Just Listen

I’m pretty certain that there are spirits all around us all the time, so I want to hear them speak if I can. I want to record them. Dare I repeat myself – if it’s possible to hear them speak, I want to do that! I want to know as much as I can about just how to accomplish that. I think about methods, and the why and wherefore of how this whole thing works, but I’m just more interested in hearing them – in communicating; in finding out what they have to say. I don’t want to lecture them or pontificate to them. I don’t want to fill them in on the state of race relations, or the misuse of advertising aimed at children… I’ll be quiet – I promise. Go ahead, I’m listening. And if I can hear them better by standing on my head and passing wind to God Save The Queen, then I’ll do it.

For some people, it’s very important to know how spirits are able to make themselves heard. And it was for me too once upon a time. That’s natural, because it’s all a part of believing. My subconscious used to think that if I could figure out how they do it, it would be proof that they were real. But one day I sort of woke up and realized that it didn’t matter. It became simple for me. I hear them, I’m not crazy – they’re real.

Look, I’m not a scientist – obviously. I definitely know that. Either I’m not smart enough or I’m not put together in quite the right way. But then people on this plane will probably never put forth the kind of scientific effort required to find out how the paranormal actually happens. Without that hard scientific proof, the difficult facts will never come to light. So what’s the point then? Why do this? Randy, if you’re not interested in – oh, lets say – running a million volts through a brick wall to see if it liberates centuries old residual EVP, then what the heck are you doing involved with the paranormal at all?

What’s the point? I’m involved in this because they are talking, and I don’t know about you, but I hate being ignored! I suspect it’s the same with them. I respect all my fellow EVP researchers out there who need to prove something definitive. But I’d rather spend my time listening or talking back, no matter how silly I sound. I just have to hear what it is they have to say because it’s better to learn about them, from them. And perhaps, in a display of complete and utter arrogance – I think they like me.

Sometimes they’re all ticked off and stuff, but they still speak to me. I don’t think it’s an accident. I think they know I believe in them, and I think they know I like them. I’m certainly open, and I value their thoughts. I am myself and they are themselves around me. They are safe to be whatever they are. I don’t wanna get in their business and tell them what to do. I don’t wanna send them to any light, or help them cross over. I don’t wanna preach at them or try to make them deal with what they did when they were in body. I’m not there to be their best friend, their mother, their confessor or their jailer.

I am there to listen and I almost always say thank you and goodbye. Because I appreciate it! I’m Mrs. Keller’s polite little boy. I allow them their dignity and I pay them their respect. And they let me hear them. A lot. I’m pretty sure they know that I believe they are still alive and I think they realize that in my eyes, they are equals, and every bit as important as I am. They are who they always were, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. And I do record them frequently. And I am eternally grateful for it. More, please!

You know, in time, I believe we all eventually reach the point where we understand the value in just listening. That’s what I’m doing – that’s the point of it all and why I still do this after all this time. That’s what floats my boat. I just listen.

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Other Methods

Before you check out the video below, this post is in correlation with episode #35 of The Voices Podcast, which is entitled “Other Methods.” The video below shows the actual video clips responsible for the EVP discussed in the episode.

I realize it’s not exactly breaking news that EVP can make themselves available on video cameras and other devices, but this often doesn’t receive the amount of attention it deserves. Since the speaking spirits seem to decide where and when we hear them, it’s only logical that the video camera’s built-in recorder could be even more productive than a digital voice recorder. I spend as much effort “listening” to video as I do any other device. Sometimes, watching the video can be mesmerizing and lull one to sleep – especially if it’s a static shot and nothing – literally nothing – is going on. That’s too bad, since EVP on video ought to prove that there’s always something going on.

It’s a good idea to provide spirits as many avenues for communication as we can, but the best reason for using a video camera is that it will show us exactly what’s going on at the time the spirit speaks. We can usually view an entire room, and can easily determine who is present and who isn’t. It helps us identify recurring sounds that may not be identifiable on a voice recorder, but make perfect sense when seen on video. In addition, certain types of movement are not always easily associated with natural causes until you are able to record repeating sequences.  A static video camera recording from a single position throughout an investigation, recording both picture and sound, can reveal naturally recurring things quite convincingly.

