The Old Yorktown Hospital, narrated by Loren Dean.

Hey everyone! I was honored by Loren Dean aka the YouTuber lorenshining when she asked if she could narrate the article on the Old Yorktown Hospital. I said yes and she not only narrated it, but spiced it up with her own experiences and haunting voice. Check it out and give her some likes and follows!

Loren lives in Australia and is an accomplished tattoo and visual artist.

The Old Yorktown Hospital:

Loren’s Channel:


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Theory in the Paranormal: Misuse of terms and technology. How can we move forward?

This will be a short article but it’s something that I thought about this morning as I got ready for the day, the notion lighting up in my as of yet non-caffeinated brain like fireworks.

Many times, I have been reading a paranormal blog, a website or seen a show focused on the paranormal feature investigators and “experts” talking about a given subject in the field.

When they do this, they often use the words “hypothesis”, “theory”, and “experimental”, usually waving around some technical wizardry.

When they do, they are harming the attempt to have the study of the strange recognized as a valid scientific endeavor by proper accredited scientists.


It’s a two-pronged problem: First, it is a simple misunderstanding of terminology, a misstep in language that is causing more harm than bringing any sense of legitimacy to a field that is sadly often riddled with hoaxers, crack pots and fame chasers, not to mention seasonal “hunters” who show up every Halloween or at the premiere of a new ghost hunting show. Secondly, the use of unproven, untested technology or using pre-existing technology incorrectly or for things for which it was never meant to be used for.

Quickly, let’s look at the first problem.

Language and terminology.

I often see people (and I myself have been and occasionally still am guilty of doing this) speak of the theory of ghosts, the theory of how cold spots work, the theory on electromagnetism and ghosts being related.

Here’s the rub: None of those are theories. Not even one of them would stand up at all to scientific scrutiny even at a high school level of physics. Why? Because a theory is defined thus:

“…a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment, not guesses but reliable accounts of the real world.”

Essentially, for it to be a theory it must be repeatedly testable under the scientific method and falsifiable (it can be proven false…example…. “All cars are green”. The existence of a multitude of colors proves this wrong in a concrete manner).

That’s just theory. Then you have hypothesis. A hypothesis is an explanation proposed after observing phenomenon that can be tested using the scientific method. The theory is what comes after the hypothesis and multiple tests that can be used to further research and be refined. Most scientists do not use the term hypothesis for an “educated guess”. In fact, when it comes to the paranormal, we cannot even make an educated guess as that would require working from at least a bare-bones set of facts that are not based in supposition.

Experiment is another sticky area. Essentially, a proper scientific experiment is an organized and detailed series of steps in a controlled environment with repeatable and adjustable variables that will validate or refute a given hypothesis in accordance with the scientific method.

Let’s take a moment and review the scientific method. From Appendix E: Introduction to the Scientific Method, from Rochester University:

The scientific method has four steps:

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified.

As you can see, we in the paranormal field cannot yet apply this method to our work and we should not be using terms like “hypothesis” or theory, let alone experimental to describe what we do. We use them in the common vernacular but when we are upset that scientific circles do not take us seriously, the reason is clear as to why: we are using and throwing around words and concepts that many of do not understand or use them in such a way with an implicit understanding in the common way which is not how science works.

Science works by being exact, not fleeting or nebulous.

Essentially what we are doing is we are describing our ideas, our biases and our preconceived notions about psychic phenomenon with these words and that will not do. Not anymore. We need to move beyond that. As physicist Richard Feynman said, “Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.” John Keel once said the problem is not with what you saw, but rather how you interpreted what you saw and into which frame of reference you tried to put it. I’ll add to these already monumentally good points that it all comes down to how you describe in writing and in your communications to others your ideas.

Instead of saying “we have a theory about ghosts…” we should stop and realize that ghosts aren’t even proven to exist. We should realize that we are ascribing a name to a set of strange and wild phenomenon our notion of an afterlife or soul. We should then state instead of theory that we have a “conjecture” about this phenomenon, since a conjecture is an opinion or conclusion formed based on incomplete information and nothing more. Despite sounding derogatory, its rather refreshing to think that some of the best understood and concrete laws of nature in science started as mere conjecture.

Moving on, I’d like to tack the use of technology in the paranormal.

Specifically, things like electromagnetic field detectors, infra-red temperature guns, etc. I’ll just state it bluntly: Those devices were meant for measuring specific and well known environmental factors and are meant to be used in very specific ways and will only measure those specific factors. You cannot measure a cold spot with a non-contact infra-red laser thermometer. You must use an ambient air temperature probe (a thermocouple).


You cannot measure an electromagnetic field and say it’s a ghost or a sign of ghostly presences. Even if you ruled out conventional explanations, all you are left with is an anomaly for which there is no present explanation. Assigning to it our biases and beliefs about the afterlife does a great disservice to investigators and researchers who are trying to understand why those anomalies exist.

A splendid example of using EMF detectors is the Cell-Sensor and its many pop culture derivatives. It’s a single-axis meter, meaning it measures an electromagnetic field in a single dimension at any given time. I see investigators, especially newer teams, waving around this meter and its probe making great proclamations about the readings with every alarm and flash of the red light indicating a change in the EMF fields around them, completely forgetting it’s a single axis meter, let alone making wild claims.

Cell Sensor EMF detector.

As a single axis meter, you would need to take measurements at least in three dimensions with the probe, forward and back, up and down and side to side. You would then need to manually record and add up and average out the results to get a rough idea of the true measurement of that given field if you use a single axis meter (same goes for a double axis meter like the K2 and the insane notion it can communicate with the dead).
No team I’ve ever seen does this. So not only are they making wild assumptions, they are often never writing down data and putting it to use and they are not making any attempt at a conventional explanation and then after eight hours of running around in the dark, misusing more pieces of equipment for things it was never intended, they proclaim ten demons are haunting the house based on the feelings and ignorance of science and recommend an exorcist to the now thoroughly terrified home owner.

K2 Meter.

This goes double for devices like the geophone and the Frank’s Box (I hate that thing…. I really do). Devices like this are interesting but they do not do what their creators think they do. The geophone simply measures seismic activity, and in no way, can you ever state that activity was due to the soul of a dead person walking around. The Frank’s Box is even worse. It’s a modified radio that constantly scans up and down the AM band and occasionally a word or phrase will come out from a station that was locked in enough for just a few moments and people use it like a phone to the other side.

Frank’s Box.

The flashlight gag is another bane of my existence. Simply put that is not a ghost but a shaky circuit trying to make a connection, nothing more.

Many groups engage with these activities and missteps and expect to be taken seriously and scoff at or get angry when a skeptic puts them in their place (for good reason). These groups do not keep data logs, they do no analysis to look for patterns, they thrill seek by and large. Even more respectable groups have fallen victim to some of these behaviors (and my team was among them in the early days).

A geophone.

In conclusion, for us to grow, for us to really make a headway into understanding psychic events and experiences, we need to change our behaviors away from the gimmicky, from the conjecture and start using collected data to draw a proper hypothesis. To do this, we must disregard all our previous notions and beliefs. We must start with a blank slate, objectively divorcing ourselves from all the previous conceptions of ghosts, demons, religion and angels. We must be rigorous and unyielding in our commitment to quality and detail, to the written word.

It’s not going to be easy, but I truly believe that if we can do this, we can make paranormal investigation a legitimate area of study, far removed from the hobby it is today. Are we brave enough to break with the established dogma and start a new journey where, to steal from Star Trek, no one has gone before?

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Castle Stuart: Strange Connections and a Haunting that Killed.

It’s Saturday and today I’m thinking about connections, how the pieces of history and our lives often fall together in strange ways and even weirder coincidences.

It’s usually a day that I do nothing on but today was different. Today, I decided I would start a new habit (at least try to). I decided that I will write something every day, no matter what it is. I was digging through my literature and my library in my office and at my other desk downstairs for inspiration and came across an article in Dennis Hauck’s International Guide to Haunted Places. An old favorite, its covers and the covers of its companion, Haunted Places: The National Directory, have seen better days with extreme wear and tear.

I spent many nights pouring through each entry in my early ghost chasing days. As I recreated the past, the pages flipping through my fingers with the scent of old paper flooding my nose, I came across one of the many dog-eared pages. I stopped to read it over, to see if I could remember why I marked this set of articles. Then I saw that I had not only dog-eared it but committed the cardinal sin (to a librarian anyway) of writing in the book. In blue ink the words “possible radio show topic” were scrawled and underlined in my choppy handwriting. Below, I saw the title of the article. It was a sprawling two-page affair about Castle Stuart in Scotland.

