Ovilus III – The Evolution of a Scam

ovilus-iiiWell, the madness continues.  It seems there’s an all new technological wonder on the market, one that might give you a sense of déjà vu.  With all the fanfare of a root canal, Digital Dowsing presents its 2013 ghost hunting line-up, staring the Ovilus III.

A remake of the original Ovilus I and cousin to the I-phone app I-Ovilus (I’m never disappointed by the creativity of their product naming strategy), the Ovilus III is the most recent version of the famous ghost box or puck.  Paranormal Investigators have been using the Ovilus as a mainstay of their technological bag of tricks for years now, touting some quite unbelievable results.

I’ve previously written about the Ovilus and was less than charitable with my review of the product, and today will be no different.  In its current iteration, the Ovilus III boasts some technological updates that will make its users happy:

“The Ovilus III features a built in 6 line display for words No DTD need , Multiple operating modes Including Dictionary and Phonetic Modes. Built in Word Display for Dictionary mode. Built in Thermal flashlight changes color to indicate different tempertures !”[1] (Spelling and grammar is theirs, not mine)

In case you couldn’t tell from the above description, Digital Dowsing, the company responsible for the Ovilus in all its glory, does a bang-up job of marketing their wares.  The original Ovilus enjoyed a great deal of popularity among the paranormal community, but was unavailable for purchase except through Ebay and Craigslist for used units for quite a long time, to the disappointment of many I’m sure.  This new incarnation will surely fill a desperate need for quality ghost hunting technology, as though it did anything more than blink and beep in random fashion.

The Ovilus III, with its blinking lights, its six line LCD screen and its highly satisfying knobs and buttons, much like the Ovilus I, is a useless piece of crap.

ghostYes, you read that right…a useless piece of crap.  As I explained in my first and second critiques of this technology, the Ovilus is a scam, it cannot possibly do what Bill Chappell and his cronies at Digital Dowsing claim.  Well, actually, they don’t claim that it can do anything really…it’s the Ovilus consumers who make most of the claims, and they do so with a high degree of credulity.

It is not possible to build a device that detects or communicates with ghosts, because no one, and I mean no one in the entire world, has any idea how to prove that ghosts exist, let alone how they communicate.  I may not have the technical expertise to fully analyse and explain how the Ovilus comes up with its output results, but as discussed in the comments of my article Ovilus I – 21st Century Snake Oil, one doesn’t need a degree in electronic engineering to see that it’s a random output generator with some other clever bells and whistles incorporated for added value.

Now, I fully expect a litany of verbal backlash for my comments, but I believe if you think about it for a minute, you’ll see that I’m right.  That is unless you need to believe that the Ovilus and other devices like it have harnessed the supernatural in some fantastical way.

Do ghosts exist? Maybe, and truthfully this is as far anyone can go with that question.  As much as some people, or even many people, believe that they do exist, their belief does not constitute proof.  There may be a great deal of anecdotal or circumstantial evidence to support the assertion that there is such a thing as ghosts, but none of it provides any explanation for what, exactly, they may be, what they might consist of, where they come from or how, or even if, one can communicate with them.  To quote myself (from my first post on the Ovilus): “We cannot have a machine that defines an unknown phenomenon, when a definition of the phenomenon is required to build the machine in the first place.”

In closing, I simply ask you; if Bill Chapell or any of his colleagues has found a way to empirically detect and communicate with ghosts, which is precisely what the Ovilus III and its predecessors are purported to do, wouldn’t that technology qualify them for a Nobel prize, or at least a nomination?

[1] Source: Digital Dowsing’s website, sales page: http://www.ghostshop.com/gear.html

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

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  • http://http//www.drparisetti.com DrParisetti

    Oh, dear, oh, dear. Ovilus is most certaily a piece of crap. But so is the author’s COMPLETE ignorance – or willful, dishonest discounting – of a) the anecdotal, empirical and scientific laboratory evidence in support of the survival hypothesis, and b) the mechanisms through which Nobel prizes are awarded. In doing so, the author assumes his readers to be just as brainless idiots as the makers of Ovilus do with their prospect clients. Shame on everybody. Long live a rational, and especially INFORMED approach to controversial subjects.

  • MIke Williams

    Great Post.
    “Dr Parisetti” appears(like most believers) to be confused.
    There is some very interesting anecdotal evidence and some minor lab evidence that something might survive after death..so what.
    Not sure how the rambling bit by the good doc about Nobel prizes fits into this expose.
    This is a rational and informed post..unlike the hysterical and hand waving response from “dr Parisetti”.


  • Martin J. Clemens

    Thanks for reading and commenting Mr. Williams. I was refraining from entering into a dialogue with “Dr.” Parisetti as he smells like a troll.

  • phil summers

    is there any other reason as to why your review of this device is less than satisfactory other than your typical generic skeptical douchebag reason of there is no way to prove that you can detect a presence of a ghost w/ any electronic device???

  • Martin J. Clemens


    No there is no other reason.

    By the way, who said I was a skeptic? It’s just logic (I’m guessing that’s difficult for you), that tells us that since no one knows how such communication might work, no one can then construct a device to do so. It’s really quite simple.

    Oh and…thanks for reading.

  • phil summers

    who ever said i was calling you a skeptic?? i was calling your logic and reasoning typical and generic skeptical reasoning and logic… thats what every skeptic of anything paranormal has ever said just some articulate their words more educated than others… i dont find the ovilus too useful myself because i’ve used it… the reason why i dont find it too useful… is because said spirits are limited to how many words that can manipulate out of the device, thats why the ghost box is preferred by ghost hunting enthusiasts the ghost box has an unlimited range it can pick out.. the first post is right this article is based on nothing more than a negative bias on electronic equipment used in paranormal investigating…

    If you wanna preach logic and reasoning… back a couple hundred years ago people like you were saying that there was no giant squid that creature does not possibly exist… its only a legend and a myth… in 2005 scientist capture the first live imaging of giant squid… logic dictates that some point in time somebody is gonna come up w/ something to do so may not be in our life time but somebody will figure it out… bill is doing nothing more than speeding up the process… so dont knock the guy’s company and bill publicly… that’s what douchebags do… i can knock your logic and reasoning publicly though… because its an idea… not a person… and i’m pretty suer more people will agree w/ my logic and reasoning over yours…

  • phil summers

    ohhhh and this article i may say as much as i may not agree w/ it it was very well written…

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Thank you for the compliment Phil, I appreciate it.

    Let me leave you with this final thought; until someone achieves that golden goal of finally empirically proving that a) ghosts exist and b) that they can be communicated with by electronic means, it remains foolish to sink your hard earned money into equipment that cannot possibly provide reliable results. I mean, isn’t the point of all this “investigation” to quantify, define and delineate the existence and nature of ghosts, or what-have-you? If so, what is the point in using questionable equipment in that pursuit?

    Let’s remember that Bill Chappell clearly declared, with the Ovilus I and each of it’s siblings, that the device is meant for “entertainment purposes only” and is on record admitting that it cannot do what it’s fans claim it’s capable of.

  • Frank Sumption

    Ya have to get away from the ghost hunter/paranormal to “investigate” this stuff. Most of these gadgets are useless on the so called investigations cuz these haunted hot spots are stupid. Are you going to hang around some dark, abandoned, moldy, dirty, filthy rotting old building when you die? What makes anyone think anyone or anything capable of communicating is going to either? The concept is childish all Halloween role playing year round–for profit. Make it all fear–so much the better. Not only that, that crap is 99.99% suggestion.
    I made the original Frank’s Box, but it’s a waste of effort, no one will use it as it was intended. They won’t use it at home for fear of spirits. Sounds like these people just dropped in from the dark ages. All anyone wants is the fear, screw any meaningful communications. People buy my boxes so they can run to e-bay and try to quadruple their money, while I can not even afford the parts to build the things.
    Any of these devices will work, if given an intelligent chance. Running around in the dark, chasing moldy ghosts and goblins–forget about it! You people need to grow up.

    Spirits travel, I use my stuff at home–they come to me. I’m guessing most must think I go to the local grave yard to test boxes–I do not. No demons flitting around the house, no spirits trying the suck my brains out, no portals. I don’t pray, don’t do protection BS. I do do something different than most–I turn the box on ..and listen. I don’t ask stupid questions, I don’t second guess the entities. I don’t try to control it. I don’t stand there in my black cape with my fists on my hips playing super hero games.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Wow, Mr. Sumption, I must say, I’m honoured to have you reading and commenting on my humble little blog.

    I am 100% in agreement with you, there is a vast difference between ghost hunting and investigation, not that the average ghost hunter understands that.

    If I understand your device correctly, it is essentially a recording device that is able to sample a wide range of radio frequencies. Though I admit I may be completely wrong. As I see it, the big difference between your “Frank’s Box” and the Ovilus is that your device is designed to record environmental conditions (sound or what-have-you) for later analysis, much like an EVP, whereas the Ovilus is just an output generator (whether random or in response to specific input).

    It’s a toy, not a scientific instrument. But even with your device I see the same elementary problem: let’s say you get a fantastic result, clear, concise, difficult to deny…what do you really have? How do you know it’s the product of a “ghost”, as opposed to some other entity, or even some natural phenomenon?

    This, as I see it is the primary problem with much of the investigative work being done. Though before anyone gets upset, I do realize that there are people doing more scientific work than can be said of say, the Taps crew.

    Anyway, again, I thank you for reading and commenting, this is a subject that needs more open discussion.

  • phil summers

    martin… i can answer your question w/ a theory… when people talk about ghosts or spirits they automatically think souls… that is not at all what we are experiencing… when we die via the law of conservation of energy, energy is neither created nor destroyed it is transferred from one particle to the next… with that being said, these undeniable sounds that we are hearing are nothing more than transferred audio energy in the environment… thats all it is… sound travels slow compared to the other elemental energies that we think of when we think of transferred energy… so these sounds can be generated and collected by scanning through these frequencies between the major frequencies and we can collect the tangible data via our recording devices…

    i will agree w/ you martin to a certain extent but ghosts arent what people think they are… thats why you see all this electronic equipment being used to collect this data… its simple if you think about it in terms of energy and not as souls… it makes more sense…

    i love me a good ghost debate… and ya i’m gonna be a fan boy too and say wow frank sumption!!! lol

  • jeff wurst

    It is very shallow thinking to believe that spirits or entities do not exist.Never do I use the term ghost or ghost hunting as part of my vocabulary. The team that I am affiliated with throws out 90% of all of our evidence. We try to paint a picture of who we are dealing with during every investigation. The equipment that we use is what we have at the moment to try and gain the most useful data that we can. If you wish to shoot holes in it, so be it. Hve you ever had something thrown in your direction,have you ever been pushed by an unseen force or had something whispered in your ear. The equipment used by legitimate paranormal groups is first rate, including the ovilus. It is what we have available to us alond with our researching skills and abilities. Mr Sumption, why did you invent franks box if you didnt believe it could benefit paranormal research? Are you angry that it is easy to make one out of a radio shack radio by manipulating its internal elements? Maybe because you couldnt cash in on its usefulness? The thing is, how can anyone really make assumptions about what we are actually hearing or feeling? None of us are dead yet and dont know whay the afterlife brings and why spirits cant cross over and leave places !!! To belittle our equipment and its usefulness must make you the authority on the afterlife. Cant see that as plausible. Until the day where you can definately say that the Ovilus and other equipment is junk or a waste of money, I suggest you go on an investigation with a reputable team,one that does an investigation the correct way. Believe it or not, there are things that go bump in the night.There really is no reason for you to ridicule this field unless you have all the answers.

  • SommerJonez

    I agree that the Ovilus is not worth the money but not because we have n way of solidifying its results in connection with proving a hypothesis. Also, I wouldn’t go all the way as to label it a scam. The thing here is that it is psuedoscience. For me, seeing is believing. I don’t believe in God or Aliens because I have seen neither but I do not limit the possibility that both are real. The question here is what tools are useful in this field and the short answer is that this question cannot be answered at this moment in time.