All paranormal people probably know this, but it’s a good idea to remember to use every piece of our equipment as completely as possible. We may think of our handheld cameras primarily as a video tool, but in many ways, it’s the best possible voice recorder in our arsenal. Olympus makes a fantastic recorder that also provides quality video at the same time through a small, on-board camera. The one thing missing from the standard handheld video camera could arguably be the lack of high quality sound. Olympus may have solved this issue, and so far, the reviews are rather glowing. This may be my next recorder – not so I can replace my handheld camera, but as a way to aid in the verification of EVP.  Being able to show what is happening at the time of an EVP is a great tool to have available to us. It makes our job just a little easier, increases our credibility, and provides more avenues by which to be successful.

Truth

I was there when a good friend of mine got his first EVP. He had been a meaningful contributor in the field for years, and not a single voice had ever graced his research. It’s actually a tribute to his integrity, because instead of denying the results of others, he chose to continue – ever faithful, diligent, and hopeful. And I remember the call when he heard that spirit voice for the first time – from the other end of the wire came a hearty, exuberant “I got one! I got an EVP.”

It took me a few extra seconds before the significance of this registered. EVP are something I have always been fortunate enough to capture frequently. My first session provided results, as has 95 percent of every session since. I’ve never known the kind of famine he experienced. I sometimes wonder with amazement what kept him going all those years. Video and photo evidence come rarely, and is always forced to suffer a great deal of critiquing from “the world.” It is EVP that serves as the foundation – the pillar of our evidence. It has been my experience that most investigations yield nothing substantive other than EVP. But my committed friend continued his research without a single, credible voice.

Since that glorious day, he has continued to record EVP with regularity at every investigation. Good, quality voices, whose pedigrees have been impeccable – meaningful, interactive, and teachable. But it does make you wonder what could have made the difference. It was as if the water was slowly filling up the reservoir until one day, it just started spilling over…

I have always believed that success with EVP depends on attitude – the way we approach them, the things we say, and the amount of respect we’re willing to bring to the table. Other things too – it’s complicated, I think, but my friend has always come correct. He always handled himself properly. He did everything right; behaved in ways that I believe should have helped rather than hinder. He was a great investigator when I met him, and still is the person I most trust in the field. If I were one day to face a red-eyed demon coming at me, glaring down with fiery breath showing six inch fangs, calling my name and promising to possess me dry, I would rather have him beside me than anyone else I’ve ever met. He’s the man, as far as I am concerned, and obviously, the best investigator I’ve ever known.

And for all those years, he couldn’t manage a single EVP. I don’t know what caused his drought all those years. I believe spirits make a conscious choice when they allow themselves to be exposed, and recorded. Not always – nothing is ever 100%, you know – but most of the time, I believe the spirits decide what we hear, and who will hear it.  I believe they prefer it when we are open and honest and make no pretentions. I believe they enjoy authenticity in a person and reveal themselves to those who want to hear, who will not judge them; someone who will appreciate their offering for what it is.

In all those years, my friend sought the truth. Not results. He never once manufactured evidence or manipulated the facts. He freely and openly made his way through investigation after investigation – attempting to bring a creative approach to each outing, and painstakingly analyzing every foot of video, every inch of each recording to the best of his ability. The lack of EVP was significant in itself, and he reported his results without apology or excuse. He certainly paid his dues, I think. He earned his stripes. He gave his all to every effort, and walked away secure in the truth he presented – no matter what the result.

Somehow, his integrity and reputation for unquestionable objectivity, has also paved the way for other evidence – video and still photos to accompany his new found spirit voices – each indemnified by his ability to handle the lack thereof all those early years. His trustworthiness has not escaped the spirit world – his desire for the truth has paid off in spades.

EVP are not within our control. They control their own destiny and speak their mind only when they choose. And they do not do so lightly; they speak when they know we will listen, and listen properly. If anything, we are the pawns in this game of chess. It is never really our move. We go from square to square where they lead us, and make each calculated decision based entirely on their presence – never our own. It is always their way, and we follow. They are in charge of this evidence stuff. And if upon occasion, we manage to sneak a peek when they’re not aware, all’s fair in love and paranormal.

