Various Techniques to capture Paranormal EVPs During a ghost investigation.

Various Techniques to capture Paranormal EVPs During a ghost investigation.

Various Techniques to capture Paranormal EVPs on a ghost investigation.

My favorite part of ghost hunting is collecting evidence for a possible haunting of the location. When someone asks me what my favorite piece of equipment for a ghost investigation my answer is always an audio recorder.  When I capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) I feel that this evidence is vital in attempting to prove that the location is possibly haunted. I make sure to set up the EVP session by controlling the possible contamination during the recording in hopes of getting a clean EVP.  I check and eliminate the possibility of someone in the room talking or whispering, check to make sure all talking devices are turned off, and check for local sounds (factor steam releases, etc.) and weird animal sounds (cats or squeaky mice, etc.)  Sometimes we might capture voices coming through radio waves from live voices on the radio.  We still have the lack of absolute proof of a haunting even when we capture these EVPs under these conditions.

For me, I like asking questions to see if I can get a response in the form of an EVP and most important that the answer to the questions has some relevance.  When I go into a place and the history tells me that a person by the name of Henry hanged himself in the attic then I ask for a name during the recording of an EVP session.  When I play the recording back and indeed, we get the name Henry I will eliminate the possibility of picking up the regular radio waves.   It is hard to imagine a local radio station announcer would say the exact name that was relevant, and it says it at the time of the question. 

This method of an EVP session is not to be confused with the spirit box getting EVPs coming through. The spirit boxes that I have used are set up to sweep through the AM or FM channels at different scanning speeds.  As I use the spirit box, I listen for messages that stand out by speaking slower than the rapid voices that are coming through the millisecond intervals from the radio waves.  If you are interested in using a spirit box, I recommend the P-SB7 or P-SB11.  I have had good results from both instruments.

When I play back my recordings from a 30 second EVP session, I hope to get direct answers to the questions I have asked.  Of course, when that happens, I am convinced that we are on the right path of connecting with the ghosts/spirit we were intending to reach. 

Other times during an EVP session I might get names or messages that does not resonate with the history or the folklore that is connected to this location.  When I get this type of information, I do the research and sometimes I find another person in the history that we did not consider to be active in the haunted location.  I like returning to these places to see if we can continue to communicate to see why this spirit decided to come through to us.  Returning to any haunted location over and over makes for a great case study. 

Over many years of EVP research there has been a development in rating the EVP quality.

  1. An “A” rating is a clear message that most will agree upon translation.
  2. A “B” rating is a message that when heard by others can also translate into other sayings or messages. This type makes it hard to agree on what is being said.
  3. A “C” rating is a message that is unclear or contains too much static that will make it too difficult to understand by all that hears it. You can hear the voices and the syllables of the words or the rhythm of a sentence, but you cannot make out what is being said.

I feel more comfortable getting a name or message at a location when I do not have the history or knowledge of who or what haunts the place.  Once I get the EVP I can research to see if in fact the name or message is relevant to the history of the location.  It can be overly exciting to validate the EVP through the research.  I think this type of EVP is more reliable and credible for good solid evidence.  

If I go into a haunted location where I have the knowledge of the history, my mind is already set in what I hope we capture as we do the EVP sessions.  While reviewing these EVPs and I get names or messages that I have knowledge of I must ask myself if this is a case of pareidolia.  For example, because I am hoping for the name Bobby the EVP could be Tommy so pareidolia sets in and I’m convinced it says Bobby because of the stories I’ve heard about him.

Pareidolia (/pɛraɪˈdoʊliə/, /pɛriː-/) is the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.

Now the link below is a fun link about misheard lyrics in some of the most popular songs in these times. I included this in hopes you will have a good laugh.   Misheard Lyrics | Peter Kay

During most of my ghost investigations I like to do a variety of EVP sessions.  I set up my digital audio recorder in my vest pocket and attach my mic to the shoulder epaulet to record the entire investigation. I find I will get more unexpected EVP messages and comments when I do this.  In one recording I got a warning from a spirit.  Someone in the group asked me if there was a basement.  As I was listening to my recorder, I heard a little girl say, “Go away” as if she did not want us to go into the basement. 

