I was going to write a blog today on our trip to Thomas House, but I will leave that for a day or so as we are still reviewing evidence. I would have to rate it somewhere below Villisca (which is the most amazing haunted experience I have had), and above Whispers Estates. You can search and review those blogs for some spooky reading.
Today I wanted to go over EVP sessions. We had the experience this weekend of not only getting to see inexperienced people who learned everything they know from a TV show, but we also had guides who were not the best people to have in the room during EVP sessions, and some of us forgot the simple rules, or didn't know them to begin with. So review time!
EVPs are the greatest piece of evidence to me. People can say a shadow was the cameraman, a car, a light being turned off in another room, but it is impossible to refute a Class A EVP when you are in a session with everyone noted. Yes, you can fake it, but if you take fakery out of the picture, it is hard to refute EVP evidence!
EVPs also let us know what is going on and give us ammunition for a further investigation. They are clear direct communication.
I have many Class A EVPs. They are not hard to get, but to set the stage is sometimes difficult.
First let me say what EVPs are. They are electronic voice phenomenon. That means that at the time of the recording, you didn't hear anything with your ears. When you hear it with your ears, and on the recorder it is a disembodied voice. A totally different phenomenon. A spirit who can expend that much energy is a very powerful one.
EVPs are ONLY heard later on a recorder. EVPs are NOT ever collected with a flashlight, or a K2. I also want to say I have seen the iPhone "ghost box" used twice. It is totally useless. It just spouts out words that have nothing to do with anything. Your best bet is still a digital recorder. NEVER use a flashlight (and we will go into that in depth at another time) or a K2 for getting messages. NEVER. It is against our organization's guidelines and for good reason.
Getting back to EVPs. There are simple guidelines to follow that will make for successful and authentic EVP sessions that will be hard for any skeptic to refute. They will give you Class A recordings that will pass on valuable information.
Stat by buying the best you can afford.Olympus is the best digital recorder brand. I have an Olympus VN8100PC. It is wonderful. I get clear and crisp recordings. I can tell tone, accent, male, female, young, old, etc. with it. Also get headphones or ear buds, they help in review and are better than just listening through the speaker. Turn up your volume as high as you can without vibrating the speakers, and set on "Meeting" so it is listening all around, or go all the way and buy a multi directional recorder. The Olympus I have costs about $70, and the multi directional is about $225.
DO NOT EVER use cell phone aps for ghost hunting. They are all just about useless. The only thing they can do, is take nice pictures, but you are usually limited to what types of pictures you can take. A digital camera doesn't cost much, but your best bet is an SLR digital, so you can leave the lens open in the dark and get awesome pictures!
Then get ready!
First, mark your recording. Include site, date, time, area, people. Example: I am at Thomas House in the Seance Room 9/21 at 1 AM with Bill, Melany, Matt, Buzz......you get the picture. If I get a voice that sounds like Buzz and he isn't in the room, I know something is going on. When I have activity at 1:15 AM and another member captures shadows moving in their video at 1:15 AM in the Seance room, we have some very powerful proof. We also know if this is a later conversation. Maybe we asked for a specific spirit, or a complicated question, then in the next session we had that answer, or spirit saying "You looking for me?". You also may go to the same venue multiple times. When you know 1 AM is an active time in the Seance room, you want to make sure that you are there again at 1AM.
Introduce yourselves. Not only is this polite (remember YOU are invading a spirit's home), but it helps review who is there. Be polite at all times. Don't be Zak Bagans demanding ghosts to speak to you. When you have to twist their arms to get them to talk, then you don't have a haunting do you? "Haunting" means regular , active happenings, not ghosts being forced to speak out loud for one night.
Never be alone. This way you have another set of ears, a person to look out a door and see if someone is outside talking, and just plain safety reasons.
When in doubt, toss it out (thanks Grant Wilson), when you aren't sure, you have to disregard it. Later your big EVP may be shown to be a live person saying "Yeah that was me".
Know where people are. Is there a group in the next room? Outside the window? Is there something that makes noise like a ice maker, a smoke alarm with a dead battery, a wind chime?