  • http://instituteofspectrologicalresearch.com/ Edward

    The Ovilus is designed to detect EMF Frequencies and transform them into a word depending on the frequency level, and the word assigned to that frequency. The original Ovilus only had a word library of 500 words. The latest PX has a word library of 2000 each of which is assigned its own EMF value. The device is clearly marked for entertainment only. The manufacturer does not claim the device allows for communication with the dead. …rub it on your clothing to build up static charge, and you might be surprised in what it says!
    I have no problem with people playing with toys. It’s when they use these toys on real investigations in peoples homes, and claim it as evidence.

  • http://strangestate.blogspot.com Cullan Hudson

    I totally agree: if you haven’t yet proved such a thing exists, it is pointless to go about all the rest. That’s where much of paranormal investigation (thanks in large part to television) has veered off course over the last decade. At one time, not too long ago, folks were just trying to capture evidence, something substantial to say: yeah these phenomena exist. Now, it’s all of course they exist! Didn’t someone once like a long time ago do something in a lab or whatevs? So they’ve like totally proved it: ghosts exist, give off heat but make cold spots (so temp drops AND hot spots on FLIR give them away??) and they use EM energy to manifest and therfore produce increased electromagnetic fields (cuz TAPS tells us so) and we can now speak to them with our Ovaries III. Seems like a lot of people need to stick to watching TV shows “for entertainment purposes only” and those who truly want to investigate the paranormal should toss out about 90% of the bad information their getting and get back to basics.

  • http://doubtfulnews.com Sharon Hill

    Well I AM a Skeptic and I really liked this story. Glad you are calling a useless piece of crap a useless piece of crap. I could say so all day and no one would listen but good to have it coming from the inside. Criticism is what makes good ideas BETTER and bad ideas go away, as they should.

  • AJ Kitt

    First, let’s get past the use of the word “proof.” That’s not how science works, and is the fundamental reason philosophical methods of query and inquiry such as “Positivism” and “Rationalism” failed. “Proof” is wholly subjective. There is only the weight of accumulating evidence. Get over it.

    Second, the several breeds of Ovulus, puck, etc. (personally, I’m a big fan of Spud Pickles’ “Ghost Radar” – I think it’s name and radar is kinda cute), CAN be used as evidence through the use of sound statistical analysis… but I haven’t yet heard of anyone who’s tried that. Otherwise it is just a toy. But that’s also true of most ghost hunting tools and methods.

    Third, I think all y’all need to research and define your terms and concepts better. Things like the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy probably don’t mean quite what you think they mean, and it’s never a good idea to us any vague or broad term without specifically defining it or (at least) being consistent with how you use it. Especially Sharon Hill; I read your SI article on amateur ghost hunting and was fascinated that so few people picked up on the fact that defining amateur groups as groups that don’t have scientists in them and then complaining those same groups don’t belong to the scientific community is entirely circular reasoning. I sincerely hope that wasn’t your Masters’ thesis.

  • http://doubtfulnews.com Sharon Hill

    You totally missed the point then.

  • AJ Kitt

    Ms. Hill, please correct me if I’m wrong here: I didn’t comment on the “point” of your article, only that you used circular reasoning to try to support it. And your response only further supports the point of my earlier post here; all y’all (believers and skeptics alike) often do seem to have a whole lot of trouble understanding many of the things you’re referencing. Words mean things, so try very hard to understand the actual words you’re using, and what other people are actually saying. An argument, thesis, whatever, is only as good as its supporting evidence. When its foundations are messed up, no concept is particularly sound.

  • http://altamontparanormal.com Altamont Paranormal

    personally, I believe your claims of it being fraud is highly exaggerated. We purchased it it, during an EVP session on a residential case we were able to capture both EVP and Ovilus III responses in conjunction. We asked “what is your name” the response on both Evp and Ovi III was Kathy, “did you commit suicide” EVP was “No” Ovi was “Accident” Was it an accidential death” Yesssssss” on EVP. Asked “are you causing the temp change ” Evp was “yes” Ovi III “yes”. It all started as an experiment but with with the digital recordings in conjunction with video, its def. the real deal. Now we do not use it on all investigations as we do with the Franks Ghost box, We are on the skeptical side usually trying to debunk everything, this was incredible, 2 additional sources against the Ovi. III and they were dead on.

  • http://altamontparanormal.com Altamont Paranormal

    I also wanted to add, those who cannot afford the most current technology usually hate the device, such as the the Tri-field meter by alpha labs, the Mel meter and the ovilus. First off, those who bagged the the Tri-field, well you all put that in your pipe and smoke it. If Loyd Auerbach, one of the most well known para-psychologists can have success with it, then yes, it works. The Mel-meter as more than proven it self and in my opinion so has the Ovilus III. The Ovilus X, well that is a whole nother story. A TV show paranormal group used the ovilus X to their advantage, instead of using the the phono mode, they uploaded they terms based on the place in question *coughs…Gettsburg” so yea was it manipulated to their favor, YES. Our test was based on strictly dictionary mode and had 2 additional back ups but audio and video.

  • LargeMarge

    You are basing your “proof” on what Lloyd Auerbach is obtaining in his “lab” and in the field? The fact that your argument is based on the findings of some two-bit phony is ridiculous in itself. Did you know his “degree” is not even from a credible University? Did you know that said University does not even offer that degree anymore? It is the equivalent of getting your drivers license out of a cracker jack box. Show me some real evidence done in a real lab with people who have a degree from a good school in something like physics, engineering, or hell even psychology. TV personalities and Lloyd Auerbach are one in the same…full of IT. Their cronies are just as bad if not worse for taking the word of a crackpot and spreading it as truth. So do YOUR homework and quote actual credible scientists.

  • AJ Kitt

    I think you might be talking about a different Loyd Aeurbach. The one most ghost hunters refer to has a BA from Northwestern and an MA from JFK U – both of which are accredited universities. Further, he teaches at Atlantic University, which is also duly accredited. And schools alter, add, and eliminate degree programs all the time, so I’m thinking you might not know what YOU are talking about.

    And, by the way, an EBSCO search of the term “parapsychology” yields some 16,000 plus results, of which more than half are articles published in peer-reviewed journals. You know, published the way “real” scientists do it. Real scientists like Gary Schwartz (Harvard PhD, Psychology), Daryl Bem (Masters from MIT in Physics, University of Michigan for his PhD in Psychology – who now teaches, btw, at Cornell), Robert Jahn (who went from Bachelor’s to PhD at Princeton, and went on to teach Physics there and became the Dean of their Engineering Dept.), or any of hundreds of others (Dean Radin’s PhD from University of Illinois, JB Rhine’s PhD from University of Chicago, the list really does go on and on). If you can’t find “real evidence done in a real lab with people who have a degree from a good school in something like physics, engineering, or hell even psychology,” it tells me you didn’t look very hard.

  • LargeMarge

    JFK-U and Atlantic University? That is laughable. You might as well have said University of Phoenix Online…Also your examples of other people with degrees from impressive schools has nothing to do with the argument. But your ability to google people is impressive.

  • AJ Kitt

    “your ability to google people is impressive”

    Yep, although I knew Schwartz, Bem, and Jahn’s credentials off the top of my head, I did Google the rest. But that in no way takes away from the fact that they DO have some mighty impressive credentials, which YOU have chosen to completely ignore, as well as the fact that your claim that Aeurbach’s credentials are “laughable” in no way takes those (fully and duly accredited) credentials away from him. You make it plain that you have no idea what real research exists, nor do you care. Arguing from ignorance is a logical fallacy. Google THAT.

  • Bill

    Well just to add to this discussion…
    I have an Ovilus X and the DTD (digital text display) and for a total of $252 that I spent, I feel that these POS are WAAAYYYY over priced!
    The Ovilus X has a $3 PIC processor inside, a SpeakJet speech chip,and a LM 383 amplifier, and a few resistors and capacitors.
    The board is sort of crude (read home made), and the case is flimsy.

    The DTD is a $9 LCD backlite (I looked it up) off the shelf display, and the micro is another PIC processor to decode the slow serial data from the Ovilus X.

    That’s IT!!!
    Sure the software took some effort, but NOT worth what Bill C. charges! These POS are CLEARLY a money maker for Chappell!
    The software that is provided for editing and configuring the Ovilus X crashes routinely, and my attempts to contact Bill C. have been met with nasty “poor me” responses! He even said that my emails were not complimentary! POOR BILL!!! Guess he needs praise/a pat on the back/stroking before you will get any help.
    I will NOT feed this money hungry con artist anymore! I almost fell for the Ov 3…. NO WAY!

  • Rob Dove

    The author of this piece of crap has evidently not a clue as how to write an authentic, non biased evidenced based, experiential scientific article. Shameful ‘scientist’. My best friend died 3 months ago. 2 weeks after his funeral I asked him to say something on my digital recorder to let me know he was ok. He did. He said my name clearly. I suppose I could be lying. I get great comfort hearing “HIS” voice saying my name after his passing. Any skeptic will say whatever it takes to dismiss this because to do otherwise would put them on the level of us gullible, superstitious idiots.

  • Rob Dove

    The comment by Bill, left before my last comment, was more scientific and based on experience than this article. On Bill’s advice I will not be purchasing and Ovilus X.

  • Bill

    Rob… I would not purchase anything from Bill chappell! The newer OV3, or any of his products as what you are doing is padding his pockets… his things are WAY overpriced and basically simple items that a high school electronics student could build for 1/10 of what Chappell charges.
    I DO believe in the paranormal and have tons of evidence to support it, BUT I did collect MY evidence withOUT the help of ANY of Chappell’s products. A simple digital recorder and a Sony camcorder was all that I really used and it proved to work wonderful!
    Bottom line is there are MANY MANY sharks that claim that their items are the best for ghost hunting, and they charge WAYYYYY too much and target the ghost hunting community!
    Just be very careful of what you buy and realize that most of this stuff is a scam!

  • Rob S.

    Martin says……”Let me leave you with this final thought; until someone achieves that golden goal of finally empirically proving that a) ghosts exist and b) that they can be communicated with by electronic means, it remains foolish to sink your hard earned money into equipment that cannot possibly provide reliable results. I mean, isn’t the point of all this “investigation” to quantify, define and delineate the existence and nature of ghosts, or what-have-you? If so, what is the point in using questionable equipment in that pursuit?”

    Then that statement should apply to everything else. Digital audio recorders, full spectrum cameras and camcorders, etc etc. From your logic, there is a not shred of scientfic proof that an EVP comes from a ghost, so why waste your money buying a digital recorder to buy one? In fact, why even bother investigating since there is not a single piece of scientific equipment that can prove the prescence of a ghost that will satisfy mainstream science to finally accept spirits.

    It is amazing how some people will hide behind scientific principles to discredit equipment they don’t like or agree with and then completely disregard the same principles when it comes to equipment they use and prefer. As been said ad nauseum in the past, some people have success with Ovilus, Ghost Box, Diving Rods, Mel-Meter and other theoretical equipment and some have zero luck with it. Just because you don’t have luck with it does not mean its worthless and nothing but crap.

    You want proof that it works? Of course nobody can give it. I do not know how a spirit can manipulate such devices because I have no idea how scientific laws differ between our dimension and the one spirits are supposed to live in. Neither do you. So maybe, just maybe, the spirits have some ability we cannot understand because we have no idea how their dimension operates right? If you say no, then there is no such thing as ghosts spirits and all EVP, photo, video must be discarded because there is no known scientific law in our universe to explain it. Not theory, but scientific fact.

    If you had written an article about how you don’t trust the Ovilus because perhaps environmental factors (power lines, cell towers, microwaves) can cause the Ovilus to send out false positives, then would have been a fair point to make. But to sit there and basically write an article that was going to insult users, was that to spark controversy in order to boost your Google Ad revenue?

    Also Bill (from May 15), I’m still waiting for your in-depth video on how to make the Ovilus for 1/10th what it sells for. Since its so simple a high school student can do it, you should be able to whip a version up in no time in order to stop that greedy Chappell from making all that money.

    Just to let everybody know, I do not have an Ovilus III nor do I intend to buy one. I do investigate paranormal with a group that does not believe every dust orb is a ghost or believes that every floor creak is a ghost sneaking up on us.