I take another audio recorder and I do a session that I call an absolute.  I ask that everyone become absolutely still and silent while I ask the spirit a question.  I will ask, “Sweet Spirits will you speak with us?  Do you have a message, or can you tell us your name?”  After my question, I wait 30 seconds as I hold the recording in my hand before completing the session, giving the spirit plenty of time to speak.  On playback I hope to get an answer to my question.  Sometimes, instead of a voice, I might get heavy footsteps, a whistle, labored breathing, or crying. I don’t’ get a response every time but when I do it’s awesome to feel that I am communicating with the spirit.  I refer to this as an intelligent haunting.

If I have several ghost hunters with me, I like to sit in a circle and have everyone turn on their recorders and I will ask 3 -5 questions.  I wait 30 seconds between each question.  Once the session is complete everyone goes into separate areas to listen to our recorders to see if you received any EVPs.  I like doing this one because of the variety of EVP we might get.  It is so rare to get the same EVP on multiple recorders, but it does happen. Sometimes the EVPs are different, and we can put the words together to figure out what the message is.

Another EVP session that I like to do is have my group sit at a table.  I take one audio recorder and place it in the middle of the table, and I take a second audio recorder in my hand.  I ask 3-5 question while waiting 30 seconds between each question.  Then I play back my recorder while the recorder in the middle of the table is still recording.  Once I have reviewed the recorder in my hand, I will make note of any EVPs I get.  I then gather the other recorder that has been recording the questions I asked, and it was recording the playback from my recorder. The reason I like to record my play back is if I did not get any EVPs on my recorder sometimes, they will answer the questions that came from the playback and that gets captured by the recorder in the middle of the table.  This is so exciting for me.


I have included below one of my favorite EVPs.  I captured this EVP while I was hosting the Bardstown Ghost Trek and we were in the conference room upstairs in the Talbott Tavern.  Over the years I’ve been getting EVPs from previous owners from the 1800’s and other guests that have checked in but never checked out. When I do these type of EVP sessions, I use the absolute method where I ask that no one move, speak, or make a sound for 30 seconds.  At the beginning of my recording I always ask, “Sweet Spirits do you have a message for us tonight.  Then after 30 seconds of silence, I stop the recorder and hit play back hoping for a response to my question.  I was so pleased to hear this message when I played the recorder back.  It said, “Sometimes I miss seeing you.” Since I have been doing this ghost walk for 23 years, I feel like I’ve make friends with the spirits that sometimes comes through and talks to us in the form of EVPs.  







The Ghost of 11-Year-Old Mark has been seen and heard at the Carnegie Center.

The Ghost of 11-Year-Old Mark has been seen and heard at the Carnegie Center.

The Ghost Investigation of the Carnegie Community Center, Somerset, Kentucky

Once I moved to Nancy, I have had so many awesome people to reach out to me to share haunted locations with paranormal activity and local ghost lore.  The local historian for the Carnegie Community Art Center, Karen Pedroza, was one of the first to contact me.  She wanted to share the ghost stories of the Carnegie and proposed to do a ghost investigation to see if we could capture evidence of one of the most active ghosts there.  His name is Mark Thatcher.

After completing the YouTube segment that I did with Kyle Kadel, who operates the International Paranormal Museum and Research Center located in the basement of the Carnegie Community and Art Center, he also gave me valuable information about little Mark Thatcher.  At one time, Kyle was part of the management team at the Carnegie and he had real time experiencing the activity from the child ghost, Mark.   

Before the Carnegie Center was a library, it was a post office and before that it was the home of the Morrow family.  In 1898, when Mark was 11 years old, he and his siblings were visiting their cousins, the Morrow children, while playing outside.  At the time, Mark lived across the street and loved playing with the family children. The history of his death is not real clear, but they do know that somehow Mark was shot with an arrow while the children were playing.  Who knows if they were playing cowboys and Indians or maybe testing out their archery skills and were trying to shoot an object from Mark’s hand or even off his head?  All that can be gathered from the stories is that he died while playing with the children after being shot with an arrow. 

