E.V.P. stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. These are defined as voices captured on audio recordings that were not heard by the investigators at the time the recording was made. EVP’s are divided into five classes.
A clear and distinct voice or sound that is universally accepted and undisputed, because it must be understood by anyone with normal hearing and without being told or prompted to what is being said or heard. It can be heard without the use of headphones.
A voice or sound that is distinct and fairly loud. This class of voice is more common and can be heard by most people after being told what to listen for. It is usually audible to experienced persons who have learned the skill of listening to EVP. It can sometimes be heard without the use of headphones.
A faint and whispery voice or sound that can barely be heard and is sometimes indecipherable and unintelligible. It may have paranormal characteristics, such as a mechanical sound. Most investigators would apply objectivity and disregard it, but may save it for reference purposes.
There are other classes of EVP, but PIM does not think anything below Class C is actually anything to make note of and should be discarded. In fact, we even discard most EVPs that would fall into the Class C range. Our motto is, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Another type of audio that can be captured that is considered paranormal is called a Disembodied Voice. Essentially, this is a voice that is heard by the investigators during an investigation, but it did not originate from any living person. The main difference between this and an EVP is that a disembodied voice is heard at the time it is captured, whereas an electronic voice phenomenon is not heard at the time and isn’t discovered until the audio recordings are reviewed at a later date.
How can you make sure to get the best EVPs?
Here are a few simple guidelines used by PIM investigators to make sure that any electronic voice phenomenon we capture are of the highest quality and class rating:
Use High Quality Audio Recording Devices
Not all recording devices are built the same. Some offer higher quality “Lossless” formats of recording some of these file types include .wav and .flac. These formats are uncompressed, and they have a far lower chance of having audio artifacting (strange sounds caused by audio compression) found in formats such as .mp3. Buying the cheapest recorder you can find is also a mistake since the cheap recorders will have lower quality microphones and poor recording quality. PIM recommends the Zoom H1 recorder or one similar to it.
Many EVPs are captured as whispers and if you are whispering it will be very hard to distinguish your whispers from any responses you might be getting.
When asking questions in a session, speak slowly and clearly, in full voice. As many captured EVPs are quiet, this will ensure you will be easy to distinguish from any possible EVPs.
Avoid loud foods
Don’t eat something that will disagree with you before an investigation. The noises of your stomach digesting can be very loud when you are in complete silence, and the sound of a stomach gurgling can be misheard as mumbling, grunting and even growling. If you find yourself with a loud stomach during an investigation, make absolutely sure that you are…
Tag known noises
Tagging refers to announcing any noises you make or hear during the course of an investigation. Even the most innocuous sound can be picked up by audio recorders and be mistaken as an electronic voice phenomenon. Always call out any sounds you make or you know the source of whenever you can. Not only will this help rule out contamination from investigators and their surroundings, but it will also help you to notice and avoid the noises investigators can sometimes make during EVP sessions.
Let them answer
Avoid asking one question immediately after another. Our investigators’ standard is to allow at least 10 seconds of uninterrupted silence to allow any responses to be recorded. Otherwise, you or another investigator might talk right over an answer that will not be heard as a result.
Ask a lot of questions
There is really no wrong way to communicate, so don’t be shy and jump right in. Just remember not to whisper and always leave 10 seconds between questions.