  • Bill

    If you are so quick to criticize my comment about the build quality of the device, have you even opened it up to take a look? I think NOT!
    The layout of the PC board is very simple, the processor is an off the shelf Microchip device, the audio amplifier is also an off the shelf device, the speaker is a simple flat speaker, the case is something that Chappell whipped up in a 3d printer (of which I asked what he used and he responded with a quick NO), the chip resistors and caps are off the shelf, as is the battery holder, the SpeakJet chip is an off the shelf chip (look all this up and the info is freely available as well as the parts).
    The “sensor” for the EMF detector is a 3 conductor ribbon cable that is about 5 inches long and is connected to 3 pins on the processor… nothing more.
    The processor talks to the speakjet word generator chip via serial port on the micro and the digital display.
    The speakjet audio output connects to the audio amplifier (off the shelf) and drives the speaker.
    The digital display is another Microchip processor and the display is a $9 off the shelf device.
    The soldering is done by hand (supposedly by Chappell himself, and it does look like it).
    The board is something that a high schooler would be able to make in shop class.
    The firmware was written by Chappell and is surely locked in the processor (fuse links that are programmable in the processor). Surely could not have been very difficult for anyone with familiarity with Microchip programming language.
    Yes I don’t have very much Microchip experience, but I do have basic/C++/Pascal, and this could be done as well.

    SO… before you jump on someone that you don’t think knows what they are speak about, you should do a little research on your own first.

  • Bill

    Oh and by the way, I sold my Ovilus X and DTD to some poor gullible person, and recovered all my money, so I am FREE of Digital Dowsing and Bill Chappell!

  • Rob S.

    Hey Bill some really thin skin there. I did not criticize your post. I pointed out that since you said it was so simple a high school student could build it for 1/10th the cost, I was anxiously awaiting your in- depth video on how to build it yourself. Now you tell me to go do some research, well I am not an electronics expert as you tell us you are. I don’t know you, but to avoid a pointless argument on your claim to be an electronics expert, I’ll assume you are.

    In that case, along with your blatant hatred of Chappell for making a buck, then you should have no trouble finding $26 worth of parts (1/10 the cost of the Ovilus X) and making a video to show on you tube and show everybody they can get the parts themselves and how to make their own home style Ovilus so as to not fill that greedy Chappell’s pockets. You were the one who made the claim that this could be done, so show us. I can’t, but would love to see your expertise in action and expose Chappell. Hey there are people on You tube who have made videos showing how you can build your own IR lights and static field detectors for around $15 so you don’t have to pay $70+ for something pre-fabbed. So you could be a hero to all the I HATE CHAPPELL crowd that has really getting rabid lately. Don’t have the time or can’t do it? Then stop patting yourself on the back, you come off like the 1000’s of other anonymous posers who claim to be experts in their respective fields.

    Also, I’ve been curious as about your rants about Sony, Olympus, etc for making digital audio recorders and making a profit off of them. There is no doubt the digital audio recorder market as gotten a big boost in sales from ghost hunters flocking to buy them. We all know that they are probably being built very cheaply overseas and marking them up. Any complaints there? Since EVP is not established, mainstream science proof of ghosts, then as far as you should be concerned, the television shows and the recorder markers are probably in cahoots, knowing what that this will lead to an increase in sales. After all, Martin said there is no scientific instrument that can communicate with ghosts, so EVP is really just some natural phenomena but we are being lied to in order to go out and buy over priced audio recorders and line greedy CEO’s pockets, right?

    In fact, any complaints about any company overcharging for their products? Ever hear of supply and demand? Great demand + low supply = higher prices. Or did you not take an economics course. If people want to buy his products and they are willing to pay the price for it, who are you to complain? You just said you sold the Ovlius and DTD to recover your money by selling it to some poor sucker. So if the product is a ripoff as you claim it is and then you sold it to a gullible person, that makes you no better than Chappell right? Especially if you made a profit off it.

  • Rob S.

    Also, I am not a Chappell supporter. I say this before Bill or others of his ilk want to paint me as a supporter to deflect my schooling of him and showing the hypocrisy of saying its okay to use products a,b and c to detect ghosts with then saying products d and e are crap because there is no device that detect ghosts with,

    My group does mostly home private investigations. Using the Ovilus in a setting where you have EMF fields all over the place from bad wiring to mircowaves to refrigerators, is going to give you false output most of the time. Since the Ovilus in theory is detecting changes to EMF and other variables that makes it produce its words, the Ovilus may pick up fluctuations in changes to these factors that cause it to say words, thus being caused by something natural and not paranormal. That is why, as correctly pointed out above, it should not be used as evidence in a private investigation. It could randomly throw out a word or two that might mean something to the client, but was only because of the luck of the draw of the words coming out.

    Which leads to another flaw, if you have a group of shady investigators who charge for the money, they could purposely use the Ovilus output in a home investigation to convince the home owners of whatever they want, based on the words said. Place it near an outlet giving off high EMF on purpose. They could then charge for further investigations to come out. Heaven forbid the word hell or satan or evil was said. There is the ticket right there for this type of group to say for $5000 we need to bring in somebody to do an exorcism.

    There are investigators who claim that they have been in home situations where they got specific words come out of the Ovlius in response to specific questions where only one word could be the correct answer. Like who was the Grandmother who died in this house, Helen comes out of the Ovlius and is correct. You have what, a 1 in 2000 chance of this happening? Then it happens several more times? This was just an example I came up with off the top of my head really quickly.

    Just because an item does not work for you does not mean its crap to somebody else. I hope whomever bought the Ovilus and DTD from Bill (who thought he was ripping off a gullible person with a scam device), actually has some good results with and doesn’t cry about it if it doesn’t work out for him.

  • Bill

    I never said I was ripping of anyone by selling my ovilus. I simply state that yet another gullible person bought it. I never misrepresented it in my sale.
    I did not recover all of what I spent on it, so I sold it at a loss.
    I did sell it because it wasn’t working for me for what I spent on it and I didn’t feel that it was doing what was claimed or represented to do.
    Chappell also was never helpful or positively responsive to any of my questions that I asked him. He always responded with short, dry, insultive responses, and was not appreciative of anything that I did for him.

  • Rob S.

    Bill, you now say you sold at a loss but 2 days ago you said you got all your money back ——“Oh and by the way, I sold my Ovilus X and DTD to some poor gullible person, and recovered all my money, so I am FREE of Digital Dowsing and Bill Chappell!”

    So which story is it? People are going to be confused reading you say one thing and then something completely different?

    I didn’t say you said verbatim that you ripped somebody else off. Your posts quite clearly indicate you think Chappell is a crook and products like this are a scam. If you think the Ovilus is a scam product, then you knew so when you were selling the product to whomever you sold it to. Regardless even if you told the buyer flat out you did not like the product and you thought it was a piece of junk happy hunting, you nevertheless did what you exactly what you accuse Chappell of doing, selling a scam.

    Then this nugget? “I did sell it because it wasn’t working for me for what I spent on it and I didn’t feel that it was doing what was claimed or represented to do.”

    But Bill does not make any claims and says so on his site and you have to read off a bunch of bullet points saying so. FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. He has to say that because he would probably get sued since he cannot guarantee fully that spirits will use it to communicate with. It’s an experimental device based on theory. Personally, like others, I’d bet you saw it work on some ghost show and thought it would be like on TV. You bought it, it didn’t pan out for you. Rather than blaming yourself on the impulse buy and not thinking that maybe some clever tv show editing made it out to look like something different, you rip Chappell instead for selling a scam product. You could say, Oh but that Chappell knows everybody will want to buy his overpriced product because of the tv shows and he is a scum making big money off of it. Well, the makers of K2, tri-field meters, emf detectors, audio recorders and everybody else is making bigger sales now because of the ghost hunting shows. Surely the CEO’s of those companies are not complaining, selling their marked up equipment at a good profit.

    But your last paragraph is the most telling.

    “Chappell also was never helpful or positively responsive to any of my questions that I asked him. He always responded with short, dry, insultive responses, and was not appreciative of anything that I did for him.”

    Not appreciative of anything you did for him? Tell us, what did you do for him that he took for granted? So now, based on your words, you had some involvement with Chappell directly instead of a disgruntled buyer. So now it seems more this a vendetta to get back at him.

    Your story is all over the place. One minute you are a disgruntled buyer and then next you are mad at him for not being appreciative for things you did for him and supposed bad e-mail from questions you asked him? You sold the Ovilus to a gullible fool and got all your money back then you are saying you sold at a loss? Really?

    I’m going to hope though, that when you build the DIY Ovilus for $26 and the time involved to do so and post your video on You tube, please let us know here so we can all take part in saving ourselves $100s from buying overpriced junk that we can now build ourselves.

  • evodbor

    the first friend I ever had, and the best friend I ever had passed away Jan 13th 2013. I mourned greatly. 2 weeks after his funeral I put a digital recorder in my closet an said “buddy. I would really love to hear from you, to know your ok.” I put the recorder on VCVA (voice activated) and for 7 sec I hear “thump, thump thump…Rob Dove” the thumps were about every 1.5 sec and my last name Dove was slightly drawn out, but there is no doubt it was his voice saying my name. So my question is…am I a liar? Am I gullible? This is my absolute proof of the spirit surviving. I would ask others please don’t try to explain it away as somehow a guy who I haven’t seen in years but talked with over the phone somehow I recorded his voice. It just doesn’t fit. I am not looking for a solution to a problem, I only wish that when spirits have given us proof over and over and over again we wouldn’t be so apt to dismiss it over and over and over again. It is best just to realize, our consciousness survives after death. As to the how and why, who cares.

  • Bill

    Well if you want to continue to tear my posts apart… fine… this will be my last post to you.
    You seem to be defending Chappell… fine.
    You seem to like to nit pick other’s posts… fine.

  • Bigbadmama

    Actually Bill C is not making products based on theory. He is unable to create a theory for the usefulness of his products based on the fact that theories have to be proven based on facts. We cannot prove ghosts exist with any modern technology or tool. Similarly with any supernatural thing like god and demons you can record observations but you can never fully prove their existence.

  • Rob S.

    Bill, had you just posted some simple thing about the Ovilus and why you didn’t like it, then there would have been nothing to nitpick as you say. By the way, I only commented on your posts and a statement Martin made, so I don’t know how you equate that I like to nit pick other people’s posts. I guess if you have to say that to deflect to avoid answering any of my questions for you to explain yourself, I am not surprised.

    I called you out for saying any high school kid could build a DIY Ovilus for 1/10the the cost -$26- the Ovilus sells for and you punted. I asked you why you said in one post you sold your Ovlius to somebody gullible and you got all your money back and then 2 days later after I called you out for doing exactly what you accuse Chappell of doing, then you turn around and say you sold at a loss. Again you punted.

    I called you out for talking about how bad you say Chappell treats you in an e-mail and then you rant on him for not giving you appreciation for the things you did for him. Again you punted.

    See Bill, you painted yourself into this corner. I’m sure other folks would be wondering why you say one thing one minute and then something complete different the next. You had a chance to explain yourself and you did what any good hack would do, your last post to deflect your answers to make me look like the villain.

    I knew you would paint me as a Chappell supporter after I said I wasn’t. I said that flat out yesterday you would do it and you didn’t disappoint. If you bother to read that post, I also said more to debunk the effectiveness of the Ovilus than you did with your anti-Chappell rant and more than the article did with the typical hypocrisy of its okay to use item a and b to ghost hunt with but its not okay to use item c and d because there is no proof any piece of any sort of equipment can detect or communicate with ghosts. Again for the record, I agree with that statement. We can believe these items may help us contact the other side, but there is no way to prove this to satisfy anybody.

    Now that all the pieces are out here is my theory on what Bill is crying about. Bill sees the Ovilus on TV and wants it because of the cool factor. Nothing wrong with that, lots of people buy on impulse like that. Bill, being an expert in electronics, gets the Ovilus, tests it and its not working like it does on TV. So Bill takes it apart, identifies the components, then starts sending e-mail after e-mail after e-mail to Chappell asking him about this and that. Then because Bill is an expert in electronics, he starts sending e-mail telling Chappell how he could improve the Ovilus. Chappell is at this point probably getting annoyed and wants Bill to leave him alone. Hence the short, curt e-mail with lack of gratitude that Bill says he got. So now Bill will go to any forum where they rip on the Ovilus and or Chappell so he can pile on.