Shortly after Mark’s death his family had a portrait made of him.  In the 1970’s his portrait was later placed in the Pulaski County Library for many years.  Once they built the new library, on South Main Street in 2007, the portrait was moved there.  Then the original library, on North Main Street, became known as the Carnegie Community Art Center.

Not long after the portrait of Mark was displayed, spooky and chilling sights and sounds began.  Many of the employees and members of the library started seeing quick glances of a little boy when no children were present at that time.  Some said they heard a little boy laughing.  They also reported hearing light footsteps of a child running from one end of the room to the other end.  The most talked about activity happened in the elevator.  Sometimes the lights would flicker as the elevator went from floor to floor.  Once while Karen was riding the elevator the level buttons would light up for another floor.  She would have to ride the elevator up and down before she could get off.  She told me that often she would avoid the elevator and take the stairs.  It was a little too much for her to feel trapped in the elevator while Mark played with the buttons.  There were also times when the empty elevator would start moving from floor to floor and back again and no one was in the elevator.  Maintenance was performed on the elevators to see if it was malfunctioning, but they did not find any problems to cause the elevator to operate on its own.  I was told that these types of activity still take place on all three floors.

I called Karen and Kyle to see if they would join me for a very quaint investigation at the Carnegie.  Since I have not unpacked from my move and most of my ghost hunting equipment is still in storage, it has restricted my investigation to a small arsenal of equipment.   I only have my smart phone for photos and videos, two EMF meters, and an audio recorder to use on an investigation.

Once we arrived at the center, Kyle was gracious in letting us use his special bear in hopes to attract the child, Mark, to this toy. This bear is called the BooBuddy Ghost Hunter Interactive Bear.  This bear is used on ghost investigations and is equipped with an EMF meter that can register a disturbance in the EMF field and a thermometer to register abrupt changes of temperatures.  If it picks up on the energy it lights up one of its paws.  It also speaks words to encourage conversations with the ghosts in the room.  This is the first time I have seen this type of equipment and was excited to be able to use it.  You can find this bear at the GhostStop.

Before starting the investigation, we said a group prayer for guidance and protection while collecting evidence during our interaction with the ghosts that may be haunting this location.  We gathered around the bear as Kyle turned it own to see if we could get some type of reaction with Mark.  After a while of no significant responses or any indication that Mark was paying any attention to the bear, we considered that 10-year-old Mark might have thought the bear was too childish for him.  As an older child he might have felt he was too old to play with a bear.  After all, he was accidently killed while playing with a bow and arrow.

I reached for my audio recorder and decided to see if I could get an EVP that might validate that Mark was with us.  I took my Panasonic digital recorder, which was voice activated, and continued with a 30 second EVP session.  I asked for a name and after the 30 seconds played the recorder back to see if I had capture anything.  At first it was static and then I got a voice that said, “Mark” with emphasis on the “k” at the end of his name.  As I continued to listen to the play back, I got more static and again heard the name Mark.  This, for me, was great evidence that we might be in the presence of Mark.

Kyle demonstrated where he and others had seen a little boy run through the room and towards the elevator. (When we reviewed the video at this point, we picked up an EVP of a long whisper that said, “Noooo”…)  I thought this would be a good time to take the elevator to the 3rd floor to continue the investigation there.  I was hoping that we might get some activity on the elevator on our way up.  Then I asked myself if I wanted to be in an elevator that was known to go up and down from floor to floor unable to get off.  This was one of the common things that would happen on the elevator.  Three of us decided to ride the elevator while the other two took the stairs.  When the elevator door opened it revealed a small area to stand.  We pushed the 3rd floor button, and the elevator began to move upward.  Almost immediately it started to shimmy and shake and really unnerved me.  I was hoping we would make it to the top without it crashing down.  Later, I asked Karen if the elevator had shaken like that before and she answered, “No”.  She added that the shaking also scared her as well.  Needless to say, after our completion of the investigation I took the stairs on our return to the basement.  I am quite sure, after that experience, I will not be taking that elevator again. 

On the 3rd floor we thought we would talk more about Mark since Kyle had brought copies of his portrait.  He mentioned that since the portrait is now at the new library people have reported some of the same chilling activity happening there.  Kyle commented, “I guess he goes back and forth from this building to the new library.” 

