EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) collection is a critical skill for ghost hunters to master. Get a (very) brief guide for capturing EVP on your next ghost hunt.
What Is EVP, Anyway?
Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) is the collection of spirits’ communication through an electronic device such as a digital voice recorder.
Tips For Capturing EVP
All investigations should have someone in charge of audio
They should have a tape recorder or digital recorder on the job. If you note a spike in EMF, a cold spot or gut reaction to something, it’s time to start asking questions and using the recorder. Some ghost hunters say tape recorders work best, so you may want to have both tape and digital recorders with you. Ghostly Activities uses an H4n Zoom for EVP.
Any ghostly type can be recorded
This means you could get a very clear voice on tape. But, you’re also likely to get a whisper, a car sounds, an animal’s cry or a phantom gunshot.
Ghosts use the energy from any of your electronics to ‘speak’ to you
In some cases, it means you capture the energy imprint a spirit left behind; or, the ghost is manipulating energy to force the recorded to pick up its words. We’ve had EVP come through our video cameras, a spirit box, Note on an iPhone, a digital camera in video mode, and more. Really, ghosts like to talk…if they can manifest somehow.
How To Conduct An EVP Session (Short Version)
EVP investigation steps:
- Audio work is best done by setting down the recorder and not moving it. Too much movement could record a false reading.
- Mark whatever natural sounds are present to avoid false recordings. Just describe it, like ‘busy street with cars’ or something like that.
- Place the recorder down and begin asking questions based on your research.
- Pause for about 15 seconds to capture a response.
- Start with another round of questions.
Tips About EVP Questions & Sessions
- When asking questions, avoid asking about the spirit’s death
- Try to stay positive and you’re more likely to get a response
- Stay put in one part of the room or area
- Limit your EVP session time to 30 minutes because ghosts can deplete their energy and dissipate for the rest of your investigation
- When you leave, say it’s time to go and ask if the ghosts have anything else to say. We’ve picked up some many EVPs when the ghost knows you have to leave
Most of the actual audio work happens after the investigation. To help speed the process, try an audio software package, like Audacity – it’s free, to help analyze the irregularities in the audio track. Other good software includes Vector 3 and GarageBand. Have patience, too. It takes awhile to go through the recordings and you’ll likely have to analyze each audio recording multiple times.
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about monsters in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.