If you’re familiar with the paranormal, you will know that EVP stands for electronic voice phenomena. Essentially, these are inexplicable noises on a recording, which are thought to be paranormal in origin. While most paranormal investigation equipment is expensive, EVP can be recorded with very basic equipment – you just need an audio recorder of any kind.
Because EVP recording is relatively easy, it’s a good first paranormal investigation activity to try. The best EVPs sound like voices saying a few words, but often indistinctly and typically with some disagreement among listeners as to what is being said. However, not all EVP are voices – you might record ghostly animal sounds, or even transportation sounds such as the noise of a train or aircraft where there was none.
EVPs are typically not heard by those present at the time. Having made the recording, you must then play it back later to discover whether you have been successful in recording an EVP or not.
Tips for Best EVP Practice
1. Choose your location wisely. Outdoor locations are difficult for EVP, as there are so many faint natural noises, which you will later find hard to distinguish from anything inexplicable. The best locations for EVP recording are those which you have reason to believe may be haunted, and which are relatively quiet.
2. Don’t leave your recorder running for hours. Despite your initial enthusiasm, you will quickly get bored of sitting through hours of recordings in search of an elusive few seconds of EVP. Limit your recording sessions to about 10 minutes at a time, so that all of the recording can be analyzed properly.
3. Where possible, search for an eliminate external background noise before you start recording. Turn off the heating, for instance, and close any windows.
4. Be polite! You’re much more likely to get an EVP response if you introduce yourself to any spirit person present first, and if you talk to them nicely and respectfully.
5. Prepare some questions to ask, and have only one person ask at a time. Everyone else should stand still, and in silence, and preferably on camera if you have visual recording equipment. Allow 5-10 seconds for a response before moving on to the next question – remember, you won’t be able to hear “live” whether there has been an answer or not.
6. If you know a little bit about the location and its history or its previous occupants, and you can guess who likely spirit presences may be, then tailor your questions specifically to that time period, that person or those circumstances. You’re more likely to get an answer to something relevant rather than something random.
7. Whenever you hear an external noise – perhaps one of you coughs, or a dog barks, or someone drops something – immediately state out loud what the noise was. This will help you no end when you come to anlayze the recording – you can’t always rely on your memory to remind you what a certain noise was and whether or not it was heard by everyone present.
Analyzing Your Recording
More often than not, you will pick up nothing. Don’t be disheartened – it’s a good excuse to try again! If you do find something inexplicable on the recording, play it to someone else but, importantly, don’t tell them what you think it is or what you think it’s saying. Objective input is essential, and if you tell someone else what you hear before they’ve heard it for themselves, you’ll be prejudicing their own hearing of the voice or sound.
EVP recordings are very eerie and fascinating when they do occur. Nobody understands the mechanics behind how spirit are able to produce these sounds, but that’s just likely to further your enthusiasm to keep investigating!