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Why I Don't Believe in Electronic Voice Phenomena

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Words by Ryan Croker      Art by Chris Shill

If you’re at all tuned-in to the paranormal scene, you know that one of the hottest trends for the last 20 years has been Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP. It basically consists of researchers taking a recording device and letting it record in rooms where ghosts are thought to be hanging out. When you play back the recording, you can often hear voices speaking that were not audible at the time of the recording. It’s simple, it’s compelling, and it’s a load of bull.


I used to really be into EVP. I would stay up late, eating my night bagels and listening to some of the more popular recordings, wondering about the ghosts and what made them into ghosts and if the ghosts tried using their ghost powers to attend secret celebrity parties. Some of my favorites were the ones where the ghosts talked for hours about their favorite soup recipes, or the one where what sounds like an elderly female ghost begins a chilling recitation of a script from the last season of Mr. Belvedere. For a long time, these and many others, made me believe in life after death. They helped me feel like a part of me might live on after I die.


That all ended when I noticed that a lot of these EVPs contained messages directing me to invest in my friend Doug’s business. Doug has always wanted to be an entrepreneur and had recently started a new company that specialized in digital organic hats for emojis. I hadn’t thought much of the idea until the ghosts kept telling me to “invest with Doug.” When I first heard this, I was stunned. Ghosts are always stingy with their advice and prefer to just talk about murder and recipes. This was not just one ghost, but several ghosts giving me clear instructions. I didn’t hesitate and called Doug the very next day to send him all of my money.


Within a week, Doug had lost everything, including my investment. When we were both poor and selling our belongings at a mutual garage sale, Doug confessed to me that he was a terrible businessman and that he had been unable to find investors, so he had created the idea of EVP to trick me into investing. When I mentioned that EVP had been around for a long time, he admitted that he’d been doing it for decades, hoping I would notice the message and give him my money.


Needless to say, I am no longer friends with Doug. And while I still believe in ghosts, I only communicate with them via a highly paid medium, rather than by listening to sham recordings. I might fall for a scam once, but not twice!

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