Monday, January 24, 2011

What's an EVP?

Today I want to talk about one of the most popular phenomena being studied by paranormal investigators- EVP.

There’s actually been quite a bit of debate about what an EVP actually is. Every group has their own variation of what actually constitutes an EVP but many groups are starting to agree on a basic definition and classification system. The easy way to think of an EVP is simply a voice caught on some sort of recording device that can’t be explained by natural causes.

EVPs are important because they often give us insight into the spirit world and sometimes are in direct response to questions asked by investigators. It’s a small way for us to interact directly with spirits. They are fairly easy to capture and can be found at anytime of the day. It’s also thought that they can be captured in any location but there is a definite increase in their frequency at highly active locations. Another characteristic of an EVP is that it is not heard by human ears at the time it’s captured. A spirit voice heard by humans is often referred to as a disembodied voice.

There are 3 basic classifications of EVP, although many groups have their own more detailed systems for ranking them.

Class A EVP: This is an EVP that is easy to hear and understand. It can be a single word or several sentences strung together. These EVPs are what most investigators try to capture because they give us the clearest insight to the spirit world.

Class B EVP: A class B EVP is an EVP that is somewhat understandable, although there may be parts that are difficult to make out. With Class B EVPs often different people will hear different things in the recording based on how they interpret the sound.

Class C EVP: These are EVPs that are very difficult to hear and understand. Often investigators capture EVPs that are clearly someone vocalizing but it’s impossible to define what is being said.

It’s important if you are trying to capture EVP to have a good understanding of both your equipment and the environment you are recording in. You should know where all your potential noise sources are coming from. If sounds can be heard from outside they can potentially be picked up on a recorder or camera. Sometimes investigators will lock a recorder into a room to help reduce sound contamination. It is not uncommon to capture EVP this way.

Investigators should also be aware that living humans can also make sounds that are similar to EVP. Whispering, shuffling feet, and distant talking can all be picked up by recorders. It’s important for investigating to tag these sort of noises on a recording during the actual session to reduce cross contamination.

Some ghost hunting groups are also starting to introduce white noise into EVP sessions with the hopes that it will make it easier for the spirits to vocalize. This practice is relatively new and researchers are only just starting to really study it.

Anyone with a recorder, a little time, and a haunted location can capture an EVP. There are many free editing programs available online. Every recording we capture is another small window into a world we are just starting to understand. So if you are interested, go out there and see what you can capture!


  1. We have something like that here in the Ozarks and in the surronding area. It's called an Ozark Howler and I just started a Paranormal novel with this as the subject. They are large panther type cats who are reported to have longish hair and horns who have a very distinct howl. Have a great evening and stop by if you get a chance. Howlynn

  2. Ooh, sounds like my kind of monster. Good luck with your novel! :)

  3. That's some intriguing info...and can make for some creepy scenes in a story!!

  4. I think there is a lot of good story potenital with EVPs. Someone just needs to write it. :)