I read over it and found out that I had a personal connection to the history of Castle Stuart as nebulous as it was at any rate. Castle Stuart is a stunning structure located in the Highlands not far from Aberdeen (no, not Katniss Aberdeen), just across the border of County Grampian. Castle Stuart is what is known as a tower house, meaning it was meant for double duty as both a defensive structure as well as a residence. The tower house style began to appear in the Middle Ages and it served to make buildings a command center as well as create a location with defensible strategic points while reducing the number of troops needed (Toy, 1985).

Standing tall and stark against the rolling lands of green, Castle Stuart is a dark red stone and brick construction with narrow windows and a soaring set of towers. It looks every bit like a haunted castle in every movie you can think of and that assumption would be quite right. Construction was started by the first Earl of Moray, James Stewart, the illegitimate son of King James the V and was half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots. The family connection comes not from James Stewart but rather Mary’s son, James the VI. My family belongs to Clan Gregor (MacGregor).

In 1603, after a set of violent raids between the MacGregor’s and the Clan Colquhoun (pronounced Cal-hoon), Alistair MacGregor and his men trapped and killed over 140 prisoners of war including, according to court records, a group of school boys who had stopped to watch the battle between the MacGregors and the Calquhouns.

Captured by King James’s men, Alistair and his men were put on trial and found guilty and summarily tortured and publicly executed. At the time of Alistair’s trial, James drafted a new law on April 3, 1603 called the Proscriptive Acts of Clan Gregor, which “altogether abolished” the surname of MacGregor and called for anyone who bore the name and refused to change it to be executed, women and children included. MacGregor men were killed outright while women were stripped, branded, whipped and paraded through the streets in England and afterwards sold into slavery in the colonies in North America. It was essentially a license to kill. This ban on our family’s surname lasted for 57 years and was finally overturned in or around 1660.

In short, the builder and owner of Castle Stuart was related to the king who nearly wiped my family from existence (not saying that Alistair and the 17 men who were found guilty did not deserve punishment. Giving into their bloodlust like that was uncalled for and my family have always been warriors, both in ancient times when we were called the Children of the Mist, to Rob Roy, even today as hockey players and actors who go on to be Jedi Knights).

I found that connection interesting and so decided I would dedicate this piece to Castle Stuart and its equally bloody history.

James Stewart began construction on Castle Stewart roughly in 1561. Not long after its construction, Stewart himself was violently assassinated on January 23, 1570 by a supporter of his half-sister, Mary Queen of Scots, James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. Hamilton shot Stewart as he passed by in a cavalcade with a carbine. It was the first recorded assassination by firearm.

The castle itself would not be finished until 1625 when the final stone was laid by the third Earl of Moray, ironically enough who also bore the name James Stuart, but this time using the spelling that became the family’s calling card. He himself died in 1638. It seemed like the house itself was destined not to be built but in truth, after its completion, it did see quite a few years of prosperity.

It was just before the English Civil War (1642-1651) that the castle itself had its first major tragedy. In 1629, the feud between the Stuarts and the McIntosh reached its apex. 500 of Clan McIntosh attacked and sacked Castle Stuart. The siege was brutal and finally, the Stuart family decided that escape was preferable to death and they fled from Castle Stuart, never to return. In 1649, King Charles, a Stuart descendent, was executed, adding another bloody chapter to the Stuart family book but it was nothing compared to what happened next on the green moors.

On April 16, 1746 the tensions between the French supported Jacobites and the British crown came to a head in the explosive legendary conflict known today as the Battle Of Culloden. It was the final battle of the Jacobite uprising and the capstone of a larger religious war burning across England and Scotland during this period. It was not a battle that ended in the favor of the Jacobites, with the group losing horrendously to the loyalist forces of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. Estimates put the Jacobite losses at roughly 1,500 to 2,000 men, not to mention the continued campaign of brutality waged by Augustus which earned him the sobriquet of The Butcher (Battle of Culloden, 2017).

The battle took place not far from the grounds of Castle Stuart, drenching the soil in blood that ran deep and that even today produces tension among both historians and descendants. Even by this time, with the castle abandoned, the structure had already gained a reputation of being haunted. The end of the Battle of Culloden saw the fall of the rule of the clans and with its closure, the Stuarts could finally return to Castle Stuart after 117 years of it sitting abandoned, a lonely shell witness only to silence, shadows and atrocities.

Around this time, another Earl of Moray attempted to make Castle Stuart a home. He was unable to get the peace and quiet he desperately wanted, his servants telling him horror stories of nightmarish screams, voices, apparitions and moving objects. Fed up with what he thought were the hallucinations and wild ghost stories of the weak minded, the Earl was determined to prove his house was not haunted and offered a reward to any man who was brave enough to spend the night in Castle Stewart, specifically in the room at the very top of the East Tower. The room had gained a reputation of being haunted by the devil and the Earl wasn’t having any of it.

Four local men took him up on his offer: a minister, an elder in the Presbyterian church, a shoemaker and lastly, a rough and rowdy type named Robert Angus.

The plan was simple: Each of them would spend an entire night in the haunted room. They would be locked in and in the morning, they would be let out. They were not to speak a word until all four of them had spent a night and then would compare their experiences.

The first to go in was the minister.

He found the room furnished comfortably. He made himself at home and promptly fell asleep.

The minister’s rest did not last.

The sounds of someone in the room echoed as heavy footsteps moved across the floor. Opening his eyes, the minister felt his heart drop as he saw a large powerfully built man covered in blood, very much dead, walking towards him. The apparition said nothing and slowly sat in a chair next to the minister, staring at him.

The minister awoke and realized he was dreaming. The dream felt far too real and he did not sleep the rest of the night.

On the second night, it was the church elder’s turn. The church elder did not fall asleep but rather read his Bible by candlelight. As he read, the room grew ice cold and he looked up as movement caught his eye. A man, a huge blood covered man, stepped through the wall of the tower like it was air. Frozen in terror, the elder saw the wall behind the blood covered man shimmer and move, rippling, it turned into a mirror and in it, he saw only a skull reflected. Growling, the apparition demanded to know what he was doing, drawing its dagger and advancing slowly towards the elder.

The next morning, the others unlocked the door to find the elder unconscious on the floor, having passed out from fright.

The shoemaker took his turn, though by now, it was with great reluctance. He built a fire in the fireplace and sat by it, praying for safety. At midnight, the locked door to the room opened, slowly, creaking on its hinges. Petrified, the shoemaker turned to see a form standing in the doorway, made of shadow and darkness. He saw the figure had no feet but instead had cloven hooves. The form seemed to shudder and shake as twin red orbs formed where its eyes would be. He cried out in terror as the thing leapt at him like an animal and he too was found unconscious the next day. Both he and church elder did not recover from their encounters for months, both scared beyond imagination.

At last, it was Rob Angus’s turn and he took it bravely, stating to the three who had come before, “You will find me as I am or dead. None other.” He claimed he was afraid of nothing. He was locked in as the others were and it was the last time anyone saw Robert Angus alive. The next day, the door was unlocked and to the shock of everyone, Robert Angus was not there. The room had been destroyed, furniture ripped apart, bedding destroyed. It looked like a tornado had torn through the room and the window, the narrow window that looked out over the fields, was shattered with no glass inside the room, meaning something had gone through it.

The three men made their way over to the window and looked out of its sorry remains; there, on the castle grounds, lay the broken twisted body of Robert Angus, an expression of terror frozen on his shattered face.

A farmer who had been working his herd that night, moving his sheep past Castle Stuart, swore that just after midnight he heard loud screams and what sounded like a terrible struggle. He looked up towards the castle tower and saw lights flashing with roars and screams. He watched as the window exploded outward and the body of a large man was hurled through it, taking the frame with him to his death below where he landed with a sickening wet crunch. Looking up at the empty frame, the farmer swore he saw a face floating there, the face he swore on his Bible, was that of the devil incarnate.

Unable to disprove the haunting, the Earl did the best he could with what he had and tried to force a home out of the haunted estate.

It wasn’t long before disaster struck Castle Stuart again, this time in 1798. A violent lightning storm struck, ripping off the roof of the East Tower, causing extreme damage to the wing. Rather than repair it, the Stuarts, already pushed to their limit, sealed off the entire wing instead of repairing the damage.

With the death of Charles and suffering from the English Civil War, the Stuarts abandoned their home again and this time it was for much longer.