I like to use some of the smart phone apps that I have seen other ghost hunters use during ghost investigations.  One of the apps displays a stick formation if you focus on a person.  The algorithm will outline the human body as a stick person.  When you move your phone around the room this app might reveal the stick formation where there is no human present.  This is when we stop and focus this area.  We take note to the size, motion, and interaction.  I used this app while encouraging Mark to use his energy so we could see him through this app.  Karen was also using another app that was programed to place a square around most of the images in the room and label them, such as table, lamp, book, dog, person.   I asked two members of the group to stand a few feet apart while we used the stick app and the box app in hopes to capture the energy of Mark.  As I asked Mark to come stand between them, I got a small stick figure come through the app.  Karen turned to me to let me know that she also had a box labeled person in the same area.  We were extremely excited to get the same reaction from both apps.  Then I noticed two framed pictures of human faces propped up on a table in between and behind them.  Knowing that these apps had an algorithm to pick up human form I realized that it might be translating the pictures.  I had Kyle to turn the pictures around to expose the back side and the small stick figure from my app and the box marked person from Karen’s app had disappeared.  I was so hoping that we were, in fact, picking up on the energy of Mark.  I want to make sure that we are totally aware of our surroundings when using these apps.   It is important to me to debunk as much as I can during the investigation before confirming the evidence.  If I had not noticed the two framed pictures between them, I would have made the mistake of thinking we had captured the energy of Mark. 

Before we concluded the investigation of the little boy Mark, I wanted to share with the group the EVP I had gotten at the center a couple of weeks earlier.  As I shared the EVP, Edwin, to the group I was so pleased at their reaction.  They all agreed that the name was definitely “Edwin”.

When I arrived at the prior investigation of two weeks ago, I met with Karen and other who joined us.  Along with the group I met Melissa Snyder, a psychic medium.  I told Melissa that I had received spirit information that a new ghost was going to be revealed.  Melissa smiled and said, “We have already found him.  Our group did an investigation a few days ago and I picked up on a new identity.  I gave the name to Karen and when she researched the history, she validated the name of the ghost.

As I did the pre-investigation of the Carnegie that night, I took the time to do an EVP session.  On the playback I got the name Edwin.  Melissa gasped and said, “Play that again, please.”  When I played it back, she told me that the name Edwin was the name that she received during the previous investigation.  Until that moment I did not know the name that she had received through spirit.  Through Karen’s research she revealed that Edwin had lived in the first house built on this property, the Morrow House.  His full name was Edwin Porch Morrow.  He was born November 28, 1877 – died June 15, 1935.  He was born in Somerset, Kentucky and became the 40th Governor of Kentucky from 1919 to 1923.  As we reviewed the history of Edwin, we noticed that on this night of the investigation was his birthday, November 28.  

This was a perfect way to end a ghost investigation.  We plan to make a case study of this location to see if we can get more information to why these ghosts are here and what they can teach us.

To view the actual investigation please click on this link .  I have it posted to my YouTube channel.  I would be so grateful if you would take a quick moment to like, subscribe and click the bell to get notice as I post more segments to my YouTube channel.  Thank you.

Ghost Child Reveals Message Through EVPs

Ghost Child Reveals Message Through EVPs

One of the most asked question I get as a ghost hunter is “What is the scariest, most terrifying experience you have ever had while investigating haunted locations?” My answer, “I don’t have any scariest or terrifying, but I do have some amazing, wonderful, and most memorable experiences that has happened to me during some of my investigations of haunted locations.”

I want to share one of these experiences with you now.  While teaching my ghost hunting course at the local community college in Lexington, Kentucky, I would take my students on actual ghost investigation as part of the course at hand. I taught this course for 8 years and I was always blessed to find many haunted locations in Lexington and surrounding areas for my students.  During these ghost hunts, one of my favorite parts was to educate the students on the use of the many instruments and methods of ghost hunting.

While making contacts with local council I was able to get permission to conduct a ghost investigation in an old, abandoned TB hospital in Paris, Kentucky.  I always made sure I had permission to bring my students.  I wanted to ensure their safety and I did not want to take the chance of us being arrested for trespassing.

