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The Frank's Box--Telephone to the Dead?

Updated on January 10, 2018
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn reads and feels energy and has had a long acquaintance with the ethereal.

A Frank's Box--An Echo Chamber Purported to Capture Spirit Voices

A Frank's Box used to capture spirit messages.
A Frank's Box used to capture spirit messages. | Source

A ghost box has captured worldwide attention but is it capturing spirit voices or random noise?

Efforts to Capture Spirit Voices & the Frank's Box

In the world of paranormal research, different gadgets and devices have been developed to capture evidence of ghosts, spirits, and entities in their various manifestations.

With the discovery of EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), strange whispery voices that appeared mysteriously on recording devices, the quest to record ghost voices led in interesting directions, with devices designed to capture messages from spirits from the other side. These efforts have been going on for decades.

In recent years digital recorders have become the tool of choice because these can be used in a stand-alone fashion and by dent of their design, they already include white noise. This makes the process much easier because someone trying to capture EVPs does not have to provide a separate background source of white noise, as they had to do in times past.

Perhaps considered more exciting still, another device has been added to the arsenal. This is what is known as the ghost box or Frank's Box as it has been called, after its creator, Frank Sumption.

How did the Frank's Box emerge? In 2000 Sumption tried using conventional white noise in his efforts to capture electronic voice phenomena but found this method had certain drawbacks. In 2002, Frank came up with the idea of using a voltage-tuned radio, i.e. a box with an echo chamber for audio.

This did the trick and soon Frank was capturing numerous EVPs. His ghost box captured worldwide attention when it was featured on an episode of the popular series Paranormal State.

A Frank's Box

A device created to capture ghostly voices.
A device created to capture ghostly voices. | Source

How Does the Frank's Box Work?

Much like a broken radio, the Frank's Box (also called a ghost box) scans radio frequencies which produce random noise. It is believed that spirits use the echo chamber, harnessing the random sounds to create messages for humans.

This might seem a tad farfetched but proponents feel that raw audio, such as generated by a radio with tuning across the entire band, can be used by the dead to communicate, that spirits are somehow able to manipulate this tuning, and thus it is postulated that the Frank's Box actually channels spirits who re-modulate the audio into discernible words and that they do so, so as to speak to humans.

"I just sweep the tuning and that produces bits of speech, music and noise, known as raw audio, similar to EVP-maker. The entities use the raw audio to make their voices," Sumption explains. "The sweep can be done by hand, or electronic random-sweep, or by electronic linear sweep."

According to Frank, the technique had been done in Europe in the 1980s. He automated the process by implementing his idea of sweeping the tuner modules from car radios. His ideas took shape when Bill Chapel came out with the hack box and with the emergence of EVP-maker, a computer program that was the inspiration for the Frank's Box.

Do you think that spirits can manipulate raw audio?

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Are The Dead Trying to Communicate?

"Science" Behind the Ghost Box

The science behind a ghost box device is that it generates random voltage from a transistor, which tunes to a frequency in the AM band. The signal is filtered and in turn amplified and fed through a speaker.

  • The box could be acting as a noise generator that entities utilize to communicate, capitalizing on the audio frequencies to send messages.
  • Spirits influence the random voltage generator (RVG), manipulating existing voices on radio broadcasts.

Instrumental Trans-Dimensional Communication (ITC), is a term coined to describe the use of electronic devices to facilitate communication with the outer world. The ghost box or Frank Box takes matters one step further because it is designed for the sole purpose of communicating with non-human entities and capturing messages from them.

EVP Sessions Using the Frank's Box

In This Video...

EVP or Just Random Noise?

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Did You Know?

While skeptics point to bleed-over or random noises interpreted by eager listeners with preconceived notions about the afterlife, numerous EVP studies have demonstrated that something may indeed be occurring.

Are Those Who Lived Before Trying to Communicate?

Early Investigations into Electronic Voice Phenomena

Early visionaries believed in an afterlife and the possibility that contact could be made with spirits using electronic means.

