ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Are EVPs?

Updated on February 2, 2015

An EVP Session in Progress

The acronym “EVP” stands for “electronic voice phenomenon”, and has been made famous by various paranormal shows.

They manifest on recordings as voices or sounds which were not audible to individuals present in the location at the time. Often, they provide direct responses to questions asked.They can be picked up on any sort of recording device, including cell phones, computers and DVD recorders.

Part of what makes them so compelling is that often, distinct words and statements can be deciphered. Other times, sobbing or laughter is present.

What exactly is an EVP, and how was it discovered?

500 Sinclair Lewis Avenue, Saulk Center, MN:
500 Sinclair Lewis Ave, Sauk Centre, MN 56378, USA

get directions

A historic, haunted location just outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

What causes EVPs?

The most common origin believers subscribe to is that EVPs are ghostly communication. Because the recordings can be refined and catch everything that was being said, they’re more likely to pick up very quiet sounds that the human ear has difficulty deciphering. Our natural filtering systems could also be at fault for the fact that we may miss a reply from a spirit, but that it made it onto tape.

Patterns from our minds
The human brain naturally makes an effort to identify what might otherwise seem to be nonsense. This theory is very often applied to visual phenomena like Shadow People, but it also works with this sort of auditory phenomena as well.

Could meteors like this one cause EVPs?
Could meteors like this one cause EVPs? | Source

Like crossed phone lines, it’s also possible for radio, cell phone or television transmissions to be imprinted on a recording.

Meteors also relate to this theory. When they enter Earth’s atmosphere, they leave a trail as they disintegrate. It’s possible for radio waves to reflect off of those particles and be recorded as a result.

Background Noise
Acoustics can be very tricky. In some places, someone speaking in one part of the building can be heard clearly in another. There’s also the fact that some outside noises are just as loud as if they were happening right next to the observer. Because recording devices can be more sensitive than our hearing, it’s possible that outside sounds be picked up on them.

Although evidence points to the possibility of each of these causes, the thorough investigative team will be able to eliminate sounds on a recording which may or may not come from any of these sources.

A young Thomas Edison with a phonograph.
A young Thomas Edison with a phonograph. | Source

What’s the history of the EVP?
Although the theory has recently become popular, it’s been around for a very long time. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, spirits and ghostly communication was all the rage. Mediums had a great deal of popularity and high profile individuals sought their advice.

One of America’s great inventors, Thomas Edison, was no different. He was amongst the first to attempt auditory communication with spirits in the 1890s, through a phonograph device to record their voices. He’d continued his research into the 1920s and moved on to chemical experimentation before his death.

Interest had been maintained through the years thanks to a string of personal experiences.

In 2002, Frank Sumption invented what’s commonly known as a “Ghost Box”. This device scans the AM radio waves and has a built in white noise generator. The theory is that the spirits can stop the scanner on the words they’d like to convey to the investigators.

Although science as a whole may not recognize the EVP as a valid theory, it has still had an impact on our culture. The phenomenon has been found in many movies and books which have a connection to the paranormal or ghostly phenomenon. As time progresses, the idea will no doubt stick around and continue capturing the attention of people around the world.

A Ghost Box in Action


Submit a Comment

  • ESPeck1919 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

    Pretty wild, isn't it? There have been quite a few EVPs which have sent chills down my spine, and the paranormal has been a pretty normal part of my life for quite a while now!

    To be honest, I'm a little up in the air about the use of ghost boxes. It could be that spirits are attracted, or at least influenced by the tech, or that it might be the operator's own subconscious psychic abilities showing up through the box. Or hey, they might be ambient ghosts to his area, or spirits who had attached to him and were following him around. Who really knows?

    If you do get vids of local historical places, it'd be great to see if you come up with anything! NC sure has a lot of them.

    I'll check back on your hub tomorrow when I have more time. :)

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 

    5 years ago from North Carolina

    "You must go back, your not allowed to stay, good-bye" for real.. Amazing ghost box and pic captures by Steve with his cool equip, ES. Were the voices attracted by him or the potential to communicate with his cutting edge stuff you think? Learned some things through your article ES, thanks. I might start doing some vids at the multitudes of historic sites in this region next year. Oh, if you get the time check the Oulstee battle evp video again. I had the wrong part up. The one on now is awesome but be prepared- it is somewhat disturbing, eerie and sad.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)