A Voice From Beyond?

Magbox 2.jpg

Long time readers of this blog (both of you) are already well aware that I sometimes take a detour into the realm of the paranormal.

Today is one such day.

But let me catch everyone up. Several years ago, after the show ‘Ghost Hunters’ rose in popularity, I was a hardcore skeptic. Especially about so-called EVP recordings, or Electronic Voice Phenomena. If you aren’t familiar with this practice, it involves walking about with a good quality voice recorder. Upon playback, many people report capturing voices which were not heard during the recording and have no obvious source.

For a more detailed explanation, including some history, click here.

I laughed at EVP examples. It seemed obvious to me that the anomalous voices were inserted during a clandestine editing session. In fact I thought this practice was so patently fraudulent that I purchased a voice recorder of my own and set out one sunny afternoon to tramp around a cemetery. My intent was to mock the practice in this very blog.

Much to my surprise, I found voices I could not explain on my own recordings. I was alone. No one was nearby. I did not fake the sounds.

And so my views on the paranormal changed in the face of evidence, and I’ve been actively pursuing more evidence in the days since that event.

I do not claim I have recorded ‘ghost’ voices. I have no idea where they come from, or how they come to be captured. I have upgraded my equipment, and even constructed devices of my own.

The device that captured today’s EVP example is a dingus I call my Magbox. You can see it in the photograph below.

This is the spot at which the EVP was captured.

This is the spot at which the EVP was captured.

It’s a simple device. Inside the black box is a very sensitive amplifier. Unlike my other devices, though, the Magbox doesn’t have an audio mic. Instead, it has a magnetic coil pickup. You could scream at it all day, and get nothing. But wave the pickup at the end of the rod at a phone or a computer or hidden house wiring, and you’ll be treated to the sound of its internal workings. House current results in a 60 Hertz hum. Electronics whine and squeal and buzz.

I record the output of the Magbox on a standard voice recorder, which is attached to the housing with Velcro.

You’ll find any number of paranormal researchers claiming that ‘ghosts’ can manipulate magnetic and electrical fields. I’m not an adherent of this belief — I certainly can’t manipulate such fields now without a duffel bag full of gear, and I’m a physical being. How could a spirit, which lacks any substance at all, do so? But since I am often wrong, I thought why not build a device with a sensor specifically designed to detect faint EM signals?

Thus the Magbox.

Anyway. Yesterday, which was Saturday May 18, I returned to a small cemetery not far from my home. It’s a pleasant, old cemetery, and I’ve recorded numerous possible EVPs there before. I took my Zoom H1 field mic and the Magbox.

I placed the Magbox atop a sandstone grave marker, and then took the Zoom with me as I traipsed about. The photo below shows the Magbox atop the marker.

The entire session lasted less than 20 minutes.

At about 8 minutes and 35 seconds, the Magbox captured a voice I can’t explain.

You will hear the usual EM muttering from the Magbox, which can resolve even faint radio signals despite its lack of any sort of AM or FM tuner. That I ignore. But listen to the clip below — there is clearly a voice, laid above the faint mumbling, which does NOT sound as though it belongs.

“Shut in get ready.” That’s what I hear, and clearly. This is raw audio, un-messed with.

I have no idea what I am being admonished to shut, or what I am being told to get ready for.

Here’s the same clip, looped five times to save you some button-clicking.

Finally, here’s the same clip after I used a simple noise reducer to suppress some of the background noise.

So what did I capture?

I don’t know. It’s just another of the source less voices picked up by recorders that ONLY seem to capture these events in spooky places — cemeteries, locations with a history of hauntings, and the like. I’ve also tried recording in mundane spots (parking lots, warehouses, my patio) and I’ve never captured a thing in any of those places.

I’m genuinely curious as to what you heard. Please let me know in the comments, or via email.