Electronic Voice Phenomenon is Not Evidence of Ghosts

Microphone_U87Electronic Voice Phenomenon is not evidence of ghosts.

That’s a bold statement, one over which I’ve been taken to task for several times in the last few weeks, and one I’m prepared to back up with long winded and highly semantic argument.  Though with a little verbal persuasion most would eventually agree that this is a true statement – at least in so far as there is no information known currently to prove that the above is false.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon is not evidence.

Another bold statement and one I’ve made on more than one occasion, almost always inciting some form of group argument over the fundamental purpose behind EVP research.  Though this one is much more difficult to gain acceptance for, but I am willing to try.

If you were to poll the entire Paranormal Community, meaning every person and group invested in the study of paranormal phenomenon (providing you could even find an accurate enumeration of the community), you would find that the vast majority of investigators, most of whom would call themselves Ghost Hunters, view EVP as a basic tool for investigating haunted locations.

There’s a contradiction there though, one that’s obvious to me but not to most others it seems.  If EVP is not evidence of ghosts, then why is it thought to be both synonymous with ghostly phenomenon and a tool for measuring such phenomenon?

EVP is not evidence.  Say it with me…EVP is not evidence.  For those who would argue against me, I ask, if it is evidence, then what does it prove?  I agree, this is a little simplistic, even if entirely correct, and the issue is not as easily summed up as that question would suggest.

The very nature of what EVP is, tells us that it is not evidence; it is at its best an undefined and unexplained phenomenon in-and-of-itself.  Among the proponent arguments for using EVP as an investigative tool, there are those that claim the historically popular link between EVP and ghosts is sufficient to continue viewing its use (meaning the collection of EVP results) as a tool for the overall investigation of ghosts.  Others suggest that it is as good a tool as any in the face of such unknowns  – what a ghost is, why and where do they exist, and how do they communicate – touting that there is no real reason to not think of EVP as connected to ghosts.  My purpose here is to layout an argument for clarifying and adapting our thinking when it comes to Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

EVP is not evidence, but it is worthy of continued study.

Within the study of such ideas and phenomenon, which is ostensibly the underlying purpose of any such group or person involved in the paranormal community, there have been very few advances in thinking or in methodology.  Those notions and assumptions that were held 100 years ago, are largely still held today, though there have been a few casualties along the way.  Séances, spirit trumpets, ectoplasmic research and many other ideas have fallen by the way side; all the while other ideas have flooded in and taken their place.  The modern ghostly enthusiast is just as convinced in the efficacy of EMF meters and tape recorders as evidentiary tools for proving ghosts exist, as spiritualist Séance sitters were of the tipping table and entranced Medium’s spirit voice a hundred years ago.

What’s the difference?  Well, for one, with table tipping and non-direct voice mediumship there turned out to be much too wide a margin for deliberate hoax, and ultimately the hoaxers ruined any value these early investigatory tools might have had.  In contrast, while there still remains a strong possibility in some cases for trickery and hoax, the vast majority of EVP samples are considered to be genuine, but ‘genuine what?’ is the question I ask.

As I alluded to earlier, this argument is largely semantic, meaning that I would be satisfied with a change in wording rather than a complete change in thinking, but I admit that I seek the latter with much more enthusiasm.  And here I get to the nuts and bolts of the argument…

EVP cannot be considered evidence, since it is not known what causes it.

If I were confident in the idea that most investigators are actually conducting two separate feats of experimental research when they embark on an investigation; the first being an attempt to document, and possibly explain the so-called ghostly phenomenon that originally drew them to that particular location, and the second being an independent collection of EVP data in an effort to explain what EVP is and how it works; I would be content to leave the issue be, but as it stands this is not what is happening in most cases.

As is proven by the surprising number of self-proclaimed paranormal investigators who publish their “findings” online, touting each audio clip as evidence that the location they attended was indeed haunted, the above separation of methodologies is certainly not the norm.

