Often these days many TV shows out there will have you believe that spirit communication occurs during most of their investigations and better still those spirit communications are often captured on a multitude of technology. Those TV shows and their approaches have filtered down to modern Ghost Hunters; and by association the belief is that what is captured is by definition a communication from a spirit.
The best way to probably explain this is to provide examples for you to familiarise yourself with and then evaluate. Given a favourite of the paranormal TV shows appears to be Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), I think it would be best we start with that and its alternatives.
EVP’s have become a staple part of the paranormal TV show and Ghost Hunter diet. As many of us know, an EVP is often captured when following the simple process of asking questions out loud into the darkness whilst recording using a digital recorder. Often the questions are simple in their form; asking the name of the probable local spirit for example and then leaving a brief gap for an answer to be recorded on the device. Generally speaking the Ghost Hunter EVP sessions are varied these days depending on those conducting the sessions and the location they are investigating. It is of course worth mentioning that there has been some very good research in EVP over the years, which has been approached in a logical structured manner. However, in this post I am simply touching on the approach of the Ghost Hunters towards EVP.
Over the years, I have personally attended many Ghost Hunts; and EVP’s have always been something that I have had a love hate relationship with. The problem being was that I had many conversations with Ghost Hunters that seemed to capture many EVP’s during each and almost every Ghost Hunt. Added to that problem was that often I just did not hear what others believed they heard. I even conducted several of my own EVP experiments during Ghost Hunts that provided no results. It would be safe to say that I personally was not a fan of EVP’s. I found it quite frustrating that where others were successful; I was only able to capture my own voice and silence.
However, all that changed when a fellow investigator of mine reviewed his camcorder footage from our investigation of the Explosions Museum in Gosport. He realised that as we began to ascend the stairs in the Admin Block, a voice was captured and it was crystal clear. When I then reviewed the footage and showed it to others, it was unmistakably clear, but we soon encountered a new problem. Whilst some believed it to be a genuine EVP, others believed it was one of the group and we had just forgotten then saying the word in question. As I like to try and be a balanced investigator, I had to weigh this possibility as a potential source. Now not one of us in the group believed we had said the word, and if we had we would have had to be putting on an accent joking around; making the event more memorable. Something that none of us recalled, but then we were now recalling events in a fashion where we had believed communication of some kind had occurred. Is it possible by this association we blocked ourselves from remembering one of us putting on an odd voice? Of course its possible and something we must all now be considering. Personally though this particular group and I were very good at owning up should it be them that had made a sound, so as to ensure anything captured was properly evaluated. So, whilst I am inclined to believe us on this occasion, that the captured voice was not us, I still have to consider the possibility of the events being incorrectly remembered by us all. Especially when that evaluation is up against a crystal clear EVP that would be no longer relevant if it turns out to be one of us.
To be clear here I am not referring to fraud or someone purposely creating an EVP and claiming proof of spirit communication. The point I am making is that, the piece of audio was first established as a crystal clear or class A EVP. If we then remember the events of that Ghost Hunt and realised it was us; the EVP no longer exists. So, its probable our memories can be distorted sometimes regarding events, so we recall them more in a manner that we are happy with. The human memory is not to be trusted, sorry to say. We can often remember events in the wrong order or change elements, filling in missing gaps; making the truth hard to find.
There is still more to this though that begins to tap into when we think we have captured a genuine EVP. The assumption, given the circumstances of its occurrence is that an EVP is a discarnate voice. When we receive a response to our questions in the dark, no matter its clarity, often the assumption by the Ghost Hunter is that it is from a localised spirit and communication has begun. Now, whilst this is a possibility, I tend to think it actually may be the least probable of all the explanations available and also highly unlikely.
This realisation came to me when a group of us on an event conducted and experiment at a Fort. The purpose of the experiment was to project the recording of a single word onto one particular digital voice recorder in the room. We decided on a single obscure word, decided on one voice recorder and then spent one minute focussing our thoughts of that word onto that device. In playback the word was apparently there, albeit faintly. However, it was not the success that captured my attention, it was the process.
The odd thing was that it was only the voice recorder in question that recorded the word. This of course means that we must consider fraud as one potential explanation; if fraud was possible and it was; then it must be considered. However, if it was not fraud; then it means we can project our thoughts onto a voice recorder. If we can project our thoughts, then we may have an explanation for EVP’s, much to the Ghost Hunters upset I am sure. Basically it would mean that when we ask those questions aloud into the dark during EVP sessions, instead of a spirit voice being captured, it could be our own thoughts answering the questions we have asked.
Let me elaborate on this quickly using another example. In the mid 1990’s the Society for Psychical Research investigated a small physical mediumship group, situated in the Village of Scole. The investigation is fully documented in the book; ‘The Scole Report.’ During this investigation the mediums advised that their Spirit Team that they were working with would experiment with undeveloped camera film. Which they did so by providing images on the film of various types. At the end of the sessions the film was developed and would contain elaborate pictures of people, places and more. The investigators would then attempt to make sense of these cryptic image clues. A couple of which appeared to make reference to one of the founding members of the SPR; FWH Myers. As such the assumption was made that this was potentially spirit communication from Myers and the Spirit Team. Similar to the EVP’s.
On its own the assumption seems reasonable, strange images produced during a séance related to a deceased member of the SPR; surely it is spirit communication. Well perhaps it was, as that would be nice wouldn’t it, not to mention help prove survival. That is until you read about Ted Serios and thoughtography. Although Serios wasn’t one of the best candidates for investigation due to a little drinking issue, he too could produce images onto film. These were investigated by a Dr Jule Eisenbud M.D.., using an old Polaroid Land 100 camera and sure enough Serios produced pictures of buildings and some words. In fact I believe he produced around four hundred images.
Now you could argue that we are all capable of projecting our thoughts on voice recorders or film; and those more akin to spirit communication may argue that this is easier when we are in spirit. Hence communication from spirit occurs in the same manner as we can do it ourselves whilst living. However, there is often one additional element here the information itself. This is transferrable by telepathy we believe, and we have seen the experiments to prove the possibility. So, we equally know that the information believed to be from spirit could be a case of telepathic interaction from one or more source minds, that then presents in a fashion that appears like conscious communication.
There is also one additional common denominator in all this too, the human part or the part of the medium. In the case of the Scole Experiment and in Ted Serios, these appear to be individuals that harbour mediumship qualities. Whilst it may not be obvious during some Ghost Hunts, there may also be an individual that has mediumship abilities too. It is possible that these individuals with their heightened psi abilities may assist in making the information transfer from our thoughts onto devices like voice recorders and undeveloped film. So, whilst the communication may not be coming from spirit, you may require more of a medium in your group to project onto a voice recorder or undeveloped film.
The point being that, we must truly evaluate the information within spirit communication, as more often than not its true source might just be located firmly within the living. Think about that for a moment before assigning your next EVP capture to being from beyond the grave.