Funders or Partners, Past or Present
Click here to find out about the partners and funders in this image

Click here for the PSI Facebook Group

Comments (optional)

>>More about Membership

Sister Sites

Click here to visit the sister sites represented in this image

Ghost in the Machine

Trystan Swale examines another in the long line of ghost hunting gadgets - the Ghost Box.

Proponents of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) are always searching for new methods of attempting to communicate with alleged spirits and the Ghost Box has become the top of the range object for doing do. It can perhaps claim to be the only gadget which facilitates “real time two-way communication” with the other side. Variations exist on a general theme, but the Ghost Box is essentially a radio which sweeps certain frequencies before amplifying the signal and processing it through an echo effect. It is used in much the same way as any other EVP device; the operator asks questions of any spirits in the location and eagerly awaits ‘answers’ to come through the unit. Many users are extremely impressed by the results but having seen a Ghost Box in action I remain less than convinced for three main reasons.

Firstly, many of the frequencies swept by the device yield nothing but white noise and the occasional weak broadcast signal. Such conditions are prime triggers for auditory pareidolia, the human mind’s attempt to make sense of random or indistinct noise.
Next, other radio broadcasts come through clear and strong, yet the user is expected to work on the faith based assumption that these voices are those of the dead - not Andrew Marr or any other presenter! I am unsure what criteria is used to differentiate the dead from the living! Finally, the two way interaction is highly dubious and relies upon selective thinking by the user. Yes, some times there does to be a response to a question, but the alleged voices can also be heard without stimulus.

My conclusion is that the Ghost Box represents nothing more than a new addition to the range of pseudo scientific gadgets which shroud public perception of paranormal investigation. The bottom line is that it is a radio and nothing more. It produces neither two way or genuine one way communication with spirits. Instead, it takes snippets of white noise and broadcast human voices, stringing them together to produce recordings which are open to considerable interpretation. I would be keen to learn if the Ghost Box would operate in an environment completely shielded from radio signals.