Evidence can be a lot like a big pair of breast, the better they are, the more likely they are fake. There are many types of fake evidence ranging from honest mistakes to purposefully faked. Now I’m not going to bother getting into why people would fake evidence, I will through this guide however help you to spot the natural from the silicon.
Listed below is a breakdown of this guide. Feel free to skip around or just to points of interest. Keep in mind this isn’t an all encompassing guide and this science is still very new with a lot more theories than actual laws and fact. With that said it’s my goal to write each section as self-sustainably as possible, meaning if you only care about tips and tricks on debunking photographs than by all means CTRL+F and skip down to photographs, you wont hurt my feelings none.
-Electronic Voice Phenomenon:
EVP can be the easiest, and hardest to settle on. Nine times out of ten you must assume that any attempt at communication will happen within the white noise, or the crackling and static of the recorder. It’s very unlikely that on top of everything else you’re going to hear a voice as if it were in the room with you. That isn’t to say it isn’t possible, just unlikely.
Credibility is the most important thing when presenting EVP evidence to a client or the internet. Be ready to back it up as much as possible! Keep the original full recording backed up. Don’t convert, down mix or tweak the clip any more than you have to. If a 2 minute Q&A is 50megs in a WAV file because that’s what your recorder outputs to by default than leave it! Compressing, converting and adjusting the bitrate of any recording can mash and flatten the peaks and valleys and nooks and crannies. So be careful and keep an untouched original backed up!
Now to begin, the first method of determining the validity of an EVP is to view the wavelength. There are many great (and free!) programs out there that will help you analyze and look for instances where a voice or sound appears too ‘on top’ of everything else. While this isn’t say it’s not possible you must consider the odds.
The voice it self could be a dead give away (no pun intended). Does it echo in the room? Have an accent like the local area? Listening and scrutinizing the EVP can be hard because after all it’s the fruit of your labor. Ghosts don’t tend to hang out by a fire place offering people snifters of brandy. For whatever reason they prefer the colder, smellier places in the house and are most active or comfortable communicating in the middle of the night.
Collaborate! Get as much collaborating evidence as possible. Stick a stationary camera in the room with the recorder. Put 2 recorders next to each other. The more proof you have the better! Skeptics could easily say it was your friend Jeb out there in the closet making ‘Boo’ noises, but if you had a K2 dial twitching like Michael J Fox mixing a martini at the same time the EVP is recorded and you have both of the devices in question on camera you have a very solid foundation.
Finally, remember all these things are out here and probably aren’t going away. They’ve been dead and haunting that toilet in Texas since the Mexican war. So if at first you don’t succeed book another night and go at it again. Don’t be afraid to throw away mediocre evidence. If you was rich you’d use 50 dollar bills to wipe your ass right? Think about EVPs like that, they are abundant and if anything just require being at the right place and asking the right questions. All because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they can’t see you. So keep your pants up and if you’re striking out send in a hot friend.
Before the digital age, the biggest problems with photos were double exposure. So unless your taking Grampa and his ‘ol Varicon S II out on your hunt gone are the days of double exposure or a host of other problems that could be mistaken for paranormal evidence. Unfortunately the digital revolution has not quite cured us of all our problems and in some cases made things worse! Programs like Photoshop allow for easy manipulation of photos but can also be your best friend in debunking those photos.
As to not completely gloss over film, a quick rundown of problems associated with film cameras include: mishandling of film pre and post exposure, hair or dust on lens, aging of photo, bad chemical bath process, double exposure, and shutter speed.
The easiest way to check a photo for manipulation is to check and adjust the levels. Levels, or Balance in some programs, is a term for contrast manipulation. Adjusting levels can easily expose where photos have been altered by revealing new details that may not be immediately visible. Physics is another great way of determining if a piece of potential evidence is legit or not.
Don’t let the name fool you, you don’t need a doctorate or even basic math skills to pull this one off. Look for things like light sources, if the object in question is emitting it’s own light, and how shadows are cast. Do they make sense? Where would the light causing them come from? Simple questions like these can really help remove doubts about outside sources such as headlights.
The holy grail of evidence… If done correctly. Nothing is sweeter than gathering a bunch of friends or a client and their family around a TV/Monitor and saying “Wait for it.. Wait for it..” and letting the footage speak for itself. Most people will take it at face value, but some are going to want to dig a little deeper. Here’s what you can do to proceed without hesitation.
Many of the same techniques explained in the Photo section applies here, level adjustment can be a great tool especially when dealing with multiple frames. the longer the evidence lasts the most chances you have to prove it’s real. When showing clips to clients be sure to give some lead in time and out time, don’t hit play and have the door close. Show it stationary, let every one take it all in and see what happens.
Always look for shadows, sources of light, and noise. All of these things can help you. The more the merrier is a good mantra for hunting. Film from opposite ends of the room, catch the camera in the shot or a timer. having a full tape starting from all 0’s till the end of the hunt is a great tool for building a concrete case.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ll probably agree with me that this is becoming less of a hobby and more science everyday. I hope the tips and techniques covered in this guide will allow you to progress further in this field and at the very least provided a laugh or two. This was never meant to be an all encompassing guide so feel free email me suggestions or just comment below