Monday, March 21, 2011

EVPs and Language

In watching reruns of Destination Truth recently, I again was struck by how both that show and Ghost Hunters (and probably others) will capture in English supposed EVPs in foreign locales or sites where those said to haunt would have spoken a language other than English. Why is it that the D.T. team or TAPS or whoever is hearing a ghostly recording from the Great Wall of China in English and not some dialect of Chinese? To me, I think these people are hearing what they want to hear in the statis and noise, but since they can't speak Chinese or Spanish or Lingala...

What are your thoughts on this? Should we expect EVPs to be in the language of the land? And if not, do we think these are psychic projects? How would that be recorded? Or, more importantly, how would that be recorded in such a fashion that I would hear it in English, but a Chinese speaker would hear it in Mandarin?

2 comments:

Autumnforest said...

Wow. Yeah. I've thought this one over a lot of times. I think if you go by a straightforward explanation of ghosts as the souls of the dead and assume they have no more knowledge than they did in life (jeez, I hope not or heaven would be really stupid!) but, going by that premise, then a person standing in a haunted site alone should make a ghost speak to them and if they speak, no matter what the language, they will likely get a response but not in English if we assume the ghost has only its mortal knowledge. Now, you have to go through a helluva lot of hoops to believe EVPs are possible including making a voice without vocal chords. We bypass that in the industry by saying that the spirits directly imprint their voices to recorded media--pretty damn good, but then why are they so garbled? Haven't perfected it yet even though they can transfer their thoughts to our recording devices? Knowing the cross signals even from walkies that you can receive with recorders, I would never use them as proof of haunting. The only proof I actually accept is my own witnessed events and nothing recorded. It's the only way to be certain because, as of yet, I can't pick up stray signals.

Jeremy said...

I'm not a big fan of the EVP idea, but it would make sense that the language would be in the tongue of the haunter. I've always seen EVP as this weird kissing cousin to back masking. Too easy to get too much out of so little....