Sunday, May 01, 2005

White Noise

Have you see the movie "White Noise" which starred Michael Keaton?
The phenomenon in that movie in which spirits communicate through TV or radio is called Electronic Voice Phenomena or (EVP).
EVP is the process through which the dead communicate with the living through household recording devices. These extraordinary recordings-captured by people all over the world, in their homes, with a simple tape or video recorder-seem to confirm what many of us have dared to believe: it is possible for the dead to communicate with us.
The first case was in 1901, when Waldemar Bogoras recorded a shaman's spirit beating a drum. The first tape recorded voice happened in December 5, 1956 "This is G."

Interest in EVP apparently began in the1920s. An interviewer from Scientific American asked Thomas Edison about the possibility of contacting the dead. Edison, a man of no strong religious views, said that nobody knows whether “our personalities pass on to another existence or sphere” but

it is possible to construct an apparatus which will be so delicate that if there
are personalities in another existence or sphere who wish to get in touch with
us in this existence or sphere, this apparatus will at least give them a better
opportunity to express themselves than the tilting tables and raps and ouija
boards and mediums and the other crude methods now purported to be the only
means of communication.
(Clark 1997: 235)

There is no evidence, however, that Edison ever designed or tried to construct such a device. And he probably did not foresee spirits communicating with our tape recorders and television sets.

Psychologist Jim Alcock explains why many people believe in EVP.

Perception is a very complex process, and when our brains try to find patterns,
they are guided in part by what we expect to hear. If you are trying to hear
your friend while conversing in a noisy room, your brain automatically takes
snippets of sound and compares them against possible corresponding words, and
guided by context, we can often “hear” more clearly than the sound patterns
reaching our ears could account for. Indeed, it is relatively easy to
demonstrate in a psychology laboratory that people can readily come to hear
“clearly” even very muffled voices, so long as they have a printed version in
front of them that tells them what words are being spoken. The brain puts
together the visual cue and the auditory input, and we actually “hear” what we
are informed is being said, even though without that information, we could
discern nothing. Going one step further, and we can demonstrate that people can
clearly “hear” voices and words not just in the context of muddled voices, but
in a pattern of white noise, a pattern in which there are no voices or words at
Given that we can routinely demonstrate this effect, it is only
parsimonious to suggest that what people hear with EVP is also the product of
their own brains, and their expectations, rather than the voices of the dearly

For more info about EVP, visit The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP)

also visit

No comments: