Electronic Voice Phenomena

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Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Harold Sherman said, “By use of an ordinary tape recorder and/or a radio set attuned to unused frequencies, spirit voices of purported entities are being received” (You Can Communicate With the Unseen World, 1974). This is known as Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP).

People have experienced amplified and recorded spirit contact since the birth of electronic receiving and recording devices, and spirit voices have been heard over the telephone since its earliest days. From the days of the first radios, spirit voices have come through the radio speakers. But the phenomena grew in frequency near the end of World War II, with the gradual spread of the use of the first wire recorders, which then gave way to tape recorders. Wire recorders had been used by the military during the war and had worked well. It soon became apparent, however, that tape was a better medium for recording, first coated paper tape and later magnetized plastic tape.

In the 1920s, Thomas Alva Edison is reported to have said: “If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore … if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.” In the Jun, 1922 issue of Popular Radio, there was a major article titled “Can the Dead Reach Us by Radio?” Other periodicals of the period also touched on the subject. But today spirit communication goes even further than tape recorders and radios. It includes televisions, computers, cell phones, and satellite dishes.

The spirit world operates at a different frequency from the physical world. In order to communicate, mediums have to speed up their vibrations while the spirits slow down theirs. It’s a delicate operation that takes practice for both sides to arrive at the same vibration suitable for communication. With tape recording, since the spirit messages are at a higher frequency, it helps to have more than one speed on the machine, or the ability to vary the speed. Recording can then be done at a fast speed and played back at a slow speed, with the volume as high as possible. Access to an amplifier is also helpful.

Two of the first serious investigators of electronic spirit communication were Friedrich Juergenson and Latvian psychologist Dr. Konstantin Raudive. In 1967, Juergenson’s book Radio Contact with the Dead was translated into German. In it he detailed how outdoor recordings of bird songs had also apparently picked up the voice of his deceased mother, calling him by his childhood name. Raudive read the book skeptically, and then visited Juergenson to learn his methodology. Consequently, Raudive decided to experiment on his own. He soon began developing his own experimental techniques. Like Juergenson, Raudive too heard the voice of his own deceased mother, who called him by his boyhood name: “Kostulit, this is your mother.” Over a number of years Raudive collected dozens of tapes of recorded spirit messages, totaling 72,000 voices; many recorded under strict laboratory conditions.

At the eleventh annual conference of the Parapsychological Association, held at the University of Frieburg, Germany, in September 1968, Dr. Raudive played some of these tapes to Dr. Jule Eisenbud (who worked with Ted Serios on thought photography), Mrs. K. M. Goldney from the British Society for Psychical Research, Dr. Walter Uphoff of the University of Colorado, and others. As Dr. Uphoff described it:

“All we could do was listen and try to figure out what might explain what we were hearing. Some voices were clearer and more distinct than others; the level of static or background noise was high because the volume had to be turned to maximum level in order to reproduce the otherwise faint voices; and the cadence certainly suggested that these were not likely to be bits of stray radio signals.”

Most of the received voices had been inaudible at the time of recording. George W. Meek’s book After We Die, What Then? (1987) deals with breakthroughs in electronic spirit communication. Meek predicted, “A workable, dependable, repeatable two-way communication with the mental-causal levels of consciousness should be demonstrated in Europe, the United States, or South America well before the end of the century.” In 1982, Meek traversed the globe distributing recordings of communications between his associate William O’Neil and a scientist who had been dead for fourteen years. Meek also provided wiring diagrams, guidelines, photographs, and technical data for research in a 100-page technical report he had prepared.

Experiments were conducted using such things as low frequency oscillators, ultraviolet and infrared lights, variable speed tape decks. In the mid-1980s, Ken Webster received messages on his computer that supposedly came from a Thomas Harden of sixteenth century England. Harden seemed to think that Webster was living in his house (an ancient building dating back to that time). The many messages have been examined through research at Oxford Library and confirm the language, dialect, spelling, etc., of the period. Webster later produced a book, The Vertical Plane, which details the events.

In the mid 1980s, Klaus Schreiber received on his television pictures of the faces of various deceased people, including Romy Schneider and Albert Einstein. He got the pictures by focusing a video camera onto the screen of the television and feeding the camera’s output back into the television, forming a feedback loop. About this time a couple in Luxembourg started getting amazing voice contacts through their radio. The deceased Konstantin Raudive spoke through the apparatus to them in 1994, saying, “It can only work when the vibrations of those present are in complete harmony and when their aims and intentions are pure.” Innumerable people have received contact from deceased persons including relatives, friends, and others they didn’ know. Sarah Estep started the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena in 1982. In the 1990s, the International Network for Instrumental Transcommunication (INIT) was started by Mark Macy, though this was later fragmented due to the skepticism and pressure of the scientific community.

Robert Egby’s Parapscyhic Journal (Issue #22, October 14, 2004) included this report:

“This month we heard from Parapsychic Journal subscriber Maryse Locke who, together with her husband John Locke, lives in a suburb south of Paris, France. Nothing unusual about that except that Maryse and John operate www.Transcommunication.org, an expansive and informative website devoted to Electronic Voice Phenomena and Instrumental Transcommunication. In the auto sales vernacular, this website is ‘loaded’ with everything you might wish to know in metaphysics, Spiritualism and electronic recording devices—and more important [sic], how to do it … The website is also bilingual—English and French. It also has a very useful index of terms.”


Buckland, Raymond: Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 2004
Instrumental Transcommunication—EVP & ITC: http://transcommunication.org
Meek, George W.: After We Die, What Then? Columbus: Ariel Press, 1987
Raudive, Konstantin: Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead. London: Smythe, 1971
Sherman, Harold: You Can Communicate With the Unseen World. New York: Fawcett, 1974
World ITC Organization: http://www.worlditc.org
Emanations see Ectoplasm