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.

You, watching us

Hey, hey, Gary here with the good news that our live feed from the EMF monitors in the house seems to be up and running at last. I’ve made the monitors live on the site this weekend as a kind of soft launch for next week, so you can all have a play, if you’ve nothing better to do with your Sunday afternoon. Still hungover from last night? Why not have a lazy day watching blinking lights?

Anyway, once its up and running, you’ll see a link in the menu on the left which will launch the monitor – there you’ll see a graphic readout for all of the rooms, and you’ll be able to page through the different floors of the house so you can miss whatever’s happening on the other floors at the time.

One thing to be aware of is there’s a slight delay with the refresh times of the feed, so its not quite real time, because not even I’m that good – but its not far off. Stephen is very keen for any of you who notice anything odd to let us know as soon as possible. I’ll be starting a thread in the forum for that purpose.

Meanwhile, major kudos to my main girl Jo for getting the feed working – here’s hoping everything next week goes this smoothly.

And next time you hear from me, I’ll be in the Mazehouse in startling person: and jumping out of your TV set, so strap yourselves in, my friends, ready for a crazy week.

Mazehouse online

What? What’s he talking about? I hear you cry: Mazehouse is already online, innit? Isn’t that what I’m reading right now?

Ok, well, quite your crying and let Uncle Gary explain.

Really, I just thought I’d stick my head above the parapet as its been pretty quiet here on the site for the last couple fo days, mostly because its been anything but quiet in the house.

Now that Jo’s there with Stephen, they’re working to get all their little doohickeys and wossnames up and working – the main ones being the EMF detectors – special devices that will warn us if there are any dodgy 90s bands hiding in the house.

Seriously, the EMF detectors are part of our ghostbusting paraphenalia and one of the big online features we’re planning for the site is to get a live feed from the detectors running online – which is why we’re kind of quiet at the moment – not just setting stuff up, but also trying to get everything to talk to each other – not easy when I even have trouble getting Jo on her mobile in the house…

Eventually, tho, we should have a little application up here on the site, that you’ll be able to use to see all the electronic doings.

But thats not all, no, siree Bob: the other big online development is going to come next week, when we’re going to showing the TV broadcasts right here on the site. Hopefully we’re also going to have some hot, exclusive footage for the website of us, I dunno, tripping over cables and arguing, if what I hear from the house at the moment is anything to go by 😉

Anyway, anyway, don’t think we’ve deserted you, and stay tuned for further exciting developments

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.

Jo Cargill

Jo is the technical brain behind the Maze House investigation. An engineering graduate, she has known Steven Millington since University, where they became firm friends.

Steven engaged her for help setting up the Maze House project back in February 2001. She helped plan the investigation and built the system of electromagnetic field monitors that lie at the heart of the project.

It is a mark of what a good friend she is that she has done all this work on the investigation in her spare time. She says she finds the work ‘challenging and, more importantly, interesting’.

‘I think we have a rare chance here to examine something in a wholly new way, with a whole set of new technical solutions,’ she says. ‘It’s fascinating.’

Following the involvement of the SciFi channel in the project, she has come back on board to help Steven install more and better equipment in the house. She currently has the free time to devote herself fully to the project.

Jo isn’t sure if she believes in the paranormal and certainly hasn’t experienced anything remarkable.

Sleeping arrangements

Hello there, Stephen here, and not, I’m afraid, anyone (or anything) more interesting. I left the computer on last night as promised, but nothing has appeared. I shall continue doing it, however, so we shall see. Meanwhile, I am making some changes to my routine. I have decided to try sleeping in different rooms about the house. I am still keeping my dream diary, although I don’t always have anything to record, and I thought perhaps seeing how different rooms in the house affect me in my sleep might prove interesting. To start with I am concentrating on the older rooms at the front of the house, as these are the ones most commonly associated with paranormal activity (and malfunctioning thermometers!). Last night I slept in one of the attic rooms – and a jolly cold and difficult night it was – and tonight I will try the other. I’ll let you know if anything interesting occurs.