Castle Stuart sat for 300 years, passing through different owners, none of whom could either capture the castle’s glory days or stay for any length of time with whispers barely spoken of ghosts and the dead. Finally, in 1930, James Cameron, a Canadian, bought the property and set about repairing the ravages of time and despair (Hauck, 2001). During the restoration, Cameron came across a doorway, deliberately hidden behind plaster.

Behind this door was a stairwell that lead down and dead ended at a wall.

Curious, Cameron tapped on the wall and found it was hollow. He raised his hammer and brought it down. The moment his hammer put a crack into the plaster of the dead-end wall, he claims he heard a voice come out of the air screaming “NO!” He shrugged it off and hit the wall again.

This time he reported he felt two hands shove him hard enough to knock him off his ladder, throwing him to the ground but the damage was done: His hammer had broken through the sealed wall completely.

A stench began to waft through the hole he had punched, the fetid sick sweet smell of decay and the cloying thick heavy wet scent of rotten flesh. Thoroughly terrified, Cameron bolted for the front door and when he stepped outside, he cursed as he remembered he would have to go back inside for his tools. It already getting dark outside and he did not want to go back in, unable to convince himself it was his imagination. After a moment, he steeled himself, and turned on his car headlights, aiming them into the open doorway of the castle. Carefully, he propped the front door open and went back inside for his tools.

Making his way back to the hidden chamber, Cameron had just reached his tools when he heard the sound he least wanted to hear: the sound of the heavy front door slamming shut.

Instantly he was in darkness.

Frightened beyond any capacity for rational thought, he blindly fumbled his way back up the stairs and to the main door. He yanked on it, and found it would not open as if it were held shut by a force with immense strength. Unseen, twin huge hands wrapped themselves around Cameron and began to pull him back into the darkness. He could feel the thick cold fingers through his clothes as they squeezed him.

Screaming, with adrenaline fueled strength, he managed to rip open the front door and bolted into the night, jumping into his car and never returned to Castle Stuart.
Once again, the old house was abandoned.

In 1977, Richard Charles Stuart, a descendant, bought the property and refurbished and restored it, turning it into a successful hotel with an accompanying golf course. The first wedding in 400 years took place in May of 1993 (, 2017). The owners do not shy away from their haunted history and to this day, have the restored tower room open for guests, if they are brave enough to stay a night there.

Like the Bell Witch and Amityville hauntings, the haunting at Castle Stuart claimed a life. It is rare in the annals of ghost hunting to come across such tales, let alone with confirmed historical facts to back it up.

What do we make of the haunting of Castle Stuart? Why was there a secret area, sealed off in plaster? Storm damage perhaps…. Maybe something else? The castle will hold its secrets, locked in stone and blood and it’s not going to tell anyone. It appears that those who get too close to the truth and haunted history of Castle Stuart may not live to tell the tale.

In the end, we find connections were we least expect them. In this case, the builder of what turned out to be a haunted house (and the victim of the world’s first assassination by firearm) was the half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots, whose son would later go on to almost exterminate my family’s legacy.

Strange how things work out when you open a book, eh?


Toy, S. (1985). Castles: their construction and history. New York: Dover.

Battle of Culloden. (2017, April 07). Retrieved April 08, 2017, from

Duhaime, L. (2013, October 31). 1604, The Abolition of the Surname Macgregor. Retrieved April 08, 2017, from

Hauck, D. W. (2001). The international directory of haunted places: ghostly abodes, sacred sites, and other supernatural locations. New York: Penguin.

Castle Stuart – Luxury accommodation in Inverness Scotland. (n.d.). Retrieved April 08, 2017, from

Posted in Haunted Spots | 2 Comments

Live Paranormal Q and A! Tonight @ 6PM EST!

Hello my dear readers!

Tonight I will be trying something new. As an extension of the blog, at 6:00 PM EST, I will be hosting a live video feed from my Facebook which will deal with the paranormal where you can ask any question of me about my beliefs, my experiences, my thoughts and theories on the supernatural, UFOs, ghosts, cryptids or anything that comes to mind!

I’d like to see as many of you there as I can so please look me up on Facebook, send me a message and add me! Let’s have a great session! I’ll have coffee and hopefully lots of you and your questions!

Facebook Link: AJ’s Facebook: Click Here!


— Anthony Justus!

Posted in Haunted Spots, Mythology and Folklore, Paranormal News, Personal Writing, Technical Article | Leave a comment

Shadow’s Reflection: My First Shadow Person Encounter



“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings-always darker, emptier and simpler.”

—   Friederich Nietzsche.

A few years back, I wrote an article on shadow people and possible explanations for them. Looking back at that article, I find it lacking substance and for a few odd moments, I couldn’t figure out why. It had facts, sources, and valid points. Then I understood what was missing.


As of that article’s writing, I had not personally experienced the shadow person phenomenon. In fact, I had only had one experience in which I witnessed a paranormal event with my own eyes while fully awake and aware. It was an apparition of a small boy who had died in a plane crash in the late 1960’s in Middle Tennessee.

That fact has changed as I have now experienced a shadow being, not once but twice in the last six weeks.  In many ways, it has left me intrigued and conversely set into a deep state of unease. The unease stems not from the shadow person itself but rather my being able to see it. I’ve had a special connection to psychic phenomenon since I was nine years old. It all started in a hot July of 1996 and 1997 turned my world upside down. I’ve never been “normal” ever since.  Any time that I have had a flash forward, a warning, a perception, its rarely when I am awake, usually only appearing in dreams as messages.  On rare occasions, I would have a flash when I was awake, or a feeling, nagging at the back of my brain or my hair would stand on end as a cold shiver ran down my spine to my feet. That was mostly it.

Things are different now I feel and I cannot explain how or why.

I suppose the best place to start is the beginning. This article will be much more subjective than most of my drier science leaning writing. You may get a personal glimpse into my life and my being. You’ve been warned, jokes aside, that we are stepping off the safe rails of my usual logic and going into the realms of my experience and instinctive speculations.

When my boyfriend and I moved into our townhouse style apartment in Kingsport, we thought it would be a great peaceful place to start out, our first place together. Bear in mind that at the time, I was only one year out of tumultuous relationship that ended on bad terms, though I was trying to make peace with it as best as I could. Ending it was the best thing for myself and my ex, whom I wish no ill will. He and I have talked since then and made peace with each other, noting it was really the most honorable and responsible thing we could do.

Given the circumstances of that relationship and the ones before it, I honestly should have gotten professional counseling. Unable to afford such luxuries, I did what I’ve always done with emotional trauma, especially anger and grief. I buried them, and forced myself to put one foot in front of the other.  I wanted to be happy. I wanted my friends back, and I had already lost so much over the years that there was truthfully nothing left of the person that was me. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t investigating, my team had fallen apart and for that moment, I had Ben, my mother and my best friend Brian, but I couldn’t really open to any of them and I will always regret it but that’s one of my quirks.

The apartment itself is situated on a relative quiet suburban street, part of a large complex. It’s an older building, built of brick and surrounded by trees in which squirrels run all over the place, squabbling over nuts before the winter’s chill puts the trees to sleep and quiet descends on the world.  The building has three other units in it, all two story, like ours. We are one of the end units, so the only thing we share with any of the others is a wall, otherwise we are on our own. The bottom half of the house is brick, while the top is white wood siding with dark shingles. A decent sized cement porch with white pillars adorns the front. It doesn’t look like an alarming place and in fact, for the longest time, it felt warm and welcoming. It felt like it was exuding a second chance to start over.


(Our apartment is the one with the bench on the porch). 

I got no bad feelings from it and when I looked at the history, I could find no violence, only happiness. The one crime that was committed on the property was back in the late 70s when the resident at the time had his check book and wallet stolen out of his car. The building is old, I’d say at least 1950s possibly even 40s. It’s easy to tell where the expansions were made.  White walls, white door frames, light brown soft carpet, carpeted stairs and a small kitchen, the house is not large. Downstairs, the living room goes into the kitchen and the kitchen into the laundry room and from the laundry room, you can step out onto the relatively small wooden back porch. To get to the bathroom and the two bedrooms, you must go up a set of carpeted stairs.

The smaller bedroom is my office (which I never use, I’ll get into that later) and the larger one facing the street is our bedroom. We have central air and heat, the modern conveniences. We moved into the house on the 5th of October of 2015. After a while, we got to know our neighbors a bit, after a fashion. We never met the ones who lived directly next door but we certainly heard them. They were constantly fighting, screaming at each other, slamming doors late at night, the situations would escalate at times to where furniture would be slammed against the wall we shared, shaking the house. More than once, someone would run out of the house at 4 AM, jumping into a car, screaming angrily at someone behind them.


