Voices from the other side?

28th January 2022. Reading Time: 10 minutes General, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 1312 page views. 4 comments.

From a disembodied voice, clairaudience to mistaken identity, let's look at some of the different ways a person could hear voices and what could cause them.  Are they paranormal or just normal?

From a disembodied voice. clairaudience to mistaken identity, let's look at some of the different ways a person could hear voices what could cause them.  Are they paranormal or just normal?

EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomenon

EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon.  It happens when a person uses a recording device such as a digital recorder to record audio.  Upon playback, people hear voices or sounds that they did not hear with their own ears.  While there are a few explanations and possibilities as to what it could be, many people believe that these voices are spirits who are trying to communicate with us.  

EVPS are generally separated into what are called ‘classes’.  They are a category that rate how good the EVP is based on how easy it is to understand.    The class system is now generally broken down by paranormal investigators as:

•    CLASS A: This type of EVP is loud, clear and of very high quality. The voice is easily understandable and does not need enhancement or amplification.

•    CLASS B: This is the most common type of EVP. Often needs some sort of enhancement or amplification to be understood. The voice may not be clear enough to be understood or there may be disagreement between reviewers as to what it says.

•    CLASS C: This is the lowest quality EVP. Even with enhancement and amplification, it may not be enough to make the voice audible or clear. There may even be debate whether or not an EVP is actually present and is often discounted.

Typically, supposed EVPs are usually quite short and are generally only one to four or five words. Rarely will a full sentence will be spoken. The voice often sounds like a faint whisper or a gasp, however it is usually clear enough that people can distinguish the gender of the voice with people claiming to recognise the voice.  Some voices are even spoken with a distinguishable accent. Another trait that seems to be common is that the way it is spoken is often either very fast or very slow.  

A lot goes into determining if an EVP is actually something paranormal and it is a widely debated topic.  Check out my article EVP and Frequency to read more.

Psychic Projection

There is much debate in the paranormal community about what a ghost or spirit just might be.  While the majority of people believe that it is the soul or consciousness of a person who has passed away, there is evidence to suggest that living people could be behind a lot of the phenomena reported.  I know this is certainly where a lot of my research is pointing me.  Many people who have been investigating the paranormal will have had some instances where they have thought that it is a living person behind whatever paranormal activity they are experiencing.  It is not that this particular person is faking something, it is that on some level through the ability of psi, they are somehow projecting things on a psychokinetic level which is what we refer to as psychic projection. 

Essentially it means that some of what we could be hearing on a recording could actually be projected from a living person and not a spirit.  Parapsychologists for decades have been testing people to see if there is some merit here to the thought that a person can in fact transmit their thoughts telepathically. J.B Rhine's trials with Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiments from the 1970s immediately come to mind. It isn't about a person reading another person's mind, it is more a person sending a message to a person that they can receive, with the main point of difference being it is done with the mind itself.  If a person can mentally send a message to another, could a person record their thoughts on a digital recorder?  Does it mean when we hear what we believe is an EVP, that it may not be a spirit like many believe, it could in fact be a living person?  

To read more check out my article EVP communication with living people

Disembodied Voices

In simple terms, a disembodied voice is a voice you hear with your own ears and you cannot see the source. On a paranormal investigation, for example, you may hear a scream, a moan, a growl, a word or even a sentence. There is no one else around that you can see, so therefore the voice is disembodied. A voice without a body.  It is different to a disembodied voice because when a voice is classified as disembodied, you are hearing it as it happens. EVP you are hearing after the fact.  It becomes difficult to say if there is anything paranormal about a disembodied voice.  Just because you are hearing a voice, doesn't mean it is necessarily coming from nowhere.  A growl could be a hidden possum in the roof and it is amazing how far a voice can travel in a quiet empty building or even through vents.  

A disembodied voice is also a term that is used to describe an actor who is doing a voice-over for animations or narratives. Other people have described this experience as more a message from either a god or a spiritual figure. It could be a message that helps to give them direction. Mediums or people sensitive to the paranormal who have a clairaudience ability would hear these voices all the time. To them, it is spirit communicating with them.


Not all voices are heard with a person's ears.  Some people hear a voice within their mind.  Clairaudience is considered to be one of the main intuitive senses.  It is where a person may audibly hear a message physically or mentally within their mind. Messages are sent telepathically and they communicate via thoughts. Some may confuse this with a disembodied voice. The difference here would be that this voice is not something that could be caught on a recording as the person is hearing it with their mind. As it is quite literally a voice in your head, some people can become confused and feel that perhaps they are experiencing some form of psychosis. Psychotic episodes are a form of escaping reality. Psychic experiences are described as adding an additional function to your existing reality. A lot of people with psychic abilities will tell you that often they feel outcast or told they are 'crazy' because people don't properly understand. They hear someone saying that they are hearing voices in their head and it is the natural conclusion they jump to. While it is certainly something that should be considered in certain circumstances, it is important to look at the bigger picture. If a person has the ability of clairaudience, they usually have other psychic abilities as well.

