25 Oct

31 Ghost Stories – Day 25 – EVP, voices from beyond the grave

Posted by Bryan White | Monday October 25, 2010 | 31 Ghost Stories

I haven’t watched Ghost Hunters in a million years but I assume that in every episode either Grant or Steve has to explain what EVP stands for no less than twice. For your information, it stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and among the “evidence” collected and published to the internet by so-called paranormal investigators, this is the stuff that gives me that spookiest sensation. Most of the time, EVP is static buried in the noise floor of any given spectral recording but once in a while you hear something in there silence that is chilling. A distant voice hisses, admonishing you to get out of their house. Maybe they have a message for you, their name, the tragic declaration that they’re not dead, at least they don’t think they are.The guiding principle behind EVP is that spirit energy manifests here in our world as electromagnetic bursts. They exists on this plane but in a sort of vacuum and in order to interact with us, they have to gather ambient electromagnetic energy and then use it to move something, speak, appear, touch someone, etc. Paranormal investigators believe that analog tape, itself a magnet that captures electromagnetic pulses that reproduce sound, is the best way to capture EVP, though most of them use digital recorders these days since analog tape is becoming a scarce commodity. Do digital recorders work, too? I don’t fucking know. Do analog recorders actually capture the disembodied voices of the dead in the first place? Through it all I’m still extremely skeptical because of all the ghostly evidence out there, this is the most easily faked or misunderstood. Sometimes, though, it’s pretty fucking eerie. Here are some samples of ghostly voices caught on tape.

EVP recorded at Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, PA
Fort Mifflin was a Colonial bunker during The Revolutionary War and a POW camp during The Civil War and because of its tragic history, it has gained a pretty sick reputation for being a spooky place. Most EVP is shit and the people processing it as evidence have to do all kinds of crazy audio tricks to bring it out of the noise. It’s the audio equivalent of orb photos. There’s probably nothing there but they mess with it until the noise pattern sounds like someone talking. Not the case with this one. The investigator, from South Jersey Ghost Research asks “who are you?” and a voice replies fairly clearly.

EVP recorded at Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, PA
The ones I find creepiest are often these ones. They’re soft and whispy, like someone whispering into the microphone. This is another one from the South Jersey investigation of Fort Mifflin and once again, it took no ridiculous enhancements to bring it out. Apparently, it required no prompting, somebody just got too close to the spirit.

“Please, you don’t have to worry about me”
If there’s one thing that drives me nuts, it’s this idea that investigators hang around cemeteries at night snapping photos and recording the silence looking for evidence of something. It just doesn’t strike me as likely that spirits are bound to the place where their bodies areĀ  buried. Typical cases suggest that they’re locked down to locations like homes and to a lesser extent, important items. Some are attracted to certain people whose energy sustains them, but if this EVP is authentic it’s a spooky yet reassuring message from a spirit that just hangs out in a cemetery.

“You’re a slut”
Aggressive EVPs often have a nasty, distorted quality to them. Everybody has one that says “get out!” because it happens in Amityville. So much, in fact, that it seems like a novelty now. This one, however, was recorded by Ghost Hunters Ohio Search Team (GHOST, get it?) at the Mansfield Reformatory, the location that stood in for the prison in The Shawshank Redemption.

The Villisca Axe Murder house is supposed to be haunted but nothing ever really comes from investigations done there. Apart from the above video, that is. These could easily be forgeries but in the paranormal world, these are called Class A EVPs, they require no filtering or enhancement to be heard. The video slows the audio track after the initial play to make them easier to hear, but they really stand out during the first play through. The Villisca home is an extraordinarily sad story where in theories abound that a drifter descended on the two adults and six children living there and then savagely smashed them to pieces while they lay in bed. This happened in 1912 and no one has ever been arrested for the crime.

1 Comment 

  1. October 28, 2010 2:11 am

    tamaranorbust

    Too scared to listen! LOL.


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