(Our new house keys). 

This went on for months and months turned into a year. I’m not sure when but one night Ben got up to use the rest room and as he crossed back across the short hall way to come back into our bedroom he glanced up into my office and saw there standing a man, a young man, in his early twenties dressed in a plain shirt. Ben said nothing and the man was gone as soon as he was seen. Ben came back to bed and told me about it the next day.

Our neighbors were finally kicked out by our landlord and it was found that they did massive damage to their unit, so much damage that even now it is unrentable. No one lives there now, which makes what I am about to tell you even more unusual.

There were sounds for weeks after the salvage attempts stopped and the unit was sealed. Sounds of heavily furniture late at night, banging and thumping, dragging across the floors. Sometimes the house would shake from the loudness. Sometimes, I could have sworn I heard voices.  That slowly faded and then something new began to happen.

Ben and I would be lying in bed and there would come three knocks, like someone rapping on a door, wanting us to come to the door. The first few times we thought it was someone at the door, so we dressed quickly and ran downstairs to answer the door, only to find no one was there. We did find the source of the knocking however; it was coming from our own headboard. Once we localized it, we found that when it would happen (at random), we could feel the slight tremor through the wood just like if a person would rap on it.

We joked about it even as we heard footsteps in the hallway (Once we even heard someone go into the bathroom and turn on the water and flush the toilet) that when we were napping alone, each of us thought it was the other.  Then the bed sheets took on a mind of their own.

Ben and I had been working on laundry (a hated task) and we had stripped the bed, washing the sheets blankets and pillow cases.  After everything was done, we took the bed clothes upstairs, dumped them on the floor (we’re men. We don’t tend to be neat with tasks we don’t care for. Ask any woman who’s married to a male) and went to grab lunch. After we ate, we decided we probably should go up and make the bed so we trekked upstairs and entered the bedroom and found that someone had beaten us to it. Mostly, anyway.

All the bed sheets and blankets were put onto the bed and the pillow cases were now on the pillows and the pillows were neatly against the headboard. Stunned, we didn’t know what to do or say so we just said “thanks!” again, half-jokingly and made the bed.  A few nights later, we had bought some new spices and herbs. We wanted to test them before using them in a larger meal so we made some toast with the new spices. After taking a bite from the toast, I said it was a damn good spice and we were going to be using it. Ben needed me in the kitchen, so I sat my bitten toast down on my saucer and went to help him. I came back to find that my toast was still there but it was unbitten, as if it had just come out of the oven.

I told Ben to come and look and he turned a bit pale and said “I clearly remember hearing you bite into that, the crunch and you said it was great. You did bite it, right?”

I told him I did.

Things settled down for a while and nothing really happened except strange dreams from time to time and gradually, we began to lose interest in leaving the house.  Slowly, our sleep schedules began to drift away from normal and slide into insomnia. We were becoming vegetable like, having no interest in going anywhere or doing anything, even basic house chores or grocery shopping. We noticed that when we did finally drag ourselves out of the house, we felt much better, energized and awake and swore we would do something like conduct an EVP session or maybe just for good measure find someone to do a cleansing for us since that is not my expertise but every time we crossed the thresh hold into the house, we lost any desire to do so.

One night I did do an EVP session of about thirty minutes and captured nothing but a rhythmic clicking.

In February of 2016, I came down with appendicitis and nearly died, thankfully, however, I recovered after emergency surgery.  In November that year, is when the first and probably most striking experience yet occurred.

For months, Ben had been complaining he was short of breath and didn’t have the energy he used to. He used to exercise every day, pull ups, push ups, weights. By then, he had stopped entirely.  He would get chest pains every so often but they would always go away.

One afternoon, feeling drained, I went up to take a nap by myself. I fell asleep and hours later, I woke up and in a sleepy haze, I saw Ben come into the room, open the door and move silently across the room, come over to his side of the bed and then I felt his weight (he’s just over 200 pounds so it’s not mistakable for anything else) press down on the mattress. I felt his body heat as he put his arms around me and hugged up to me in the spoon position. I felt his hand pat my shoulder in a reassuring way and comfortable, I went back to sleep, thinking Ben was sleeping next to me.

A few hours later, I woke up and it was dark. I found Ben wasn’t next to me anymore and he came up stairs to check on me and I asked him where he went. He was puzzled. I explained to him what happened and what he said next made me literally run cold.

He had never come up the stairs at all, let alone got into bed with me. He said he was downstairs the entire time. Baffled, I could do nothing but wonder what had taken on the shape of my partner and what I had shared a bed with for several hours that could look like him, feel like him and not set off any warning bells.  It was the first time in years that I was left genuinely unsettled by a seemingly paranormal event. Just three days later, Ben was in the emergency room.


(He was trying to stay positive and gave me the Vulcan greeting. He knew I was worried). 

He had a heart attack that could have killed him had we not gotten to the emergency room on time and he was hospitalized for several days. After a stint was put in, he recovered, though he did have to do one more overnight stay.


(November was  very rough month for us.)

That was the first time I saw and felt anything directly with my own eyes but it would not be the last.

The next thing to happen was in January of this year on the 22nd. We had just washed the dishes and went to make our lasagna pasta (whole wheat penne noodles, hamburger, green peppers, onions, diced pepperonis with spices and Italian seasonings, four cheese sauce, bacon crumbles, real shredded Parmesan and mozzarella if you were wondering) and we noticed that there was sauce all over the stove. Confused, we found that the pot the sauce was in was spurting sauce through the sides.


We quickly took it off the stove and changed the sauce into another pot and then we found out what happened. The pot, which was washed not ten minutes prior and was fine, had suddenly developed six holes in a perfect circle all the way around it, turning it into a colander. The steel had been punched clean through, with no indication of how the holes may have been punctured. It was if they just appeared.


Sighing, we threw the pot away.

Fast forward to two nights ago, roughly. I laid down early and Ben stayed up playing ARK: Survival Evolved, a great game in which you play as a survivor teleported naked and alone onto a mysterious island populated with prehistoric animals and the goal is to not only survive, but evolve your technology and explore the island, tame dinosaurs and ultimately understand the island’s real story (it’s not a natural island at all) and escape.


We had both been playing it non-stop for weeks and I finally crashed. I was in bed and I woke up from REM sleep and there in the half open door was a figure about Ben’s height, peeking in, looking at me. It was jet black, with no features at all, as if it were a three-dimensional shadow. I felt no fear from it at all because a part of my brain wasn’t registering what I was seeing. I thought I was seeing Ben and that he was in shadow because the stair way light was back lighting him. I thought it was a perfectly rational explanation and nodded at what I thought was him and sort of laid back down.

I heard the door open, the hinges creaking and I saw the form that I thought was Ben move into the room, stopping for a moment at my side of the bed before moving over to Ben’s side of the bed. I didn’t turn over because at the time, I felt no fear and thought it was Ben. I was also sleepy but fully awake. I fully expected him to come to bed with me and I could feel him standing on his side of the bed, watching me, observing, silently.

Then I had a realization that made me open my eyes entirely.

Ben wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t hear any noise coming from him at all but I could still feel him staring at me, wordlessly. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up as I understood in a split second at last that it was NOT Ben because I could hear him talking to himself downstairs as he tamed an animal in ARK.

I finally understood what it was like to be frozen, unable to move, unable to turn over see what was in the room with me because I knew it wasn’t human, alive or even remotely anything that I could call familiar, just a human shaped blackness, thick with mass yet nothing and empty at the same time.

For days after, even after talking about it with Ben, I felt uneasy, unable to describe the unease, and yes, the creeping dread at having seen a being made of solid darkness that entered our bedroom and watched me like I was animal.

But even that wasn’t the end of the strangeness. Last night, Ben went to get a drink of water and he turned on the water filter and I heard him cussing and it turned out that a new hole had appeared in the side of the water filer that was less than a year old and that had never been dropped or anything. Water now jets out of the side of it any time you use the filter, rendering it useless.

Even tonight, more insanity as Ben went to bed and went to fill up his CPAP machine, he saw that his two filters, both the exterior and interior on his machine were gone. They weren’t in the floor knocked out by some accident. They were (and remain as of this post) missing. Thankfully, we have spares.

