EVP clip 2

Clip two of the EVP recorded during the seance

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Electronic Voice Phenomena

EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomena is a term used to describe the reported discovery of voices or other attempts at communication unintentionally captured in otherwise normal audio recordings or recordings intentionally sought in radio static or ambient recorded background noise.

Usually audio recordings need to be filtered and manipulated to separate put the suggested EVP or extra-sensitive or specially prepared recording equipment needs to be used.

It has long been thought that paranormal events could be registered using  recording equipment. The great spiritualist movement at the end of the nineteenth century coincided with the discovery and use of radio and audio devices. Thomas Edison himself theorised about the kind of audio equipment that might be needed to communicate with the dead.

It has been pointed out, however, that the amount of preparation and interpretation that EMP commonly require means that almost any meaning could be ascribed to the recordings in question and that equipment itself can ioften produce noises that can be heard as human voices.

Most often the phenomena are ascribed to a kind of pareidolia – the natural human tendency to find patterns in random events and, more particularly, the way that people tend to see human faces and hear voices in otherwise innocuous images or sounds.
 

Jon Ward

Jon has been working at SciFi channel for a year now. Although he has a background more in acting than producing, he says he finds the latter far more satisfying: ‘Actors spend most of their time taking orders – it’s nice to be issuing them these days.’

Jon has very clear memories of what was, he thinks, ‘an Usborne book of Mysteries and Monsters or something like that – I read it until the covers came off and the whole thing fell apart.’ Ever since then he has been fascinated by the paranormal and the unknown – ‘Although its not something I thought I’d ever be making a living from.’

He is very excited about joining themazehouse.tv team, however, saying that he has two main reasons for his enthusiasm: ‘obviously this is potentially an exciting and, if we’re lucky, unique TV show – but it’s also a fantastic opportunity, personally speaking – to take part in a real paranormal investigation… I’ve never done anything like this before – I’m really looking forward to it.’

Jon definitely believes in the paranormal, and is really hoping to see experience something before the week is out.
 

Louisa McMurray

Louisa is not psychic – she is, she says, simply sensitive.

Louisa has been chosen by the SciFi to complement Steven Millington’s approach to the project. Louisa says that to attempt a scientific approach to the paranormal is to simply misunderstand what it is you are dealing with and will never produce any useful results.

Louisa does not believe that the paranormal is paranormal – she says that such things are as much part of the everyday world as we are. And her stories aren’t for sharing, apparently.

Mazehouse in the War

During the Second World War, the Mazehouse, which was unoccupied at the time, was requisitioned for military use. The house is ideally placed not far from the east coast and was used initially as a training centre for SOE recruits.

 

Later on in the War, however, it seems that the house was used by the secret services for a very different purpose. Certainly at one stage late in the War, the house was used as a radio broadcasting station. It was at this time that the writer Ranulph Williams, among others, was stationed in the house.

 

The idea, it seems, was to broadcast into mainland Europe, with covert relay stations making it seem as if the broadcasts were coming from within the occupied territory itself.

 

Some of the broadcasts were of propaganda and counter-intelligence material, but a lot of it was simply designed to provoke and demoralise German occupying troops. This led to some very bizarre broadcasts, including hardcore pornography and, under Williams’ influence, some occult and supernatural themed news and stories.

 

This project was closed down after only a few months of operation, ostensibly because it was difficult to prove any effectiveness for the broadcasts, although there have been persistent rumours that certain incidents in the house meant that the project could not be continued anyway.

 

The house then remained unoccupied until after the war.

EMF explained

An electromagnetic field is a property of space through which an electric charge is in motion. A motionless electric charge will produce an electric field in its surrounding area, while a charge in motion will also produce a complementary magnetic field.
An electromagnetic field can be see as the product of the interaction between electric and magnetic fields, but as having an existence in space independent of is related charges or currents.

Fluctuations of an electromagnetic field over time are called electromagnetic radiation which manifests itself over a large range of frequencies, from Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF), produced by, say household current, through radio waves, up to visible light and beyond into such radiation as X and Gamma Rays.

Humans spend their entire lives surrounded by electromagnetic fields, whether static – the Earth’s magnetic field, for example – or dynamic (electromagnetic radiation) – the light from the Sun.

As the two examples above suggest the majority of background EMFs we encounter are liable to be of a natural source. Any strong – energetic – fields that we are subjected to are likely to be of an anthropogenic origin, produced, in some way, through human agency. This can be anything from a kettle, a computer monitor or a microwave over up to lasers and X-rays.

EMF monitors

The electromagnetic field detectors are capable of detecting electric fields between 0 and 1000 V/m (volts/meter) and magnetic fields up to 1000 milliGauss. In practise the detectors will be looking for fields in the bottom one percent of this range – between 0 and 10 on both scales.

The monitors have been designed to eliminate as much background ‘noise’ as possible – particularly strong anthropogenic fields that might produce false positive readings -the domestic current is still connected and the house is full of electrical equipment.

It is claimed by ‘ghost-hunters’ that paranormal events are associated with electromagnetic fields of certain strength – most particularly static magnetic fields between 2 and 7 milliGauss in strength. This is sometimes combined with any indications of electric field over the natural background occurrences of 1 or 2 V/m.

The monitors will be specifically looking for readings in this allegedly significant range, with the aim of assembling a picture of anomalous electromagnetic activity throughout the house and eventually relating this to reports and experiences of a paranormal nature.