  • Rob S.

    @Bigbadmama – With all due respect, I disagree with that assessment you made. Everything involved in the world of investigating ghosts/spirits paranormal is entirely based on theory. I do however agree with you that we cannot prove ghosts exist with our technology. So in lieu of scientific fact, all paranormal investigators have to go off theory based on personal experience and equipment interaction.

    But to say the Ovilus is not built based on theory is not true. That applies to all technology and not just the Ovilus. Unless you of course know for sure that the Ovilus does not have working sensors in it that detect environmental changes which causes it speak a word from its database. If the Ovilus has no such sensors and is just nothing but a machine that is programmed to randomly throw out a word at random time, then you would be correct.

    Here is how I look at it. There is a theory that ghosts / spirits are made up of some type of electro magnetic energy. The energy these ghosts give off is what we thinks affects devices like a K2 or Tri Field Meter. Again, its only a theory because we cannot determine if a ghost is involved to make that a scientific fact. I think we agree here?

    Now then, TV’s turn on and off, old radios with no power suddenly start playing music, stoves turn on, electronics get deactivated, batteries get drained and with reasonable investigation, sometimes these events cannot be debunked as natural in cause. We have a theory the ghosts are somehow able to do these things, but again, we cannot prove this conclusively. Again I think we will all agree to that.

    Now say I’m Chappel (which I am not) and I’m watching this take place. In theory, if a supposed ghost can manipulate all these devices, why not a simple phonetic device to try to communicate with. That is a theory. You may completely disagree with that theory, but it is a theory nevertheless. It’s Bill’s theory. Now will his theory ever be borne out to prove the existence of ghosts by building a phonetic device? No. If his theory is that whatever unexplained phenomena is causing other electronics devices to be affected may have the same affect on a simple phonetics device, then yes that can be proven.

    Just to make this crystal clear, all that is being proven is that a unexplained phenomena can affect a small phonetic device the same way all other electronics are affected. That does not mean the existence of ghosts is proven. I’m also not validating the Ovilus as an investigation tool in the cases of private clients as I pointed out yesterday.

  • Laurie Ann Baz

    Well Mr.Clemens, Your reasoning’s work for a logical world. Too bad we don’t live in one.

  • Oli Trussell

    Just because something doesn’t have a theory behind it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a reality. For example when compasses were first invented people had no idea how magnetism worked but they seemed to always point north so why not use it to your advantage? It could be the same with this. That said some studies have shown that the human mind can effect a random number generator, what if the mind can effect other electrical devices such as the ovilus? But then you get into problems with who’s mind was influencing it. Was it a disembodied spirit? Or the paranormal investigator? I’m not defending the Ovilus I’m just saying dismissing something because you can’t figure out the theory behind it is a little silly, unless of course it’s something waaaaay past the crazy line, then it’s ok :p

  • Laurie Ann Bazinet

    I guess then you don’t believe in God either?

  • Martin J. Clemens

    No, actually, I don’t. But how is that relevant?

  • http://daydreambeliever-gina.blogspot.com/ Gina

    Fascinating discussion folks…I googled the Ovilus after watching a tv show and found you :D. I was thinking about getting such a device for experimental purposes, as I often question what natural phenomenon may cause them to react. I do believe in continued existence(my own opinion through my own experiences), but I am not good with electrical devices of any description, so am intrigued by all the equipment I hear about that supposedly helps with communication. I think I will probably start with a simple EMF meter instead, and catalogue how it reacts around my home/local environment AND myself(I appear to cause some malfunctions with electrical equipment when stressy)
    Thank you for all the differing “points of view” 😀 XXX

  • jeff

    I am a paranormal investigater and was suckered in to buy one with all the bells and whistles. It really is useless. None of the modes are worth the price. Q/a mode will just keep spitting out words that make no sense towhat you are investigating. I had high hopes but I am returning it!!!

  • matstrazz

    AS gifted person, that can sense things that others can not. I am also an empath. Bought the OVILUS III, First does not work well, the phonetic mode is so slow that you could not get any results. the voice synth chip is not very good, the dictionary mode, you have to look at it cause what you hear does not match the word as sounded out. Not worth the money. DIGITAL DOWSING does not work cause you remove the human element. HOW could a ghost know what feq, to do, to match the word up to what it wants to communicate. The more words does not help. if there was like a yes no mode, an ghost, spirit, elemental, or demon could figure it out. THE LONGER the list the harder it would get. If you buy it as a toy, then you bought a expensive toy. If you think your getting messages from somewhere, well look elsewhere, a dowsing rod, a pendulum or a talking board, would work much better, cause its the people that the ” being” is manipulating to get a certain result. WE MUST GO INTO that DEMONS lie, they will tell you all kinds of stuff, to get you to open yourself to them. THOSE little protection prayers are useless. AS a person who personaly knew the former exorcist assistant, of the BOSTON AREA. A well known infamous priest who is now dead. BE VERY CAREFUL OF ALLOWING CREATURES, TO USE YOUR BODY. AS a Roman Catholic Lay Minister, Paulist trained for OVER 8 monthS. I am a catholic wicccian priest. PEOPLE WHO PLAY WITH FIRE EVENTUALY GET BURNED. I have studied, and practiced since I was a child. TARROT CARDS are much safer. FORGET the book, and see what you see in the cards, how you feel. NEVER ASK FOR ANYTHING TO GET INTO YOU. DEMONS hide great, but over time ruin lives. THEIR goal is to hide in plain sight, ruin your life, ruin poples lives around you, and eventually get you to maim yourself, eventually to kill yourself. Forget the fancy movie effects, they do not need it. It would reveal that they are present in a person. GO to church, live a good life, and help others. PRAY for the living and the dead. VOLUNTEER at a rest home like HALE HOUSE. the stories of fully lived lives will teach you more than any spirit could. As jesus said ” LET THE DEAD BURRY THE DEAD.” Meaning those cut off from GOD, are like the dead, and they will bury the dead. those in gods light deal with the living.

  • http://daydreambeliever-gina.blogspot.com/ Gina

    Without wanting to disagree with your advice not to mess with spirit….could you please clarify how you can be Wiccan AND Catholic? …Wiccan’s don’t go to church..none of the ones i know any way. And without looking up the direct quotes, I’m pretty sure the Bible says no one who is a follower of Jehovah is to have anything to do with Mediums and Witches…on pain of death.
    Thank you for your review of the Ovilus machine, but you should leave your religion at the door.

  • curiousgeorge

    I too am intrigued how one can be both catholic and wiccan… since wiccans worship many gods and goddesses and Catholics are well aware that their God is a very jealous God.

    Off topic I know, so I must add that I have mixed emotions about this article. Though I do appreciate the attempt at a review of the product through the article and the comments (which is why I came here, also I’m convinced it’s not worth the insane amount of money it costs), I am truly disturbed at the credit you have given your ignorance. Should you have said (as one of the commenters had) something about how it’s performance lacks based on parts quality or etc, I would give you more credit as a legitimate. But as I read you force your opinion into this (the commenters apply here as well!) I could see more clearly how most of you all say it doesn’t work because you don’t believe the theory behind it. Just a poor way to review a piece of equipment (and a very simple-minded way if you ask me).

    It’s an easy rule — don’t call something useless just because you don’t understand it. And certainly don’t put it on the internet where generations from now (the ones who will eventually prove that the science behind all things paranormal is real) will read this and laugh at the idiocy of our era. You’re making me look bad by association. Stop it now.

  • jeff wurst

    The whole blog about the ovilus iii from the very beginning should have been about how the piece of equipment just doesn’t work as described, The theory behind and the making of the ovilus shouldn’t be as relevant as the outcome of its performance in the field, I am qualified to make this judgement that I will make. I am a paranormal investigator and was looking forward to this piece of equipment, It was supposed to be the holy grail of paranormal equipment. I was upset that so many negative comments were made before I was even was able to use it. I should have heeded the warnings. Every mode that I used was totally useless. On dictionary mode random words would just keep spiitting out . They made absolutely no sense. Q/A mode was just the same. Draw mode was useless. This piece of equipment was no better than the Ghost Detector App that is free!!! I would not recommend this expensive piece of trash to anyone. Mine went back this week. The best tools that you can have during an investigation are your senses. They will never let you down!!

  • http://daydreambeliever-gina.blogspot.com/ Gina

    Thank you for this usable information Jeff. Nice to see someone did a thorough evaluation.

  • Rob S.

    Jeff, good post indeed, but just a couple of questions. The places you tested it at, where they locations where you have captured evidence in the past? How many times out did you use the device?

    Now please do not take offense at these questions, but I have seen quite a few folks do reviews of equipment on youtube where they get the equipment and then use it once in their unhaunted house basement, it doesn’t work and then they say its junk. One fool does a ghost box review and turns it on in his living room, doesn’t get anything and then proclaims its garbage. That’s hardly scientific study in my book.

    Again to make note, I am not buying the Ovilus 3 and I do not have any interest in it. I have seen some other posts in other forums by investigators who said the unit repeats the same 3-4 words over and over again, even in different locations. That alone should give somebody pause before purchasing it.

  • jeff wurst

    No offense taken at all Rob. They are good questions. This might be a longer answer than you asked for but here goes.
    As I mentioned in my last post, I was extremely excited about getting the ovilus 3 in spite of all the negative reviews. I was actually mad at those who bashed it without even trying it in the field. Wow, a spirit box with 13 modes. What piece of equipment be better? Answer, the ghost radar detector app from spud pickles that is free is.
    Seriously, the piece of equipment DOES NOT WORK!! After extensively testing every mode . I have used it at places where we have documented evidence of paranormal activity. It has been on 5 investigations where we have tried EVERY mode available with no credible results given. If you like to look at random words and try to make a story out of them then maybe it does work. But that would merely be an elementary game played in grammar school. There is a draw mode that made adsolutely no sense. The energy scope mode was the same. No telling whether the white mode made a difference. Didn’t show what the phonetic mode or reverse phonetic mode was saying on the screen so it was a best guess scenario as to what was trying to be said. Touch mode, well forget that one too. Was never touched.
    Basically I was the loser on this purchase due to the fact that I am being charged a 20 percent restocking fee for it to be put back on the shelf in perfect working condition for the next sucker to pay the full retail that I paid for it. So every time another team wants to purchase it GHOST STOP will automatically make 55dollars. Now that is a racket!!!
    I should have listened to the guy who started this blog, but I was too mad at his initial post. Stupid me for not listening!! However the initial post was just speculation that it couldn’t possibly work. Not that it was tested in the field and that it didn’t work.

  • Rob S.

    Thanks Jeff, that was very informative and the type of review you gave is what is sorely needed on paranormal equipment and not what got a lot of people mad as you pointed out. That sucks that you got stuck with the 20% restocking fee on something that could not function.

    I had purchased the EMF ITC whatever device from Dowsing directly when it came out. Waited like a month longer that we were told to get it because of problems with the unit. I got mine and it was bad. The EMF function, regardless of what setting it was on, was giving off high readings even in a remote cemetery with no power to it. Sitting next to a Tri-Field meter, K2 and Mel-Meter showing flat readings, this ITC was acting like it was near a microwave running. Then to calibrate you had to push a button like 200-300 times, literally. Then when I would power off I had to do it all over again. The Yes-No function would jump back and forth, the draw function only put out dots and the only way to get a picture of any sort was to push on the screen with your finger. The dowsing rods feature just had the sticks turning to the right so you just stood there and turned in a circle. It was horrible, but I returned it complaining about the problems and did get a full refund. A waste of two months waiting for the device, trying it out and then returning for the money. I ended up using the refund money towards a cheap full spectrum digital camera that was a way better investment.

    However, the one thing that I will disagree with you with is when you say Stupid me for not listening. Nobody will know how something will work until you and others have tried it out first hand and given a report on its usefulness. If all I had to go on was this article to make decision about buying it or not, I would have ignored the article too b/c all it told me was that the author thinks that the item is a scam and offered no first hand analysis of the item in action like you did.

  • T Johnston, Jr.