Quite simply, if I cannot prove without doubt that a particular EVP recording was caused by a specific ghost or spirit (by whatever means one might do so), and in turn was not caused by the host of other possibilities, then it is not evidence of ghosts…this is easy enough to understand.  What I propose here is that since we have no current hope of making that declaration, why don’t we reign in our ghostly enthusiasm a tad and start looking at EVP as an independent and exciting phenomenon that can and should be studied all on its own?

It strikes me that the current popular notion that EVP is somehow caused or created by ghosts should require that we test this hypothesis against the possibility of capturing EVP results in locations that are not reported to be haunted.  And herein lays the real problem…

We do not know what ghosts are, we cannot define why a particular location may be haunted while another is not; we know so little that we cannot even be sure that there are non-haunted locations.  So in the face of all this uncertainty, is it helping the cause any to subscribe to using an unknown and unexplainable idea such as EVP to measure, describe or prove the existence of another unknown and unexplainable idea?

It’s been said by some that my argument is all well and good, that it is one thing to suggest that we all need to change our thinking, but unless that suggestion comes with an idea of what we should change it to, the argument is moot.  And in answer to that statement, I offer the following.

For too long the paranormal community has looked at their study in macro fashion, classifying and defining whole entities rather than individual phenomenon.  We have presented volumes of data and “evidence” intended to support big ideas and big assumptions.  I think it’s time to compartmentalise, to separate issues and begin looking at various ideas and phenomenon independently, and where better to start than with the cheapest and most accessible field of study?  EVP!

Yes, I called EVP a field of study, as it rightfully should be viewed.  There are enough mysteries hidden inside the idea of Electronic Voice Phenomenon to warrant several lifetimes of independent experimentation and scrutiny.  EVP is a phenomenon unto itself, and though it may ultimately be connected to ghostly communication, the current thinking and use of the idea is unlikely to get us to that understanding.

In the spirit of this revolution of thinking that I propose, I offer the following experimental opportunities in the independent and direct study of Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

Faraday Shielding Experiment

Construct a Faraday box to house your recording device

Place your recorder inside the box ensuring that the recorder is insulated from vibration through the box from its operation (to eliminate clicking etc. from the mechanical parts inside the recorder), resting the recorder on a piece of carpet inside the box would suffice.

Use an EM shielded remote microphone, rather than the built in recorder microphone, to further reduce those same ambient mechanical sounds.

Conduct your EVP session as you normally would and compare to results achieved without the use of the Faraday box.

Vary the experiment by switching from a d/c power source to an a/c power source, and even introduce various sources of EM interference (in this instance be sure to document EM field measurements from both a baseline and throughout the experiment).

As a control element for the experiment, use a second identical recording device set up in the same manner but left outside the box.

The purpose of this experiment is to determine if there is a direct relationship between electromagnetic interference and EVP (which we know there is), vary the experiment further, according to your own findings, to explore the extent of that relationship and other factors.

Multiple Recorder Experiment

Utilise multiple recording units (5 or more) over a series of EVP sessions, begin by placing the units in close proximity to each other.  The units should be identical (brand, model etc.) or as close to identical as is possible. Again, take all steps to ensure the reduction and/or elimination of ambient mechanical noise from the device and from the environment if possible.  Vary the experiment by increasing the distance between the units and even by creating physical barriers between units.

As a control, place one unit in a predetermined location, central to all other units and do not move it as you vary the position of the other units.

The purpose of this experiment is to determine if it is possible to achieve the same EVP result on multiple recording devices.  From this point, there are numerous variations that could be undertaken depending on the results found over several sessions.

Microphone Variance Experiment

Conduct a series of EVP sessions using multiple identical recording devices, and use different types of microphones, i.e. Electret, Condenser, Carbon, Dynamic, Fibre Optic etc. and compare to results achieved with a control (standard Electret microphone).

Alternately, use each various type of microphone independently over time (rather than as a series of experiments with multiple recorders at one time) and compare those results.

The purpose is to determine if there is any difference in the quality, quantity or type of result achieved with any other the various microphones.

