EVP Classification Scale

EVP Class A, B & C; EVP-R; EVP-X

As you are probably aware, EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon which is one of the benchmark standards of paranormal research.

EVPs are a subset of Instrumental Transcommunication. EVP, in particular, makes use of audio recording devices in hopes of capturing a spirit voice that was not audible at the time of the recording, but is heard upon playback. Digital handheld recorders are primarily used today; but previous EVP research was conducted using audio cassette, reel-to-reel, or even answering machines to record these discarnate voices.

EVP was first discovered in 1901 when Waldemar Bogoras was recording a Siberian shaman with his Edison Phonograph. There were several people who researched the intricacies of Electronic Voice Phenomenon afterwards, but this research remained in rather obscure books and papers.

This changed when EVP was propelled into the public consciousness fully in 1971 with the English publication of Konstantin Raudive’s “Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead.” This seminal work on EVP was the result of years of research and careful examination of recorded results; more importantly, it was the first book on EVP published in English.

In Raudive’s book, he laid out the early groundwork for classifying EVP, which he dubbed as “Microphone Voices”:

Group A: Consists of voices that can be heard and identified by anyone with normal hearing and knowledge of the language spoken; no special training of the ear is needed to detect them.

Group B: Consists of voices that speak more rapidly and more softly, but are still quite plainly audible to a trained and attentive ear.

Group C: Unfortunately, these can be heard only in fragments, even by a trained ear, but with improved technical aids, it may eventually become possible to hear and demonstrate these voices, which lie beyond our range of hearing, without trouble.

This classification of EVP stood for only a short while. An American, Sarah Estep, plunged headlong into recording and documenting EVP. Eventually she founded the American Association of EVP, or AA-EVP, in 1982 (which has since been renamed ATransC since Tom & Lisa Butler took over in place of Sara). Once the organization had begun in earnest, a new classification system was needed. Her scale has since been adopted by paranormal researchers and is now the reference scale for EVP measurement used globally.

Class A: Voices can be heard and understood over a speaker by most people.  The average listener will hear what you you expect them to hear without prompting.  Loud does not equal Class A.

Class B: Voices can be heard over a speaker, but not everyone will agree as to what is said.  The average person will hear what you expect them to hear with prompting.

Class C: Voices must usually be heard with headphones and are difficult to understand therefor it is usually a vain effort to present these types of EVP as evidence to anyone other than the researcher.

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New Classifications

I have proposed over the years that two new classes of EVP be added to our current classification scale: Class R EVP and Class X EVP.

Since audio recording software has advanced significantly, researchers have found that sometimes there are EVP’s that are obtainable by playing an EVP backwards. This is normally done when an EVP has a tone and cadence (and possibly waveform) that is out of the normal range of EVP’s for that session. If played backwards and an EVP exists, it is classified as an EVP-R.

I also utilize EVP-X as a way to describe recordings taken from audio ITC generating devices such as the Ovilus, EVP-Maker, or a Ghost Box as they are not EVP in the traditional sense but yet are electronic voices so they fit within the hierarchy or existing classification.

In creating EVP-R and EVP-X categorizations, it will be necessary to add additional categorization to help delineate the clarity of the communication for research purposes. Therefor EVP-R(A) would be an example of a Class A Reverse EVP.

Hopefully this quick primer clarifies EVP for you a bit and you’ll understand what someone means the next time they say that have recorded a “Class A EVP.”

If you are interested in learning much more about EVP, we have a full conference-level lecture on this topic available for your paranormal studies. Click here to learn more!

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About Tim Woolworth 74 Articles
Tim has been educating in the paranormal field since 2010 when he launched the site ITCvoices.org. He is the founder of Paranormal Study (2018), the creator of the Walk in the Shadows podcast (2022), a renowned conference lecturer and author of several articles and book sections. When he isn't enmeshed in the paranormal, he enjoys a career as a professional brewer and spending time with family and his pets.

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