I don’t know what to make of the situation to be honest. I’ve managed to force myself to run checks of our magnetic fields and temperatures. Nothing is out of the ordinary. No cold spots or hot spots. None of the usual things I’m used to encountering in haunted houses. Then again, there are times that I wonder, is the house that is haunted or is us? Could either of us, somehow have created a tulpa or tulku (a less formed tulpa, less substantial). Ben has had similar experiences in his past with entities mimicking him (his story to tell, not mine). Could my unsettled depression and unhealed emotional scars that I’ve shoved down be causing the paraphysical events?

After that thought goes through my mind (I’ve been through the rational ones and can’t find one that explains it all effectively), I wonder, could something have been here before we even moved and it was somehow feeding on those neighbors and now that they are gone, it has no food to speak of and it has come to our house, using us as batteries and if so, to what end? Why all the sporadic events, none of which have any rational behavioral pattern behind them, almost as if it-whatever it is-is simply trying to annoy us, to rile us up and get us as emotional as our neighbors used to be.

I feel grateful that Ben and I have a good solid relationship. We are always laughing and talking and being silly together.


Coupled with my experience of my abilities and my experience in the field of the unknown, our laughter I think has kept whatever it is in check, not allowing it to feed on negativity, as it so gluttonously did with our former next doors.


(A pair of bigger dorks you will never find).

That’s my personal belief at any rate. I wonder, what kind of entity can take the form of a loved one and mimic them? A doppelgänger? It certainly came to mind after Ben’s near brush but I don’t think it is. Its 5:26 AM here and I am going to try to rest now, having got all this out. I want to thank you, my readers, for allowing me (and by extension you) to go off the beaten path. It’s been an interesting walk, I’ll say that. What are your thoughts about all of this? Let me know in the comments below. I’m eager for your take.

I’ll leave you with a final thought from Stephen Hawking, on the nature of the universe:

“There could be shadow galaxies, shadow stars, and even shadow people.”

Sleep well, dear readers.





















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AEARS: Appalachian Energy and Anomaly Research Society: Welcome back!



Its with no small amount of effort and time that I’m proud to say that myself and my team are once again conducting paranormal investigations. My life keeps pushing me in this direction, and I’ve been trying to steer my own course for several years now but it seems like this is where I am meant to be. I started my own team ten years ago as PSI Paranormal, which evolved into Southern States Paranormal Research Society as we joined and worked the TAPS Family and now, after four years of absence, we are back, armed with ten years of experience under our belts with new theories, new gear and a new perspective on analytics, the scientific method and experimentation.  My team has united and we are more than ready to go after anything that bumps in the night and bump back.

AEARS operates on technological principles, objective measurement of environmental changes to corroborate subjective paranormal experiences with the ultimate goal of being able to design technology that will allow us to directly record or interact with the psychic world, assuming it exists.

We do not charge for investigations and still maintain a relationship with the TAPS Family and the TAPS network, though we ourselves are not currently TAPS Family at the present time.

If you have a haunting or psychic experience you would like to share or have investigated, please let us know. We are also looking into reports of cryptids and UFOs. If you have questions or need more information, please see our website and use one of our contact forms so we can be ready to answer your call.

Work on AEARS will only add to the depth of this blog and I can’t wait to get back in the field. I’ve truly missed active investigations! Will you help me spread the word? Thanks to my wonderful readers.


AEARS Website:


— Anthony Justus.

Posted in Paranormal News, Personal Writing | Leave a comment

EVP: Science, theory and explanations.

Electronic Voice Phenomena:

An examination of the history of electronic voice phenomena related to the study of paranormal events, its methods, alternate explanations, analysis and documentation and how to collect and document EVP correctly.

by: Anthony Justus





“…If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties, and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore…if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.”

–Thomas Alva Edison, inventor.


On October 18th, 1931, Thomas Edison, inventor of the modern electric light-bulb lay in his bed, dying. He looked to his physician and said, “It’s very beautiful over there.” As a scientist, Thomas Edison was not a man that tolerated nonsense or pointless ideas. It is said by some that he must have believed in what he experienced on his deathbed,  otherwise, he would not have reported it or commented on it as such. At the moment of his death, the ornate library clock in Edison’s study stopped cold as did several assistant’s clocks, at 3:24 AM. No explanation to this day has ever been made as to why all the clocks stopped as they did, though his sons did try to find out who stopped them, however no one ever admitted to committing the act.

Edison himself theorized in response to an interview question that should our spirit survive physical death, that an instrument that was sensitive enough to such energies should be able to detect it or interact with that part of us that has moved on beyond the body and make a recording. There is no evidence that Edison himself ever attempted to create such a device, despite claims to the contrary. Has that moment now came at last, some eighty-years after Edison’s death, that we, at last, may have a machine that allows us to reach across the barrier between life and death and contact those who have passed on before? Some say that yes, indeed we have. What is the machine? What possible intricate and exotic device could this be?

The audio recorder.

The goal of this paper is to examine several things including the history of EVP, what EVP is believed to be, alternate explanations for EVP, and equipment used to capture EVP as well as analyze it.

History of EVP.

Thirty years before Edison’s now famous quote in 1901, American ethnologist Waldemar Bogoras had made an expedition to Siberia to study the shaman of the Tchouktchi tribe. In a dimly lit room, he witnessed what the shaman claimed was a spirit summoning ritual. The shaman beat a drum rhythmically, increasing in volume with every beat, the pace increasing exponentially as the shaman himself seemed to fall into a trance like state. Bogoras was shocked to hear the room suddenly fill with voices from which he could not pinpoint a source, speaking a garbled mix of English and Russian. “I set up my equipment so I could record without light,” Bogoras wrote, speaking of his phonograph (Macy, 2010). The shaman himself, Bogoras noted, sat twenty feet away and “when the light was extinguished the spirits appeared after some hesitation and following the wishes the of the shaman, spoke into the horn of the phonograph.” When he played the recording back, Bogoras was amazed to find that he could hear the shaman talking as well as the ceaseless drumbeats…and the voices of the spirits talking over the shaman. Coupled with the drumbeats and the shaman talking, the voices sounded like they were right on top of the phonograph input, which ruled out the shaman as he was over twenty feet away and never moved.

It was the first time in history that spirit voices were reportedly captured on a recording device, resulting in the world’s first EVP. But it would not be the last, not by far.

In 1910, a Catholic altar boy in Brazil often saw his superior, a priest, Roberto Landell do Moura, speaking into a small box which then would speak back. Father Moura did not share the details about what was in the box or how it worked as official Church rules frowned on any type of communication with spirits (May, 2010).  In 1925, Brazilian researcher Oscar d’Argonell wrote the book, Voices from Beyond by Telephone, which recorded details of his long telephone dialogues with supposed spirit friends.  In 1936, American photographer Attila Von Szalay began to experiment with a record cutter and had some success in capturing spirit voices on phonograph records, similar to Bogoras in 1901.  He partnered with Raymond Bayless, a writer, and found stronger success in using a wire recorder and both men published the results of their experiments in an article for the American Society for Psychical Research in 1959 but neither ever received further attention nor was their article considered a success.

Perhaps the two most important incidents in the history of electronic voice phenomenon occurred in the early and late 1950s. In the early part of that decade, in Italy, two Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father Gemelli were collaborating on music research. Ernetti was an internationally respected scientist, a physicist and philosopher as well as an avid music lover. Gemelli was President of the Papal Academy. On September 15, 1952, while the men were recording a Gregorian chant, a wire on their magnetophone kept snapping. Aggravated and tired of fooling with it, Father Gemelli looked up and asked his father, who was deceased for help. To the shock of both men, the voice of Gemelli’s dead father recorded on the magnetophone answered: “ Of course I will help you. I am always with you.”

Stunned, the priests repeated the experiment and again, got a response, this time the voice of Gemelli’s father seemed to find it funny that they had such a hard time believing it was him, commenting discarnately from the recorder, “ But Zucchini, it is clear don’t you know who it is I?”

Zucchini had been Gemelli’s nickname that his father had often teased him with when he was alive. While deeply touched and grateful to be able to speak to his long departed father, the event troubled the priests who wondered if they had any right to speak with the dead. The two men visited the pope, Pope Pius XII, in Rome and told him of their experiences.

The Pope simply dismissed any wrong doing upon their behalf and said “ Dear Father Gemelli, you really need not worry about this. The existence of this voice is strictly a scientific fact and has nothing whatsoever to do with spiritism. The recorder is totally objective. It receives and records only sound waves from where ever they come. This experiment may perhaps become the cornerstone for a building for scientific studies which will strengthen people’s faith in a hereafter.”