These may be elementary experiments and each is indeed intended to require a great deal of patience as they are carried out over time, but they outline my earlier point.  Neither experiment is necessarily tied to a particular location and thus is not dependent on the notion that the location is “haunted”.  It would be prudent for the study to undertake the same or similar experiments in locations that are reportedly haunted, but as a function of independent EVP experimentation and not as a function of an investigation of the location.

You may or may not agree with my point of view, you may or may not have subscribed hopelessly to the idea that EVP results are the voices of the dead, or you may think the entire thing is a little too woo-woo for you.  In any event, there is much to be learned from the study of not only EVP, but also of the many varied elements of the typical haunting.  I suggest we stop chasing ghosts and start seeking to answer some of the smaller questions involved.  For those answers may lead to some big discoveries.

I arrange letters into specific combinations that, when considered in relation to other letters, sometimes make people laugh, shake their heads, and occasionally utter death threats. In a former life I was also an expert surveillance and background investigator.

Yes, I was a spy. No, I wasn’t spying on you…probably.

I also blog at: www.mysteriousuniverse.org and www.dailygrail.com

Bookmark the permalink.

3 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments()

  • John

    Great blog and you are are right the voices we capture should never be thought of as a ghost first thing. I have been out searching since 1983 and have recorded thousands of these evps. Even though i am facinated by them i would never say that’s a ghost 100%. Way to many variables that come into play for anyone to make such a statement.

    <b>Another thing i think people who do paranormal research should do is quit calling quit calling what we capture evidence. I prefer the term data instead. Evidence means you have something that can prove your case without a doubt. No one has ever been able to prove the existence of ghosts to science well not yet anyway. Maybe in the future with some new ways of thinking and new technology who knows what we could discover.  

  • psiEnergos

    While I agree that in spite of all the data collected over the last hundred years, we still really don’t ‘know’ anything about ghosts, period.  We have a lot of theories.  Some seem to be validated by some investigations and contradicted by others.  However, by your own terms, you would invalidate ANY evidence collected on an investigation on the basis that you cannot evidence a phenomenon about which you know nothing! To a degree this is true, but then again, most investigations (at least the ones I have been on) are not for the purpose proving the existence of ghosts.  It is for the purpose of collecting more information, gaining personal experiences in the hopes that new theories will present themselves with careful analysis and critical thinking.

    But to my point; ‘evidence’ is not just a legal term meaning ‘absolute proof’.  Evidence, according to more than one dictionary defines evidence as an ‘outward sign of; indication’ of something (note this is not absolute proof).  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to split hairs playing ‘dictionary boy’, but I think the distinction is important.  If 100 ghost investigations yield EVPs along with other phenomenon (in other words, not just EVPs alone), then presenting the EVP evidence along with the other data collected together is an ‘indication’ that the phenomena we commonly refer to as ghosts may be present.

    I totally agree that EVP in general is a fascinating subject worthy of its own investigation.  However, invalidation of all EVP evidence in connection with ghost investigations simply because we do not know from where it originates I cannot agree with on the premise that by that logic, we would unlikely ever be able to present any evidence  for the same reason.

    Now I will meet you halfway and say that anyone who proposes that EVP evidence alone is proof of ghosts is sorely mistaken.  However when taken collectively with being touched, disembodied voices, etc., it is evidence of paranormal activity.  Since we don’t really know what ghosts are…paranormal activity is as good a classification as any (probably better).

  • Martin J. Clemens

    @psiEngergos – If even one alternate explanation of causality exists for an EVP result, which it does for every one obtained, then EVP cannot be called an indication of ghosts.

    Using an unexplainable phenomenon to measure or indicate another unexplainable phenomenon is not research in pursuit of the truth, it is without a doubt seeking ways of supporting a belief held by assumption.

    This discussion pertains only to EVP, though there are other forms of “evidence” that I would condemn in similar fashion.  To that point however, there are ideas and phenomenon that I would not necessarily discount, but the field is too wide to provide  list.

    The statement “EVP is not evidence of ghosts” is a true statement, regardless of the particular definitions you subscribe to.

    The statement “EVP is not evidence” is not so easily defended, but it is so worthy of trying.

