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All About Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

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EVP recorder

EVP recorder

Stephen Wagner

Otherwise known as EVP, electronic voice phenomena is the recording of mysterious voices from "beyond." Here's what it is, how it works and how you can experiment with it.

Mankind has long believed that it is possible to communicate with the dead. Attempts to do so have been made over the centuries through oracles, séances, mediums and psychics. Today, with a variety of electronic equipment at our disposal, there might be an easier, more effective way. And whether or not the results really are communication with the dead - or something else - the results seem to be quite real. Here's what you need to know about it, how you can hear samples and how you can try it!

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA?

Electronic voice phenomena - or EVP - is a mysterious event in which human-sounding voices from an unknown source are heard on recording tape, in radio station noise and other electronic media. Most often, EVPs have been captured on audiotape. The mysterious voices are not heard at the time of recording; it is only when the tape is played back that the voices are heard. Sometimes amplification and noise filtering is required to hear the voices.

Some EVP is more easily heard and understood than others. And they vary in gender (men and women), age (women and children), tone and emotion. They usually speak in single-words, phrases and short sentences. Sometimes they are just grunts, groans, growling and other vocal noises. EVP has been recorded speaking in various languages.

The quality of EVP also varies. Some are difficult to distinguish and are open to interpretation as to what they are saying. Some EVP, however, are quite clear and easy to understand. EVP often has an electronic or mechanical character to it; sometimes it is natural sounding. The quality of EVP is categorized by researchers:

  • Class A: Easily understood by almost anyone with little or no dispute. These are also usually the loudest EVPs.
  • Class B: Usually characterized by warping of the voice in certain syllables. Lower in volume or more distant sounding than Class A. Class B is the most common type of EVP.
  • Class C: Characterized by excessive warping. They are the lowest in volume (often whispering) and are the hardest to understand.

The most fascinating aspect of EVP is that the voices sometimes respond directly to the persons making the recording. The researchers will ask a question, for example, and the voice will answer or comment. Again, this response is not heard until later when the tape is played back.

WHERE DO THE VOICES COME FROM?

That, of course, is the mystery. No one knows. Some theories are:

  • They are voices of people who have died. This is why many researchers go to cemeteries seeking EVPs (and often with great success). In this context, the phenomenon is sometimes called instrumental transcommunication or ITC.
  • They are from another dimension. It is theorized that there may be many dimensions of existence, and somehow beings from some other dimension are able to speak and communicate with ours through this method. A good question is, however: How do they know English and other languages of our dimension?
  • They come from the researchers' own subconscious. It's been suggested that somehow the researchers' thoughts are projected onto the tape.
  • Some people believe that these voices are angelic or demonic in origin.
  • Skeptics assert that there is nothing to EVP at all - that the "voices" are either hoaxed, random noise interpreted as voices, real voices already on the tape, or voices picked up from radio, cell phones and other such sources.

Next page: How EVP was discovered

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