    Calling someone a “douchebag” because you disagree is juvenile and adds nothing to your argument. Once can refrain from ad hominem attacks and still get one’s point across.
    Secondly, talking about giant squids is a false analogy. Clemens is stating the obvious that no one has ever proven ghosts to exist, at least not by using scientific and measurable standards.

  • Robert

    You have no idea what you.are talking about……………LOL

  • Bud Blockhead

    All, I enjoy reading all the post. I am in the minority concerning the Ovilus 3. I have one and sort of like it. The Ovilus 3 has many useful diagnostic tool, although experimental. Of course it is marketed as “For Amusment Only” because proving the existence of ghosts are almost impossible to prove. I have always been a skeptic and for the most part still am. I went through a phase in the late 1970s – mid 1980s investigating the paranormal. Back then it was called Haunting Investigation. There were no fancy equipment as seen today. All you had was a film camera/flash, analog tape recorder, and personal observation. Most places were fairly easy to get in back then because you knew everyone. Most areas I investigated were mainly around Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA. Although, I remember having some unexplained experiences, I am still a skeptic, but open minded. I recently got back into paranormal investigation as a hobbie. Unfortunately, paranormal investigation has become a big money industry and many paranormal investigation groups have become tribal. I feel it is important to try all paranormal equipment you have access. Most equipment focus is on audio, electrical fields, or temperture variation. Unless you try the equipment and understand the principle it is being usef for, a claim of scam is uncalled for. Yes, scams out there, but research and try the equipment. I am confident to say, paranormal investigation is not an exact science. The most effective tool you can use is experience and an ability to decipher your findings. The rule of thumb is 99.99% of most paranormal events can be logically explained, but you alway have to look harder at that remaining unexplained .1%.

  • Jadin Shore

    I have learned to do a little research before purchasing anything which led me here.

    I lead a team of paranormal researchers/investigators. My pet peeve has always been with “scientists” and never with science. The paranormal field is a wonderful example. How can one dismiss something as “junk” and “fraud” and “rip-off” when they have no more knowledge of the paranormal than anyone else – in fact maybe less. History is ripe with a group of arrogant asses who dismissed anything that didn’t fit their knowledge at the time. Open minded, genuine scientists who proposed ideas outside of ‘accepted’ facts have even been put to death. It is one thing to say “I disagree” on a subject we are trying to discover and quite another to start making fun of and discrediting those who think differently than you. On what scientific principle are they basing their “assumption” that the other person is wrong. It is usually those who go against so called scientific knowledge that have led us forward in our knowledge, it has not been those who cling to their scientific beliefs.

    How can you put down the results of a device in a field that is research and investigation? What superior knowledge does someone have in this field that gives them the right to do so? Having that superior knowledge where is your prove that such tools may not be baby steps in a direction helpful to others? By all means, state your opinion, but leave it at that without belittling others.

    Time and time again I hear the old worn-out so-called ‘scientific’ superiority of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It can’t help but make me laugh. We only ever see light and our mind interprets that light based on our experience. Much more correct to say, “I’ll see it when I believe it” So called scientists constantly put down others saying they base their conclusions on what they believe. Duh……. so do we all! Their lack of experience or ‘seeing’ may well be their own limited beliefs. It’s a two way street!

    Since so-called science has been too sure of itself to actually investigate this field honestly it has been left those more open-minded enough to have personal experiences. I include myself in that. So has everyone on my team. It is why we do what we do to seek answers. We also do this to help others who are experiencing events that confuse and frighten them. Why would they turn to a pompous group who instantly mock them or question their sanity?

    All that being said, let me share with you an event that those of you who wish can research and see for yourselves. I came across the term EVP while researching something else online years ago – I’m sure this can be searched for and verified at the website, and I would love to hear skeptics explain this one as random noise or even left over residual energy being picked up.

    I followed a link to http://www.rense.com (an experience in itself) to a woman who was claiming to be getting EVP communication with Laci Peterson who, at the time, was missing. Seeing this as an opportunity to study the phenomena of EVP I closely followed her communications. Check it for yourselves. EVP communications claimed that Scott had murdered her BEFORE it was more than a speculation by some. EVP communications told where her body was long BEFORE it was discovered. EVP communication told WHEN the body would be discovered and WHERE before it was. Now I consider that well worth taking note of! These were very specific events and details given in advance. I take EVPs very seriously as intelligent communication from some energy beyond our present knowledge ……. so I won’t randomly dismiss someone’s attempt to create a device to enhance this field neglected by scientists.

  • Rene

    I don’t understand how you can say ” the Ovilus is a scam, it cannot possibly do what Bill Chappell and his cronies at Digital Dowsing claim.” Have you used it? Have you tested it? Or is this just your opinion, and the opinion of others like you? Just so you know, I have people that have used this machine and have found it very helpful. It does work, since we can’t hear on their frequency, most times, this picks up that frequency, and allows us to hear with our naked ears. You should try it out sometime, that way you can back up your own crap. Sorry i wasted my time.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Rene, if I told you that I have done extensive testing with the Ovilus in its many forms, would you then believe me?

    What frequency is it that they communicate on? Do you know? Does anyone know? Are you talking about sound wave frequencies? Or solar radiation? Or electromagnetic frequencies? Do you know? Again, does anyone know?

    To answer all of those questions all at once, and thus render them rhetorical, I will point out, again, that NO ONE HAS ANY FREAKING IDEA. This is why no one can engineer a device to interpret said “frequencies” (frequencies that can’t even be identified).

    And before you start proclaiming that these things are known by a precious few people, psychics, mystics and obviously Bill Chappell, I will again point out that this information would be immensely valuable to modern science. It would conclusively prove that ghosts exist, it would conclusively prove that there is an afterlife, and by extension that people have souls. These are HUGE issues that science and philosophy have struggled with for centuries. If they have concrete and testable knowledge about the frequencies on which ghosts communicate, do they not have an obligation to share said knowledge with the world? I would say yes.

    So why don’t they? I’ll tell you why. It’s because no one has any freaking clue how ghosts communicate or even if they actually exist. And if no one knows how to communicate with ghosts, or to prove that they exist, how can they build a machine that is specifically design to do just that? Did Chappell just randomly solder bits of electronic hardware together and against all odds just get lucky?

    No, he cleverly constructed a device that approximates a random output based on a mathematical theory. And apparently he sold it to your friends.

  • Rob S.

    Rene’s post would have been better suited if she had left out the frequency issue or at least identified it as a theory as to why the Ovilus gets the results it did.
    There are people who build devices based on theories that are out there regarding the ability to communicate with whatever is causing these paranormal phenomena. Yeah, it,s true that you say nobody has any idea on how to communicate with an unknown frequency. So? Does that mean that nobody should try and just give up? Then scientists should stop wasting time and money in a quest to find alternate dimensions and parallel universes, since there is no definitive proof they exist, only theory. Once the world was flat and the Earth was the center of the Universe. There was no proof at the time that the Earth was round or that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Did explorers simply give up because there was no proof that they would not fall off the edge of the Earth by sailing out too far? Did Copernicus and others give up proving the celestial orbits of the heavenly bodies because the Church said different, not forgetting threats of death and imprisonment for heresy?
    No, I am not comparing Chappell to Copernicus because I know that is what some fool would retort with. Chappell makes an experimental device that is used to try to communicate with whatever is causing paranormal phenomena to happen. If you say this is impossible because there is no proof of ghosts, then again what causes EVP? What causes fully charged batteries to be depleted in seconds under normal conditions? What causes poltergeist activity? I agree with what you would say, nobody can say conclusively.
    However, if you are going to throw out experimental devices because in your mind there is no proof of ghosts or ghost communication, then you need to tell everybody to dismiss items like audio recorders, Electromagnetic detectors, thermal sensors, Rempods and everything else because there is no proof that any of them can detect or catch the presence of a ghost. All EVPs are null and void, all spirit photos are null and void, all experiences of electronic equipment being manipulated are null and void because there is no proof of the paranormal. None
    I’m also still perplexed that you want to argue about the device being a scam as being nothing more than a “random output based on a mathematical theory”. Have you or anybody else examined the software and board first hand that run the device to show that is putting out random output? The poster known as Bill I exposed as a hack, even though I gave him numerous opportunities to show us the Ovilus was a scam device.
    If you are going to say a device is a scam, then prove it based on fact and not personal opinion. Just like you would say to Rene, prove that there is unknown frequency based on fact and not personal opinion or the results of an experimental device that has not been accepted by the scientific community.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Well Rob, I am saying exactly what you suggest I should say. I said it here: http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/electronic-voice-phenomenon-is-not-evidence-of-ghosts/

    In and of itself, the recording of sound for analysis, as it pertains to “the paranormal” is interesting and is worthy of continued study, but it does not prove that ghosts exist. It is not even necessarily connected to ghostly phenomenon at all. EVP has it’s own problems, but the two ideas are not equal.

    The difference between the Ovilus and EVP (or the collection and analysis of other environmental data) is that the Ovilus doesn’t record anything. It provides no data to analyse. It bears no scientific fruit. It’s purpose is, ostensibly, to communicate directly with ghosts, which, as I’ve already established, no one knows how to do.

    The Ovilus does not, cannot do what it’s fans claim it does.

  • http://emeraldcoastparanormalconcepts.com jeff

    I wrote a post on here approx a month ago stating that the ovilus 3 is nothing more than a glorified toy. Before I hear the backlash let me explain. Yes I am a paranormal investigator and yes I actually bought one and after two investigations it was returned because it gave no info that was even remotely connected to our investigations. Totally worthless and very expensive. As far as there being spirits among us, it is my belief that there are. A lot of times evps are relevant to a case. That being said the best evidence is that which can be validated. Such as objects being thrown at you. And yes it is documented. Before any evidence is put out there it is thoroughly reviewed time after timefor validity. That is how it should be done. Yes the ovilus 3 is worthless. Even more so than spud pickles ghost radar which is at least funny and costs nothing.

  • Rob S.

    Jeff, your first post from July 4 was a great explantion of why the Ovilus 3 was not worth spending the money on. You gave a great explantion of the faults of the device. The rest of your post on EVP and validation, spot on!

  • Rob S.

    Martin, when you say of EVP “In and of itself, the recording of sound for analysis, as it pertains to “the paranormal” is interesting and is worthy of continued study, but it does not prove that ghosts exist.” I agree. As I have posted here time and time again, I agree with you 10,000% that nothing we currently do in the field of paranormal investigating can prove a ghosts exists. IMO they do, but opinion and scientific fact are two different things as we would all agree.

    However, when you say “The difference between the Ovilus and EVP (or the collection and analysis of other environmental data) is that the Ovilus doesn’t record anything. It provides no data to analyse. It bears no scientific fruit. It’s purpose is, ostensibly, to communicate directly with ghosts, which, as I’ve already established, no one knows how to do.”…..here we have a disagreement.

    I’ll go back an use the PX and Ovilus X as examples here, because I won’t defend the Ovilus 3 as there have been too many complaints from users in the field with it, as Jeff pointed out. I don’t know how you can say the Ovilus does not record anything, because it does. It produces a word. Just like a simple thermometer will give you a temperature reading. You get a result that can be measured. In this case, the words produced by the PX, Ovilus or whatever can be measured against the parameters of your investigation. Just as Jeff pointed out regarding the Ovilus 3.

    Now again, I agree with you 100% that this does prove the existance of ghosts, just like EVP does not, but there have been numerous examples of users of the PX and Ovilus X and some phonetic generators that have had words produced that had exact meaning and relevance to their particular investigations. Some were even mentioned in your old thread on the previous Ovlius scam article you did.

    Now in your opinion, you can discredit it all as nothing more than random chance, but that excuse is used for every piece of equipment used in paranormal investigating. The K2 went off in a building with no electricity? Eh, random environmental factor caused that. Spirit Box gives a full sentence in the same voice as the clients deceased loved on? Eh, random radio bleed through and matrixing caused that. After a while, when the amount of these random coincidences build up so high, what’s next to discredit them? A roulette wheel can land on 00 1000 times in a row if you spin the wheel enough?