While reassured, Gemelli did not publish his findings or the record of the incident until near the end of his life in 1990.

At the end of that decade in 1959, Swedish film producer Friedrich Juergenson captured voices on audiotape while taping birdsongs. When he played the tape back, he heard a male voice say something about “bird voices in the night”. Upon closer inspection, he also heard his mother’s voice say, in German, ” Friedrich, werden Sie aufgepaßt. Friedel, mein kleines Friedel, können Sie mich hören?” Translated roughly, this means “ Friedrich, you are being watched. Friedel, my little Friedel, can you hear me?”

Now convinced that he had made an important discovery, over the course of the next four years, Juergenson continued to record hundreds of claimed paranormal voices and playing the tapes are international press conferences and in 1964, published a book in Swedish, Voices from the Universe and later, another work, titled Radio Contact with the Dead.

The development of what was perceived to be research on EVP continued through the years, and attracted now household names to it, at least in the paranormal community, such as Konstantin Raudive, Latvian psychologist skeptic turned believer who began to study EVP after visiting and learning the methods of Juergenson, with Raudive himself recording many hours (over 72,000 voices) of communication with the dead. In 1971, Raudive was tested independently by Pye Records who initiated a controlled experiment in which Raudive was not allowed to touch or interact with any of the equipment used to record for 18 minutes. The room in which Raudive was placed was shielded against stray radio or television broadcasts. During the recording session, only Raudive himself was heard. Upon playback however, over 200 separate voices were discovered.

It was in late 1973 that most EVP researchers consider a major breakthrough in communicating with the dead was achieved. Paranormal researchers George and Jeanette Meek met a supposedly very psychic man named William O’Neil, who reportedly, could see and hear spirits. O’Neil was also a gifted man with electronics and according to most sources, combined his knowledge of electronics and his gifts of mediumship to produce a new device and method of communication called the SpiriCom. SpiriCom was set of tone generators and frequency generators that emitted 13 tones spanning the range of the adult male voice. Apparently and according to O’Neil, he received help in his design for this device by working together with deceased physicist Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, who’s ghost is said to have materialized to O’Neil one night in his living room. BY 1980, the SpiriCom device had advanced to the point that the disembodied voices were very clear, though strangely buzz filled.

Some would accuse O’Neil of faking the voices with an electric larynx, though this was never proven based upon the buzz-filled sound of the recordings, the fact that neither Mueller’s nor O’Neil’s voices ever overlapped and the fact that despite detailed plans, diagrams and other SpiriCom’s being built, no one was ever able to replicate the type of results O’Neil did. (May, 2010).

In 1982, Sarah Estep founded the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon, AAEVP, which was an organization devoted to the study and research of EVP recordings and even developed a classification system for the EVP recordings based upon their clarity, Class A (recordings that needed no cleaning, no filtering and were absolutely clear to the listener, a very rare type), Class B (which are loud and garbled and are agreed upon to be a voice but what the voice is saying is unknown) and Class C (vocalizations or sounds that are not voices yet should not be present on the recording). Some go further, by adding a Class D, which is any audio event not covered by the previous three categories. (Macy, 2010).

In more recent times other devices, spiritual successors the SpiriCom have been developed to reportedly allow real time communication with the dead, such as Frank’s Box in 2002,  of which Frank Sumption, the box’s creator, claims the design came from the other side, much like the SpiriCom. Frank’s Box supposedly worked as a combination white noise generator and an AM radio receiver modified to sweep back and forth through the AM band, selecting split second snippets of sound. This box was heavily criticized, perhaps rightfully so, due to the extremely subjective nature of the sounds it produced and since it relied upon radio noise, any response the user may get is either coincidence or a result of audio pareidolia.

The Ovilus and the Paranormal Puck were devices that were also made within the last ten years designed reportedly to contact the dead by utilizing sensor input in the form of electromagnetic readings, temperature shifts and changes in the atmospheric conditions of an area to produce words either from pre-selected dictionaries or voice synthesizers. The reliability and viability of these devices is hotly debated and open to interpretation as none has been proven to work.

So, with all this history, what is EVP?

EVP is an acronym that stands for electronic voice phenomenon, and refers specifically to a form of supposed communication from the dead, in which a speaker asks questions to empty air and records the session and upon playback, voices which were not heard during the initial recording are often heard respond to the speaker in the most common set up. This set up, while common, is by far not the only method of conducting EVP research and EVP is one of many variations of what has been termed “instrumental trans-communication” or ITC which refers to the use of technology by the dead to reach out to the living or vice versa.

EVP is commonly believed by most paranormal investigators to be the voices of the dead or in rare situations with other forms of ITC, the actual manifestation of the visual and audio aspects of a personality that has been deceased. One of the most perplexing aspects of EVP is why it is so often unheard during the recording. Some research teams and ideas as to why we cannot hear EVP at the time it is recorded is that it may be a type of psychokinetic influence on the circuits in the digital audio recorder or perhaps a psychokinetic  (PK) imprint on magnetically sensitive tapes (standard cassettes). While EVP may in fact be a PK event, the theory remains unproven as of this writing. If it is in fact a PK event, it remains to be seen if the recorder (person who is actually recording the session) is the one who is the agent for the PK influence or if it a discarnate intelligence which is using PK to manifest itself on the medium, which is the device itself.  PK testing conducted at Duke University suggests that PK does in fact have a stronger affect on random number generators or computers for all intents and purposes. A digital audio recorder is nothing more than a very simple computer however this does not adequately explain why EVPs are caught on magnetic tape.

Josh Warren’s investigation team in North Carolina, LEMUR, have done experiments that show that the reason why an audio recorder may pick a sound up but your ears may not is that your ears are designed to pick up sound waves not electromagnetic signals. Sound waves are air vibrations that cause the ear drum to vibrate whereas something like say a radio signal is an electromagnetic wave. Our hearing system is not designed to “translate” electromagnetic signals into proper sound but a microphone is.

Most decent audio recorders are actually shielded against radio frequency feedback to prevent the accidental pick up of radio frequencies but what LEMUR found out was that if you take an audio recorder and wire a radio or sound output device to broadcast its sound not with sound waves (air vibrations) but rather as a projected energy wave (electromagnetic wave) that the recorder’s microphone will still pick up the sound and re-interpret it as sound even though we can’t hear the broadcast at all.  This suggests the possibility that the reason we cannot hear EVPs in real time is that whatever is causing them, ghost or otherwise, may in fact be using an electromagnetic wave to transmit sound as opposed to air vibrations. Whether or not this electromagnetic wave is influenced by PK remains to be seen, however, given the success rates of experiments such as Helmut Schmidt, who was one of the major pioneers in using random number and random event generators, in particular ones that used strontium-90 as the basis for random generation, and given the fact that PK does seem to be able to manipulate electronics, the idea that a PK influence on a magnetic field existing is not far fetched (Parapsychology Handbook, 1977).  The experiment by Warren that support the theory that EVP is a magnetic field thus why we cannot hear them is described in its entirety below from Josh Warren himself:

Understanding EVP
A Practical Demonstration

How is EVP activity recorded?

Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, is a general term for ghostly sounds that are captured using audio recording devices. Traditionally, EVP refers to spectral voices, as the original term implies. However, that term has come to be used in connection with paranormal audio that does not necessarily include a perceived voice, or voices. EVP are most often sound effects, like footsteps in an empty room, or strange knocks and bangs. But, of course, voices are what most paranormal researchers strive to capture most. These voices can be interactive, answering questions presented by investigators or communicating information about the research environment.


EVP is most notable because it is not heard by the naked human ears. The recording is made in a place that appears to be quiet. However, when the recording is played back, the ghostly audio is heard. Sometimes an audio recording device is left to record by itself in an apparently quiet environment. Other times, an investigator will ask questions in a place that seems to be soundless, while recording the session and pausing after each question in anticipation of an answer. Then, when the recording is played back, answers will indeed follow the questions.

Humans can hear from around 20-20,000 hertz. If the recording device is sensitive to lower or higher frequencies, it could explain why sounds are captured that humans cannot perceive. However, the devices that capture EVP are usually sensitive to the same range as human hearing. This is perplexing to most people, since it doesn’t seem to make sense that the recorder would document a sound that was not audible at the time. However, it is relatively easy to explain why this may occur.

For years, investigators speculated that spirits might directly imprint electromagnetically-sensitive audio tape. Indeed, this may sometimes be the case. However, the advent of the digital recorder changed that perception some, considering digital recorders use no tape, but are still capable of capturing EVP. Instead, it seems most likely that ghosts produce electromagnetic oscillations that are not perceived by human ears, but can be easily interpreted by a microphone. In fact, the type of microphone used may be the greatest factor in determining the quality and range of EVP a recorder can capture. This can be easily demonstrated with a relatively simple setup.

If you take a radio tuned to a station, and plug a large coil of wire into the headphone jack (where sound comes out), you will hear nothing. This is because the coil of wire does not act like a speaker. It only takes the electrical signal from the radio and broadcasts it from the coil. When you turn the volume on the radio all the way up, you still will not hear anything, but the electrical signal traveling through the coil is strong. Next, take an audio recorder, with an external microphone, hold it near the coil, and record. When you play the recording back, you will find the radio station has been recorded loud and clear. Sound was transferred electromagnetically from the coil to the microphone, and the microphone interpreted the electrical signal as sound to imprint on the recording medium. At no point were the sound waves resonating air (like a speaker), and the resonance of air is essential for such sounds to be perceived by ears.


Considering ghostly activity is so prominently connected to electromagnetism, it seems that spirits may communicate by producing electrical signals that are easily perceived by the microphone, but not the investigators present. Of course, if the investigators are monitoring the room live via microphones, then real-time audio communication may be possible.


If you conduct the radio experiment, you can test out different types of microphones, and microphone positions, to determine the best techniques for recording EVP. Just remember to turn up the radio volume all the way and use an external microphone for best results. At many electronics stores, you can find a headset jack that is split into two wires. Simply hook each end of your coil to each of these wires, and plug the jack in securely. The larger your coil, the stronger your broadcast will be.”  (Warren, 2010).


What about possible alternate explanations for EVP?

            There are a large number of alternate explanations for EVP and these must always be considered when conducting EVP research and eliminated as possibilities. Some of these include radio interference (remember LEMUR’s experiment that was able to produce EVP like effects with an electromagnetically transmitted sound) , electric interference (such as electric current that is not grounded properly), psychological effects such as audio pareidolia, meteor showers  affecting broadcast waves and of course, simple fraud or even apophenia.

Pareidolia and apophenia are the two most often cited caused for most EVP recordings as most EVP recordings out there on the Internet and being publically viewed are Class B or below, thus greatly reducing their effectiveness as evidence for proof of anything and a general lack of knowledge on behalf of the teams who present such weak recordings. Pareidolia is the human mind’s tendency to find familiarity in visual or audible “noise”, similar to seeing familiar shapes in clouds. In the case of EVP, some scientists suggest that the voices are nothing but artifacts created by the subjective processes of the mind trying to make sense of the random noise (Psychology, 2009). Apophenia is the psychological logical fallacy that is related to but distinct from pareidolia, in which people spontaneously find perceived connections or meanings in things which are random, unconnected or meaningless also called illusory correlations which are a fault in some scientific experiments as well (Psychology, 2009).

Interference is seen in some EVP examples especially those that have been recorded on devices with RLC circuitry. In this cases, it is suggested by scientists that these EVPs are actually examples of radio signals of voices or other sounds from broadcast sources, including interference from CB radios, baby monitors or cross modulation (Tipler, 2004). SSPRS itself has discovered several of our own recordings that have these types of interference effects, though none have been able to produce a voice.

Sometimes the “cleaning up” of a recording can actually create false EVPs by raising the noise floor or filtering it by cutting out certain frequencies, isolation of those frequencies or other enhancements which can cause the altered recording to differ significantly from the original source, more often than not creating an EVP event as opposed to documenting one.

Meteor showers are another possible explanation especially where frequencies above 30MHz are concerned. These types of transmissions are not reflected by the ionosphere and there is a possibility of reflection back down by passing comets or meteors, which leave a trail of ionized particles and electrons as they pass through the upper atmosphere in a process called ablation, causing these broadcasts which normally would flow out into space to be bounced back. These reflected waves are from transmitters which are below the horizon of the received meteor reflection, which means a scattered wave may carry quite a distance, though the chances of a meteor shower interfering can easily be ruled out by checking astronomical charts for known meteor showers or space events during the investigation or recording session. Solar storms may also influence recordings. (Harvey, 1974).

Recording and Analyzing EVP:

            Below is the method that SSPRS uses to collect and study EVP events. This is, in most cases, the standard procedure for teams to collect EVP with few exceptions.

Required Equipment:

  • Digital Audio Recorder with a USB Output (needed to download the audio files to a computer) OR an analog cassette recorder with an external Omni-directional microphone (helps reduce or eliminate the sounds of the gears turning. You will also need high quality fresh clean non-used tapes if you use analog. Microcassette or standard does not matter).


TIP: You should set the microphone on the digital recorder to CONFERENCE. This allows a more effective sampling range around the device.


TIP: If you will be using an analog recorder, you will also need a 3.5 millimeter (standard jack) audio patch cable to transfer your standard cassette/micro-cassette recordings to the PC. Don’t forget the right batteries. Always use fresh.


  • Pen and Paper.
  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones
  • Computer with USB ports.
  • Audio software (Audacity, Cool Edit Pro 2.0, WavePad, Goldwave, etc).

The method for EVP recording presented here is the method by which SSPRS conducts its own EVP sessions and is by no means suggested to be the only one but it is one by which we have been able to obtain results. During an investigation we will pick out our room and clear it of any possible external noise producing items (things that could create artificial artifacts).

After we clear the room of these items and unplug any remaining devices that are not needed, we make a log of the date and time, location and those who are present as well as an accounting of the whereabouts of anyone else present on the location. Once this has been confirmed we use a radio frequency meter to ensure that there is no radio frequency pollution in the area as well as take standard electromagnetic and temperature readings. These are documented as well as photographing the location. After documentation has been done on the measurement and data logs, the investigators present, no more than three sit down on the floor as to minimize noise while the recorder itself is set aside from the group, on a stable flat surface where no investigator can touch it. Ideally, though not always, a video camera is recording the session.




`At this point, the recorder is activated and time stamped vocally with the following script:

“ Date is _____________. Time is ______________. RF field readings are __________. EMF field readings are____________. Temperature readings are____________. Investigators present are_______________. (at this point each investigator should say their first and last name in a normal speaking voice which can help separate possible names recorded later and provide a control for comparison). Location is________________. Standard EVP session now recording.”

A slight pause of approximately one minute is allowed between the time stamp event and the actual session itself which will be run for an average of fifteen to thirty minutes at a time in each location on the site by a team of investigators. EVP sessions are never ran in tandem and only one session is allowed to be in progress at any given time.

During the session, questions are asked that are simple in nature, often easily answered with a yes or no or a number with a pause of 30 seconds to 1 minute between each question asked during which there is absolutely silence on behalf of the investigators. EVP questions are never forceful and must be polite and without ridicule nor with insults (provocation).

At the end of the session, the time keeper (who also keeps the logs) will once again take measurements at 3 minutes till the end of the session for RF, EMF and temperature, logging these on the logbook and audio without breaking the session. At one minute till the end of the session, a one minute silence is imposed to allow for the possibility of any stray sounds to be recorded. At the end of that final minute, the recording is again time stamped EXACTLY as when it opened with the same verbiage and names. After the time stamp, the recorder is shut off as is the video camera.

The set up is then repeated throughout the location until the location has been fully examined. At no point  is white noise allowed to be used or brown or pink or any other type of noise generator. Ovilus also may not be used except for experimental purposes and must be documented when used. If any sounds or events occur during a session, such as refrigerator turning on, coughing, sneezing, etc or heating and cooling system cycling, they are logged and noted with times. Whispering is forbidden as well.

At the end of the investigation, all audio samples are downloaded into files into the computer and appropriately labeled by location and date. You can transfer the analog files by plugging one end of the patch cable into the output (headphone) jack of the analog recorder and the opposite end into your PC’s microphone jack and then use Windows Sound Recorder to capture the playing file, essentially re-recording the original onto the PC.

The files are then split into fifteen minute clips (makes for easier listening than hours at a time) and listened to in our audio program, Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (Adobe Audition) using noise-cancelling headphones, and a pad and pen to track any events that are found during the listening to go back and revisit for further analysis. Once the initial analysis is completed, the sections that are marked for further review are clipped out and saved as an original file without modification. A second copy is then made and that second copy is the one upon which further cleaning may be done if necessary however, SSPRS does not use cleaning or filtering unless absolutely necessary and any thing that is done to any specific sound file must be documented in full, step by step in the analysis log.

