Over the course of history, people have tried to communicate with the dead through such means as sÃ©ances, oracles, mediums and psychics. Today, however, the growing trend is EVP â€“ electronic voice phenomenon.
EVP involves using tape recorders or other audio equipment to capture voices from beyond. Through this means, voices of men, women and children can be heard, as well as other noises that may or may not be distinguishable. Often, it is difficult to actually hear the words that are spoken, but now special amplification and noise-filtering equipment is also available.
There are three classes of EVP. Class A is one where words are easily understood, while Class B usually features voices that are somewhat warped. Class C is the most difficult to understand.
One of the most interesting features of EVP is that voices from beyond may respond directly to the person who is making the recording. For instance, if you ask a specific question, you may get an answer or comment on it.However, no one really knows where these voices actually come from. Some say they are lingering spirits, while others believe they come from another dimension. Yet others claim that the voices are merely a reflection of a personâ€™s own subconscious and that his or her thoughts are recorded. As well, there are skeptics who say EVP are simply random noises, voices already on a tape or voices picked up from radios, cell phones or other sources.
Regardless of what you may think, even Thomas Edison wanted to communicate with the dead in the 1920s and tried to invent a machine would allow him to do so.
"If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties, and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore â€¦ if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something."
Edison never managed to create a machine that could do that, but in the 1930s, Attila von Szalay, an American photographer did. He used a phonograph record cutter to capture spirit voices.
In the â€˜40s, Marcello Bacci of Grosseto, Italy claimed that he had picked up voices on a vacuum tube radio and then in the â€˜50s, two Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father Gernelli, inadvertently recorded EVP while taping Gregorian chants on a magnetophone. It seems the wire on the machine kept breaking, so Father Gernelli asked his dead father for help. Much to his surprise, his fatherâ€™s voice was recorded as saying: â€œOf course, I shall help you. Iâ€™m always with you.â€
In 1959, a Swedish film producer was recording bird songs and was surprised when he played back the tape to hear his motherâ€™s voice. Friedrick Jeurgensonâ€™s mother said: â€œFriedrich, you are being watched. Friedel, my little Fiedel, can you hear me?â€ He then went on to record hundreds of voices, which earned him the title of â€œFather of EVP.â€
He also wrote two books on the phenomenon: â€œVoices from the Universeâ€ and â€œRadio Contact with the Dead,â€ which drew the attention of a Latvian psychologist, Dr. Konstantin Raudive. While initially skeptical, Raudive experimented himself and managed to capture thousands of voices, including that of his mother.
The most notable EVP enthusiasts of the â€˜70s and â€˜80s were spiritual researchers George and Janette Meek, who along with psychic William Oâ€™Neil recorded hundreds of hours of EVP recordings using radio oscillators.
Today, EVP is used by both individuals and many ghost research societies worldwide. If youâ€™d like to try it, there are some things you should know. First of all, you donâ€™t need expensive equipment, any special knowledge or psychic ability. You only need a cassette recorder with a plug-in microphone, new, good quality audiotapes and plenty of patience. Take these items to a cemetery or other location where you think you might pick up voices, but be sure that there are no background noises, such as traffic or other sounds. To begin, record the date, time and location and if you feel so inclined, ask any spirits to speak to you and then let the recorder continue for a few minutes. Some people also set their recorderâ€™s counter to zero when they begin.
(Some EVP researchers use the static or â€œwhite noiseâ€ that is found between stations on a radio. However, this is another method altogether.)
The next step then, is to rewind the tape and listen to see what you picked up. Turn up the volume, because voices can be faint. If you get nothing, donâ€™t be discouraged. It often takes a number of tries before one succeeds. If you do hear something, listen carefully to determine if the sound may be something other than a voice. If youâ€™re sure that you have the real thing, transfer the recording to your computer in a .wav file so you can share it with others.