Audio Voice Recorders
Small devices that pack lots of investigative punch, recorders can be extremely useful and inexpensive investigative tools for ghost hunters. The technology is advancing so quickly that it is a good idea to check back frequently at online stores to see if prices have dropped or capabilities have grown. The sound quality of digital recorders is excellent and digital files are easily copied and transferred.
Nikola Tesla was an electronics genius whose early radio receivers picked up organized, intelligent signals during a time when the only functioning radio transmitter was Guglielmo Marconi's. Tesla studied the phantom signals and speculated they might originate from another planet — or even the spirit world. There were claims that he invented a Teslascope for the purpose of communicating with spirits or extraterrestrials.
Audio and Electronic Voice Phenomena
Using tape and digital voice recorders is standard practice in paranormal investigations. They are used both to tape interviews with witnesses and to record voice messages from the spirit world during investigations. Electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) are of particular use to serious investigators. EVPs are unexplained audio events, which can sometimes be heard as they are happening but more often go unheard until the recording is played back during evidence review.
The EVP voices on the recordings are often distinctive, taking in regional accents and dialects. Sometimes they have such an eerie quality that it is barely tolerable to listen to them. Some seem to struggle to get the words out, as if they are communicating over vast distances. They often call researchers by name. Some may even answer questions or queries about their names or history. That sort of exchange is very exciting for investigators, particularly if they can substantiate some of the information.
Three types of these devices are commonly used in investigations:
Microcassettes. These analogue recorders have micro audiotapes.
Digital voice recorders. Tiny and inconspicuous with no tape, these digital recorders have great sound quality. Files from DVRs can be uploaded to computers for analysis and audio cleanup. Files can also be emailed or posted on websites.
Wireless microphones. An often-overlooked tool for paranormal research, these devices are growing in popularity. The wireless microphone allows users to record audio straight to the hard drive of a computer, virtually eliminating background noise. Most kits include a microphone, transmitter, and receiver.
What is a PCFTD?
A phenomena related to EVP is known as PCFTD — phone calls from the dead. For decades, people have reported receiving telephone calls from deceased family members and friends. Many of the reports are similar — a person receives a phone call late at night, and although the connection is bad, they can recognize the caller's voice. When the recipient of the call makes a reference to the person being dead, the call abruptly ends.