Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recordings comprise important data for those who style themselves professional ghost hunters. EVP has been around since the advent of electronic sound on records and radio, but it's becoming more popular than ever thanks to digital recording's accessibility and affordability. Believers in EVP swear that spirits or sounds from another plane of existence like the afterlife can be captured in our world. Here's a few helpful tips about how to make EVP recordings.
Choose Your Machine
EVP has been captured on almost any recording device imaginable. Cassettes, CDs, digital recording methods like computers, and even records have met with success at capturing strange voices. Today, many use laptops or other digital recording devices. This is due to superior sound quality as well as the ability to quickly locate interesting sounds with recording software.
Whatever your medium, you should know that many consider EVP a quiet phenomenon. To have a true shot at recording and playing back a ghostly voice, you should always test your equipment before hand. To do this, record a few minutes in total silence, then play it back. This should be done with the device's volume cranked up. If you don't hear any background distortions or staticky sounds, then you've found a quality tool for measuring EVP.
Active or Passive Recording
Ghost hunters differ on whether or not they should try to provoke a response from the spirit world. Some researchers prefer staying with their equipment the entire time, asking questions in hopes of an an answer. Others will leave their recorder alone to completely minimize any interference from the world of the living.
How much time does it take? There isn't a hard rule here, but it's often limited by hard drive space or the battery life of a recording device. Most EVP hunters prefer to get at least a few solid hours of sound on disc before analyzing.
Choosing a Location
Once you've rounded up your equipment and selected a method, then finding a location is the next step. Some people prefer to scope out sights in their own houses and neighborhoods for unknown visitors. Others will try to visit a place that's thought to be haunted, or an area where the dead are believed to congregate, such as a cemetery or old battlefield.
Safety considerations and common sense should always come into play for a successful experience. Don't break into abandoned properties where injuries or legal consequences may be waiting. Don't leave recording equipment unattended in places where it could be stolen.
EVP hunting grounds near noisy roads and power lines are to be avoided as well. Traffic and electromagnetic pulses are terrible culprits that will render many EVP efforts useless.
Interpreting the Data
How to interpret recordings to determine if a supernatural voice is really present is no easy task. You will probably need to listen to recordings at least two or three times with a keen ear to detect anything of interest. Again, software that automatically picks up and graphs spikes in volume is extremely useful.
Keep in mind that well known EVP voices are often faint, and even the most successful include just a few words or sentences. Don't expect to hear whole conversations or monologues from the spirit realm.
Archiving EVP and labeling records that detect anything out of the ordinary is worthwhile. For obvious reasons, many paranormal investigators like to revisit sites that have produced good EVP.
Going on the prowl for spectral disturbances is an effort that demands patience, common sense, and a little technical knowledge. But if you ask any serious EVP seeker if their labors are worth it, they are sure to say yes.