L. Sarhan has been a paranormal investigator and researcher for over 25 years.
Several people feel as though spirits want to communicate with the living and will try when given the chance. One technique that paranormal investigators use to try to communicate with the dead is performing an EVP session. This is when a paranormal investigator asks a question, or series of questions, and then waits several seconds to give the spirit or ghost time to respond.
An EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon, is when a disembodied voice of a spirit or ghost comes through an audio recording. There is a variety of different equipment choices out there that can be used to capture a possible EVP, but what questions should you ask during an EVP session once the recording devices are recording?
Before starting any type of questioning, explain exactly what you are doing. Explain why you are there and even what you hope to accomplish. Also explain what kind of equipment you have and what it is for because you may be dealing with spirits that do not know they are dead, or simply are unfamiliar with our technology. By telling any possible spirits in the room these few things, you may lessen their fear of you and what you are doing. In turn, this may make the spirit more inclined to try to speak during the investigation.
Now it's time to ask questions. There are two types of questioning. Always start with basic questions to open the lines of communication. These are generally asked at the beginning of an EVP session. Many paranormal investigators call these scripted questions. These are the same questions you will ask with each investigation. Here are some examples of what to ask when using pre-scripted questions.
- "Is there anyone here who wishes to speak with us?" Start by asking if there is anyone there who wishes to speak to you. By asking this question, you are inviting them once again to come have a conversation with you and your team.
- "What is your name?" It is always nice to know whom you are speaking with. Also, you can later reference any names that may come through with history or events that occurred at the location.
- "How old are you?" This will help you get to know the spirit you are trying to communicate with. This may also help cross-reference any events that have taken place, such as a child dying, to a person who was murdered.
- "Why are you here?" Some spirits have a reason for lingering at a location. Other spirits may not know they have died. Asking this question will help prompt an answer to whether they realize they are deceased or not.
- "Are you alone?" This is one way to find out if there is just one entity causing the paranormal activity or several. Sometimes you may get a simple yes or no. Other times you may get a more detailed response.
- "How many spirits are here with us" Although you may not have heard the answer to the previous question, it is always good to ask how many spirits or ghosts are at the location. This would be vital information when there are claims of several entities at the location.
- "How many of us are here?" This is a variance of the previous question. This is another way to try to verify the type of haunt. Even though the question refers to your team members, don't be surprised if the spirit includes itself.
The second type of questioning is open questions. Depending upon the paranormal reports for the location will depend on the questions asked. Also for those paranormal investigators who wish to know the history behind the location prior to an investigation, ask questions pertaining to events that occurred. If it is assumed who is haunting the location and there is information about that person, try to use the information to ask questions to try to validate the information.
For example, if you were to investigate the Louisville Palace Theater where a light tech guy had a heart attack, you might want to ask him why he likes hanging around the theater. Employees say that he writes his name in the dust throughout the catacombs of the theater. Perhaps you could inquire about that. Say something like, "Are you trying to let people know you are still here by writing your name in the dust here?" or something simple such as "Are you the one writing your name in the dust?"
Also, if you know the possible names of the people who may be haunting the location, call them out by name or ask about them. You could use questions such as, "[insert name], are you here with us?" or "Is [insert name] here?" or "We would like to speak with [insert name]."
Some other questions to ask would be about your own personal experiences. If you hear footsteps or any kind of noise, ask about it. For example, if you hear a door shut or a bang, ask, "Was that you that just shut the door?" or "Is that you that made that loud bang?"
Try to get validation of the history of the location through an EVP session. Some generic questions could start off with, "Did you die here?" or "How did you die?". Other questions could include "Did you go to school here?" or "Were you a prisoner here?" Even add specific questions that relate to events that occurred at the location.
"Were you here during the fire?"
"Were you a soldier in the Civil War?"
"Did you scratch [insert name]"
"Do you like scaring [insert name]"
This is why it is good to know the history of a location when formulating questions. The more inventive and location-specific the question is, the more chances you may actually get a response.
Invite interaction but do not provoke. This is especially true when the location's history is a violent one. Although you see many paranormal investigators on television using this method, you may be biting off more than you can chew. If you still wish to provoke a possible entity, understand you are doing it at your own risk of physical or psychological harm. You may be putting your team members at risk, as well.
When it comes to EVP questions, be respectful when asking your basic questions and asking questions that are relevant to the location. Don't be afraid to think outside the box with your open questions. You never know what might trigger a response.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Linda Sarhan
Alexandra on September 24, 2018:
I really like how you do the EVP recordings and I would like to know how to do it.