Updated: Aug 3
You see it all the time on TV. A “ghost hunter” goes into a haunted location, starts berating whatever spirits are there, does an instant playback on their voice recorder, and hears a spooky voice talk back.
While capturing EVPs might be as easy as asking questions and using a voice recorder, there are several different nuances to running an EVP session that are never shown on TV. Even though paranormal shows seem to capture responses in nearly every episode, a real paranormal investigator knows that true “Class A,” or crystal-clear, relevant responses are very rare.
But, if you stick to these suggestions, you will set yourself up with a higher probability of capturing that unexpected response that will give you goosebumps. So, let’s dive in.
Starting the Session
To give you context during evidence review on who is in the room and which room you’re in, always start off a recording session by naming everyone present and describing where you are in a house or building. Too many times, when you don’t start out with the basics, an evidence reviewer could forget a specific person is there and mistake their response for a spirit. Or you hear a bump, or a weird noise on the audio recording, but can’t contextualize it because you can’t pinpoint which room you were in at the time. A weird humming noise caught on audio could be the motor running on an old refrigerator, but were you far away from the kitchen in the basement, or were you sitting in the living room next to the kitchen? Without context of where you were when you hit record, it’s hard to validate or debunk any potential evidence.
Next, an important thing to do is to relay your intentions to whatever spirits are present at the beginning of the EVP session. Saying things like “I come here with respect” or “I’m here because the owners want answers to their questions” provides a baseline understanding to the spirits about your visit. It might sound a little nutty, but you must think about spirits as living, human beings. If you started trespassing on someone’s property, wouldn’t you do the same thing?
So, you’ve started your session with location and people data and announced your intentions—what’s next? The next part is the meat of your session.
For the most effective EVP session, it’s important to start with biographical questions. In the beginning, you should ask about their gender, how many spirits are there, or their age. These questions will start to define your more specific questions. While you’re asking all of these questions, pair your voice recorder with a K2 or Electromagnetic Field Meter. While you might not hear responses with your ears, the K2 meter will validate your responses through the spikes that contextually rise through your questions.
Based on those early responses, you can start to ask more specific questions, which come from the context of your earlier questions and your background knowledge from research on the property or owners.
When asking questions, it’s important to be loud and annunciate your questions, and to wait about 15 to 20 seconds to allow for any spirits to answer your questions on the recorder. If your K2 meter is spiking, and you’re hearing things and feeling static energy, continue to ask questions until you start getting specific answers. About 45 minutes is the perfect length for a session. Any more than that, and you’ll have some burdensome evidence review.
Lastly, while recording during your EVP session, make sure to never whisper, and always note when you’re moving, or when you have made a sound, as these may be misconstrued as paranormal during evidence review.
What to Do When Your EVP Session Is DOA
For most, doing a simple EVP session is not always going to be a successful endeavor, especially if the spirits you’re trying to contact are holding back. If you’re faced with this situation, don’t panic. If you have access to, or the ability to purchase more equipment, it will help to have a Spirit Box, which allows the spirit another means for communication. A Spirit Box is around $100 and is a device that very quickly scans FM and AM radio waves. It’s so quick that, theoretically, anytime you get full sentences it could be a spirit response, as no full radio signals should be getting through.
We’ve gotten great, relevant responses from the Spirit Box many times, which have even made clients cry, as we have captured their loved ones speaking through the box.
If you’re more advanced, and it’s safe to do so, sometimes provocation can cause the activity to ramp up. In this situation it’s important to always leave the house by closing off whatever energy you ramped up during the session. Not doing that would be irresponsible to the homeowner. If you’re not experienced in provocation, we recommend you do not introduce it into your EVP session. Inexperienced investigators can do a lot more harm than good by provoking spirits.
While EVP is one of the most common pieces of evidence you can capture, a lot of times, it can be one of the most impactful, especially if the responses can answer some of the questions you or your client have.
But don’t be fooled. Without the proper technique, and the skills needed, your EVP sessions will most likely fall flat. So, follow these steps, turn on that recorder, and capture some evidence!