Electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) are sounds detected on electronic recordings during ghost hunts. EVPs are usually brief, like single words or short phrases.
Rather interestingly, there are different classes of EVPs based on the quality of the recording.
This article will investigate the different classes and look closely at a Class A EVP and the requirements for this classification.
The EVP Classification System
EVPs are recordings on audio recorders and are often linked to the paranormal. These recordings are noises that can’t be picked up by your ears at the moment, but can also not be explained by normal background noise.
The quality of EVPs can differ, which is why there is a classification system in place. This section will briefly touch on the different classes before we look at a Class A EVP in greater detail below.
- Class A: This is a very clear recording, and you can hear what is being said without headphones.
- Class B: A Class B EVP can be heard when playing back the audio recording. You can hear clear spirit voices. Words can be detected if you listen closely. Many times, Class B EVPs are names or clear, spooky laughter.
- Class C: This is a very common electronic voice phenomenon. Paranormal investigators will often hear murmurs or whispers, and audio filters or amplifiers must be used to understand the voices heard.
- Class D: Class D EVPs can mostly be debunked as background or radio noise. Even after the use of amplifiers, you still can’t make any clear voices in the EVP recording. However, you also can’t completely disregard it – it might be a spirit trying to communicate.
- Class G: In this case, G stands for “garbage”. This is a very uncommon EVP because usually this kind of recording is not considered an electronic voice phenomenon at all and is clearly just some background noise that was recorded.
- Class R: This is an interesting class. When played, it is complete nonsense. But when played in reverse, you get the sense that it is spirit communication, since suddenly there will be words that make sense. Most investigators never experience this type of EVP.
A Closer Look At Class A EVPs
Sarah Estep, the developer of the EVP classification system, described a Class A EVP as “a clear and distinct voice or sound that is universally accepted and undisputed, because it must be understood by anyone with normal hearing and without being told or prompted to what is being said or heard. I can be heard without the use of headphones.”
Let’s take a closer look at each of the criteria.
Clear and distinct voice
This criterion is pretty self-explanatory. When played back, the voice recording will be clear, and a word or phrase can be heard without any amplification. Basically, it can be heard by the naked ear.
This criterion is a little bit harder to prove since a sceptic will almost always try to dispute what a ghost hunter recorded. Some might argue it was a human voice speaking in the background, or that you used a sketchy method to get the recording.
However, if you can prove the setting where you used the recording device and the method you used to capture EVP recordings, then it is possible that the electronic voice phenomenon will be undisputed.
Understood by normal hearing; no headphones
What this means is that no filters or amplifiers are used to enhance the sounds in the recording. You don’t need sensitive headphones to be able to discern what is being said, either. Instead, the recorder used – most likely an EVP recorder – can be played back, and it will be clear what the spirit is trying to say.
How To Conduct EVP Sessions
If you want to capture Class A EVPs, you need to properly conduct an EVP session. Here’s how:
Pick a location
There’s no shortage of haunted locations in the UK, so you should do some research and find the best or closest location. But, you don’t have to go to a famous haunted castle – you can even try conducting a session at home or in a controlled location.
Set up your equipment
Familiarise yourself with your electronic devices, so you understand all their features.
Tip: Avoid any devices that offer a “noise cut” feature, as these devices may automatically manipulate recordings.
You want to set your recorder to its highest recording quality. This is typically WAV PCM, not MP3, as the latter is compressed.
You should also be able to adjust the microphone’s sensitivity. If you have a muffler or wind shield, it’s a good idea to use it to get rid of any unwanted wind noise.
Finally, remember to make sure you have your batteries charged!
Make sure you get a high-quality recording
To make sure you record high-quality electronic communication, you need to make sure there’s no environmental noise. Turn off any fans, electronic devices, air conditioning, and even the fridge!
Next, close any windows and doors to prevent noise from entering the room.
You don’t want any electronic interference, so you should place your EVP recorder away from any other electronics.
You also don’t want a room full of people, so limit who is in the room (and in the rest of the building).
Lastly, you should avoid holding the recorder as this can result in muffled noises. Place the recording device on a solid, flat surface (not the floor as there might be vibrations).
When you record, start by speaking into the device to say the date, time, location and who is involved with the session. Then, give the recording a number.
If there are any environmental noises, like if someone coughs, sneezes or shuffles their feet, speak out loud by saying something like “Harry just coughed” so that it is not later assumed the noise came from the spirit realm.
This is optional, but you can call out to the spirits and ask them questions, remaining quiet to allow them to answer. This is considered an active EVP session. A passive session is when there is no interaction with the spirits.
You can decide how long you want to record, but usually, a session will last between 10 and 20 minutes.
Are Class A EVPs common?
Class A EVPs are not one of the common types of EVPs captured. Because of the criteria for this class – clear, distinct words that can be heard when the recording is played back – it is very rare that ghost hunters capture Class A EVPs. Class B and Class C are the more common EVP types.
Do you require special tools to capture Class A EVPs?
Although you can use a standard tape recorder to capture EVPs, you will have more success with specialised ghost hunting equipment like:
Are there explanations for Class A EVPs that are not paranormal?
The most likely explanation for any EVP is misinterpretations. Our brains have the habit of trying to find patterns – even in sound (called auditory pareidolia). So, random noises can be misconstrued as anomalous voices that are trying to communicate.
It is also possible that electrical interference could result in audio recordings that sound like voices from beyond the grave.
Capturing an electronic voice phenomenon is incredibly exciting… even more so if it can be classified as Class A!
But, these clear EVPs are incredibly rare, and you’re more likely to capture a less distinct Class B or Class C EVP. These are still very clearly from a spirit voice; however, the words are not easily discernable without the help of an audio filter or amplifier.
However, with the correct settings, technology and a quiet environment, you might just hear a ghost speak to you clearly from the afterlife. Keep an ear out – you never know what they might be trying to say!