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Electronic Voice Phenomenon

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Electronic voice phenomenon refers to process in which parts of speech are recorded on a magnetic tape in a process that cannot fully be comprehended. Human beings can hear the recorded speech purportedly of a ‘ghost’ when the audiotape is played back. There are several persons who believe in the existence of these voices but there are others that berate EVP messages as apophenia.

There are people who assume that EVP refers to a common perceptual phenomenon (Apophenia) in which we perceive connections and find connotations in unrelated things.  These critics argue that in EVP we search for and perceive hearing prototypes where there are none. Moreover critics assert that human beings are brilliant pattern detectors, but it is not necessary that these patterns have any import. They give examples of people who are driving on a highway and wrongly hear their cell phones ringing.

However, these claims are not supported by evidence. EVP voices are very clear, there are a number of voices, most of them can be understood and they are in several recognizable languages (Roach 135). Had this been a mere perceptual phenomenon then complex messages in different languages would not have been heard and corroborated by more than one worker. For example, Dr. Konstantin Raudive (1960 – 1974), a psychologist who taught at the University of Uppsala in Sweden recorded more than 100,000 audiotapes with the help of electronic experts under strict laboratory conditions.

There are some critics of EVP who presuppose that EVP is merely a cross-modulation. These critics presume that EVP is what the record player has picked up from a local radio station. This presupposition is again unsubstantiated. What does the local ratio station transmit?

Music and other recognizable program typically aired on radio programs; however, in EVP you hear the voice of the dead. For example there have been voices that have called for help. Such messages are not beamed from local radio stations. Other messages have been related to common household messages, contents that are never beamed from radio stations (Raudive 23).

Critics of EVP make a supposition that the voices are simply random white noise. This supposition is not valid, as it is not adequately supported. If EVP is white noise there would not be messages in rapid speech. The messages would not be in normally used languages. Moreover, it has been found that the voices speak in a definite rhythm. White noise would not have created such complex messages. In addition, the source of the voices is often recognized. Many a time a family member or a friend is the person whose voice is heard. Is this white noise?

There are more critics who assume that human perception is complex and when human brains attempt to find patterns, they are guided by our expectations. This argument is a straw man. It is now found that EVP gets recorded even when one is not quiet.

The EVP gets recorded even when some other conversation is getting recorded (Roach 154). There are several instances when spirits have recorded their messages in the background when some other conversation was being recorded. This refutes the argument that EVP is similar to the inkblot test. If a person is recording a conversation then his brain is not expecting some other recording in the background and so the argument that EVP is guided by our expectations falls.

Critics of EVP claim that the mental set of the people who want to hear EVP motivates them to imagine mysterious voices. Where this argument fails is that it assumes that the people are motivated to imagine voice patterns in static. Recorded evidence shows that voices of the dead are sometimes close to the background level of static. Moreover, the languages used by spirits in EVP are often different from those that the listener knows. If a person were motivated to hear EVP then he would hear the voices in the language he knew and not in a language he did not know. Further, people who do not know the speaker often hear their EVP.

  If they had been motivated by their mental set then they would have heard the voices of persons they knew. Also if the voices were an imagination motivated by the mental set of people then these recordings would have been heard under similar conditions using similar equipment. Evidence shows that EVP recordings have taken place in a variety of equipment. These include tape recorders, telephones; fax machines, television, computers and video recorders. This disproves the claim of EVP critics.

To sum, Electronic Voice Phenomena has got several critics. Some assume that Electronic Voice Phenomena is a figment of imagination; some assert that Electronic Voice Phenomena is generated by cross-modulation and some swear that Electronic Voice Phenomena is apophenia. However, none of these claims have been supported by evidence. On the contrary facts support the contention that Electronic Voice Phenomena is the voice of the dead, the spirits speaking to us directly without the interference of a middle person.



Raudive, Konstantins Breakthrough: An amazing experiment in electronic communication with the dead. Smythe. 1971.

Roach, Mary, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. W.W. Norton, 2005.

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