But if you ask my friend about EVP, he knows it’s a crap shoot – that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But win or lose, he will always be in search of truth – never results. And he will always achieve a high level of excellence because of that.

The Normal Thing To Do

It is not normal to experience something paranormal. Or is it? Even though the word paranormal is one of those very general terms that encompass all sorts of different experiences, it is still used to refer to something extremely out of the ordinary. Not just one of those “well look at that” events – something much more unusual.

You can delve into any of the divergent areas of paranormal studies and find a plethora of documentation including personal experiences, opinion, psychological examinations, video and audio evidence – practically anything and everything. And there are hundreds of thousands of people interested enough to devote their time to study and investigation.

The paranormal is alive and well, steeped in experiences we label as being not normal – out of the ordinary, non-standard, irregular, uncharacteristic, atypical, anomalous, strange, aberrant, or down right peculiar. Stuff like that is not often worthy of being taken seriously, right?

Well, then what is normal?  Normal is something that is usual. It is even described as being healthy. It occurs naturally – is typical and customary, common and conventional, routine, and regular. Nothing paranormal in that lot, is there?

For this trip through the dictionary to be helpful you need to factor in real life. Normal might include laundry or pizza – the need to eat, penicillin, and even politics. Normal also includes a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit the definition. Things like theft or murder. Not traditionally typical activities, crimes are considered a normal occurrence by most of us. Of course, I realize you could make a case to the opposite, but in many parts of society, theft and murder are the staples of the local civilization. Normal.

Things that are not normal include: spirits, mists, orbs, aliens, demons, chupacabre, bigfoot, moth men, and swamp creatures. And even these things become quite normal when you put them on television.

Put together a show about EVP and a certain number of people will sit there and watch it just as calmly and contently as if it were all about babies or strawberries. But! Play an EVP for someone you know. In your living room, or his. Hand someone a pair of headphones and say “listen to this,” and suddenly it’s not so normal. I can tell you honestly, I have lost friends over EVP. I didn’t notice right away – I just thought they got busy and couldn’t manage to answer their calls on a regular basis. It took awhile before I put two and two together. I should have seen it in the eyes. I should have noticed that slightly panicked look they threw at me – the one that wonders if I am in league with the devil. Who, by the way, has never been normal.

You might think that those same folks who gleefully watch television shows about man-eating half tiger, half giant-lemon people would be able to handle EVP. But apparently, when face to face with one, they cannot. You would think it would even make you kinda cool, right? But no. What they see on TV is not real to them, so the very second someone brings in the truth, people like me become lepers.

Well, leper might be a bit strong, but in varying degrees, things paranormal become things not normal really quick. Forget the fact that the paranormal has been with us since the beginning. Pay no attention to that shadow figure in the corner. Ignore the screaming voices coming from the attic. Don’t over-react to that little short man in the grey alien costume with the large shiny needle.

If all of mankind met in one place and was asked to raise their hand if they’ve ever had a paranormal experience of some kind, over 85% of the world’s population would be waving. And yet paranormal is not normal?

There’s always been paranormal stuff. In fact, every mainstream religion celebrates some kind of spiritual entity within its dogma. We huddled together in caves because we were once afraid of the dark, for God’s sake. You might as well give in to it, the spiritual world is all around you – there’s proof of it. Lots of proof, so wake up and smell the ectoplasm. There are even multiple, alternate universes. Entire universes! All those things that go bump in the night are really going bump in the night – somewhere. Some of us have seen them. Many of us have heard them, and most of us believe in them. So what’s so damned abnormal about them?

 

They’re as much a part of life as chocolate or cheap perfume. The paranormal spends time in our attics, kitchens, and bedrooms – probably watches Celebrity Ghost Story with us; chuckles when we freak out and need to leave the lights on all night. Some part of the paranormal is around in some capacity every second of every day. Sounds pretty normal to me. So, seriously… next time you see my name come up on your phone, pick it up and say hello. That would be the normal thing to do.