I have seen various EVPs on ghost hunters shows. Some are very feeble and can be only heard through a recorder, others can be picked up live and are clear as day.

I know science does not believe in soul and spirits. But then where do these voice come from?

So are EVP's real? Do they really capture something that does not have body or we have explanation for it?

I may add reference from ghost hunters shows if needed

  • 5
    But then where these voice come from? Occam's razor would tell us that those videos are hoaxes made to fool gullible people that you can talk to the dead.
    – nico
    Dec 30, 2012 at 21:13
  • Hello Believer, I believe recording process could be susceptible to interference caused by radiation from cosmic rays, but, yes, this is not a complete solution to the interference problem, as about 40% of the cosmic rays move away from the Sun due to plasma heating. Neverthless, yes, nico is rigth, though! Dec 30, 2012 at 21:25
  • Well the question is more about EVP phenomena and less about dead, but they are interrelated. I am going to add some clearcut EVPs that are clear as day to make my point (I search already though but could not find the ones I was looking for). I don't think a random burst of cosmic or radio signals can generate clear cut sounds which always happens to be in English and which has some relevance to the question asked.
    – TheTechGuy
    Dec 30, 2012 at 21:36
  • Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 30, 2012 at 21:54
  • Yes, Believer, I partially agree, but the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality cannot be investigated seeing the facts, OT, OT, OT! Dec 30, 2012 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


While it may be impossible to prove that EVP is not paranormal. Current evidence suggests so.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive article on EVP with a list of natural explanations.

To just quote one

Auditory pareidolia is a situation created when the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns as being familiar patterns. In the case of EVP it could result in an observer interpreting random noise on an audio recording as being the familiar sound of a human voice. The propensity for an apparent voice heard in white noise recordings to be in a language understood well by those researching it, rather than in an unfamiliar language, has been cited as evidence of this, and a broad class of phenomena referred to by author Joe Banks as Rorschach Audio has been described as a global explanation for all manifestations of EVP.

There is another article on The Sceptics Dictionary

Quote(emphasis mine):

Perception is a very complex process, and when our brains try to find patterns, they are guided in part by what we expect to hear. If you are trying to hear your friend while conversing in a noisy room, your brain automatically takes snippets of sound and compares them against possible corresponding words, and guided by context, we can often “hear” more clearly than the sound patterns reaching our ears could account for. Indeed, it is relatively easy to demonstrate in a psychology laboratory that people can readily come to hear “clearly” even very muffled voices, so long as they have a printed version in front of them that tells them what words are being spoken. The brain puts together the visual cue and the auditory input, and we actually “hear” what we are informed is being said, even though without that information, we could discern nothing. Going one step further, and we can demonstrate that people can clearly “hear” voices and words not just in the context of muddled voices, but in a pattern of white noise, a pattern in which there are no voices or words at all.

Given that we can routinely demonstrate this effect, it is only parsimonious to suggest that what people hear with EVP is also the product of their own brains, and their expectations, rather than the voices of the dearly departed. (Alcock 2004)

An article on wikisynergy (it seems old, half finished and with plenty of link rot) quotes David Federlein (a sound Engineer?) Emphasis mine again

Often EVP proponents have pointed to the fact that digital recordings also pick up EVP as proof they are from beyond the grave. What is not noted however is that the actual microphone recording to the digital device is an analog piece of equipment subject to cross modulation in cases of cheap engineering. Poor analog to digital converters, fragmented ram, and faulty programming of lower quality digital devices either compound a cross modulated source, or create new splices of previous recordings added in to the new recordings. Interestingly enough when EVP proponents are explaining how to capture an EVP, often using high quality and properly grounded and shielded equipment is discouraged in favor of cheap and low quality recorders. While it is suggested to use a new tape every time (in the case of tape recordings) the recorders themselves are low quality and often inexpensive units that most likely are not up to the tolerance standards of professional sound engineers. This seems to suggest that EVP proponents may not understand the workings of radio broadcasting and its effect on poorly engineered equipment all that well, and are actually engaging in a controlled misuse of their electronics. Given that there are billions of radio transmissions filling our airwaves a device that is engineered poorly or has a faulty ground is almost assuredly going to produce strange combinations of human voice recordings that are somewhat mangled and in poor quality. Conversely the very human need to hear what we want to when looking for meaning in things would imply the physics of EVP alone is not to blame. Often ghost hunters and EVP believers want to connect with someone as proof of an afterlife, and may read into whatever recordings are captured something that isn't there.

What about research?

An article CSI by James Alcock (the one referenced above) says

Serious parapsychologists today show virtually no interest in EVP, and modern reports in the parapsychological literature find no evidence of anything paranormal in such recordings.

and from the Sceptics Dictionary article

Despite widespread belief in EVP, scientists have shown about as much interest in the phenomenon as they have in John Oates's reverse speech theory, and probably for the same reason. We already understand priming and the power of suggestion. As Alcock says, the simplest explanation for EVP is that it is the product of our own wonderfully complex brain, aided by the strong emotional desire to make contact with the dead.

And noone so far has claimed the million dollar prize from the James Randi Foundation.

And of course there is fraud. An entry on the James Randi Forums lists a number of malicious hoaxers who need to be seriously investigated.

  • 1
    I am digging through wikisynergy.com/~wikisyne/w/… . But most of the links i am finding are dead or lead to the main site or already referenced articles.
    – Stefan
    Jan 8, 2013 at 21:48
  • One not-so-relevant but still worth mentioning is the saturn + German voices (there are lots of examples of Saturns "noises" being pitch-shifted for vocal patterns). All accounts of auditory pareidolia. Jun 29, 2015 at 5:02

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