Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is a phenomenon known to record voices on electronic devices without actually hearing the voices while they are recorded. The recordings contain voices or words spoken by a spirit, ghost or other unknown entity.

EVP recording is used as a technique people use to attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones or during paranormal investigations. In addition to deceased spirits, various paranormal investigators say that EVP could be produced by psychic echoes from the past through psycho kinesis. Typically an EVP is brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase.

Anyone can record EVPs and one does not have to be a medium or anything of the sort to invoke the phenomenon, intentionally or not.

Many people believe that the voices are the voices of spirits attempting communication with us and that through the electronic equipment the spirits are able to come through and be heard when playing back the recording.

Skeptics of the paranormal attribute the phenomenon to what is called apophenia (finding of significance or connections between insignificant or unrelated phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language which might otherwise sound like random noise to a foreign speaker), artifacts due to low-quality equipment, and simple hoaxes.

There are many theories on how and why the phenomenon of EVP happens, but no one knows for certain and many scientists are baffled by this phenomenon.

Some EVPs need to be played backwards in order to hear the words spoken, which is normally not possible by human speech.

Some history

The idea of EVP first originated in the 1920’s by Thomas Edison who thought of the idea of creating a way to communicate with the dead. After the passing of his mother, he and his assistant, Dr. Miller Hutchison, began work on this device that would be called the Thomas Edison Communicator (TEC). Thomas Edison never got a chance to finish the device which apparently looks like a large microphone with no recording device. This has been debated, as he apparently never left any paperwork on his invention. The device was never completed.

In 1957 Friedrich Jurgenson, a Swedish film producer, discovered voices in the recording of a Documentary, even though no one else was around during the recording session. One of the voices was apparently that of his deceased mother who called him by a nickname known only by her. After hearing that, he went on to record for many more years and studied the phenomenon with great enthusiasm.


Some recordings thought to be EVP Phenomena are actually interference, especially those recorded on devices which contain RLC circuitry. These cases represent radio signals of voices or other sounds from broadcast sources as well as interference from CB Radio transmissions and wireless baby monitors or anomalies generated though cross modulation from other electronic devices. It is also possible for circuits to resonate without any internal power source by means of radio reception.

While it is impossible to prove that an EVP is from a spirit or dead loved one, we can eliminate when is due to a natural phenomenon. However, skeptics maintain that if they are not due to such things as interference or cross modulation, then some of the “voices” are most likely people creating meaning out of random noise or just hoaxes.

Likewise, some reported EVPs cannot be explained at all as the words or phrases spoken could only be known by the deceased or are so specific that they cannot be attributed to radio interference or any other well documented phenomenon.


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