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Encyclopedia of the Unexplained

Explore outside the Box! Voices in the Dark, Mysterious Phenomena, UFO's, 2012, and Other Bizarre Events

Electronic Voice Phenomena

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Electronic Voice Phenomena - or EVP, as it is more commonly known in the paranormal world - are sounds of static noise on the radio, or electronic recording media, that are interpreted by paranormal investigators as voices speaking words said to be uttered by ghosts or spirits of the dead. In other words, EVP's are unexplained voices captured on audio cassette tape or digital recorders that could not be heard at the time of the taping. Over the years, there have been many cases of such mysterious voices and sounds being captured on tape all over the world.

The general quality of the electronic voice recordings varies tremendously. Occasionally it is clear speech and perfectly audible; more often, it is faint and/or distorted. The EVP recordings often need to be amplified before anything can be made out at all.

It is a stark fact that many people have been shocked to learn that the so called "dead" - or "discarnate entities" - have been communicating with the living world through electronic devices since the early 1900s. Paranormal history is full of cases where certain individuals and psychic investigators claim to have heard mysterious "voices" speaking to them through such everyday electronic objects as a tape recorder.

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Recording EVP has become a technique of those who attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones, or during ghost hunting activities. In addition to deceased spirits, various paranormal investigators say that EVP could be due to psychic echoes from the past, psychokinesis unconsciously produced by living people, and the thoughts of aliens.

According to parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who popularized the idea, EVP are typically very short in duration, usually the length of a word or short phrase. Skeptics of the paranormal attribute the voice-like aspect of the sounds to apophenia (finding of significance or connections between insignificant or unrelated phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language which might otherwise sound like random noise to a foreign speaker), artifacts due to low-quality equipment, and simple hoaxes. Likewise, some reported EVP can be attributed to radio interference or other well-documented phenomena.

Portable digital voice recorders are the main instrument of choice for EVP investigators. Because these devices are very susceptible to Radio Frequency (RF) contamination, EVP enthusiasts sometimes try to record EVP in RF- and sound-screened rooms. However, in order to record EVP, there has to be noise in the audio circuits of the device used to produce the EVP. Therefore, those who attempt to record EVP often use two recorders that have differing quality audio circuitry and rely on noise heard from the poorer quality instrument to generate EVP.

Investigation of EVP is the topic of thousands of Internet message boards, both regional and national. Many paranormal investigators, equipped with electronic gear such as EMF meters, video cameras and audio recorders, investigate reportedly haunted locations, trying to detect visual and audio evidence of paramormal activity. Many use portable recording devices in an attempt to capture EVP.

Stories of EVP have appeared in the reality television shows Paranormal State, Celebrity Paranormal Project, and Ghost Hunters, the fictional television series Supernatural and Medium, and Hollywood films such as White Noise and The Sixth Sense.

Anyone can attempt EVP. Just go to a reportedly haunted place, set up your tape recorder, and you're away. Whether you'll be successful or not in capturing "ghostly voices" is, of course, another matter!

EVP is one of the most discussed and fascinating aspects of paranormal phenomena. Whole books have even be written on the subject.

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The South Shields Poltergeist

In the summer of 2006, Darren W. Ritson was asked to investigate a "haunting" in an unassuming, ordinary terraced house in the town of South Shields, Tyne & Wear. Darren asked another veteran researcher, Michael J. Hallowell, to accompany him.

During the subsequent months the authors made literally dozens of visits to the house in question, and witnessed first-hand the malevolent, sadistic power of the poltergeist. It was an experience they would never forget.

Initially, the entity just tried to scare the family by moving various objects around the house and making mysterious banging noises - the kind of behaviour that always been attributable to poltergeist activity. However, as the weeks went on, the entity's activity took on a more threatening and evil aspect. The following examples are just a few of the tactics employed by the South Shield's Poltergeist to intimidate both the family and the paranormal investigators:

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1. Death threats sent to the mobile phone of one of the members of the experients.

2. A toilet cistern filled with blood, which then mysteriously vanished.

3. Knives thrown at both the investigators and the experients.

4. Appearing as a malevolent, silhouette-type entity in front of both the experients and the investigators.

5. Slashing the body of one of the experients with dozens of cuts during filming.

6. Talking to investigators and TV reporters through a number of children's toys. Eventually, thanks to the help of several experts from a number of different professional, forensic, academic and investigative backgrounds, the authors were able to terminate the reign of terror that the South Shields Poltergeist had wreaked - a reign of terror that had lasted for almost a whole year.

