Envelope EVP

1st June 2018. Reading Time: 5 minutes General, Paranormal Investigation, EVP. 2255 page views. 7 comments.

One of the biggest problems that most will agree with is that when reviewing an EVP, it is very difficult to trust what you are hearing. The power of suggestion works even within the questions you are asking. So how can we ask questions without anticipating the answer during our EVP sessions? It is a technique that I call 'Envelope EVP'.

I have been working a lot with EVP lately. While the most common and easiest way to do an EVP session is to break out your recorder, ask 'What is your name?' pause for 10 seconds and move on, this becomes very same same when you have done it several hundred times. There are so many different ways that you can work with EVP, and it also has a purpose. When you are looking at an experiment that you can try and this applies to any technique, not just EVP, the biggest question that you should be asking yourself, is "why?" "Why am I doing these steps?" Is it because it is what you think you should be doing or is it because that is the way everyone else does it? We need to take a step back and think about what it is we are looking to achieve out of a particular exercise. The next step is looking at how you are going to do that. You don't have to do it in a certain way just because you have seen other people do it that way. Adjust the process to what you want to get out of it. Remember this is the paranormal. Nothing is proven and there is no set way to do things. If you watched me do an EVP session 2 years ago, it probably looked completely different to how I do one now. From my findings, I learn and I adjust. I do watch others and see what results they get and take that on board but create my own way of doing it. The same applies to not only the way that you investigate but also to the way that you review evidence.

One of the biggest problems that most will agree with is that when reviewing an EVP, it is very difficult to trust what you are hearing. Let's put aside for a moment things like contamination and someone whispering etc. The more you work with EVP, the more you will find yourself introducing control measures. Even simply just tagging your audio makes a big difference when you are reviewing your audio. Things like saying "Tag - car driving past" can save a lot of debunking time later on. When I say that we can't trust what we are hearing, it is more that we cannot trust our brains. If we are told or expect a certain word to be heard when we review the audio file, we can unknowingly interpret a random noise to be the word that we were expecting to hear. A lot of investigators usually incorporate a rule when reviewing audio and that is not to tell anyone what they think they hear. That means that there is no power of suggestion at play and so if a few different people interpreted the word to be the same thing, then they may have caught what some describe as a class A EVP. There is however still something that may not be considered. That power of suggestion is still there, but you don't realize it. It comes from the questions that you are asking. For example, if you are asking "What is your name?" of course you are going to expect to hear a name. As an example, say you are in a room and you already know the details of the spirit you are trying to communicate with.  Let's say her name is Annie.  When you ask the question 'What is your name?' your brain is already anticipating hearing the word Annie as a response. On the flip side, while care can be taken in some cases by going into an investigation blind and not knowing any history, you can still anticipate results. When you are investigating a prison, you tend to ask questions centred around a prison. 'What was your crime?'. Quite often we expect the answer to be something like 'murder'. We don't know what the crime was but again our brain is anticipating the answer. So in order to have no hint of suggestion, we need to somehow ask a question without knowing what it is. How do we as investigators even do that? It is a method that I have called 'Envelope EVP'. Older investigators may refer to this as  'Learned Jot Sessions'.

So how does it work?

Envelope EVP

Investigators start by having a pile of around 10 blank cards. Throughout the day, they ask different people to write down a question on the card. The investigator is not to look at the question being written on the card. This is important! The card is then put in a sealed envelope. Once all 10 envelopes have been sealed with a written card, they are randomly numbered between 1 – 10. Remember none of the investigators should know what is written on the cards.

During a session, the investigator holds up the envelope and asks spirit to communicate the answer to the question inside the envelope. For example: ‘Can you please tell me what is the answer to question number 5?’. Remember the investigators do not know what the question is so they cannot predict what the answer will be.

Now have the investigators review the audio. They are each to write down any responses they believe they have heard. Up until this point, the envelopes have still not been opened. Once the audio has been reviewed, open the envelopes and read the question and compare it to the answer that the EVP has given you. Is there a match? If there is, you know that there is no contamination through the power of suggestion if you have conducted this experiment properly. There are a few different ways you can do this experiment, don’t be afraid to change it up a little bit.

Another adaption you could do here would to be to have one set of investigators asking the questions on the cards and then having an outside source review your audio.  For those who like to use spirit boxes, you could also incorporate this into your Este experiments and have a person hooked up to noise-cancelling headphones and ask one of the questions to see if you get a response. There is a lot of possibilities here!  

You will now understand the basic premise of this experiment. There are a lot of other ways that you can work with this. I can think of a few more different ways, but I am not going to tell you. I want to hear from you.

What are some suggestions you have to work with this experiment? Perhaps it is something that you already do. Does it work? What would you do differently?

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  • Tracy Simpson 1 year ago

    I am doing a take on this experiment during my trip this year to Scotland. I had sent fellow investigators in Scotland (friends) a "kit" as it were with a blank card, manila envelope and a white envelope with my address on it back in Canada. I gave them the instructions of writing a question on the card, sealing it and sending it back. To add to the randomness of it all, I have been assigning them numbers as they come in. There are 7 kits out and on my trip I have identified 7 locations where I will run this experiment. Each location I will run an ITC session which I will record and watch back. I will give a timed period during which I would consider any response to qualify for inclusion. One envelope, one location. Following the experiment after I've finished at the location, I will play back the video and write down any responses I hear within the set time. Only then will I open the envelope and compare. I will repeat this 7 times for 7 locations. If anything its going to be fun! Thanks for inspiration!

    • LLIFS 1 year ago

      This is amazing! Please let me know how you go with it I would love to know!

      • Tracy Simpson 1 year ago

        Absolutely will share how it goes!

  • Joseph Kapusta 5 years ago

    I would like to suggest that even when you get agreement on what you think you heard on the EVP, a sound spectrogram analysis can further qualify it as to what is actually being said. I have experienced EVPs that I thought were a definite response to my question only to find through spectrogram analysis that the phonetics involved were not what my brain was telling me. After the phonemes were broken down it wasn't even a real word. It just sounded convincingly like one. I have a few though that have passed this test and I put them into the category of 'unexplainable.' It is these very ones that keep me interested & excited to continue to do EVP. There is an incredible amount to learn in the study of how sound behaves, speech acoustic phonetics, even the subtleties of how our left ear & right ear hear differently, the second sound of rooms, the inverse square law of sound, etc., all need to be taken into account if possible. I believe the best is yet to come in EVP evidence, as long as the source is not produced by a device synthesizing the response, but rather is a high quality audio recorder.

  • Ross Richards 5 years ago

    Thank you, I'll definitely be trying this method.

  • Connor 6 years ago

    Have you tried this? Did it work?

    • Living life in full spectrum 6 years ago

      Yes I have. It hasn’t yet worked in the sessions I have done personally but I do know of others who have had results. Like any experiment it takes many sessions to get a good gauge on things!