    Now if you had 1000 users of a device and a handful had one time experiences with the device, then yeah, most likely random chance. But when say 40-50% have experiences with relevance and more than once, then wouldn’t you agree investigation and continued study of the device is warranted? Again, just because somebody does not like a piece of equipment for whatever reason, does not mean that somebody else is not having success with it. I have no use for diving rods, they do not work for me but I won’t discredit them because there is no scientific proof there is ghosts because I know there are people who say they have great success with them.

    I would have much preferred if your article had been based on a scientic study than an opinion piece. Regardless of the fact that nothing can prove the existance of ghosts, if you weren’t going to get the device and break it down to reflect on the parts and software, then at the least you could have asked for and/or collected a sampling of the users of the Ovilus 3 and then analyzed their results and published them with a general conclusion. Then you would have had a lot less controversy than was needed.

  • http://N G

    “(Spelling and grammar is theirs, not mine)”. You know, there’s a spelling error in the first paragraph.

  • Jon

    I’m a little late to this article (stumbleupon) but the very first time i saw the ghost adventure guys using this, my first thought was something along the lines of – If i was a ghost, and i could hear they saying ‘use this device to talk to us’, I wouldn’t have the first clue about how to… There’s a phoenetic dictionary in the device.. So? I’m a damned ghost, possibly 150years dead, never seen a television set let alone circuit boards, how am i supposed to enter into the device and take a look around? Is there some kind of inbuilt ghost GUI once you enter the wires..?

    If it spits out different words based on the frequency of electromagnetism around it, again how would a ghost even know what frequency it is currently ‘at’?

    From what i’ve seen of this device, it churns out a bunch of words, most likely specifically chosen to be relevant to death, dying, disease, blood, choking, hanging, crime etc etc etc, and the investigators then build the links between the words themselves, eventually finding something that matches up with it and declaring it evidence. Vocabulary paredolia if you will.

  • Rob S.


    How does a spirit know how to drain a battery dry, regardless of it being around for 1 year or 100 years? How does a ghost from the Civil War era know how to deactivate camcorders and other electronic equipment at Gettysburg, especially since none of them ever saw circuit boards?

    You say that as a ghost you would not have the first clue how to operate the Ovilus. Are you speaking from personal experience? Do you know first hand what it is to be a ghost and live in their universe or dimension? Since it’s pretty obvious, from our point of view, that a spirit dimension and our dimension most likely do not operate in the same scientifc manner, then to make that claim is absurd. Nobody knows what happens to us when we pass over. For all we know, our spirit form gains some universal knowledge and understanding of everything that we could never comprehend in our flesh and blood universe, but we’ll never know for sure until the day we die.

    Unless you are a complete skeptic that does not believe in ghosts or spirits and that everything paranormal is naturally explainable, you fall into the same trap countless others do with this “if I was a ghost” explanation to debunk a piece of equipment yet ignore this same line of reasoning when it comes to other pieces of equipment being manipulated.

  • rick

    I do not know about the Ovilus and do not care. I do some “investigating”. I have gotten pictures of things standing over water in mid air where a building once stood! taken with a $30 point and shoot from Wal-Mart and a UV flash light! I have gotten evp’s a couple of times out in the middle of no where again with a cheap digital voice recorder from tops. and the was not one person around, in direct response to a question asked! call it what you will ghost entity spirit or energy. but I know what I have seen and heard. but to be so closed minded people like you should not have blogs. I guess that you also belive there is no way any other planet in all of space has any life forms on it right? not that I think that the ovilus works or don’t as I stated I do not care either way

  • Rob S.

    Rick, do not worry about what a skeptic thinks. The only thing that will change a skeptic’s mind is experiencing the phenomena themselves. Don’t paint yourself into a corner with a pointless argument you cannot win with a skeptic. Things like, there has to be life elsewhere in the Universe, there are spirits and ghosts, there is a God. All the skeptic has to say is “Prove they exist.” and you’ve already lost the debate.

    How do you lose the argument you ask? There is no way to prove any of it. Even if there is a planet around Alpha Centauri that has some form of life on it, you won’t ever be able to prove it because you can’t. I believe there is life in outer space, but I can’t prove it to the satisfaction of a skeptic. I believe there is a God, but that is a matter of faith and faith is not a substitute for scientific proof that the skeptic requires.

    For ghosts and spirits, we can all show EVP and photos of strange mists and video tape equipment being manipulated, but this is still not conclusive proof of ghosts and spirits. Why? Can you see what is causing all this phenomena to take place? We can’t. So while you and I believe that these are ghosts of deceased people, the skeptic is not convinced unless they can see the ghost and study it. To them an EVP is nothing more than a stray radio signal that got captured by your recorder, regardless if you asked the ghost to say the alphabet and you catch an EVP of something like that. Random coincidence in their book. That mist you got in your photo? Cause you were smoking even though you aren’t a smoker and nobody was near you smoking. Equipment manipulation? Just random environmental factor that caused this to happen. That is how the skeptic beats you.

    Just keep doing your thing, don’t worry about what the skeptics think or how closed minded you think they are. You have your personal experiences and EVP and they cannot take that away from you. I would just advise you in the future, just take the position that while you personally believe in things like ghosts and aliens, you have no way of proving their existance to satisfy the skeptic. Then you have defused their whole argument.

  • Jon

    If it is ghosts to blame for battery draining and equipment malfunctions how are we to know that it is intentional, and not merely a result of a ghosts energy interrupting the devices?

    Sure it’s absurd to make any kind of claim about the afterlife, but what is more absurd, to be absolutely certain of a device which is marked by the manufacturer as being an entertainment device is capable of deciphering a ghosts speech, with no actual documentation on how it works, or to take a look at the bigger picture, and see how these devices are being used, and how much human intervention is needed to make any sense of the output coming from something like the ovilus.

    It seems some groups are too precious about things they have captured, whether it be photographic, radio scanning, EVP or voice generating words, and don’t want to consider what else might be causing such things, natural or faults with the design or shortfalls of the equipment.
    I cant help but feel these types of dubious results land amongst the ‘orbs’ of the world, where suddenly ghosts are everywhere because thanks to cheap digital cameras we can capture them everywhere, and again many refuse to accept they could be explained very simply, because they have latched on to the notion that they have captured spirits.

  • Bill gray

    I believe they are pre-programmed to say words programmed into device. Investigators already know the question and have programmed the answer

  • Rob S.

    Great deduction Bill! Programming the Ovilus to give a response to the question they have asked! So everybody is faking it then? Well since everybody knows that EVP and photo/video is more conclusive evidence than the Ovilus, that must be all faked too. After all, if investigators are faking Ovilus, then they must be faking the more credible evidence too! EVP is nothing more than the investigator whispering words into the audio recorder and photos/video are all photoshop/editing fakes. Rem pods are all being set off by an investigator hidden to the side keying his 2 way radio and the K2 videos are nothing more than somebody off camera sending text messages to make it look like it they are answering yes or no questions!

    Well, looks like we can all close down shop now that Bill has exposed everybody as a fraud. The jig is up!

  • Martin J. Clemens

    OK Rob, that was quite uncalled for. No one has mocked your obviously biased assessment of the issue. If you wish to counter Bill’s opinion, go for it…but the above will not be tolerated.

  • http://gravatar.com/jrockusradio Paranormal Ronin

    So… How ’bout dem Packers? Yeesh. Things get heated don’t they? My quick and non-scientific opinion… if you believe in it, get it. If you don’t. No reason for name calling. Good Lord, are we in the paranormal community adults or not?

  • http://gravatar.com/jrockusradio Paranormal Ronin

    (that should read, if you don’t… don’t. Forgot the other don’t. LOL)

  • Sean N.

    I believe we’re all entitled to our own opinions and should not try to shove our beliefs (or lack thereof) down other people’s throats. I’m a firm believer in spirits and the afterlife and have been since I was a child. But am I going to try to force my beliefs on someone else? No, because that’s an arrogant and foolish thing to do. However, if you’re being an arrogant, narrow minded douche canoe for no reason I’m going to fight back. Moral of the story, let’s all agree to disagree and get on with our lives.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Who forced you to read the article Sean? Who put a gun to your head and force fed you this “narrow minded douche canoe’s” opinion?

  • Dominque

    Wow ~ Quite remarkable! I like all the scientific comments although; bottom line > Does the unit work or not? I guess it’s like democrat, republican and/ or religion, there’s no real rhyme or reason.

  • Sean N.

    Was my comment directly aimed at you specifically Mr. Clemens? No, it was not; I simply stated that people shouldn’t try to force each other to think one way or the other.

  • Kc

    We live in a strange world, many thngs happen and some evidence does exist. I for one would dis-credit a charlaton, and many around. I also believe we should approach such subject with an open mind. Not everything can be explained by science. Having said that i am abit suspicious of the Ovilous, maybe it works maybe not i would like to see it in action, but not spending £200 on one.

  • http://Google Gary C

    Ask to go with them and then you can judge for yourself.

  • Jamie Menger

    You honestly don’t believe in ghosts or the afterlife. I have had experiences with them before. My dad and grandma recently passed away. You won’t believe in ghosts until you actually have a real experience with one. Plain and simple.

  • http://none greg

    I just wanted to say that reading almost all the pos/neg opinions here are very interesting, I do also do paranormal investigations on the side and find it fun to do. I do find some evp’s and take pictures and catch some things, but not always.Yes i bought the Ovilus (first one) and even though i didn’t get much of straight answers from that device doesn’t mean that there wasn’t something there.I was thinking of getting the new one and still might even though reading some of the results of peoples thoughts of if it works or not.But i still always have that thought in back of my head what if? Now i can say that “if” spirits ,ghosts etc.are all around us, and there are many ways to detect them, static,cold spot’s etc,and I’m also a skeptic but feel that in some shape of form there is something there that can’t be explained.Now i now i sound like i am rambling but hear me out.I look at it this way science has it’s own way which is very true to understand that things in the real world have to make sense for people to believe,but there are things that can’t be explained and so science makes excuses for that what ever it was that causes these weird things to happen to just forget it and turn a blind eye cause they have no answer for it is wrong.Well point is after all that is even though i still haven’t seen something i still feel there are things around me a can’t explain. So if people feel that using these devices helps them, let them. Who are we to judge them or the people who make them.Yeah a lot of these if not all are experimental devises that “could” not saying they will, but there is a chance they might work and do there job finding things that might make sense.People just need to be more open minded instead of there bad luck with these devises does not mean it won’t work for others to bash everyone else ideas.Just my thought.

  • http://www.gotspirits.com Chris

    I appreciate everyone’s opinion. I understand the skeptical nature of devices that claim to communicate with the dead. However, I have to admit, time and time again, using some of the various electronic devices on the market has more than proven to me; there is definitely something going on after we pass. You can believe whatever you want to believe. My intention as a paranormal researcher is to gather evidence using the latest technologies as well as personal experiences to support my own beliefs. One of the best ghost hunting products I have used is the RT-EVP2. I have obtained a plethora of intelligent responses to various questions that are extremely accurate. I have no opinion on the Ovilus 3 as of yet. However, I did order one and received it 2 days ago. About me: I am a very well educated and respected contributor to society. In my free time, I hunt for ghosts. I try my best to use a scientific method for experimenting and recording data. What does that mean? Well, in simplistic terms, if I can rule something paranormal out of the equation; I do. Nonetheless, there are plenty of times when I am gathering data that I cannot attribute the occurrence as “the house settling.” I encourage everyone to have an open mind and respect viewpoints that may differ from your own.

  • James Kelly

    Any piece of equipment that talks in paranormal investigation should be dismissed in my opinion. If you believe in ghosts,just how does it know how to manipulate a device and form environmental data in to words? It just does not make any sense.

    These devices were created to only assist the fraudulent television paranormal investigators get ratings.

    The ghost box is even more inept. The people that use these devices need to really research how they work. The ghost box is no more than a receiver of stray RF, CB radios, cell phone transmissions, and any other device that might be intercepted by it.

    The real mystery is how intelligent interaction on standard recording devices are obtained.

  • Colin Elkins

    Well I have just recently gotten into this “Paranormal Investigation” jazz, and I would just like to know if there is anything that can actually let you hear what “Spirits” or whatever you call them say or see??