  • psiEnergos

    I guess a valid point to make here is that if one does not even have a valid definition of what exactly a ghost is, how do you discount one paranormal activity as evidence over that of another?  If one has formed a particular bias or belief of what they think a ghost is and they wish to examine the evidence in a way to prove or disprove that belief, that’s great but I fail to see how it changes anything in the field otherwise.

    Until we ascertain what exactly ghosts are and what attributes they possess, we have to go by the things we observe.  When we observe (hear) EVP along with other evidence consistently, it will invariably make its way to the list of believed attributes we contribute to paranormal activity common referred to as ghosts.  I fail to see the relevance of a crusade to remove this attribute that has been so prevalent in paranormal investigations.  While this method of communication has been precarious (at best), it still has shown evidence of intelligence during some paranormal investigations.

    As to causality, having an alternate explanation does not mean it is a rational one (I have heard everything from improbable to ridiculous for some). I can apply this reasoning to just about ANY evidence.  When you look at it in this light, nothing is provable and nothing is to be believed since the are alternate explanations for just about everything (irrational and ridiculous though they may be).  Critical thinking means examining the alternate explanations for probabilities and application as well as the explanation presented.

    You argument that using an unexplainable phenomenon cannot be used to measure or indicate another is faulty from the perspective that if it is explainable, it is probably not paranormal!

    If your desire is to debunk all things paranormal with explainable science, more power to you, but you can’t say that presenting paranormal evidence as evidence of the paranormal is not valid because YOU believe the two are not connected.  The truth is we don’t know.  And all the arguments on either side of the fence is not going to change this fact.  You are a talented debater but your argument that EVP evidence and paranormal activity associated with ‘ghosts’ not being connected is not convincing.  To be fair, I can’t convince a jury that they are, but the evidence up to now indicates they might be.

  • http://voicesofoctober.wordpress.com/ Joseph J. Andrasi

    I couldn’t agree with you more.  The mystery of EVP never fails to perplex.  I have collected EVP from my home alone which I question and am still studying  from 2007.  I sometimes think I had tapped into another civilization-or parallel reality rather than  the realm of the dead.  Yes, we need to delve deeper into EVP alone before we can 100% link it to ‘voices of the dead’-although sometimes it may point in that direction.
    I will, of course, continue to hold EVP sessions in the course of any sites I investigate and attempt to link them to paranormal activity at that site.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    @psiEnergos – Until we know what ghosts are, how do we attribute one paranormal activity to them over another?

    If we can’t explain what causes an EVP even on the most basic level, then ascribing their cause to ghosts or ghostly phenomenon is folly, in a most fundamental way.

    If you hypothesis that they are caused by ghosts, whatever ghosts may be, then you must have some basis for that hypothesis…which is what?  That they are captured in and around haunted places?  Well what’s a haunted place?  How do you define what is haunted and what is not haunted?

    Can we capture EVP results in places that aren’t considered to be haunted?  Yes, most definitely…so in that eventuality, if the location isn’t “haunted” (whatever that means) does that mean we have evidence of ghosts where they don’t appear to be?

    Can you not see the problem here?  A so-called haunted location, possibly defined as a physical location wherein people have reported seeing/feeling/hearing unexplained phenomenon, may well be a good opportunity to perform some EVP experimentation, but capturing such a result at this location does not make evidence of ghosts…for

    1) The reported phenomenon could be caused by any number of natural, normal or paranormal conditions.

    2) The EVP could be caused by an equal or even greater number of natural, normal or paranormal condition, none of which are necessarily connected to the conditions that caused the report that the location was haunted.

    In response to you assumption about me and my motives…I am not a debunker of the paranormal, I am a debunker of normal, with the hopes of revealing the paranormal.

  • psiEnergos

    Assumptions? What assumptions?  I merely posed a possibility and wished you luck!  The seque way was in the section just prior to the question (maybe it is you who are assuming! :-D).

