EVPs or electronic voice phenomena make up the bulk of our digital evidence. I don’t know if this is because of where we live or the tactics we as a group have developed to coax and cajole the local residents past and present into chatting with us. Put it this way: Deer Creek Research has never left a hunt without at least one ghostie voice on the recorder.
Here’s a few tips regarding EVP sessions. See also “EVP Sessions: Typical questions and explanations.”
1. Never have more than two people asking questions at a time. Ideally, choose one person to lead sessions. This will help focus the questions (as they will end up being repetitious but consistent) and provide a bank of data to compare as well as make things easier on the ghosts. Sometimes people want to jump in as they have an urge (they usually can’t explain) to ask a particular question. That’s fine but don’t overwhelm the dead and return to the session leader as soon as possible.
2. Take the time to introduce yourself and everyone with you as well as the equipment you are using. Ghosts are people too and deserve that much respect. They may also prefer to speak to or address a particular individual in your group and your introductions will help them identify people. Digital voice recorders, cameras and k2 meters are all foreign and scary to ghosts. Take the time to explain what they are, what they do and that they will not harm them.
3. Ask the ghosts to shout and come as close as possible. Anytime we have neglected to do this, the EVPs we capture are very faint and distant. The ghosts don’t know how to use the equipment or how close to stand. Tell them. It helps everyone out. I think sometimes they are in a wind tunnel because when we ask them to shout loudly, they come across as a very definite whisper.
4. Don’t ask stupid questions that express your boredom, impatience or plain old fashioned disrespect. I have heard of investigators asking things like “Do you chew gum?” “What’s you favorite music?” “Do you like ice cream?” These people have passed on and the concerns of this world are unlikely to be the concerns of the next. Ask information seeking questions that either give you facts you can research or that help you understand the current emotional state of the individual.
5. Try to leave ten second pauses between questions to give ghosts time to answer. I don’t know how things work in the spirit realm but they do seem to always pause before giving a direct response. Ask too much too fast and you could lose important evidence.
6. Limit your time and choose consistent blocks of time for areas or rooms within the same location during initial EVP sessions. Spending two hours in the alleged “creepy room” and throwing a passing glance at other areas is a sign of a hasty and over eager investigation group. Pick a time limit, say ten to twenty minutes, and spend this much time in every room within the location. If the evidence shows more activity in one area in the same time a sit shows little in other areas, you know where to spend time on the second investigation.
7. Engage the spirit and respond to external signs of company. If you ask for knocks and get them, pursue a line of questioning using the knock system. If you ask for the K2 to flicker and it does, ask again. Often times investigators get over excited and turn a conversation between the living and the dead into a “hey I bet you can’t do this” session. Ghosts are people not performing monkeys. Be consistent and focus on the purpose of an EVP session; that is to converse with the dead, no more no less.
8. Close each session with a thank you not an insult. Often, ghost hunters like to ridicule a ghost and taunt them into a final response as they leave the room. Rather than make enemies with invisible folk, thank them for their time as you would with any person you had just interview or questioned. Manners cost nothing and can get you repeat performances.
The more EVP sessions you do, the easier they become and the rules and tricks to a successful conversation become automatic.