Auditory hallucinations

Problems with our hearing often end up presenting themselves as auditory hallucinations.  It is important to understand that even though the word hallucination is used, it is not a psychiatric disorder. It is caused mainly by forms of hearing loss. When the brain hears a phantom sound, it tries to make sense of it - much in the same way as pareidolia works. The word pareidolia is defined as a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) where our mind interprets a familiar pattern of something where it doesn’t really exist. If you understand the visual version, basically it is exactly the same, but with sound.  Our brain is constantly looking for patterns so it can make sense of what is happening.  If there is a break or disruption to this pattern, our brain is forced to fill in the blanks.  This is why we will see faces in clouds.  It also means we can often hear things that are not really there.  A dripping tap for example can confuse our brain and make us think we are hearing a voice.   

Something as little as stress can be enough to cause someone to hear something that isn't there.  It can cause a person to become even more stressed because they think there might be something wrong with them.  While we discuss things that are typically considered to be paranormal, hearing voices is actually considered to be very normal.  A lot of people tend to be scared to talk about it because they are worried they have a mental illness.  Whether it is caused by an auditory hallucination or something more, don't be afraid to talk to someone about it.  

  • People may hear things that others don’t during stressful times eg. after somebody has died and you are grieving
  • People may hear voices that are positive and comforting
  • Some people hear voices that are scary or angry
  • Hearing voices might be something that goes away over time

No matter what the reason, there are lots of ways to cope and get support.  You might be feeling scared or embarrassed to ask for help, but talking to someone about what you’re going through can help.

To read more about the different ways auditory hallucinations can occur check out my article autophony and the breathing ghost

It is even possible for a whole group of people to hear an auditory hallucination, especially when you consider how easily we can influence each other.   It is why one of the golden rules of listening to recordings for possible EVPs is not to tell people what you think you hear because you are planting that in their head, and that is what they will hear.  So just because it is something that is heard by more than one person, doesn't make it paranormal.  If you hear a noise, investigate where it could be coming from.  Sound can travel far, especially in old buildings.  Look for dripping taps, open windows, outside noise, humming fans, or anything that can potentially make you think you are hearing something else.  Sometimes the explanation is right in front of you.

Mistaken Identity

There are also some odd things that can happen where you do hear a voice from seemingly nowhere but the source isn't readily recognizable. One experience I will never forget is my children were staying at my parents' house so I had an afternoon all to myself. Like most mum's with young kids and a baby at the time would do, I spent the afternoon in bed napping. I was laying in bed and got a horrible fright. I heard a baby crying. I ran to my son's room in autopilot but he wasn't there. That's right he wasn't home. So why was I hearing the disembodied voice of a baby? It took me a while (I wasn't even a paranormal researcher at this point) but I figured out that the frequency on my baby monitor must have gotten crossed with one of the neighbours because I could soon hear talking. Maybe the television has been left on, a phone could be on speakerphone, there could be radio interference on a two-way radio.  It can even be as simple as not realising there is someone else in a building with us.  It is very easy for our brain to make something out of nothing.

There are a lot of possibilities. Just because they are not obvious, doesn't mean they aren't there.  We also need to broaden our definition of 'paranormal'. It is not exclusively limited to ghosts and we need to open our minds to several different possibilities.  Understanding these experiences is the first step.  We need to start documenting when people have these experiences because regardless of what is the root of the voice, it is a very real experience to the person and something they are hearing.  If we start documenting this, we can start to understand the circumstances and when and maybe even how it is happening.

Do you have a story about a voice?  Do you feel it was from the other side or something else?


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  • Bertil Hoberg 2 years ago

    I think it was in 1999. My girlfriend at the time wanted me to go sleep in the living room, on the couch. She claimed that I snored and kept her awake. As I got out into the living room and was laying down on the couch, I heard a young girls voice in a very cheerful tone saying "Hej!" . That is "Hi!" or "Hello!" but in Swedish. I live in Sweden. :-D The voice and the greeting was clear as a bell. I was too tired to reflect over it but I have wondered what that was. I still am not sure. That was the only time in my life that I have ever experienced anything like that.

    • LLIFS 2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Bertil Hoberg 2 years ago

        You are most welcome! Did you see my comment about the Philadelphia Experiment and Morris K. Jessup?

        • LLIFS 2 years ago

          Yes I did! I thought I had responded but it must not have gone through. Some great info and Thankyou for taking the time to comment! Such an intriguing story isn’t it