The full, terrifying story of The South Shields Poltergeist is told in the book THE SOUTH SHIELDS POLTERGEIST - ONE FAMILY'S FIGHT AGAINST AN INVISIBLE INTRUDER. This book can be purchased on the True Ghost Stories site at:

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The Enfield Poltergeist

The Enfield Poltergeist has fascinated people and been the subject of debate ever since reports of the poltergeist activity started to appear in the national newspapers back in the late nineteen seventies. Psychic researchers who spent months investigating the case obtained photographs and audio recordings of the poltergeist activity. They became firmly convinced that the Enfield Poltergeist was a genuine case of poltergeist infestation. Guy Lyon Playfair, one of the investigators involved in the Enfield Poltergeist case, subsequently wrote a book on the subject called This House Is Haunted. There are, however, people who remain sceptical and say that there is insufficient evidence to prove that the Enfield Poltergeist was anything other than a hoax played out by the children involved in the alleged poltergeist manifestations.

The Enfield Poltergeist case centred around a family living in the North London suburb of Enfield. The family comprised of a divorcee, Peggy Harper (her pseudonym from the famous book, This House is Haunted, not her real name), and her four young children. The Poltergeist activity was focused on the younger daughter of the family, Janet, who was aged eleven when the strange events began in August 1977. The Enfield Poltergeist remained active in the household until September 1978.

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The first manifestation of the Enfield Poltergeist happened one night when Janet and her brother, Peter (then aged ten), complained to their mother that their beds were shaking about in a strange way. The movement had apparently ceased when their mother entered the room and turned on the light. At first Mrs Harper dismissed the occurrence as a prank on the part of the children and the event would have been forgotten but further strange things began to happen. On the same night, Mrs Harper and the children heard noises that sounded like feet shuffling across the carpet.

Having introduced itself, the Enfield Poltergeist made a further nuisance of itself that night. Mrs Harper and the children heard loud knocking coming from the walls of the house and saw furniture moving, apparently of its own accord. The experience frightened the family so badly that they ran out of the house to seek help from neighbours and called the Police in to investigate. The Police found no trace of any human intruder but it is reported that one of the Police officers witnessed a chair moving several feet across the floor without human intervention.

The day after this, the poltergeist became even more active and toy bricks and marbles flew through the air as if thrown around by an invisible hand. When the toys were picked up, they were hot to the touch. Mrs Harper sought help from a local vicar and a psychic medium but they were unable to explain or halt what seemed to be a paranormal attack on the family.

In desperation, Mrs Harper turned to the press and the case was reported in the national newspapers. One of the reporters suggested to Mrs Harper that she should call in the SPR (Society for Psychical Research). One of their members, Maurice Grosse, who lived in North London went to the house and started his investigations just a week after the disturbing events had begun. Although the evidence gathered during the investigations on behalf of the SPR was inconclusive, Maurice Grosse became convinced that the Enfield Poltergeist was a genuine case of poltergeist activity and remained firm in his convictions until his death at the age of ninety in October 2006.

As the haunting continued, the Poltergeist activity escalated. Throughout the time the Enfield Poltergeist was in residence the Harper family experienced just about every kind of Poltergeist activity recognised by psychic researchers. The knocking and sliding furniture were followed by furniture flipping over, drawers opening and closing, footsteps, the sighting of apparitions including a small child, an old lady and a man in old fashioned clothing. The Poltergeist became interactive firstly communicating through rapping and later by speaking through Janet and her brother Jimmy (the gruff male voices were apparently produced by using the false vocal chords). Janet was thrown around her bedroom by an unseen force and there were unexplained failures of electrical equipment in the haunted house.

