Hayley is a Ghost

Electronic Voice Phenomena

Electronic Voice Phenomena (E.V.P for short), is a widely discussed topic within the anomalous phenomena research field with people using E.V.P recordings as proof that ghosts/spirits exist and can communicate with us.

E.V.P are found on recordings of white noise or background noise that seemingly contain human sounding voices that were not heard at the time or recording.

There is much debate surrounding the accuracy and success of E.V.P as an investigating technique, the problem with E.V.P recordings is the fact that there are numerous causes for these recordings that are a lot more plausible than the “voices of the deceased” explanation. Despite this a majority of people still present these recordings as proof that ghosts exists.

Ghost researchers that use dictaphones to capture EVP recordings often classify their recordings depending on the clarity of the ‘voices’ they captures.

Class A: Voices are very clear and easily understandable by many.

Class B: Voices are fairly loud and clear and are sometimes audible without headphones.

Class C: Voices are very soft and often indecipherable and often need to be enhanced for clarity.

It is true that some of these recordings are easier to understand and hear than others, but this does not provide evidence that they are caused by spirits of the dead. The clarity of these recordings could simply be down to a number of the contributing factors that cause people to think they’ve captured a voice, as outlined below.

External Interference
E.V.P recordings made on devices which contain RLC circuitry can be caused by radio signals from broadcast sources. Interference from CB Radio transmissions, walkie talkies, and wireless baby monitors, or anomalies generated through cross modulation from other electronic devices are all documented causes for E.V.P – It is even possible for circuits to resonate without any internal power source by means of radio reception!

Auditory Pareidolia/Apophenia
When listening to a jumble of noises and sounds on recordings of background noise/ambient noise/white noise, it can be easy to interpret random noises as familiar noises such as human speech, singing, cries, moans etc. when in fact they are just random noises of no significance.

Apophenia is defined as “the spontaneous finding of connections or meaning in things which are random, unconnected or meaningless” and is similar to the pareidolia theory above.

Auto-Gain Circuit
Most hand-held video and audio recording equipment have an auto-gain circuit that is designed to to keep a consistent level of sound, basically when a noise is too loud it ‘turns down’ the recording volume and when the environment is quieter it turns the recording volume up in order to try to record something. The obvious problem here is that the recording you are listening to may sound up close to the recording device but could actually be quite a distance away.

Internal mechanisms

Recording devices that have moving parts, such as those that use tapes, can often record what sounds like anomalous sound or E.V.P when in fact what you are listening to are the clunks, squeaks and ticking sounds of the internal mechanisms of the actual recorder moving.

Due to the above logical, possible explanations for how people record what appears to be voices that were not present at the time of recording, it is not possible to use any alleged E.V.P recording as proof of a spirit presence within a location.

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2 Responses to "Electronic Voice Phenomena"

Hi Hayley. Very happy to see a young person like you doing this. I am in part an electronics technician. Your External Interference category probably accounts for a large number of these recordings. Almost any high gain amplifier can act as a radio receiver. Even a low gain audio system can detect strong local radio stations. Usually, multiple stations are heard at once because of the lack of selectivity. This adds to the other-worldly sound of radio heard this way. It is also very easy to make a tape recorder or other audio device receive radio wave by removing the radio frequency bypassing that is used in some of the audio gain circuits, especially the sensitive preamps. A person who finds a poorly designed piece of audio equipment that leaks in radio interference is likely to think “This device is really sensitive to spirits.” Thus there is conscious selection for these devices. Lastly, as far as tape recorders are concerned, tapes do not erase completely. Faint voices/sounds can often be heard from previous recording sessions on the same tape. Your comment about AGC comes into play here too as the recorder struggles to detect something.

[…] have is this odd noise that Don and his friends are claiming IS evidence. The problem here is that there are so many possible alternative causes for such strange noises (often referred to as ‘… that before anyone can say ‘this is supernatural’ they have to be able to cross off […]

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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