    (Moving on) Not knowing what  ghosts are, we can’t very well say they ’cause’ (or not) anything with certainty.  And with regards to haunted or not haunted, it is a antiquated term that relies on the belief that a ghost is the spirit (deceased human, inhuman, other) of some sort that resides in a particular location.  Unfortunately, again, since we don’t know what a ghost is, haunted or nor haunted has a very empty meaning (In fact I tend to chuckle whenever I hear it referenced in paranormal reality shows).  With this in mind, whether or not you capture an EVP in a location believed in the classic sense to be haunted in irrelevant.  Not knowing what ghosts are, we have no definitive way of saying they reside in a place or not, so you have no definitive way of labeling a location as haunted (or not).

    What we do know from our observations is that there seem to places where paranormal activity (all sorts) are more prevalent than others.  I have been places where no EVPs are captured and other activity is observed and vice-versa.

    I do not hypothesis that EVPs are directly caused by ghosts.  What I am saying is that until we know more about the nature, form and (possible) cause for paranormal activity associated with ghosts, we cannot with any real authority discount the possibility either.  My debate with you is not over whether or not EVPs are evidence of ghosts, because they are not directly, but if the premise was used with just about any other form of observed paranormal activity it would be equally true given what we know about ghosts in general.  So I fail to see the point in this endeavor.  If the point is to increase the readers awareness that EVP are a phenomena worthy of their own study, you’ve convinced me.

    One last note pertaining to  natural or man made causes; as investigators, we have to analyze all data collected and scrutinize it for the same possibilities, why are EVPs so different in this regard that they should be treated any differently than say evidence of electromagnetic effects or of psychokinetic (things moving on their own, being touched)?

  • Martin J. Clemens

    @psiEngergos – I suppose we’re actually in agreement, in an oddly confrontational way, as what you have just laid out is more or less what I’ve been saying all along.  With the exception that you seem to think I have discounted the possibility that EVP is connected to ghosts.  I have not.  There may be a connection, though this possibility is no more likely than any other at this point, it also is no more likely that EVP is connected to any other variation of the idea behind ghosts, whether that be demons, aliens, inter-dimensional beings or fairyfolk.

    What I have said, with painful repetition (here and elsewhere), is that EVP is not evidence of ghosts, which far too many people refuse to concede.  Read no more into it than what I have laid out.

    If it wasn’t clear that this article and this idea are a call to the huge number of “ghost hunters” who DO tout that EVP is evidence of ghosts (or demons, or aliens, or inter-dimensional beings ad nausea) to stop fooling around and start actually learning something, then I’m really at a loss to explain this misunderstanding.

    I appreciate you taking the time to read and provide your input.

  • psiEnergos

    For the sake of the debate, I sincerely hope you do not find this in any way confrontational.  I fully understood your angst with hunters that profess EVPs are evidence of ghosts.  In that, you were very clear.

    My debate with you was the general statement you made after that ‘EVP cannot be considered evidence….’.  I think we do have a common ground on this matter that can be expanded with a simple word change.  EVPs are not directly evidence of ghosts, but they do provide possible ‘clues’.  Clues that maybe will provide us with more information about both types of paranormal activity (EVP and ghosts).   Agreed?

  • psiEnergos

    Sorry, I did duplicate some of your last statement to me.  Trying to do my day job too ;-).

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Electronic Voice Phenomenon is Not Evidence of Ghosts. | Paranormal People -- Topsy.com()

  • Victoria

    The research into Electronic Voice Phenomena is interesting.  I have done research into the phenomena and have done my share of recording.  I would rather trust my own instincts concerning spirit contact than a recorder.  There are many viables involved.  For one thing it is only a sound.  Unless a person has a class “A” EVP in which there is no doubt to what is being communicated, is rest is really undecipherable. 

    A wise researcher approaches it for what it is.. a sound.  Unless it is clear it should not be assumed it is a “word”.  Nor, should they get emotionally involved.   Sound transmitted through electronics can be manipulated to sound feminine or masculine, its all the pitch and frequencies. 

    Through my experience I noticed that nothing that was communicated to me held any value, spiritually nor otherwise.  EVP research didn’t even validate “life after death” as there was no way to validate the life of the communicator.  The only way anything like that can be validated if it the communicator speaks of its past life and all facts can be traced at a later time.  It cannot be any knowledge that is already known by the receiver.

