Can Ghost Voices Be Captured on Tape? Types Explained

Updated June 18, 2021
Human Skull with Video tape and Film reel on wooden table

There are several theories that explain how paranormal investigators capture ghost voices on tape. These theories describe the types of spirit voices you might capture on recording devices.

How to Capture an EVP

An EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) can be captured using any type of recording device. There are also times that EVPs are as captured while video recording during a paranormal investigation.

Some paranormal investigators prefer to use a cassette tape instead of a digital recorder or a smart phone app. This is a personal preference, but when using a tape, never attempt to tape over an old recording. Always use a new cassette tape, or what you think is a ghost voice may simply be an artifact leftover from a previous recording.

Attempt interaction with a ghost/spirit by asking questions. Allow a long enough pause between your questions so you aren't talking over the ghost. These pauses may feel awkwardly long, but they are essential. Make sure other investigators don't talk while you're speaking or waiting for the ghost to respond. This will prevent the overlapping of voices that can make it difficult to determine if you captured an actual EVP. Likewise, team members should never whisper during the investigation, so you can make a quick distinction between an actual EVP and team members.

Some investigators play back the recording after they've allowed enough time for the spirit to respond. This practice allows them to have better interaction and carry on a conversation with the ghost. It might be advantageous to have a second recording running when you do this in case the ghost responds during the playback. This will ensure you don't miss anything. It's best to have several recorders operating at the same time during your investigations. This will allow you to compare possible EVP captures.

Woman with headphone holding a boom microphone recording sound

Types of EVPs

There are different classes of EVPs, based on the sound quality. Some EVPs are very clear and easy to understand what the spirit is saying. Other EVPs aren't easily understood and not everyone agrees what it says. One of the most common EVPs is indistinguishable, although you know something was said, but there's just not enough energy behind the voice to be loud enough to be understood. Sometimes, you can apply digital filters to make the audio better. There is a rare type of EVP that can only be understood when the tape is played backwards. You may want to explore the various EVP theories to determine the type you possibly captured.


The psychokinesis theory is based on the mind being capable of affecting physical matter. This theory proposes that the ghost uses its energy in a psychokinetic manner to imprint the recording device with its voice. This theory assumes a ghost is the energy of pure consciousness.


A different type of psychokinesis, the theory of projection hypothesizes that it's the paranormal investigator that is imprinting the recording and not the ghost. The investigator's desire for capturing a ghost voice recording is so intense that the person projects their voice onto the tape via a type of telekinesis.

Residual Energy

The theory of residual energy is a different type of energy imprint within the energy field of a location. When that energy is released, usually in some type of repetitive manner like a loop, it may be captured on a recording as an EVP. This residual energy isn't interactive or intelligent communication.

Neon Soundwave

Electronic Interference

The interference from some type of electronic equipment is a theory that explains possible EVPs that aren't ghosts at all. They might be sound waves not detectable by the human ear that are recorded by the investigator's recording device. This type of mistaken EVP could come from a cell phone, two-way receiver (walkie talkie), radio transmissions, or other type of sound wave.

Background Noise

Background noise is often thought to be an EVP when it's nothing more than different noises that are distorted for whatever reason. This could be something as simple as a winter jacket rustling or someone clearing their throat. This type of misconstrued EVP is most common when investigating outside.

You Can Record Ghost Voices

A ghost voice can be captured on tape and digital recorders. Get second opinions on what the voice is saying to better determine if it is evidence of the paranormal.

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Can Ghost Voices Be Captured on Tape? Types Explained