Revisit the Situation

Paranormal investigators often wish they were able to revisit locations to continue researching. I feel the same way about EVP sessions – I want to revisit the situation.

During controlled sessions, I attempt to limit my first audio file to around ten minutes, with the intention of a quick playback and return should I hear something interesting. There is also the added bonus of not over-staying my welcome if nothing is evident, since it’s been my experience that should a spirit wish to communicate, he or she will do so early in the process. This method allows me a timely and pertinent follow-up on whatever I might hear, and usually I tell the spirit outright to expect it. “If there’s a specific subject you want to tell me about now, I’ll listen and come right back so we can talk about it. Stick around!” Okay, it sounds corny and very un-ghost hunter-like; my lack of cool is legendary, but frequently, it works!

Often, when a spirit has revealed its presence, the conversation will noticeably pick up after that statement. I can only assume that the spirit wants to continue as well, and why not? I’ve essentially just announced an interest in what he or she has to say or how they feel; in them as individuals. How many spirits can boast genuine human consideration from the living? Suddenly, it’s not all about me and my agenda. Suddenly, it’s all about them. Of course I get something in return, but that’s how life works anyway. They already know that, so making an honest effort to take an interest, might be an irresistible proposition to some.

I know the trend is for real-time communication through a variety of equipment-intensive methods, but these frequently fracture our ability to pay close attention and focus solely on the spirit. We’re forced to interact with what “might” be a spirit who also probably speaks in partial phrases, emphasizing the lack of time to consider what is actually behind those phrases. Standard EVP sessions provide the perfect avenue for a spirit to consider his or her thoughts, and lessens what can become stressful, arbitrary and reactive communication only. Still, letting the spirit know that your main interest is in hearing what’s on their mind can, and often does, result in the most meaningful EVP you’ll record.

Spur of the Moment

I tend to have a couple of very specific EVP projects running all the time. Currently? EVP and EMF, EVP and vibration, bilocation, EVP and sleep – these four come to mind, but there are others not so easily characterized, that focus on the emotional state of the interviewer, the frequency of response compared to weather conditions, etc. I’m not lazy, and frankly, I love this work!

But my favorite things (other than to record during an investigation), are those spur of the moment sessions. When there’s no reason to have an EVP session; no indicators of current activity; no specific axes to grind, but on goes the recorder just the same. If you’re not familiar with this practice, let me highly recommend it. Don’t make any plans – just do it. Who cares if you’re in that godawful part of the basement or the bright and sunny, brand new solarium (lucky you). If I was a spirit, I think I might find that basement creepy too! Why do so-called ghosts have to like weird, dirty, eerie places? Maybe if you record by the daffodils at noon, you’ll find you’re not alone in your appreciation of the local flora.

How about recording while you’re alone in the waiting room? You never know. Or in grandma’s parlor while you’re waiting for her to get ready. Or after a shower, in the library reading room, in the car at 4:00 am, or anywhere else you can think of. The point is, you might learn something. You might gain an appreciation for all you actually have in common with the deceased. After all, don’t most of us believe they’re the spiritual expression of ourselves? And there’s the added bonus that familiarity lessens your fear factor, if you still have one.

I’ve always believed that if you look, you will find; if you record, “they will come.” I want to hear from the spirits who share my life a lot more than the ones who sneak into the darkest corner of my garage. Besides, productive investigations don’t happen all that often, so we should stay primed and ready. Practice is always a good thing, and you never know who you might meet along the way. Don’t think about it so much, and have some fun!

An Expression of Fact

Since I’m one of those people who believes spirits are around us always, I also put a great deal of credence in the idea that they often telegraph their presence. Sometimes a series of noises, certain specific changes in the immediate environment, or frequent movement visible from the corner of my eye will pique my interest enough to start recording for EVP. I’ve found that these indications usually result in productive sessions. I’m convinced that being a good observer is my most reliable tool, so I frequently try to hone those skills – i think practice improves the odds.

I also practice at listening. My wife’s sleep apnea machine serves as an unexpected blessing in that regard, since it sounds so similar to the noise I frequently hear when listening to digital recording files. I lay awake for awhile and try to listen through that noise in an attempt to sharpen the skill of separating and identifying natural sounds. I try to listen as deeply as possible and with as much focus as I can for twenty minutes every night, which I often follow with another ten minutes of concentrated CEV (closed eye visualization) exercises. Likewise, I appreciate moments of silence during an investigation because it provides an opportunity to familiarize myself with whatever the audible norm might be for the location. I try to hear more than the specific sound. I try to hear from where it may have originated.

I’ve been told that this seems silly to some people – overkill, with very little potential for increased results. Obviously, I disagree. As a researcher and investigator, I consider it compulsory to develop and improve my observational proficiency whenever I can, and in whatever way possible. I believe this practice has contributed significantly to whatever ability I might have gained over the years. It’s easy to hear a noise or a voice that’s in your face and obvious, but the paranormal is rarely obvious and demands we change the paradigm of our efforts constantly. Our observational skills must be up to that challenge, but an added value comes in the confidence you feel in what you see and hear. Observation isn’t simply concentration and focus. Reliable observation is “obiter dictum” – an expression of fact.