I remember the first time an EVP really bothered me. “EVP”, if you don’t know, stands for “electronic voice phenomena”, which is thought to be voices of the dead caught on recording devices. The bothersome EVP was captured while I was in Jerome, Arizona for a ghosthunting training session, led by Debe Branning and her MVD Ghostchasers out of Mesa, Arizona.
My husband was supposed to accompany me on the trip, but he isn’t really into the paranormal. So, he bowed out, and my ever faithful sister went with me instead. We arrived at The Connor Hotel, which is situated in the tiny town of Jerome, where residents tout the town as a teeming territory of ghosts. Most of the day was uneventful, so we went out on the town in the evening to dine at the Haunted Hamburger, followed by a walking tour of Jerome. We ended our night out with a visit to the local cemetery. Still, we didn’t encounter any ghosts, so we went back to The Connor Hotel for a midnight ghost investigation. We had reserved the entire second floor of the hotel and proceeded to check things out. I had my digital camera in hand, while my sister walked the halls with her video camera.
At the time, my sister’s husband was laid off from his job, and we considered this our last chance to spend time together, since her husband was considering relocating her household out of state. We didn’t talk about this possibility of her move, yet it was weighing heavily on our minds.
Not long into the investigation, the temperature dropped drastically. We were freezing, so I grabbed a comforter from our room, and fashioned a nice, warm shroud for myself. I looked like a ghost, so I fit right in, I thought. We thought we were alone on the floor, but an elderly man emerged from his room, dragging an oxygen concentrator behind him to fiddle with the air conditioning controls. We deduced that he was the caretaker of he hotel. He didn’t address us while adjusting the temperature. When he was finished, he returned to his room. It got even colder after that, despite his tinkering.
It was around this time that I passed my sister in the hallway, who was going past me the other way. I turned back to look at her, and she was examining her video camera with a puzzled look on her face. She looked at me and said that someone had whispered my name into her ear. I said, “No way!” She rewound the tape and, sure enough, there it was. It was simply my name. Some EVPs are scary enough, but when your name is hissed by an unseen voice, it’s sort of scary. My sister would tell you, like she has told everyone else, that I didn’t like that one bit. I was scared. In my opinion, if it says your name, it is aware of you and it is stalking you. I told her that I was going to sleep in the car. I tried to be reasonable about it and settled for sleeping with the lights on, and the TV blaring in our room. The temperature stayed cold all night and we used every extra blanket in the room to try to stay warm. Still, I kept hearing that voice on tape, as it replayed in my mind throughout the night. My sister has a theory that our emotions over her impending move was the cause for the ghost to utter my name. At the moment she heard the unseen entity say my name, her heart was heavy that she might have to move. She didn’t have to. Her husband got another job here in Tucson. We still have that eerie EVP as a memento of the sad time when we thought we would be seperated.
If you’ve never listened to eletronic voice phenomena, you can visit the website of The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP) and listen to some examples there. The AA-EVP awarded a grant to The Windbridge Institute, right here in Tucson, to perform controlled research into the phenomenon. A few months ago, I attended a paranormal research training session with Mark Boccuzzi, co-founder of The Windbridge Institute. Mark is also the Director of Tucson Paranormal Research, a team created to “Investigate, Analyze and Document, anomalous events that fall outside the realm of conventional scientific research.”
This training session I attended was part of a 15 credit hour class for new members of his team to learn to investigate paranormal phenomena. During this particular session, we talked about EVPs and the different methods used to capture the sounds. One interesting method is the utilization of EVPmaker software. The program divides recordings of speech “into short segments and then plays them back continuously in randomly order.” It is quite interesting, but the random utterances generated by the software do tend to become irritating after a while. If that sounds interesting to you, then give it a try. You might find that the random nonsensical sounds generated by the software soon form a specific message, meant especially for you.
As far as an EVP that address me specifically, it still scares the heck out of me. However, I’ll keep trying to capture those creepy voices, all in the spirit of research.