When labeling file names of clips believed to contain EVP events, the file name is NOT allowed to contain what we think an event may say, but rather is a random set of numbers. The listener is not told what we think the sound is and must tell us their impressions first as to minimize audio paredolia.

When listening for human voice ranges and analyzing clips, a carefully conducted frequency analysis of what is believed to be a voice clip can often times help rule out conventional explanations and find alternate ones before leaping to the paranormal (SSPRS, 2010).

                                    More on EVP: Frequency Ranges and Sonic Effects:

(from S.P.I Society for Paranormal Investigation, 2010.)



“ Measuring terms:
1,000,000 cycles per second = Megahertz (MHz)
1,000 cycles per second = Kilohertz (KHz)
1 cycle per second = Hertz (Hz)

Some ghost investigators say that a recorded voice in the ELF range is quantifiably EVP because the human voice cannot go below 250 or 300 Hz.

While it is a true general statement that the frequency of the human voice is about 300 to 3000 Hz, this statement is generalized, over-simplified, and not entirely accurate. In fact, the human voice ranges from 20 Hz to about 14,000 Hz.

Here are some more specific facts regarding frequency range of the human voice:
Most energy concentrated below 1000 Hz.
Vowels have most of their energy below 1000 Hz.
Consonants have most of their energy above 1000 Hz.
Harmonics in voice can go above 3500 Hz.

The range of frequencies that young, healthy adults can hear is between about 20 Hz to about 14,000 Hz (some up to 20,000 Hz).
We perceive speech mainly in the frequency range of 500 Hz to 3000 Hz.
The frequencies which have the most significance for speech lie between about 100 Hz and 4,000 Hz.
Human voice ranges from 20 Hz to about 14,000 Hz (typically about 300 to 4000 Hz).
The fundamental frequency (F0) for an adult male voice is around 120 Hz (80-200 Hz).
A speaker with a bass voice will produce sounds with a F0 of between 75 and 150 Hz.
The typical FQ range for an adult female voice is around 220 Hz (140-500 Hz).
A speaker with a soprano voice will produce sounds with a F0 of 400+ Hz.

These frequency numbers are in Hertz (cycles per second):
1                 Approx. beginning of brain waves
6.66           Theta brain waves
7.85           Alpha brain waves
15.7           Beta brain waves
30-30.56   Government VLF stations
32-33        Government VLF stations
34-42        Government VLF stations
50              Approx. Upper limit of brain wave frequencies
60              Produces an audible sound
Here are some other typical frequency ranges:

Thunder – as low as 20 Hz
Piano – 25 Hz to 4,100 Hz
Bass drums – as low as 30 Hz
Bass guitar – 30 Hz to 200 Hz
Bass Tuba – 44-349 Hz
Cello – 66-987 Hz
Guitar – 83-880 Hz
Trombone – 83-493 Hz
French Horn – 110-880 Hz
Trumpet – 165-987 Hz
Clarinet – 165-1567 Hz
Violin – 196-3,136 Hz
Flute – 262-3,349 Hz
Cymbals – up to 15,000 Hz
Squeal of Bats – about 20,000 Hz


Hearing Frequency Ranges are also interesting to note:
Dog Hearing Frequency Range – about 50-45,000 Hz
Cat Hearing Frequency Range – about 45-85,000 Hz
Bat Hearing Frequency Range – about 2,000-120,000 Hz
Porpoise Hearing Frequency Range – about 75-150,000 Hz



Sounds which the human ear can hear range from 0 dB (so faint that only the best hearing person can hear them) up to 180 dB (as loud as a rocket taking off).
Typically, we speak between 45-60 dB loud.
Here are a few more decibel scales:

Leaves rustling – about 10 dB
Stream Flowing – about 15 dB
Whisper – about 20-50 dB
Ticking Watch – 20-30 dB
Bass Drum – 35-115 dB
Organ (orchestral) – 35-110 dB
Quiet Street – 40 dB
Cymbal – 40-110 dB
Violin – 42-95 dB
Quiet Conversation – 45-60 dB
Trumpet – 55-95 dB
Busy Office – 60 dB
Home hi-fi system – about 60-90 dB
Piano – 60-100 dB
Loud Conversation – 70 dB
Normal City Traffic – 70 dB
High-speed electric train – 70-100 dB
Vacuum Cleaner – 75 dB
Hair Dryer – 80 dB
Cafeteria – 80 dB
Slamming Door – 80 dB
Motorcycle – 90 dB
Lawn Mower – 90 dB
Garbage Truck – 100 dB
Screaming Baby – 115 dB
Thunder – 120 dB
Construction Site – 120 dB
Race Car – 120-130 dB
Rock Band – 120-130 dB
Pain Threshold – 130 dB
Jet Taking Off – 140 dB
Rifle Shot – 160 dB
Rocket launch – 200 dB



A simple explanation of a waveform is that it is a graphic representation of a sound wave, which is the result of compressed air pressure propagating away from its source of compression.

A sound wave can be displayed as amplitude against time.

The loudness or amplitude of a waveform is the changing pressure from the peak of the waveform to the trough (the height of the waveform). Amplitude is measured in dB (decibel) on the vertical axis.

The distance between two successive peaks in a waveform is called the period. This measurement of time is shown on the horizontal axis.

A cycle is the amount of time it takes the waveform to go from one amplitude all the way through its amplitude changes, until it reaches the same amplitude again. (The times a sound wave crosses zero vertically.) This range consists of 360 degrees.

The frequency of the waveform is how many cycles it goes through each second, where one Hz (hertz) is one cycle per second.

Pitch refers to the basic frequency at which a sound vibrates, also known as its fundamental frequency, or F0 (“eff-zero”). This also refers to how high or low the sound is perceived. Pitch is often used synonymously with frequency; the higher the pitch, the higher the frequency.

Fundamental frequency (F0) is the lowest frequency of the sine waves composing a complex sine wave. The two higher frequency components are the second and third harmonics, the fundamental frequency is also called first harmonic.” (SPI, 2010).

By using the above frequency tables, a paranormal investigator or parapsychologist could run frequency analysis on any captured EVP and compare them to the  table to eliminate possible rational causes.

In conclusion, this paper has briefly touched upon the history, methods, theories and basic equipment used to research electronic-voice phenomena. This is by no means a complete study of the anomaly that is known as EVP but merely meant to be an introduction to the study of the events themselves and also give basic instruction on how to obtain clean samples of EVP events in the hopes that more researchers will begin to study EVP. The very existence of EVP, if it is indeed a true phenomena, suggests that discarnate survival of the personality is indeed possible  or at the very least that some part of us is left behind.

Whether or not EVP constitutes survival is up to debate.  Alan Gauld, a contributing author to the Parapsychology Handbook, establishes that to clear up the matter of post-death survival, we must establish three basic rules. The first rule states that only those cases that will be counted as evidence for survival are those in which there is a clear and present recrudescence of the personality of a once living human being in its totality whom has suffered bodily death.  To further clarify personality in precise terms: characteristics, attitudes, mannerisms and emotions, memory-knowledge and intellect. Cases in which  only voices, non-interacting apparitional experiences, EVP and ITC alone do not make proof per se for survival as these events may possibly exist outside of the survival of the human being after death (Parapsychology Handbook, 1977).  If we follow this definition of survival, then EVP alone does not prove survival of the entire personality beyond death, but in fact suggests, that EVP may be nothing more than fragments of a person’s personality and psychic memory lost in space and time that we are able to detect on rare occasions under the right conditions which are as of now, unknown.

Only time will tell whether or not the dead do in fact speak and whether or not we should or even can listen to them.





Macy, M. The phenomenal history and future of ITC research. (n.d). Retrieved January 2nd, 2010 from:

Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., and Wegner, D. Psychology. (2009). Worth. New York: NY.

EVP Frequency Ranges, Society for Paranormal Investigation. (n.d.) Retrieved January 2nd, 2010 from:

Warren, J. Understanding EVP, a Practical Demonstration. LEMUR (n.d). Retrieved January 2nd, 2010 from:

Tipler, P. Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, and Elementary Modern Physics (5th ed.) (2004). W. H. Freeman: NY.

P Harvey & Bohlman, K. Stereo radio F.M. Handbook, Chapter 7. (1974) N. Price.

EVP Recording Protocol. Southern States Paranormal Research Society, SSPRS. (2006). Retrieved January 2nd, 2010 from: SSPRS Processes Manual.

Wolman, B., Dale, L., Schmeidler, G. & Ullman, M. (Eds.). (1977).                                                                         Handbook of Parapsychology.  New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.













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