8 February 2009, JellyBean @ 8:01 am

Author: David Slone

Electronic voice phenomenon, if true, seems to exceed the bounds of what is physically possible; thus, it is of paranormal origin. Colin Smith invented the term to describe speech or sounds resembling speech on recording media that has never been used.

Some researchers speculate that its origins rest in psychokenisis or the voices of spirits. Psychokenisis connotes the ability to move objects with your mind. It concerns the manipulation of matter and energy with just the mind.

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The best EVP caught on Ghost Hunters

Other researchers, more skeptical, point to pareidolia or radio interference. Pareidolia means that you mistakenly perceive images and sounds as being recognizable. A man in the moon, a face in ripples of glass windows, or hearing messages on records played in reverse are keen examples of pareidolia.

Most EVP sounds are in short, abrupt segments, usually the length of a word or phrase; sentences are uncommon, but not unheard of. The segments are frequently heard in the language of the listener.

A psychologist, Konstantin Raudive, conducted over 100,000 recordings under different conditions. His research amassed some conclusions about elements that all EVP sounds share. They used an altered rhythm compared to customary speech, were short in duration and resembled telegram-like speech, did not follow grammatical guidelines and rules, and several languages were heard over the space of a single recording.

Possible explanations, paranormal and non-paranormal, have been proposed and scrutinized by researchers and laymen.

A paranormal explanation, for example, is the idea that bodiless, ethereal spirits, in the absence of their own vocal cords, imprint their messages on recording media through some elusive method. Another is that extraterrestrials communicate, intentionally or accidentally, through some blip in space-time. The third most common idea is psychokenisis in which the subject is said to possess influence over matter with his mind. This term is popular in parapsychology.

Non-paranormal and scientific explanations include interference, pareidolia, capture errors, processing artifacts, and hoaxes. Interference is common when EVP phenomenon is recorded on devices that contain RLC circuitry. The sounds are, evidently, voices and sounds from broadcast radio sources. Capture errors are anomalies created by the overamplification of a signal at the time when it was initially recorded. A plethora of odd noises can result from it. A processing artifact is a sound that results from attempts to boost the clarity of an existing signal. I.e., frequency isolation, re-sampling, and noise reduction and enhancement can all conspire to create a sound that is artificially unique in comparison to the original.

Important researchers of the past and present are notable in the course of your further studies in electronic voice phenomenon. Some names to remember are Attila von Szalay, Raymond Bayless, Alexander MacRae, Judith Chisholm, Konstantin Raudive, Friedrich Jurgenson, Hans Bender, William O’Neil, and Sarah Estep. Many of these researchers made strides in exploring and popularizing EVP, but they don’t represent a good sample of current researchers. This is because there are very few researchers today. There are scant articles in peer-reviewed journals, but EVP continues to be ignored by scientists at large. Experiments have produced mixed results. Despite this, there are several organizations that collect research, articles, photographs, and other media that support the legitimacy of EVP.

In the end it is up to you to decide whether or not electronic voice phenomenon recordings are of paranormal origin or if they have a more mundane explanation.

To learn more about the paranormal world visit the Paranormal and Ghost Forum where you can chat with others and post your paranormal questions and comments. To read more about EVP’s and to hear some examples visit EVP’s – Electronic Voice Phenomenon at True Ghost Tales.

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