  • Martin J. Clemens

    No Colin, there is not. There is no easy button, no matter what the so-called experts may tell you.

  • James


    I urge you to study the work of Tony Cornell, Loyd Auerbach, Dr. Barry Taff, Dr. Andrew Nichols, and D. Scott Rogo.

    These devices that “Talk” are just fraud. The best evidence we have that there might be something like ghosts is “Electronic Voice Phenemena.” Use standard magnetic tape recorders or digital recorders to obtain this evidence.

    You should use multiple recorders on any investigation since you will find most EVP’s will be captured on only one recorder when other recorders are nearby.

    Tape recorders can pick up a stray RF signal from time to time, but they are not built to act as receivers like the “Ghost Box.”

    EVP is a mystery, however, a great deal of investigators simply don’t know how to capture it, or evaluate it correctly.

    If you want to study early about the early experiments on EVP, grab a copy of D. Scott Rogo’s ” An Experience of Phantoms.” It’s an important book in EVP experimentation techniques.

    The last thing to remember is that the investigator is the most important tool to have over any piece of equipment. If you don’t try and explain or try and find natural explanations for something reported as paranormal, you are doing no favors for the client.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    As I’ve mentioned, it is an unjustified leap of faith, an assumption to say that EVP is evidence of ghosts. The FACT is that there are far too many other possibilities for its cause…the vast majority of which do not rely on supernatural explanations. EVP should be studied, most definitely, as clearly something is going on, but no one, anywhere, has enough knowledge of the phenomenon to make the leap from “there seems to be a strange voice on this recording that we didn’t hear in real-time” to “it’s ghosts!” If you get an EVP result, you have found an anomaly, and that is as far as it can be taken with our current understanding.

  • James

    I can only base my opinion on EVP from investigations I have been a part of.

    In our most active house, I was urging the phenomena to follow us to their “favorite place” inside the home as my director and I walked through the home to the den, A hotbed of activity. I captured a voice that was not mine repeat, ” Favorite place” in another room right after I said it. No one can tell me that that was a radio transmission.

    The other possibility was that is was a PK emission of some time that reprinted on the recorder. I reject that because we virtually had the same people on our team on each investigation and sometimes went years without recording and EVP. So that tells me if these EVP captures were PK related, they would have been captured frequently on investigations?

    It’s been years since I captured an EVP on an investigation.

    I agree with Rountree’s assessment about EVP, it’s not conventional sound since we don’t hear it when it’s captured. It’s somehow imprinted or created in the recordeing device by an unknown process.

    And of course, the other big problem is how it’s obtained. Too many investigators are running around with one recorder in their hand trying to capture it. Technique is everything in EVP. Without it you have nothing.

    I went to a lecture with Dr. Bary Taff and Loyd Auerbach. Auerbach said that if you use only one recorder trying to capture EVP, your evidence means nothing.

    If you watch these ghost shows, they are all carrying aroung a recorder as they walk through the haunted building. Then the investigators take random noise and say it’s a word. You should set up stationary recording devices in every room, sit down in a quiet location, then aske questions every 20 seconds or so.

    The reason we do this is that sometimes if you ask a question in the living room, you will get an intelligent answer in the bedroom on a recording device to your question.

    I just hope that more people step up to study it more, but in my experiences, you have to be in a active location to capture a real EVP.

  • Colin Elkins

    Thank you for your comments and Information, also do you have any suggestions when it comes to EVP Recorders, the best ones I have found after a few hours of searching are all made by Olympus such as the DS5000 Digital Voice Recorder, I’m just looking for some input when it comes to devises like this, thank you.

  • James

    I wish I could help you there. Out of the 21 recorders I take on investigations, there is no clear cut winner on how they produce on capturing EVP. Any recorder can do the trick. The key is too use as many recorders as possible. That is why I have captured many EVP’s using this technique. I would advise to use omni direction microphones that attach to the recorders for clearer sound if you capture an EVP. This is what Rountree advised in his book and it has worked wonders in my investigations. Here are general tips on what to do.

    Map out the your recording devices in the location you are investigating. You will find that in an active location, you will often capture EVP in the same general area on subsequent investigations. Audible phenomena likes to hang around the same location in a house or building. What else this does is too provide a control feature. In other words, if you capture what you believe is an EVP, check the recording device next to the recorder it was captured on. If the sound or voices on that control recorder has the supposed EVP, you should think about dismissing it entirely.You can have 10 recorders in a room and an EVP should only be on one recorder. I have only three that were captured on multiple recorders. And they were captured in places that had the most phenomenon. Our most haunted house. The Birdcage Theatre in Tombstone, and Waverly Hills in Kentucky.

    Here is something interesting. I was setting up multiple recorders on the patio of our most haunted private location. I captured an EVP of a child singing on two recorders right next to each other on the patio table. The other five recorders picked up nothing. Here is the kicker, the voice of the child on one recorder was at normal speed and was crystal clear. On the recorder next to it, the childs singing voice was in slow motion speed while we were at normal speed talking. I have no explanation for this but is was bizarre to say the least.

    Next. If you capture an EVP, send it out on an audio file via e-mail to the team members for grading. Never tell them what you hear until later. Provide the coordinates of where the sound is on the clip, and have them e-mail you back what they hear.Never have this sent via group e-mail. This is soooo important. Once you tell someone what you hear on an audio clip they will hear the same thing, contaminating the audio evidence. This rule is breached all of the time on paranormal television shows.

    Lastly, while conducting EVP sessions. Everyone is sitting down and not moving. Movement sounds can be easily perceived as EVP on audio. Watch any episode of Ghost Hunters if you don’t believe me. Almost all of their EVP’s occur when the investigators are moving around.Most are not EVP’s at all.

    When analyzing an EVP with software. Only bump up the sound if need be. Adding denoiser can actually change the sound of the EVP. Only use your raw evidence. The evidence must speak for itself.

    You are looking for interactive answers to direct questions while conducting an EVP session.

    I can talk all night about this but I won’t! LOL!

  • Martin J. Clemens

    You gentlemen might be interested in some suppositional thoughts I’ve had on the mechanism of recording EVP’s. It might seem rudimentary to you, but it could be worth considering: http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/spirit-communication-making-waves/

  • Colin Elkins

    Okay thanks for the help gentlemen, i will indeed start researching the work of Cornell and Taff as well as to what kind of Digital recorders i will be ordering for my future investigations, oh and btw i commend you on your blog Martin it has helped a bunch!

  • James


    Taff outright rejects EVP as a great many Parapsychologists do. I think that is interesting since he recorded paranormal voices during his investigation of the famous “Entity” case.

    Read David Rountree’s book ” Paranormal Technology” where he goes in depth on equipment and his own EVP experiments.

    Another good book is ” An Experience of Phantoms” by D. Scott Rogo. He was there with Raymond Bayless conducting early EVP experiments. You might be able to get an old paperback copy on Amazon.

  • Justthink

    All I really read was that you admitting you can’t really tell us if this is a piece of crap because nobody, I repeat nobody, knows how to communicate with spirits, so how can you know it doesn’t work? If your going to write a bad review, have some credibility and use the product, then review it based on the actual product, and not your own opinions on how the world works.

  • James

    I can tell you that it is a piece of crap. Why else does the company that sells these fraudulent talking machines list them as ” For “Entertainment purposes only?”

    Here is another question. How would a ghost know how to use the device? How would it know how to manipulate environmental measurements to talk through the device?

    The reason a great deal of ghost hunters like it is because this type of evidence is easy to capture. Just like calling digital artifact orbs ghosts. Orbs are easy to capture on a digital camera that has less than 5.0 mp strength.

  • http://amancalleddada.wordpress.com AManCalledDada

    Communicating with the dead is a cinch with the right medium. Be open-minded and you’ll be amazed at what you can discover.

  • Taurus

    To anyone who actually is a doctor or professional in the paranormal, thank you for your attention into this field. Do I know Jack about the device in question? Nope however I do know personally there is another side, I died as a child in my sleep but was sent back. Also I have a picture of my grandpa in it with his son, however my grandpa is dead. Believe me or not it’s something you have to witness so do or don’t but I find it a little insulting to refer to the dead as energy however I understand the logic behind it and any device that detects the dead pick up energy or voice so again the logic is there. I suppose the point is remain open minded, and only change a view point when you have what you personally can call proof and not what someone would like you to believe. But also be willing to admit when you are wrong

  • andy

    Okay, what do these ideas have in common. 1) The world is FLAT and sits on the back of a turtle. 2) The moon is made of green cheese. 3) There are canals of water and Martians on Mars. 4) The sun revolves around the earth and the earth is the center of the universe. Well, these were all beliefs held by people until a time came when technology and science brought the reality of the truth to us. Until that truth came, people were seriously prepared to kill others who differed in this long thought position. I believe it’s the same thing with the supernatural and ghosts or spirits. The technology is in it’s infancy and the devices may actually be in communication with a different dimension or…. actual spirits of past lives. How knows for sure, but TIME will tell!
    One other thing, though. The Bible and the Quran both speak of spirits and how important it is to NOT try to communicate with them as they can’t be trusted, thereby telling us that they DO EXIST. King Saul went directly against the law to find out how a battle was going to turn out, by using a medium to contact spirits. So, trying to contact “the other side”, isn’t a new concept.
    Whether the Olivus 3 works as stated or it doesn’t, doesn’t really concern me right now since I don’t have one. But I have done EVP sessions in my brand new home with incredible results. There’d be no reason why there’d be “spirits” here in a new home, but something is talking into the digital recorder and very clearly, I might add. I have received clear answers to questions I have asked. I have received people’s names, occupations and comments from who knows what.

  • Dave

    I don’t have any scientific understanding of PX boxes and things that you people do, but I can argue that just because I can’t see electricity it doesn’t exist. I can’t see thunder either, but I can hear it, so I know it exists. However, I do believe that people use electronic equipment for backward reasons. Take an EMF detector for instance. Most “investigators” rely on EMF spikes to detect the presence of a ghost. But high EMF can also cause the human brain to see things that aren’t there, hear things that haven’t occurred, and all kinds of nifty things (research the “God Helmet”). With that in mind, I take the opposite approach. If I start feeling that I’m being watched, or I start seeing shadow figures, or what have you, I’ll check my EMF meter. If the readings are high, I’ll tend to blame the high EMFs and their effects on my brain that to claim I’ve seen a ghost.
    As far as the Ovilus Box is concerned, I don’t have electronics knowledge, but the reason I question the PX box’s ability is based on my own dumb reasoning. How is a 500 year-old ghost going to know how to manipulate an electronic field to convert energy waves into words through a box? It’s all beyond me. But, I can’t knock the Ghost Radar; it’s fun to play with.

  • https://www.facebook.com/james.macdougall James MacDougall

    I don’t think calling him a douche bag helps make a point anymore than your bizarrely structured non-sentence. What were you trying to say? And calling me a douche bag isn’t going to convince me you have anything to say.

    His point is very clearly made. He states that because we do not know what a ghost is there is no logic or evidence that electronic devices interact with the thing we call ghosts any more than they interact with fairies or unicorns.

  • Sarafina

    Amen Bro!

  • Mr.Krinkle

    hey dudes.
    your opinions are very interesting!
    in your fiction is something truly…
    and in your true is something fiction…
    in my eyes, it dosen’t matter if you choose a glass or some electronic equipment…
    i think, its everytime the same energy that we use to communicate…but, this is my own opinion.

  • Mister Mister

    Obama also go a Nobel prize and did nothing to deserve it. What does that say about the Nobel prize? Pick a better analogy.

  • Martin J. Clemens

    Do you seriously not understand the difference between a Nobel Peace Prize and a Nobel Prize?

  • cybervigilante

    I remember a friend buying an aura camera for ten grand. But then you also had to pay a dollar per picture, or the camera shut off, and not all of them turned out. The dollar fee, after paying ten grand to supposedly “own” the thing, was egregious since demos, poor lighting, retakes, adjusting to environment, etc, meant you sometimes spent five or six bucks before you even made money. It was a scam, IMHO. Few folks could make money while coughing up dollars for pictures that didn’t.

