Bayless, Raymond

Bayless, Raymond

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Raymond Bayless wrote Phone Calls From the Dead (1979) with D. Scott Rogo, after a two-year investigation into phantom phone calls. The authors were surprised to find that a large number of people had received phone calls from friends and relatives who had died. In some cases the call was received before the recipient knew of the death of the caller. In other cases, the caller was long deceased.

In 1956, Bayless became interested in the work of Attila von Szalay, who had done extensive work on spirit voices. The two worked together and in 1959 published their initial findings in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. According to Tom and Lisa Butler (There Is No Death and There Are No Dead, 2003),

The two constructed a cabinet that von Szalay sat in while trying to generate voices. A microphone was placed in the opening of a trumpet, a device used by Spiritualist mediums to amplify spirit voices, and then placed in the cabinet. A tape recorder was placed outside the cabinet and connected to a speaker so that any voices or noises developed within the enclosure could be heard. Whistles, whispered voices and rapping were heard coming from the speakers whether von Szalay was in the cabinet or outside of it several feet away. The voices could be recognized as male and female and often sounded mechanical.

Voices recorded by Bayless and von Szalay gave verifiable information. Initially the messages were brief but as the research continued the messages increased in length, up to forty-five seconds. The results of these experiments met with criticism, including the charge that the “spirit voices” were random radio broadcasts that had been accidentally picked up. This criticism was easily answered when it was shown that some of the messages contained profanity that would not be heard on the radio and the voices would frequently answer specific questions and provide asked-for information about deceased relatives.


Butler, Tom and Lisa: There Is No Death and There Are No Dead. Reno: AA-EVP, 2003
Rogo, D. Scott and Raymond Bayless: Phone Calls From the Dead. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1979
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