Although it is fun to think of EVP as some sort of communication with spirits, it's not. It's what happens when the human mind is presented with
random information. The mind seeks to find patterns in the information presented to it. If there is no pattern, the mind will often create one or
perceive one anyway.
For EVP, the subject listens to basic "white noise
", which sounds like the hiss of static or of
rushing water. White noise has no pattern. It is random.
Some people who listen to white noise are convinced that they can hear various words or even phrases in it. In most cases, they are the only ones who
can hear the words. In the Websites that offer recordings of words, I have not been able to hear the same words that the original subject heard.
Even when the words are shown as text, I cannot make them out in the recordings. Most people I've asked also cannot make out the words. If they do
hear a word or two, it is not the same ones the original person heard.
In 1953, Nobel Prizewinner Irving Langmuir discussed the phenomenon of mistaken perceptions in science, coining the term,
for a rebuttal to Langmuir).
According to Langmuir, one of the common features of pathological science is that it often occurs at the outer limits of human perception - in such a
way that only a few people are sensitive enough to note the phenomenon. This is sometimes called the "threshold response" When other experimenters
cannot duplicate the results, this is explained as the lack of sensitivity on the part of the experimenter. When an experiment cannot be duplicated,
it usually means that the original experiment was flawed.
EVP is one of those threshold phenomena. We are at the limit of human perception, listening to white noise. Some people are going to perceive words
in that noise. However, when others listen to the same recording, they generally do not hear the same words.
But let's just say that, for some reason, EVP really works, that the voices in it are real. Why must they be of "ghosts"? If you're listening to
static on a radio, the odds are very good that you're hearing a broadcast from far away and catching the occasional word from it. But even if the
voices aren't from the radio, who says they're from departed spirits? Why not demons, angels, disembodied entities (not deceased people, but
something that doesn't exist in bodily form), bleedthrough from other dimensions or parallel universes, and so on? Even time-related phenomena
(someone's future or past voice getting heard in the present).
So there are actually two questions here:
1. Does the EVP phenomenon exist? My experience says, "no".
2. If the EVP phenomenon does exist, is it necessarily departed spirits? I can see no reason why it must be that, rather than some other