  • DavidFrancis

    @Chris But your using machines that designed to just randomly spit out words that have a spooky connotation to begin with.

  • DavidFrancis

    @Sean N. No thanks…too many foolish people running around using this bogus technology to tell people that their homes are haunted.  It’s reprehensible.

  • DavidFrancis

    @Rob S. Yeah, that’s pretty much what’s going on.  I’ve got a copy of a full report detailing how a supposed “researcher” did exactly what you detailed using a KII and a Blackberry.

  • DavidFrancis

    @SommerJonez it’s no different than a OUIJA board, and designed for the same reason – to part believers in spirit communication from their money.  These things ARE the OUIJA boards of the 21st century.

  • DavidFrancis

    @Justthink Anyone who thinks critically can.

  • DavidFrancis

    @Jadin Shore Yeah, but because it’s junk, whatever it does it useless as far as research goes.

  • DavidFrancis

    @phil summers Even though people state that the law of conservation when discussing survival of death, we have no idea how the energy lost at the time of death could or even would manifest, or even if it were to manifest as an intelligent entity.

  • Jazmine

    Just because your home is “new” does not mean the soil its built on is. the spirits could be linked
    to the land

  • Laurada

    Still, belief and proof are still totally seperate subjects. We can prove that humans are obsessed with death (or trying to avoid it by attemptinv to live as long as possible or immortalize themselves by dying as quickly as possible) and that nature the God made it is pretty impressive but as you said, the bible and the qu’ran though not referring to the same realm do suggest a spiritual realm of some sort. Being raised a christian evangelical who constantly suffers supernatural/paranormal attacks makes me look like a nut. Trying to prove I’m not crazy is even harder with skeptical parents but think about it this way, if it is genuinely a “ghost” that is talking or trying to communicate through these devices, who can say it’s not a demon disguised as a loved one or even manipulating memories of a loved one to lure people in to the spiritual realm? There has always been an obsession with death, think egypt, mummies, but how did they prove that kings that died were still kings once dead? Only by faith. Without faith, the obsession with or of death is pointless, and those seeking answers will never find the answers they want. Simple as that. Sure you could use these man made devices to chat with dead people but there is no real benefit to doing that. A person who died over 20 years ago has no idea that obama is an absolute jerk on a power trip. Until you give them that information, it’s like their stuck in time and if they died in a natural way, why would anyone go disturb their peace by trying to remind them they are dead. That to me is the most disrespectful thing living humans can do. It’s not different at all than grave robbers. Why not try that instead? It’s a bad idea. Think about it.

  • Laurada

    Well it proves that people are as much obsessed with death as they were in ancient egypt when they mummified kings burying treasures with their royalty in an attempt to preserve their status. However, talking to the dead doesn’t just go against christian or muslim beliefs. Think about it this way: if you die naturally of old age having lived a full life and now enjoy your afterlife, if there is one, why would you want to be reminded of the living? Why don’t you just go rob graves and call that a legitimate career. It’s rude, disrespectful not to mention deceitful. Who can actually say that you genuinely communicate with a deceased human? Maybe it’s a demon using your loved one to lure you into this obsession with/of death? Maybe you disturb the peacefully dead ones making them not so gratefully dead. It’s rude either way. Leave the dead as dead.

  • http://amazon.co.uk Piotr Zalewski

    Complete rubbish article. I am using ghost box for for long time for real live conversation with spirits. If you can tak a moment go to amazon.co.uk and see that people are very happy with that product. .five stars. You should see spirit box sesions on YouTube too. You have to be determined speak to them and provoke it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/melissa.garza.77715 Melissa Garza

    I have died for over 4 and 1/2 minutes, and came back. I have always been able to see and hear spirits, but after my death experience, things became much more clear and active.

    People (Humans) tend to only believe in what they see. I know what I know, see what I see and what I have seen. I know the other side exists because I was there.

    I recently joined a paranormal group to gather evidence to scientifically prove what I already know for myself to be true, to other’s.

    I really want one of the Ovilus 3’s and an SB7 Spirit Box to add to my arsenal of equipment.

    Through trial and error…maybe one day we will figure all this out…or maybe we are NOT meant to figure it out until we, ourselves die, as I did.

    I am on the fence about spending $300 on an Ovilus 3 device, but I may splurge $100 on an SB7 Spirit Box.

    Love and Light to ALL!!!!!

  • Jarrod Stuntebeck

    Yes, Martin Clemens you make some very accurate and great points indeed. There is no definitive proof that ghosts exist at all so there would be no way a device can be made to communicate with something that isn’t scientifically proven. Yes, I’m sure everyone that tries out this Ovilus III or any other paranormal equipment has a nagging suspicion in the back of their minds that the equipment is rigged in some witty fashion. But, don’t you find it quite hypocritical that you are basically creating the assumption that this device is a “useless piece of crap” because there is no proof that ghost or entities exist in the first place? Where is the scientific proof that they don’t exist? For you to voice your opinion that you think the whole concept is a bogus deal is fine, but you sound awful conceited that what you are writing about is the definitive truth and everyone else is caught up in a huge “Scam”. Using a lot of paranormal research devices I have seen too many coincidences to dismiss that there isn’t something manipulating the environment around me that we don’t fully know about. I am not disagreeing with your opinion, just simply stating that you may be the person that is being fooled.

  • http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/ovilus-iii-the-evolution-of-a-scam/ Guest

    LolI can assure you the ovilus works. I don’t have an ovilus but I do have a radio that will continuously scan through radio stations. I have contacted several demons and spirits with the radio, I took it to a grave yard and it was litterally like 100s of people talking through the radio. I even got it to read names off of graves. I have filmed all of this me and my friends. I wasn’t a believer before until I started messin around with the stuff, it still blows my mind that we can contact spirits with a simple radio. We went to the ww2 section of the graveyard and contacted several veterans and thanked them for their service and in reply they thanked us. It was really something I can’t explain and I don’t expect anyone to believe me but you can do this yourself. If you do this tho I do insist that you use EXTREME caution if trying to contact a loved one who has passed or anyone on the other side because demons lie to you and deceive you so you continue to contact them. They will follow you home and haunt you, this has happened to me and my friends. Demons are 100% real no doubt in my mind there is a human spirit. We don’t mess with it anymore because this exact reason. This stuff is real people I’m not telling you to go buy this ovilus or anything I’m just letting you know this is REAL stuff. It’s not just these ‘ghost boxes’ that you can contact spirits with either. Just using a simple sound recorder on your iphone or a simple voice recorder from the store you can get responses from spirits they will be faint whispers but you will get intelligent responses to your questions. Please use extreme caution people, follow The Lord Jesus Christ and these demons can not hurt you.

  • http://mysteriousuniverse.org Martin J. Clemens

    Thank you for that expert opinion. Where did you study electronics? Or perhaps was it physics?

  • edward lazaroff

    ok, so no one knows how the communication works, then no one can build a device to do so? Didn’t they say that about the car, airplane, space flight and cellphones? Or maybe even computers? Over a hundred years ago none of these things were around but someone made them. Not saying that these people definitively made a way to speak to spirits but maybe they did? If you believe in God and the Devil and heaven and hell, then you believe in ghosts and spirits. It’s the same thing. With so much real evidence out there, you focus on the nutjobs to support your theory against spirits.

  • David

    I have to agree putting out a equipment for sake of communication with spirits or whatever supernatural you are after is a gamble. Nothing is proven nothing is established. Is it possible maybe… I just see a market ploy built around touting something that is “used by experts or this guy or that. I would hope though that it does what its supposed to but until then this is not for me.

  • Neil

    I agree that creating a piece of equipment and selling it as a “guaranteed tool” to speak to the dead is ridiculous. However, I believe the Ovilus was born out of the theory that spirits seem to be able to manipulate or have some relationship with EMF fields. There are countless documented events showing paranormal activity also seems to effect local EMF fields at the same time. Wouldn’t it therefore be a feasible and reasonable idea to test a device that has an in-built dictionary word database with each word assigned a specific EMF field power and see if the spirits can then select the word they want to use by delivering the right amount of EMF at the device to trigger the word?

    This theory was why the early devices were field tested by paranormal investigators and not for sale to the general public en masse. However, with some truly incredible results showing that the device does indeed work very well and the theory seems to be a good one, the newer iterations of the device have been made to supply public demand.

    I know this, most people that buy one are blown away with the accuracy and relevancy of the words that come through at exact moments in response to specific questions.

    I also know that as humans we will try and make things fit for our own purpose too, so the use of these devices has to be done with a very sceptical approach and only accept responses that are truly relevant to the question/s being asked.

    I’m not saying I believe 100%, but I’m definitely not saying they’re “a useless piece of crap”…which is undoubtedly the most unscientific comment in this entire thread. To completely disregard something is just as bad as to completely believe in something without proof.

  • James

    Neil, I will tell you why. If there are ghosts, how would they know how to manupulate the ovilus to communicate? This bogus machine has been programmed with words according to environmental data it receives. So, if you don’t tell the supposed ghost about how to do it, how could it?

    It’s just another fraudulent machine sold to gullable people. I do believe that phenomena can manipulate SOME types of equipment, but it you do believe that ghosts are people who are deceased, then just how can they produce such super-human powers when they die????

    Stay away from any piece of paranormal equipment that talks…. Stay with standard forms of investigation.

  • Neil

    James, I don’t know or have any idea how a ghost would be able to manipulate the device. That’s the point I was making though…no one does. I simply postulated the theory as to observations that paranormal activity has been known on many occasions to disturb local EMF fields and this was why the device was created.To say that the machine is bogus is a finite statement. I’m always very wary of making those as even if you believe it is totally bogus, to state that it is, is something you can’t know for sure….well, unless you can provide me with evidence proving that it is?

    Have you de-constructed the device? Can you prove without any doubt that there is no way a ghost can use it? You see the problem with your statement is that first you would have to prove the existence of ghosts, and then get them to confirm they cannot use the device. Then you can make your statement with true accuracy and back it up with evidence.

    To me you’re no better than the people who say “The Ovilus works, it’s a great device”. However, the only difference between you and those people is that they can at least provide some evidence of the device working to back up their claim…..direct responses to questions asked, sometimes over ten successive replies in a row, all totally relevant to the questions being asked….this is something to work with and at the very least deserves some further investigation.

    Completely labelling the device as fraudulent or as the OP said “a useless piece of crap” is the most unscientific approach I have ever seen. At least back it up with some evidence.

  • http://www.vettedparanormal.com Bob

    People who believe in ghosts tend to get a little disjointed upon reading this article because it seemingly demeans and demotes everybody who does believe or has experienced a paranormal event. I empathize with those who are believers because some of these paragraphs seem to diminish the paranormal altogether. My challenge to those who do not believe that the paranormal occurs should take a step back and use some reasoning themselves. Skeptics can refute that certain things don’t exist all day long, but we know that even in science, things that we didn’t expect to exist indeed existed. I believe that the paranormal is a field that will one day be proven beyond a reasonable doubt eventually.

    I can also put myself in the shoes of skeptics and understand why these types can be so harsh towards anything paranormal. If skeptics have never experienced a supernatural event, more than likely they’ll never believe unless they are face to face with something that they cannot identify within their realm or reason or rational. I can, however, relate a bit to this article regarding the Ovilus 3 and it’s claims that this device can pickup the readings of the undead. Any device that claims it can pick up anything supernatural should disclose irrefutable details regarding said device and its claims. This is a question I intend to investigate myself after reading this article.

    Just my two cents.

  • http://www.vettedparanormal.com Bob


    I’ve started to read some of your posts on this site and I find it chock full of some really interesting stuff.

  • David

    I think the interesting part is that this one tool in all truth is the same as all tools. Just that a item to assist a investigator. I Mean no one can 100 percent claim that anything actually can detect or capture or even communicate. If you can combine them with other tools and use them in such a manor as to not manipulate a situation or modify then it may give it more credibility. a lot of people do paranormal for the attention it can bring them and go way overboard. and are lacking in any type of theory. Though I don’t have one of these partly due to cost partly due to fact prefer to do evp and photography/video.I would not use it by itself If I were to use one. I do honor the fact that the inventor of the device at least has his own hypothesis and regarding his work so credit is due in that dept.