A Small Piece of Advice that Yields Big Results
By Robin M. Strom Mackey
EVP work seems to be fairly straight forward. You go in armed with a voice recorder, ask some questions wait for a response and then move on. If you don’t get anything, well perhaps there’s truly nothing there. However, on my nightstand recently is the book Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting by Christopher Balzano. Going over the chapter on EVP work (which is the best I’ve read on EVP work in the way of practical advice) I came across a small suggestion that has already led to big results.
The author suggested that just because you’re not actively in a room doesn’t mean that there isn’t activity going on there. Leave a voice recorder or camera on and recording and see what you get. And by all means always record audio with your video if it’s possible with your system, and carefully check the audio as well the video when reviewing evidence – it being one more portal of communication. He also suggested that you start recording audio or video as soon as you arrive at an investigation and leave it recording as you’re breaking down. Balzano explains, “Ghosts do no wait until you say “Cheese” to make their presence known. They manifest at their convenience…There is something to be said for their interest in you as you arrive and unload. (Balzano, pg. 124).”
The reasoning? Balzano suggests that while we may live our lives side by side with the paranormal, that it’s hardly a “symbiotic relationship.” It may be that whatever is present doesn’t wish to communicate to us, isn’t interested in us, doesn’t know how to communicate, or isn’t aware of our presence (as appears to be the case in residual haunts). He further suggests that there may be some set of rules in the spirit realm that makes it taboo for them to have contact with us, or governs the way in which they may communicate. This may be the reason that the spirits of children are more active, as children would be more spontaneous and less bound by dogmatic rules they may not completely understand. Therefore, during an EVP session, as you’re asking inane questions, they’re dutifully keeping quiet. Whatever the rules or reasoning behind paranormal communication, it may be the best advice to catch them unawares.
This seemed like simple advice and worth trying. So while investigating one of my favorite haunts recently, I did just that. We were a small team of three that night, and we wanted to hit all over the building. On earlier investigations, however, there appeared to be one upstairs room in particular that yielded the most activity. So, upon arriving I went straight up to that room and set up video and audio and let it run. Later we did thorough EVP sessions in that very room. After a couple of hours we were ready for a break, so we left the recorders going and went downstairs to avail ourselves of some much needed coffee. We were downstairs for 45 minutes and we three were the only ones in the building at the time.
When I started evidence review on the audio I was a little put out that I’d be listening not only to hours of EVP sessions, but also a couple hours of complete silence. We’d had a slow night in the building, nothing appearing to be overly interested in us. The EVP recordings proved that as well. There wasn’t as much as a squeak out of the ordinary on any of them.
And then I started reviewing my audio for the period of time when we were on break downstairs and the room was empty. Imagine my astonishment when mixed in with the silence was an EVP that sounded as if someone were right next to the recorder, the sound of something being moved, and a very audible breath exhalation, all in an empty room!
Not only did I have evidence, but it was completely clean evidence, as we were alone in the building and downstairs. No need to debate with other investigators whether or not someone human had been whispering or wondering if one of the team had been unaccounted for at the time. We three were downstairs and something was patently upstairs. And unless we find on video review that someone had been hiding in a closet, I’d say the chances of that something actually being something paranormal is far more likely. Few tips I’ve received in paranormal investigating have yielded such immediate and disarming results. Sometimes silence is golden!
Balzano, Christopher. Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting; Step-by-Step Instruction for Exploring Haunts and Finding Spirits, Spooks and Specters. Course Technology (A part of Cengage Group), Boston, MA. 2009.