Light and Dark
I don’t like to focus on the negative when it comes to anything paranormal. I think it’s a trap we create for ourselves; makes us pay undue attention to something we only perceive as being horrific or frightening, and then we allow it to taint everything else we see or hear. An anonymous voice says something really unpleasant and before you know it, the entire location is full of demons. We allow that perceived negativity to distract us from accurately analyzing evidence as we subconsciously sort our data through a filter that only lets us see or hear the nefarious and that worthy of suspicion. That’s too bad, because not all negative-sounding EVP are actually negative – sometimes they are just misunderstood or taken out of context.

This is actually pretty standard stuff. Since spirits don’t have the equivalent of a voice box, the voices they use are not recognizable as their human counterparts. A great many of these spirits sound scratchy or similar to loud whispers; they are occasionally void of expression or emotion, and can even sound robotic. Also, many of the loudest voices seem to abbreviate sentences or phrases and provide us with small pieces of speech instead – something we are not used to. This brevity, coupled with the sometimes bizarre sound of the voice can be disarming, and carries with it a creepiness factor. Unfortunately, some experienced investigators can get caught up in the way an EVP sounds and attach their own emotional responses to the voice, even though that may not be the intended meaning.

Just to invent a hypothetical, a voice may tell you to stay away from a certain room by saying “don’t come in here.” At first hearing, this may sound like a threat of some kind – an ominous warning meant to frighten us away; a spirit trying to exercise control. And if that voice sounds even the slightest bit agitated or unnatural, it may very easily be labeled as negative or threatening. The reality? Who knows, but the spirit in question could be the voice of something benevolent – perhaps a kindly old woman who is warning us that a horrible, demonic spirit is waiting inside to do us harm.

Well, it’s a stretch, but if there was an actual demon waiting inside and we could somehow know it, then we might actually understand the way that EVP was actually meant. If the voice came from a demon instead, it could have chosen to sound exactly like a kindly old woman, so maybe the scratchy, witchy voices should instill less fear in us.

If we were listening real time to the session, we might have a totally different take on the warning, and even though we may not find its true meaning then either, we might not attach nearly as much negativity. The comment would become part of a conversation and we could ask questions to clarify what we heard.

Ultimately, none of this will matter if we take the time to be certain before we assign any intent to our EVP. Sometimes, we have no choice but to do so because our investigation will hopefully shed light on areas that a client has specifically requested. Certainly, if a client is inclined to move from their home, hearing a spirit voice tell them not to enter the room might be quite an important piece of information. Still, the true meaning of the voice might not be getting a proper characterization, but it seems to directly speak to the homeowner’s perceived problem, so you have to make it available to them, regardless of how anyone interprets it; even if that interpretation might be wrong. However, a large part of our responsibility as investigators is to temper, with some common sense, what we play for our clients, and we need to adequately communicate the wisdom in not jumping to conclusions. This is one very good reason why teams do not supply evidence until they have first reviewed it with the client.