How to record EVP
by Dr. Dave Oester

I recently evaluated an audio tape sent to me filled with what I was told was excellent EVP. After listening to this tape filled with squeals and excessive feedback, I felt I needed to take some time and teach some fundamentals about capturing EVP. Electronic Voice Phenomena is what we call capturing the voices of the dead with an audio recorder, either audio tape or digital format. The techniques that I will describe are simple, but effective. If you follow these techniques you should have the same success as I do.

Any recording device may function as your EVP recorder. I have used micro cassette recorders, regular hand held audio tape recorders, disc and digital recorders. While I may favor the digital format, the audio cassette tape recorders work equally as well. If you have questions about your EVP recording device, take this simple test. Turn your volume up to high and then back it off a hair. Record for two minutes then play the recording and listen to the background noise. What do you hear? If you can hear the natural sounds found in the background noise, you are all set for ghostly EVP. However, if you cannot hear the natural sounds in the background because of squeals or other interference that block out the soft quiet background sounds, than this recorder is not acceptable. The two minute recordings should be without artificial noise that interferes with the background sounds. You want a quiet two minutes, free of electronic squeals and or electronic hum that distorts the background sounds.

Valid EVP will sound human with human emotions often being expressed in their voices. This is the human quality retained by the "beyond the grave entities," known as spirits, souls or ghosts. Be aware that first generation digital recorders were poor recorders because those devices recorded digital static that fooled many people into thinking that had captured demonic or at least angry tormented souls yelling at them. The second generation recorders solved this problem and no longer are these digital recorders sensitive to digital static.

Long recording time is not necessary. The traditional approaches to recording EVP is to record hours and hours on tape then listen for hours and hours to those recordings. Very boring! If you follow our protocols and ask permission before recording, I have found that recording for ten minutes max at any one location has been most successful. If I move to a different location at the site, I start a new recording. I announce in a soft voice the location. While recording, I refrain from talking and from conversations. I am thinking of those whose voices I am seeking. I am wondering about their lives and what they might be doing. If I am visiting a cemetery, I will stand before a headstone and read the words as I think about the person buried there. I may read their name out loud and their death date.

Do not walk around while recording because the sounds of your footsteps are loud and clear. Footsteps become annoying and will cover up the voices of the dead. Find a spot and stand still for two or three minutes and if you want to move to another spot go quickly and again stand still. Do not move the recorder in your hand nor stroke the recorder with your fingers because the friction on the recorder case is recorded as a loud noise. Experiment at home so you know the limits of your recorder. If power lines are near, you may get a sixty cycle hum on the tape that is annoying.

When you play back your EVP recordings, listen to the background sounds. Nestled in those background sounds are, sometimes, human voices in conversation or making statements to you. This can all occur within a minute or less. Listen carefully and never discount human voices until you have separated them and listened very closely to determine if it was anyone in your group. Several times I thought I had picked up a group memberís voice, but upon closer examination, I found the voice to be another woman who was speaking. Some times you get complete sentences, other times just a word or two.

When conducting an investigation, never belittle or poke fun at those who have passed beyond the grave. This is asking for trouble and if you have someone like this in your group, ask them to leave. Negative people breed negativity and should be avoided. If you want to succeed in recording the voices from beyond the grave, a little common sense and manners are required. I was on one investigation and one of the couples arrived after having a fight. They were not in the best of spirits and later their negativity affected the entire group investigation. No one got any EVP as long as they were around that couple, but when I walked away from them, I got EVP and learned a good lesson along the way.

EMF Readers

EMF (electro-magnetic field) detectors- Ghosts produce electro-magnetic fields. These vary on size and strength depending on what the ghost is doing (or building up to do). Investigators use these to give them a heads up on where the ghost might be and if something is about to happen. Electro-magnetic fields are generated by almost everything (you and me included) T.V, radios, computers, wires in the wall, microwaves- you name it, chances are it make them. This is why using these can be tricky, especially indoors and around electrical equipments. Though if you learn how to use these, it might help you get some nice pictures and not be as surprised if a vase slides across the table.


For the believer no proof is necessary, for the non-believer no proof is possible (Stewart Chase 1929)

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