    It makes me smile, when the “investigators” put such stock into a recording device at a “haunted” location.  There are too many assumptions going on when they “validate” their “findings”, as  they are using an unvarifiable method. 

    There is no real proof.  Just words on a recorder. But,  perhaps, if it is a “spirit” communicating,  it makes their day, as someone is communicating with them.  But, then you must realize, that if there is life after death, they must have company to communicate with in Spirit.  Unless, they are so disgusting, no one else wants to listen…….

  • http://www.openmindedskeptic.net Martin Burns

    I agree with the author that EVP’s are not evidence of the paranormal.  I sincerely believe that most EVP’s are nothing more than audio paridolia (matrixing) or at best they are natural disturbances in the electomagenetic field in the area where EVP’s are being conducted.  If there is such a phenomena as EVP, I would like to seen some reasearch into what exactly is an EVP.

  • http://www.neapri.com neaprI

    You have some interesting viewpoints but maybe we should say that EVP is paranormal instead of evidence of the dead. Also, how do you explain aural voice phenomena then and if you are inclined to believe that radio frequency maybe an explanation (and yes I’ve come across such samples) how did Raudive capture over 180 voices at Pye Studios in less than 20 minutes in 1971which was a shielded faraday cage?

  • http://ttfparanormal.web.officelive.com/default.aspx ttf-para

    Interesting article!

    There are several valid points you make. You are absolutely correct in that there is no scientific “proof” to substantiate a defintion of what a ghost really is. But consider at some point in our history people didn’t know what fire was either… but it existed non the less. We just had a lot of learning to do…

    EVP are “paranormal” in nature meaning they are beyond our current level of understanding to determine what they truly are. They in and of themselves nothing more than proof the phenomena exists.

    I think there is a long way to go before we can scientifically call anything we capture “proof”. I like the term data. Someday when there are indeed suitable techniques, tools, and scientific understanding available; that data may turn itself into proof.

    Keep thinking outside the box!

  • KyGhostHunter

    I love debates, especially this subject. With everything I’ve seen, heard and read regarding the paranormal, I had to do some investigating myself, on my very own with no distractions or anyone to lead me in any direction but my own. I strated recording,or trying to record EVP’s, and it didnt take long before I got some. I tried and tried to come up with plausible reasons for the recordings. First, I basically threw away the few recordings that werent clear enough to be obvious in what they said, and was left with MANY easy to understand ‘speaking’.  I still tried to reason with myself with explanations like…radio transmissions, radio waves from wherever,and this list can go on and on. From this point I would record at different times and different places and would ask questions that could only be answered with specificity, and the questions were answered.  I’ve asked personal questions abnout myself and again was blown away at the correct answers that I received, and recorded. These facts themselves delete most if not all of most peoples ‘rational’ explanations for what these ‘voices’ could be. I would love to KNOW for SURE what they are. Alsp, you CANT say, especially as direct as you are when you say it, that EVPs ARE NOT evidence when you yourself dont KNOW what they are. You can give your opinion and say that you dont believe that EVPs are evidence, but until you know for fact what EVPs are, then your guess is as good as anyone elses…IMO.

  • Ray

    Electronic Direct-Voice Phenomenon (EDVP)

    Minimum equipment required: A plastic ice/cooler chest, to serve as a soundproof echo chamber, two (2) cell phones, and an optional digital voice recorder.

    Instructions: 1. Call up one of the cell phones, place it in the speaker mode, with the volume turned up, and place it in the chest. 2. Place the optional recorder in the chest, turned on, with the volume turned up.. 3. Close the lid of the chest. 4.  Put the other, calling phone, in the speaker mode, with the speaker turned up. 5. Try to communicate with any entities using the calling phone.

    Ask them to speak as slowly and as loudly as possible. Keep trying until you are successful!

