Sunday, July 10, 2011

Electronic Voice Phenomenon

Electronic Voice Phenomenon, widely known as EVP's, are a huge topic in the world of paranormal (pseudo)science, especially with those topics having to deal with ghosts. EVP's are the recording of a "spirit voice," which can't be heard by the human ear but show up on electronic devices. This is often associated with the voices of the dead trying to communicate with the living. They are very popular, like in the hit TV show Ghost Adventures as they excite people by giving them a glimpse in to the unknown. It is said that EVP's can record voices that the human ear doesn't pick up on because ghosts communicate through electromagnetic energy and not sound waves.

EVP's have had a long history, beginning with Thomas Edison's attempt at creating a phonograph which could communicate with spirits of the dead in the 1890's. Over the past 120 years, many have attempted to catch their own EVP recordings and today nearly everybody has access to equipment that could aid in this, using devices as simple as a tape recorder. Just because EVP's have had a long history does not lend them credibility, however.

EVP samples are not reliable evidence of paranormal activity and not scientific, either. To begin with, the claims and samples are not really testable, falsifiable or repeatable. Also, samples are almost never collected under controlled conditions. Lastly, many EVP samples can be attributed to other things, like background noise, random white noise/interference on a radio, or apophenia, which is when people "spontaneously perceive connections and find meaningfulness in unrelated things," such as in the Rorschach Inkblot test.



  1. Every time I stumble across a show like Ghost Hunters I always get annoyed when they take background radio interference and say its a message from a spirit. It also bugs me even more when they try to say that it is a particular spirit and give the name of a person who lived in the house years before. I feel like ghost hunters in general scam people out of their money and just tell them what they want to hear.

  2. I was going to do my post on this, I think its very interesting. I like your findings on reasons its not plausible.

  3. With all the shows on ghost hunting (Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted, Paranormal State, etc) I can only believe that these 'experiences' are merely a draw for ratings. It seems too convenient to have all these 'other worldly' experiences on film.

  4. Watching many Ghost hunting shows I am always wondering the actual validity of the 'ghost voices' they gather because I never believed it. I also never knew the device was actually called an EVP and that it Thomas Edison had tried to create a device to hear from the dead. I enjoyed this post.