On this evening I had about 16 students gathered around the entry door of this mighty structure that was locked with a chain and padlock.  The state department sent out a representative, Judy, that unlocked the door for us to enter.  We were the first ghost hunters to have ever completed an approved ghost investigation here.

We were there only about 15 minutes when the paranormal activity started.  We were surprised to see all types of images going in and out the doors down the hallway and hoping that we captured them on our film as we took shot after shot.  Back then in 2001 we only had analog equipment including cameras and audio recorders.  Unlike today, we were not able to check our photos to see if we had captured evidence of a haunting until we got our film developed and, in some cases, it could take up to a week.

What made the first ghost investigations during the early 2000’s so different from today’s digital capability was the delay we had in knowing if we were capturing any evidence. Since our equipment was all analog, we had to review all developed photos and watch all the videos and listen to all the audio recordings before we could see if we had captured any evidence of a haunting.  The digital age gives us instant gratification and validation immediately so we can understand what direction to go next in the investigation because of instant information.

After reviewing all my photos, videos, and audios, I was thrilled at the evidence that I was able to capture during our investigation of the old Paris TB Hospital.  Because of my relationship with the state park and city council I was permitted to continue bringing my students to this abandoned location for years. Each time we would always get amazing results and captured evidence of possible hauntings here.

The best evidence we captured was revealed to us through an audio capture that we refer to as an EVP, (electronic voice phenomenon) and a video that also revealed the same EVP as another validation by having the EVP come through two different mediums, first the audio and then the video.

When I reviewed my audio first, I heard the voice of a little girl saying, “I’ve been sitting here all day.”  I was thrilled at how clear her voice was.  It made me think that it was the voice of a 4- or 5-year-old girl. As I continued to listen, I heard her repeat the statement but this time she said it while I was talking, and you could hear us both making a statement.  As I stopped speaking you could hear the last 2 words of the little girl say clearly, “all day.”  This was one of my first time capturing an EVP that repeated itself, as if to insist on being heard. I quickly download both EVPS into my computer.

Later, after the investigation, I was contacted by the Paris County Library to do a seminar on the investigation of the Paris TB Hospital and share my evidence that I had captured there.  I decided to do a PowerPoint presentation.  While setting up the slides I wanted to include all the EVPs and other evidence I had collected to the library PowerPoint.  When I went to add the 2 EVPs of the little girl I was in for a huge shock.  The first EVP of the little girl saying, “I’ve been sitting here all day”, was still clear and made a perfect example. However, the second EVP of her repeating herself had somehow changed after being saved in my computer.  It started with a static sound instead of my voice speaking out to the students, as in the original EVP.  Then I hear the little girl say, “Did you get it in the camera?”.  I just about fell off my stool. 

I listened to the new message over and over and then I said to myself, what does she mean by, “Did you get it in the camera?”.  Suddenly, I realized she was talking about the camcorder not the camera.  I went and grabbed my video recorder and rewound the film back to the part of the investigation where I got the first and second EVP of the little girl.  To my joy, the EVP was there on my video!!  First time I had collected the same EVP in two different mediums, that being an audio recorder and camcorder.  I was beyond happy to have experience this sweet spirit helping me to find such a treasure of evidence.  When I start an investigation I say, “Sweet Spirits, I am not here to harm you or exploit you.  I ask for your help in proving that you exist”.  She went as far to work with me to prove that she existed by changing the second EVP that I had entered into my files on my computer from, “I’ve been sitting here all day”, to “Did you get it in the camera”.  Therefore, helping me not to miss such an important piece of evidence. 

So, on this investigation of the Paris TB Hospital, I had witnessed 3 new firsts as a ghost hunter.

  • I captured the same EVP being repeated twice within seconds of each other.
  • I captured the same EVP in two different mediums, an audio recorder and camcorder.
  • The absolute best, the saved file of the EVP, “I’ve been sitting here all day.” was changed to say, “Did you get it in the camera.”

Many years later the city decided to tear the old TB hospital down.  I was so honored when I received a phone call from the state park representative, Judy, who said to me, “Since you were the first ghost hunter to investigate the hospital, I thought it would be nice for me to invite you back to be the last to investigate before tearing the building down.  Now that is another story! Please be sure to check back later to see what happened next!