If you've ever watched a ghost show or read about investigations, one of the more common terms you will probably have come across is electronic voice phenomena, better known as EVP. EVP is the attempt to record and analyze spirit voices. Investigators and hobbyists have been using this method since roughly 1941, although EVP didn't get much attention or credence until 1956 when reel to reel recorders became widely available. People began to pay more attention to EVP methods again in 1959 when the American Society for Psychical Research began publishing articles on EVP methods and recordings. While we use a wide array of audio techniques during our investigations, I always tend to spend half of our audio work on site by using just a digital recorder with no enhancements. During an investigation last year I was walking through a cemetery by myself, recording an EVP session. At one point I asked 'what year did you die' and recorded a very faint voice responding with 1860 or 1960. The audio file is posted below, and I recommend headphones while listening to it as it is very faint.
The other method of recording spirit voices is known as instrumental trans communication, or ITC. This is a method of using a recorder as well as an electronic device to communicate with spirits. The method has been around since 1910, and the devices and techniques involved have improved as more modern technology was available. Friedrich Juergenson, Thomas Edison, Dr. Konstantin Raudive, Klaus Scheiber and Frank Sumption are all famous individuals and inventors who have pushed the field of ITC forward with modern devices and new techniques. We use ITC techniques for the other half of our audio sessions after we have conducted EVP sessions. The devices that we use are the SP7 spirit box and the SB11 spirit box. The boxes can scan radio frequencies at very high rates of speed in FM/AM and forward/reverse. I tend to scan FM in reverse at a scan speed of 100 milliseconds. The belief with these devices is that spirits can use the radio frequencies as well as the white noise between the frequencies to communicate with us. Because these devices use radio frequency the responses we get have to be very valid for us to consider them evidence. A faraday pouch to shield most of the radio frequency is also used on some investigations. In 2014 our team was investigating the fortress of Louisbourg when Amanda recorded a relevant response using ITC in the chapel of the Kings Bastion. In the clip you hear her asking if the spirits were soldiers and how they died. On recording she received the answer 'we all were shot.' This clip is very muffled due to editing filters and is listed below.
If people were interested in buying EVP or ITC devices I would recommend an Olympus recorder which are very good quality devices and generally don't cost very much (I think the one pictured above was $100.) An SB7 device is about $60 and is a very good box for beginners. Audacity is the free software that weedit all of our audio data with.
In the next few posts I will also be embedding videos and going into detail on the cameras and video cameras that we use, and why!