And that means the commencement of my annual 'Things That Go Bump' series, in which I poke the things with which Man was not meant to meddle with a stick.
And because it's fun. Today, we'll be discussing EVPs. For those unacquainted with the term, EVP is the acronym for 'Electronic Voice Phenomena.'
EVP voices are captured by ordinary recording devices. The recorder operator generally doesn't hear the voice, which is only heard during playback of the recording. This phenomena was first recognized by Friedrich Jürgenson in 1959, when he heard voices on a recording he made while out trying to capture bird songs. Since then, paranormal researchers have made EVP phenomena a main focus of their investigations, with some fascinating results.
Are these the voices of the dead, somehow captured by microphones and recorders?
Beats me. I set out to hold an EVP session in a graveyard years ago, right after the rise of the show 'Ghost Hunters.' My intent was, to be honest, to mock the whole concept.
My mockery never materialized, because I caught an EVP my first time out. I know it wasn't faked, and it wasn't audible during the recording.
So, I was forced to admit the phenomena was real, and I've been capturing them ever since.
I make no claim as to the source of the voices and sounds. I just state that they exist.
Take today, for instance. My wife Karen and I went to a small cemetery in Tula, Mississippi, a short distance from here. I was armed with my trusty Zoom H1 field recorder, and she had my homebuilt stereo super-ear. Both record digitally. Both were equipped with windscreens. The homebuilt rig, which is insanely sensitive, feeds a pair of Sennheiser earphones and a digital recorder, allowing the operator to listen in as the recording is created.
We arrived around 1:40 PM. Broad daylight, in other words. I leave that night-time tramping about bit to people who don't have to worry about rattlesnakes and pointed questions from local law enforcement.
We stayed for about 15 minutes. I took photographs at random. While I am sure each and every headstone concealed a ghastly, spectral phantasm, none peeked around to appear in any photos.
I reviewed my Zoom audio, which contained nothing out of the ordinary. I did become briefly interested in a faint sound toward the end of the session, but on closer inspection it turned out to be a bug flying close to the Zoom's left mic.
Karen, on the other hand, caught some interesting audio.
Now, EVP voices, most of the time, are faint. These examples are. They are best heard through headphones, or a powerful PC audio system cranked up loud. A tiny laptop speaker may or may not be able to make them audible to you. Just a word of caution.
The first thing we noticed on arriving was a road being cut along one side of the cemetery. Bulldozers are seldom subtle, and the road work got very close to a number of graves.
Karen commented on this, and asked anyone present if they were bothered by the excavation.
A few seconds later, I found what sounds to me to be a male voice saying 'We don't like it."
A link to the segment is below. First, there's the full recording. Next, I've amplified and looped the odd voice. You can decide for yourself if it is indeed a voice, and, if so, what words it says.
And below is the possible reply. I've amped and looped it, to make it easier to hear. To me, it sounds like 'We don't like it.'
Yes, it's faint. But, and this is significant, it does at least appear to be a direct response to the question posed about the road construction. If so, that's amazing.
For some examples of other EVPs I've captured, as well as a very plain recording of a glass door rattling without any apparent cause, I refer you to an earlier blog entry. In April of 2016, we spend the night as the Thomas House in Red Boilings Springs, Tennessee, and the phenomena there were very impressive.
This is just the first installment of October's Things That Go Bump series. See you next week, for new exploits in spookiness!