I see flashes”. What is interesting about these EVPs is the investigator with the digital still camera was taking pictures at the time the EVPs were captured and the team was walking through an area known to have high levels of paranormal activity. Again, we can see a response in the EVP that directly relates to the situation at the time, a camera flashing and unknown people (The Investigation Team).
Another remarkable case that involved a family in Massillon, Ohio was truly bizarre. During a follow-up investigation, MFPS team members Shawn and Erik were conducting an EVP session in the cellar of this home built around 1902. The home sat atop an old coal-mine, which was active from the mid 1800’s to about 1950. Incidentally this coal-mine had one of the highest death rates out of all the operational Ohio coal-mines of the time. During this EVP session a MiniDV Camera, Digital Voice Recorder, Ambient Temperature Probe, Trifield EMF Meter, KII EMF Meter and a Flashlight (modified to be touch sensitive) were used to document and assist in communication with any entity that might have been present. Prior to this follow-up investigation, research on the home and property suggested that a coal-miner by the name of George might have died in or near the house and was possibly the entity in question. The flashlight was used with great success on the prior investigation in which Shawn and Erik were able to document almost 2 hours of interaction with something turning the flashlight on and off per their request. During the follow-up investigation and prior to the EVP session in the cellar Erik had dropped the flashlight onto a hard concrete floor. When Erik tried to adjust the flashlight sensitivity he discovered that it was not operating correctly. The flashlight would not turn on with most attempts, finally Erik was able to make it work, but operation was marginal at best.
About 20 minutes into their EVP session in the cellar, Shawn and Erik notice a rather large KII EMF spike. Anticipating that George might be present, Erik starts to walk over towards the flashlight on the floor that was surrounded by a Trifield EM Meter, MiniDV Video Recorder and Digital Voice Recorder. As Erik approaches flashlight he states; “OK George, if you are here with us, it’s time to play with the flashlight. Can you turn it on?” Immediately after Erik’s statement we recorded on both the MiniDV and Digital Voice Recorder a clear Class A EVP which said; “It Won’t”. Right after this EVP you can hear Erik tell Shawn that he felt very cold, in fact, Erik felt so cold that when Shawn used the ambient temperature meter he was able to measure an 18-degree drop in temperature within the same EVP area where Erik was standing. Once again we see a response to a situation, ‘flashlight interaction on prior investigation’, ‘defective flashlight that is difficult to activate’, and a ‘voice that responds to a direct question about turning on the flashlight’, “It Won’t”.
Last year, MFPS started a division called “MFPS ParaLabs”, which intends to study paranormal phenomena in a scientific laboratory environment. One of the many experiments ParaLabs will be conducting, is an EVP experiment which is aimed at trying to produce EVPs from various test methods. One of these methods includes a Electro-psychokinesis, or (EPK) experiment, which will study the effect an individual may have on electronic recording devices. This is one theory that we believe may occur, the ability for the human mind to imprint an EVP onto recording media through a Quantum State that may occur at the time of the EVP recording. Other tests would include but are not limited to RF (Radio Frequency), Acoustics, Outside Contamination, Indoor Contamination, General Electronic Induction, LW (Long Wave), MW (Medium Wave), SW (Short Wave) Frequencies, EMF Interference and etc. Hopefully these experiments will help shed some light on Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Some of you may have questioned up to this point why I did not mention a direct link between ghosts, spirits and Electronic Voice Phenomena? Although there is no real proof that EVP recordings are directly connected with ghosts and spirits, there is growing evidence that some EVPs may have this association linked to them. MFPS believes that this could be possible based on the study of hundreds of EVPs over the years. EVP association to Ghosts and Spirits only applies to a small percentage of these EVPs because the vast majorities are explainable or just common contamination.
MFPS gathers between 30 and 80 hours of video, audio, photos and other data during a routine investigation. A large portion of this media is audio in the form of WMA, WAV, MP3 and VOC. During evidence review many audio files are double checked with a blind study. This means that the reviewers, of a single set of media, do not communicate to each other but rather to a 3rd party individual who analyzes the findings. This can be extremely beneficial in validating Class A and Class B EVPs. It also helps to prevent influencing another subject with suggestion about what may have been heard.
Once an EVP is validated it is enhanced with special software that helps remove background noise without destroying the EVP or causing any distortion. It is extremely important to not over process or enhance an EVP too much, this will distort and destroy the EVP and turn your Class A/B into a Class C or worse, a Class D!
During an evidence reveal to our clients, MFPS will present both raw and enhanced EVPs as a comparison. This helps the client understand more of what was recorded and assists them in listening to the EVP. After the investigation is long over, we do not stop experimenting with EVPs and other odd recorded anomalies. We feel there are still discoveries to be made as software and hardware advances and new technologies emerge. All that data can still hold a key to some of these mysterious recordings we call Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Founder & Lead Investigator
Munroe Falls Paranormal Society