I can vividly remember reading about the Enfield Poltergeist in the newspapers back in 1977/78. The Harpers' house was near to where I lived and my eldest daughter was just a year younger than Janet Harper. Although the Harper children did not attend the same schools as my children, they might well have played together in the local park. One of the things that made the Enfield Poltergeist so unsettling was the fact that the haunting took place in a completely ordinary three bed roomed semi-detached local authority house. Somehow the haunting seemed more creepy because it took place in such ordinary surroundings. We expect ghosts to appear in isolated manor houses, haunted mansions or Transylvanian castles. Feeling that ghosts might turn up in an ordinary family house with carpets and kids' toys and a TV set, must have made many people uncomfortably look over their shoulders to identify the source of any strange noise or unexpected draught. I certainly felt that way. Although my curiosity was strongly aroused by the sensational newspaper coverage, I did not dare to take a walk past the haunted house just in case some malevolent invisible presence decided to follow me home.

It has not been proven that the case of the Enfield Poltergeist was a real instance of poltergeist activity but, on the other hand, it has never been proven that the Enfield Poltergeist was anything other than a genuine haunting.

Elaine Currie runs a Work At Home Directory from her home in Enfield. To learn more about the home of the Enfield Poltergeist visit About Enfield.

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EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena Voices From the Dead?

An electronic voice phenomena, truncated to EVPs , are pieces of sound on radio or electronic recording devices which reveal noises resembling human voices which were not audible at the time of recording. They conventionally recorded using digital audio recording gadgets or on occasions computer software. EVP's are most frequently sound effects, the likes of steps in an vacant room, or odd bangs and raps they in addition manifest themselves as ghostly voices typically from inside spooky surroundings, and are not normally audibly heard during the EVP recording session. For this reason EVP is one of the most debated and captivating aspects of paranormal phenomena.

EVP has been noted talking in various languages and repeatedly has an electronic or mechanical nature to it. Research suggests that EVP's can be contemplations of living individuals given there have been a quantity of well designed investigations that look to have culminated in EVP being initiated by living persons who were sleeping at the time. In 1982, Sarah Estep established the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena in Maryland, a non-profit institution with the intention of expanding recognition of EVP, and of educating standardised systems for securing it.

Estep commenced her investigation of EVP in 1976, and states she has recorded hundreds of messages from departed friends, families, and other people. One extraordinarily famous case claimed the incidence took place when the picture of the recently deceased EVP devotee Friedrich Jčrgenson was said to have developed on a television set in the residence of a workmate, which had intentionally tuned to a empty channel following the instructions provided to him by Friedrich prior to his death.

In 1997, Imants Baruss, of the Division of Psychology at the Institute of Ontario, administered a succession of tests using the modes of EVP researcher Konstantin Raudive. Throughout recordings, a individual either rested in silence or endeavoured to make a spoken connection with possible sources of EVP. Baruss declared that he created some occurrences that appeared to be voices, but they were too few and too arbitrary to denote practical information and too open to interpretation to be characterized as EVP. He deduced that while he did reproduce EVP in the frail sense of discovering voices on auditory cassettes, none of the phenomena established in the research was unmistakably irregular, let alone chargeable to discernable expired beings.

Nevertheless, there are a quantity of simple scientific illustrations that can provide an explanation for why some listeners to the static on auditory appliances may conceive they hear voices, involving radio hindrance and the inclination of the human brain to identify patterns in chance stimuli. In the case of EVP, it results in an observer interpreting chance sounds on an audio recording as being the well-known noise of human speech. The tendency for an obvious voice heard in white noise recordings to be in a language understood correctly by those examining it, rather than in an uncommon language, has been mentioned as confirmation of this issue, and an extensive category of phenomena related to by writer Joe Banks as 'Rorschach Audio', was depicted as a global interpretation for all appearances of EVP. This issue, in unification with such effects as cross modulation of radio stations or defective foundation coils can cause the audible effect of paranormal voices.

One further explanation around the origins of EVP's relates to radio signals travelling through space transmitted by ourselves, which take many years to arrive back to the earth, it may be conceivable or plausible to surmise that particular EVP may perhaps be an interception of one or more of these signals, dispatched or transmitted many years previously and consequently just re-entering the Earths stratosphere which are detected by our ever broadening array of electrical technology.

UK Area 51 is a website dedicated to unexplained events and emerging sciences concerning a wide variety of topics. Our aim is to provide rich, diverse and stimulating articles around the issues that face mankind now and in the future.

Please visit our UK Area 51 for many more intriguing articles and to view the oringinal article please click EVP Recordings You can also contact James Hewson directly at

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