This is a BIG one. NEVER EVER talk in baby voices, whisper, or imitate a voice or sound. Don't make scary noises, or if you do to lighten things up, say THAT WAS ME!! Be careful when moving to a room nearby, you sound even more like a ghost talking from the Great Beyond now. Just becasue you are out of the room, doesn't mean you are out of earshot.An example this weekend was that there is a history of a whistling ghost, so what is everyone doing to entice him? Whistling. You hear it and think AHA!
When you are going to do something like that, note it. Say, "Can you whistle like this" , "John whistling" or "I want you to complete this tune". Don't just whistle.
Give spirits plenty of time to answer. Sometimes they need to work up the energy, and it can take up to 20 seconds to get the average EVP answer! Don't rapid fire questions, and don't chat in between!
Don't use conjecture. Ask "Who is here" don't say, "Hi Susie, I know that is you, knock on something for me", that is NOT and EVP session.
NEVER, EVER alter and EVP in any way. THIS INCLUDES "cleaning it up" once you do that you make your EVP a piece of garbage open to ridicule, and then people will doubt all your evidence. When you need to mess with it to know what it is saying, it isn't a Class A anyway.
Ask questions to determine if you are getting residual (doesn't really respond to the question, but is a statement totally off the mark), or intelligent EVPs (answers questions directly and clearly, imitates participants, or talks about what they see like "there are three of you here").
Note any noises you make, or someone else makes, like "Bob's chair scraping", "door opening outside". When you are moving to another area, say "Walking to the fireplace, at the fireplace", NOT "walking walking walking walking" with every step. Note everything you hear with your ears that is not obvious. We know what a camera beep sounds like, but a thump of a dropped flashlight could be anything three days later when you hear it again.
Mark movement. "Joe is shuffling papers on the table".
RECORD and REVIEW your own EVPs. When I wasn't present, how the heck will I know what is Joe setting up his camera , or a group passing the door. I wasn't there. I cannot verify ANYTHING on that recorder. Anything recorded by another person is useless. You cannot in any way defend it, clarify it, or be sure about it.
When you are making constant noise, step out or the room and resolve it. Excuse yourself on the recorders. Many times people have yawning "fits" (yawns sound very spooky on recordings), coughing fits or sneezing fits. Walk outside and resolve it. If you sneeze, cough or make some other noise constantly, you can totally hide or ruin EVPs for hours on end. We all sneeze or cough. Our bellies rumble, and sometimes a burp sneaks out. We are human, but if it happens every other minute, you are really disturbing the session. EVP sessions are about limiting as much outside noise as possible. Leave your recorder and walk out of the room. Resolve your issue and return saying "Mary walking back into the room" . Meanwhile if it one yawn, say "Joe yawning".
I leave my recorder running. I have had several EVPs as I went outside the room or building where a session was being held. Ghosts are not confined to the library, or the house at all. They can wander around. Many times they go to get away from you, and you catch them outside the area where you were investigating. Just mark everything. Sometimes you won't have to , someone will say "OK let's go to the kitchen next", and you will later know and remember your trek to the kitchen (another reason to do your own EVPs).
Always use software after locating what you think are EVPs. You may review it to see that in fact it is in our hearing range, and not an EVP. There is software available to allow you to see if it is in the range of spirits, or our hearing and decibel levels. It is very helpful for finding those friends whispering in the hallway!
Remember that the whole point is to gather evidence. Not scare yourself, or socialize, you can do that later (or before). There should be no conversations going on aside from that with the spirits. Sometimes having a discussion about the place you are in inspires them to speak up, but allow pauses for them to speak.
When you are going to a paid venue, like Waverly Hills, people are paying a good chunk of money for evidence, not to hear you talk, sneeze, laugh, and carry on. You will ruin your EVPs and theirs. When you are not ready to be totally serious and careful about what you are doing, you are not ready to be on an investigation with others. I know we have a good amount invested in equipment, and have friends that have invested even more. When there are hundreds, even thousands of dollars invested, and time away from family invested, you want good experiences and hard evidence, not someone making more noise than a small army on every recording. Be respectful, professional, and authentic, this way you will have great evidence and a good time.
You want clean evidence, give a clean atmosphere for the evidence to present itself in!
Have fun and be safe!!
(C)2012 Dr R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.