Equipment Discussion: The Spirit Box
More than just an incredible metal band, the Spirit Box has become a must have tool in every Paranormal Investigators tool belt. We use the Spirit Box on our investigations and have had decent success and the more we use it, the more we learn about the device and how it works.
So how does it work, you're probably asking - well, a Spirit Box (or as it's sometimes known, Ghost Box) is at it's very simplest of definitions, a radio. However, unlike your traditional AM/FM radio, the Spirit Box will scan through frequencies without stopping on a station. The speed can be controlled to go faster or slower and on the SBox that we use, we can even scan backwards through the frequencies.
In the early 2000's, amateur paranormal researcher, Frank Sumpton hypothysized that spirits were able to contact the physical world with the help of an AM radio, resulting in the first version of the Spirit Box, known then as "Franks Box." The tool has since gone through several iterations and improvements and has led to some of the top devices on the market such as the SB7, SB11 and, SBox (by GhostStop).
Thanks to countless years of Paranormal Research, we as investigators feel that it's a widely known and accepted theory, that spirits can communicate with us through electricity and using the energy around us. So, it would stand to reason that a fast-scrolling radio frequency would allow a conduit in which the spirit world can utilize the electronic device to speak in their voice, sometimes in single words, or much to our delight, full sentences.
Everything with a grain of Salt...
Believe it or not, as humans we are susceptible to the power of suggestion and our subconcious brains may fool our concious brains into believing something to be paranormal in nature. This is a battle that we are constantly fighting, as we take a scientific approach to our research. Hearing a voice on the Spirit Box can be incredibly exciting...but that excitement can be quickly quashed when you realize you're hearing a clip of a commerical, a raucous DJ or a hockey broadcast.
For this reason, we try to focus more on complete sentences, rather than singular words here and there. We also find the most effective Spirit Box sessions we have are through the 'Estes' method which is basically sensory deprevation - blind fold, noise-cancelling headphones and of course the soothing rasp of a rapidly scanning Spirit Box blaring through the headphones.
Record your results!
Some Spirit Boxes such as the SBox have a built in voice recorder. This is an invaluable feature because the chances of you remembering the full conversation are limited, especially with the adrenaline of making contact. Don't have a built in recorder? That's ok, pair your Spirit Box with a handheld voice recorder, or even better, film the results. The reason I suggest film is better is because paranormal activity generally isn't a singular phenomenon, and if you can capture multiple sources this helps corroborate your evidence. Imagine doing a Spirit Box session and capturing an orb or aparition on film, all while capturing an EVP on your recorder? That's perfect case scenario.
Lastly, I want to touch on the countless apps you can find on iOS or Android. Although, many of them can be fun and deliver results, there is a reason most are listed as "For Entertainment purposes only." We have tested many of them and have found similarities between them. Oftentimes, the trait we find amongst all these apps is that they are responsive to certain phrases and have a library of responses built-in. The other trait, and there's no getting around this, scanning radio frequencies on an app, is using the internet rather than radio signals. Much like running your BluRay player through a Stereo receiver, into an HDMI splitter then finally into your TV, there are multiple points of failure. This isn't to say that all apps are bunk, it's just in our experience, we haven't been able to conclude any credibility.
At the end of the day, we love our Spirit Box and paired with our trusty twist flashlights and a voice-recorder we feel well equipped in the field to have a successful investigation.