  • 1928 – Thomas Edison thought it was possible, using the right type of equipment, to actually capture words or messages from spirits on the other side. Blueprints were purportedly discovered after his death for one such device.
  • 1956 – Medium Attila Von Szalay was the first person to try recording spirit voices using a reel-to-reel tape recorder and was apparently successful at capturing EVP recordings.
  • 1965 – Dr. Konstantin Raudive was a Latvian psychologist who devoted 10 years to the study of electronic voice phenomenon. Under strict conditions, he recorded thousands of spirit voices and later authored a book entitled Breakthrough--An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With the Dead, Colin Smythe, Gerrards Cross, 1971.

Two Camps

The invention of different methods to record speech has not only proven successful but has also uncovered words and messages that shouldn't be there and are thought to be coming from the other side. These ghostly messages have come to be called electronic voice phenomena.

Is electronic voice phenomena truly emanating from beyond the grave, from souls trying to contact humans? Is this a real phenomena or are the sounds, in actuality, random noise picked up by sensitive instruments?

Certainly, skeptics believe that so-called electronic voice phenomena is nothing more than outside noise that eager listeners interpret as words coming from spirit messengers. Skeptics postulate that the listener's own belief in life after death colors what he hears. From a psychological standpoint, that makes sense. Humans interpret things they see and hear based on what they have been taught or have come to believe and based on their own experiences.

So there are two camps:

Skeptics that attribute EVPs to listeners' own perceptions and unexplainable but clearly discernible sounds as probable bleed-over from radio transmitters.

Believers who have heard EVPs and who are convinced that the words are coming from a paranormal source. Listeners feel the ghostly messages are too specific to be dismissed as outside noise.

As can be seen, there are differing viewpoints, but... what does the evidence show?

EVP Research Protocols

Researchers have gone to great lengths to rule out obvious and suspected contributors to EVP phenomena.

  • Recording devices have been set up in heavily shielded rooms, designed to prevent radio wave penetration.
  • Specific questions have been asked, instead of just listening for random sounds, which could later be interpreted according to listeners' preferences.

What Picture Has Emerged about Electronic Voice Phenomena?

Voices have been recorded in rooms designed to eliminate outside influences.
More surprising still, specific questions have elicited specific answers.
When responding to questions, some of the spirit voices have even named the questioners.

The EVP Phenomenon Has Spawned Questions:

  1. How do EVPs make their way onto recording devices?
  2. How could a non-physical entity produce sound frequencies that humans produce via physical organs?

The answer may be that entities, in their attempts to contact humans, manipulate existing sound frequencies to get their messages across.

Modern-day research methods employ both digital and analogue recording devices. Low frequency microphones are favored because EVP occurs at low frequencies.

Messages From Beyond?

While controversy surrounds electronic voice phenomena, emergence of so many EVP's, under carefully controlled conditions, certainly adds weight and lends credibility to the possibility that spirits may be trying to communicate. In the end--and perhaps one the best discoveries of all--EVP investigators have received many messages that convey love and concern for the human race.

The only way to judge it is by content. You're addressed by name; they say the phrase "ghost box" often; they mention things that you will hear and see in the very near future.

— Frank Sumption

Sumption Answers Critics

Critics contend that the messages produced via the Frank Boxes are nothing more than believers “finding meaningful patterns in meaningless noise, rather than actual contact with entities/spirits.

Sumption answers the critics: "Broadcasters are not going to be there the instant I do a test video giving meaningful, clear, personal messages and comments the instant the camera starts recording..." but he continues, "give the entities something to make voices out of and they will talk."

Subjective Validation Effect?

In the video below good questions are raised as to what might be occurring when people use a Frank's Box. Are spirits truly responding to questions posed by humans or are humans experiencing what is known as the Subjective Validation Effect?

A Hoax?

Ghost Boxes Raise the Possibility of Contact With the Dead

Whatever the causes of the many EVPs captured on various devices and more recently produced via the Frank Boxes, these ghost boxes have contributed to continued exploration of the paranormal and raise the intriguing possibility of actual contact with the spirit world.

Do you think spirits try to communicate with humans?

See results

© 2013 Athlyn Green


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