Failure to Replicate Electronic Voice Phenomenon

Research Item – IMANTS BARUSS – Department of Psychology King’s College, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 2M3


Electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) refers to the purported manifestation of voices of the dead and other discarnate entities through electronic means. This has typically involved tuning radios between stations and recording the output on audiotape, although more recently anomalous voices, visual images and text have purportedly been found using telephones, television sets and computers in a phenomenon known as instrumental transcom- munication. Given the lack of documentation of EVP in mainstream scientific journals, a review of its history is given based on English language information found in psychical research and parapsychology periodicals and various trade publications and newsletters. An effort was made to replicate EVP by having research assistants simulate interaction with discarnate entities while taping the output from two radios tuned between stations onto audio cassettes. There were 81 sessions with an average of approximately 45 minutes per session for a total of about 60 hours and 11 minutes of recording. While there are some apparent voices and interesting noises upon playback, none of these is sufficiently distinctive to merit being considered anomalous. Some speculative reasons are given for the negative result although the possibility that there are no anomalous phenomena associated with EVP is offered as an explanation for consideration alongside the hypothesis that experimenters create EVP effects through anomalous human—machine interactions and an exosomatic theory of actual influence of electronic equipment by discarnate entities. Keywords: electronic voice phenomenon — instrumental transcommunication — life after death — survival research


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