History of EVP

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison standing near electrical equipment in his laboratory

Only Thomas Edison knew for certain whether he believed in ghosts and the paranormal or not. But he was quoted as saying he did believe that if our personalities do transcend death and continue to exist in another dimension or sphere of existence, then it should be possible to construct an instrument to record the voices of these disincarnate people. Here is that quote by Mr. Edison "I don't claim that our personalities pass on to another existence or sphere," he told Scientific American. "I don't claim anything because I don't know anything about the subject. For that matter, no human being knows. But I do claim that it is possible to construct an apparatus which will be so delicate that if there are personalities in another existence or sphere who wish to get in touch with us in this existence or sphere, the apparatus will at least give them a better opportunity to express themselves than the tilting tables and raps and ouija boards and mediums and the other crude methods now purported to be the only means of communication."This quote was made in the October 1920 issue of Scientific American.

It is my belief; our personalities do transcend death and persist in another realm of reality. Furthermore, if our personalities persist, I believe EVP presents the most persuasive evidence for this continuation. Electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) may serve as the sole mechanism for us, the living, to establish communication with those who reside on the opposite realm of our reality.

Raudive voices

Konstantins Raudive

Konstantins Raudive (1909-1974) was a Latvian born psychologist who was also an avid researcher of parapsychology. And he also had a great belief in life after death and the continuation of consciousness. He investigated with Hans Bender the subject of EVP, and published a book in 1971 entitled Breaakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With the Dead. He also worked with Friedrich Jürgenson in his attempts to capture EVP. It is said that he taped approximately 100,000 audio tapes claimed to contain EVP snippets. These were all claimed to be done under strict laboratory conditions. Whether this is true to standard scientific criteria I cannot say.

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The ghost box or Frank's box

The ghost box was created by Frank Sumption, supposedly with the help of the spirit world. The device is basically a white-noise generator and AM radio designed to scan frequencies and generate snippets of sounds. The theory is that the spirits can electronically manipulate this device and carry on a two way conversation with the living.

Personally I am a believer in EVP and believe that they may be an actual attempt by an entity to communicate with the living. But I do have to say that I am skeptical of the ghost box because it does scan radio frequencies, and because of this, I do believe it is entirely possible that stray radio signals could contaminate the device and cause misinterpretation's of these sounds and lead to auditory pareidolia and misinterpretation's.

Sarah Estep

Sarah Estep sitting in front of real to real tape recorder

In 1982 The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP) was founded by Sarah Estep. The AA-EVP organization was founded to standardize and educate EVP collection procedures and also to increase public awareness of this phenomena. Sarah Estep claimed to have captured several hundred EVP messages from deceased friends, relatives and other persons.

Sarah Estep's work has been continued and expanded on by Tom and Lisa Butler of ATransC (Association of trans communications), which is also committed to the continuation of education and public awareness and in my opinion is the premier organization for information on this subject.