Compendium of Horror, Fear, and the Grotesque

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Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) are sounds that have been recorded using a magnetic medium such as tape. The difference between these sounds and those normally heard on tape is that EVPs are not heard during the recording by those individuals making the recording. EVPs are sounds very much like human speech that seem to come from nowhere. Researchers have been studying EVPs since the 1950s. Some are convinced that the sounds are voices of disembodied human spirits, mainly because their recordings have been made at cemeteries or at the sites of known hauntings. Many of those researchers experimented with asking specific questions during their recordings and then listening to responses caught on tape after leaving the scene.

Skeptics claim that the sounds are not supernatural at all, but result rather from the misuse or abuse of the recording equipment. Some say that the sounds are basic fraud, deliberately created for their sensational value. Others attribute the speech-like sounds to apophenia: perceiving connections and meaning among things that are unrelated; or to pareidolia: translating meaningless sounds or images into something logical.

Whichever the case, there are scores of sites that post the EVPs they have made. Many sites are created by serious minded paranormal investigators. Others are posted in attempt to share experiences and findings with the public. I will begin by referring you to a site that discusses "precursor sounds" which occur immediately preceding the appearance of an EVP:

The rest of the sites offer numerous samples of what they claim to be authentic EVPs: