Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices. Parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive, who popularized the idea in the 1970s, described EVP as typically brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase.
Enthusiasts consider EVP to be a form of a paranormal phenomenon often found in recordings with static or other background noise. Scientists and skeptics regard EVP as a form of auditory Pareidolia. Is there a way to communicate with the dead? Attempts to do so have been made over the centuries through oracles, séances, mediums, and psychics.
One fascinating aspect of EVP is that the voices sometimes respond directly to the people making the recording. For example, the researchers ask a question to which the voice will answer or comment. Again, this response is not heard until later when the tape is played back.
Thomas Edison tried to invent an EVP device but was never successful. Reverend Drayton Thomas while investigating the abilities of Medium Gladys Osborne Leonard claimed to have captured disembodied voices on tape. He believed one of them to have been his father. American photographer Attila von Szalay began his attempts to capture spirit voices using a 78-RPM Pack-Bell record-cutter and player either in the late 1930s or early 1940s. At first not successful he then teamed up with psychologist Raymond Bayless in the early 1950s but didn’t have much better results.
If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties, and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore … if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.Thomas Edison
In the late 1940s Marcello Bacci of Grosseto, Italy, claimed to be able to pick up voices of the deceased on a vacuum tube radio. In 1952, Two Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father Gemelli, inadvertently picked up EVP while recording Gregorian chants on a reel-to-reel tape recorder called a Magnétophone.
In 1959, Swedish film producer Friedrich Juergenson was recording bird songs. Upon playback, he could hear his deceased mother speaking to him. He became known as the “Father of EVP” after hundreds more of these types of recordings. Hearing of Juergenson’s success Latvian psychologist Dr. Konstantin Raudive began his own experiments in 1967.
He also recorded his mother’s voice and thousands of others. Spiritual researchers George and Jeanette Meek joined forces with psychic William O’Neil and recorded hundreds of hours of EVP recordings using radio oscillators in the 1970s and ’80s. They were allegedly able to capture conversations with the spirit of Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, a university professor and NASA scientist who passed away in 1967.
- Magnetophone, or simply Magnetophon, was the brand or model name of the pioneering reel-to-reel tape recorder developed by engineers of the German electronics company AEG in the 1930s, based on the magnetic tape invention by Fritz Pfleumer. AEG created the world’s first practical tape recorder, the K1, first demonstrated in Germany in 1935 at the Berlin Radio Show. [Back]