EVPs Simplified

by Joe Cairney

One of the most common forms of evidence that WCPI obtains during investigations are EVPs. EVP is the abbreviation for the term Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Basically, an EVP is noise or words that have been picked up by a recording device that was not able to be heard by the human ear at the time of the recording. EVPs usually occur in response to a question or comment made by an investigator.

There are three classifications of evp, which are commonly accepted among paranormal investigators:

Class A: A clearly identifiable word or expression loud enough to be heard without the aid of headphones or amplification.

Class B: A word or expression that may not be recognizable by every investigator, but can be heard with, and sometimes without, the use of headphones or amplification.

Class C: A word or phrase that is very soft and faint, and is not identifiable and needs the use of headphones or amplification to be comprehended.

You can hear some examples of EVPs we obtained during our investigations by visiting our Evidence Clips page.

The following is a brief history of the EVP, obtained from Winter Steel.com Paranormal Resource. Unfortunately, the site no longer exists:

EVP is the first high-technology attempt to communicate with the dead and other discarnate beings. Thomas Alva Edison believed that an electronic device could be built for such a communication. He was fascinated by spirit photography and believed that if spirits could be captured on film, they could be reached electronically. Edison announced in the October 1920 issue of ‘Scientific American’ that he was working on such a device, but it was not completed prior to his death in 1931. He left behind no machine and no plans for one.

In 1936, Attila Von Szalay began experimenting with a record cutter and player in an attempt to capture voice on phonograph records. He said that he began to hear a ‘tiny voice’ in the air near him in 1938. He believed the voice belonged to his dead son, Edson. The experiments yielded what sounded like male and female voices, whistles and rapping. In 1947, Von Szalay tried using a wire recorder in an effort to improve his results but had difficulty with the wire.

In the 1950′s, George Hunt Williamson attempted to tape paranormal voices. In 1956, Von Szalay began experiments with researchers {including Raymond Bayless and D. Scott Rogo} to capture voices on electronic tape.

The EVP remained in obscurity until the unexpected discovery of Friedrich Jurgenson, a Swedish opera singer, painter and film producer. In 1959, Jurgenson tape recorded bird songs in the country side near his villa. On play back, he heard a male voice discuss “nocturnal bird songs” in Norwegian. At first he thought it was interference from a radio broadcast but nonetheless made other recordings to see if the same thing happened. Though he heard no voices during taping, many voices were heard on playback. The voices gave personal information about Jurgenson, plus instructions on how to record more voices.