    Note: You do not need a noise source for a sound energy source – voice energy is the source. Listen carefully, and encourage the entities to speak louder, even if no one hears them speaking. You will not have to try to hear the entities over “white noise”. Larger chests, that are square in one dimension and rectangular in the other dimension, will make a better echo chamber. The chest can be wrapped, in blankets, for additional soundproofing.  Previously recorded messages do not convince anyone. You must prove it to yourself by doing it yourself!

  • Wetzlar

    Before an audience of philosophers of science, you could have made your point quite concisely by saying that EVP is a phenomenon, but that the underlying ontological basis of that phenomenon cannot as yet be inferred from it.  Thus if smoke is a phenomenon from which ordinary experience permits us to infer the presence of fire, then its underlying ontology is clear; but with EVP, we really just have the phenomenon at this stage, and the debate has to be mainly about whether it can be explained away as due to other more ordinary infuences, such as stray radio waves, which a Faraday Cage would exclude.

    However, since we are engaged here in semantics, as you say, I would quibble and say that EVP is certainly ‘evidence,’ exactly in the sense that the irregular orbit of Mercury was evidence of the reality of Einstein’s theory of relativity even long before his theory existed to explain it.  Someday, hopefully, when EVP has finally been explained, we can regard all the accumulated data relating to it as evidence of what is ultimately determined to underlie it, whether it is some sort of psychokinetic effect of the observer, messages being sent through time, alien beings communicating with us, ghosts, or simply some bleeding off of sounds from ordinary technology interfering with the recordings.

    What most commonly discredits investigators of the paranormal is their tendency to make unjustified inferential leaps from scanty empirical incongruities to vast and elaborate hypotheses of a mystical nature.  This style of inference is especially otiose when it enlists traditional belief systems, such as ghosts, heaven, hell, angels, etc. as the raw material for the hypotheses contrived.  If paranormal investigators want to be taken as seriously as ordinary scientists, they should exercise the same extreme economy of inference in constructing hypotheses as physicists use, putting nothing into the explanation which is not strictly required by the data to be explained.  

  • Alex

    Ok this is gonna upset some people but not very long ago a very good non-paranormal explanation for EVP was found. It goes along the lines of:
    Cassette tapes can be affected by radio waves, which are of course very common wherever you go, and the portable cassette recorders they use tend to have tech in them to auto-adjust the recording volume – If you shout into them, the recording volume automatically goes down, whereas if you go silent, the gadget turns the volume right up and ends up picking up all sorts of random stuff, including those radio waves.
    My explanation is a bit garbled and non-sensical cos I’m no expert but check out this documentary and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • Greg

    It will be a step outside the box when people start using the newer term for EVP. Let’s break it down. Are you recording an electric voice. No, not unless you happen to be recording Stephen Hawking, who had an “electronic” voice. Are you recording electronic phenomena. No. Are you recording voice phenomena. Yes. The electronic part is obvious, and therefore assumed, therefore redundant. The newer term breaks the phenomena into two parts. RAP – Recorded Auditory Phenomena and a subcategory of RVP Recorded Voice Phenomena. RAP’s are recordings of anything other than a voice. EVP has no distinction between raps, knocks, footfalls and other noises that are not voices. Footfalls are classified as voice phenomena, where is the logic in that? RVP is a recording of a voice. Again, let’s break it down. Recorded Voice, Yes – Electronic Voice, No. Time to thing outside the box as times have changed over the last half century and electronic voices can be computer generated, ask Hawking. Cars are no longer called horseless carriages for example. When times change, terminology must follow suit. Anyway, progress learns from the past, but doesn’t cling to it. Time to grow outside the box. Innovate. Lead. Remember, unless you are the lead dog in a dog sled team, the view never changes. The second and third dogs are just following the ass of the one ahead of them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/lunaticn2006 Allen

    I have evp evidence that would blow your mind. From spirits to demons you have no clue.

  • Johnny Twotone

    Don’t call it ‘data’ either. Just because scientific instruments are used does not mean that scientific methodology is used as well. In fact if any of these so-called ‘ghost hunters’ were actually coming from a scientific stand point, they wouldn’t be calling themselves ghost hunters and they would use real investigative procedure.

  • Pingback: What's An EVP? - GhostArk()