Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are voices that mysteriously appear on recording media and they have been a staple of ghost hunting for years now. The idea is that by giving the dead a conduit to speak through they can imprint their voices on magnetic recording media. EVP is typically undetectable at the time it is being recorded and is only noticeable upon playback. EVPs are also usually low in volume, whispery, and can sometimes warble in and out of audibility depending on the quality of the EVP. The specific mechanism that allows for EVP is unknown.
The practice as we know it dates back to the 1950s. The key players in popularizing EVP were Attila von Szalay, Raymond Bayless, Friedrich Jurgenson, and Konstantin Raudive. In fact, had it not been for Raudive's book Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead being translated into English, the phenomenon may have never made it across the Atlantic. Hard to imagine considering how popular EVP is now.
Naturally there are people skeptical of whether these voices are actually the voices of the deceased. There's no scientifically accepted way that the deceased should be able to communicate through audio tape and natural explanations for EVP abound. However, when has that ever stopped me from writing about something before? I'm of the opinion that if the messages have meaning then the hows or whys are not as important and the phenomenon needs to be investigated. Pushing EVP under the rug because it can be explained away naturally is a cop-out, especially when it's something that can be easily tested by anyone with a tape recorder.
The implications that electronic communication with the dead could have are huge. Being able to communicate with those on the other side of death with no special abilities and very simple equipment could lead us into an era of knowing what's on the other side instead of just blindly believing or inferring it. Imagine what effects that would have on humanity as a species. This would of course require that EVP be accepted by the establishment though, and that may be too tall of an order at this point in time. However, that's no reason we shouldn't try it for ourselves if we have the interest.
I've yet to experiment with EVP but I've been studying the phenomenon and how to do it and I hope to begin trying to pick up voices from the beyond in the next few days. I'd like to say that anything I capture will be put up on this blog but I can't promise that. While I consider myself technically savvy, I just might not have the equipment or expertise to put any EVPs I may get on here. I may, in the future, transcribe sessions or share my experiences if I have any that are relevant but again, I can't promise that. I've avoided putting up some profound experiences I've had on this blog before because I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around them sometimes and, quite frankly, if I read them on some random blog on the Internet I probably wouldn't believe them myself.
I can see myself maybe doing an EVP how-to if I find success with it though, so that might be something to look forward to. Until then I've got some links for you:
Electronic voice phenomena at Wikipedia
Electronic Voice Phenomenon Samples
Ghost Audio at paranormal.about.com