This time of year, everyone is “into” haunted houses, Halloween, and spirit/ghost communication. But many aren’t aware of the best way to record those ghostly voices known as Electronic Voice Phenomena. Here’s a quick “how-to” to get you started!
First, it’s important to know how EVPs are classified. When you’re finally sitting down to listen to your recordings, the Class A EVPs will jump out at you, sounding like an audible whisper, while the Class B and C will be more difficult to find and interpret (the vast majority of EVPs I have recorded are Class B).
CLASSES OF EVPs (Developed by Sarah Estep (deceased), Association of TransCommunication)
A – Audible and clearly interpreted. Less common.
B – Audible, but may need headphones to hear it. Interpretation of what is said may be different from one individual to another. A more common class of EVP.
C – Typically requires the use of headphones, sounds paranormal in nature, however, some or all words are indecipherable. Often disregarded or not used as evidence.
[Reverse] – A controversial EVP class that results from playing a suspected EVP in reverse (Class A or B only), which makes it intelligible. Not all consider this a valid class of EVP.
HERE ARE MY BEST HINTS FOR RECORDING GREAT EVPs:
1. GO TO SOMEPLACE WITH A KNOWN HISTORY OF GHOST OR SPIRIT ACTIVITY.
If you really want an EVP, going to someplace that just looks spooky won’t do. Find a place that has been frequented by paranormal investigators, as there are spirits there and they’ll likely know how to use your equipment to “speak” to you.
2. CHOOSE A TIME WHEN EXTERNAL NOISE IS MINIMAL.
A lot of background noise means you won’t be able to hear or isolate EVPs. This is why some investigators work at night, but EVPs can easily be recorded during the daytime if it’s quiet enough.
3. USE THE BEST RECORDING DEVICE YOU CAN (But smartphones do work!).
A quality recorder will cut down on background noise and result in better, clearer EVPs. I prefer a separate digital recorder that has an on-board USB port so that I can use my phone for other apps, such as a thermal digital camera. But on a fixed budget, a smartphone will do. And don't MOVE the recorder. Put it down and step back so that background noise doesn't dominate your recordings!
4. ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS VS. YES OR NO QUESTIONS.
The key to a great EVP is that it answers the investigator’s questions, confirming that the responder has consciousness. Ask for names, the current year, what they did there, why they are there, etc.
This method results in much more valid EVPs than any other questioning approach!
5. BE RESPECTFUL AND COURTEOUS (SAY PLEASE AND THANK YOU).
Spirits were once people, so it is important to treat them with respect. I also have had quite a few great EVPs of spirits saying “Thank you” or repeating a positive comment I’ve made.
Just like us, spirits like compliments and positive interaction, so don’t mirror what is on TV and provoke them or try to make them angry. If you want great full sentence EVPs, then you want to have a conversation, not an argument.
When you get home, the work begins! Minimally tweak the recording, using audio auditing software (several are available at no cost online). Always make a copy of the original recording and work from the copy, as the more changes made to the original, the greater the chance that your great EVP will be lost.
Check YouTube for some instructional videos on how to identify and enhance your recorded EVPs. And, trust me, there’s nothing like the feeling of finding your first legitimate spirit communication!
Have you tried to record EVPs? Were you successful? Here's a link to my YouTube Channel so you can check out some of mine!
Dr. Carol Pollio
Director, Intuitive Investigations®
Auerbach, L. (2005). Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal. Ronin Publishing: Berkeley, CA. 144 pp.
Association of TransCommunication. (2009). EVP Formation. Available online: http://atransc.org/evp-formation/