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Electronic Voice Phenomena
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 09-08-2001 10:40    Post subject: Talking Walls? Reply with quote

One of the breaking news stories reminded me of something I'd be interested in finding further info about...
I remember Radio 4 once did a programme about alleged tape-recordings of ghosts, some of which were rather creepy. One of the psychic investigators interviewed was saying something about the walls in a house allegedly 'recording' sound which he was able to play back somehow and record. If I remember correctly it sounded like trumpets and voices. Sorry if this sounds vague, but the programme was a few years back. Does anyone know what I'm talking about and have more info?
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caroleaswasOffline
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PostPosted: 09-08-2001 11:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't the same phenomenon as the 'ghosts' heard in the 'white noise' on recording machines is it?

Carole
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 09-08-2001 12:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, it's something different from EVP. IIRC he was doing something weird like passing (electric? magnetic?) currents through the walls to get these sounds. It all sounds rather implausable in my mixed-up memory...
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 09-08-2001 15:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea that old walls can record sound is one of those analogies
that sounds like a scientific approach to the phenomenon but isn't.

Even if we assume that sounds are somehow trapped in the wall,
are all sounds trapped there? Selected sounds? How and when
does the recording get played back?

There are thousands of very efficient sound recordings in my house
encoded in various ways on LPs, CDs and tapes. Yet they have never
disturbed my sleep by playing themselves without benefit of the
correct apparatus. Nor even with, come to that.Sad

And yet . . . and yet. Audible and visible Ghosts do seem to be
akin to recordings and photographs, replaying events that happened
once and repeating at irregular intervals. The notion of trapped spirits
that will not move on has always seemed repellent and a way to
boost flagging demand for prayers and masses.

And if ghosts are spirits of the departed, why are they nearly always
in period costume? Do clothes have spirits too?roll eyes (sarcastic)

Ghosts are also often defined as the spirits of a place but they are
often said to survive the demolition of walls and floors and changes
in the fabric of buildings. There are some curious accounts of ghosts
being seen above or below the present day level of floors and doors.
Some stories have it that investigations have revealed how the ghosts
have kept to older demolished structures. What pests they are!Smile


Last edited by JamesWhitehead on 09-08-2001 15:17; edited 1 time in total
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 09-08-2001 15:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Whitehead wrote:

There are thousands of very efficient sound recordings in my house encoded in various ways on LPs, CDs and tapes. Yet they have never disturbed my sleep by playing themselves without benefit of the correct apparatus. Nor even with, come to that.Sad


Damn, does that mean I need to buy special wall-playing apparatus in order to listen to walls? Wink

I'm more interested in this stuff as a musician - that is, if it's at all possible that walls can make weird sounds I want to know how!

Then again, maybe the guy who made the original recording got it mixed up with a tape of bad free-jazz...
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 09-08-2001 16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the early days of sound recording, the German poet Rilke
wrote a paper in which he suggested the gramophone needle
could be used to trace the cranial gap of the skull, which resembled
a record groove.

Now that all data can be stored digitally, the transformation of
other data types into sound is just a matter of setting up a
set of translation rules. I have a nice piece of music software for
kiddies called Making Music which makes composition as easy as
drawing on the screen. And very liberating it is too, compared with
standard notation!

My point is that you could play your walls with a pick-up cartridge
on a stick. Sooner or later you might get a signal out of the noise,
just as I can see a face in my wood-chip wall. Don't know which
is sadder the face or the wood-chip.Sad

Other data could be extracted from a wall, such as electrical resistance
or moisture content and mapped as changes of pitch etc.

The results are unlikely to find a large audience as the method is more
curious than the sounds. The prettiest idea along these lines was a string
quartet in which the players sat around a square fish-tank and transcribed the
movements of the fish into notes. I guess it was prettier to hear about
than listen to:rolleyes:
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 09-08-2001 17:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the original post is probably a garbled memory of the BBC drama 'The Stone Tapes' by Nigel Kneale of 'Quatermass' fame. This dealt with a method by which events recorded somehow by the fabric of a buiding were replayed with (naturally) horrific consequences. Its just been reissued (can't remember if VHS or DVD).

I saw it when I was a kid, which places it in the early 70's, and it scared the hell out of me!
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 09-08-2001 18:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again. As an 'experimental' musician I'm willing to accept that the source material derived from either somehow translating raw data derived from the wall in some way wouldn't be too enjoyable without being further procesessed in some manner, then again I've never really been too into the whole "playing sand paper on a turntable" scene...

As for the 'Stone Tapes', I've never heard of it, but it sounds interesting enough and I loved the Quatermass films as a kid although was too young to see them first time round. The thing is the sounds I'm talking about definitely were part of a Radio 4 programme on recordings of ghosts broadcast on Hallowe'en three or four years back. I'm pretty adamant about this... even if I am wrong! Wink

James Whitehead - you're not the same guy who releases records under the monicker of Jliat are you? If not it's a curious coincidence... I just ordered a Jliat CD (among others) before I posted the initial message.

Well, off to Edinburgh to do some fringewatching till Sunday,
Best to all,
P
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 09-08-2001 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Whitehead - you're not the same guy who releases
records under the monicker of Jliat are you? If not it's a curious
coincidence... I just ordered a Jliat CD (among others) before
I posted the initial message.

You chase the ghosts out the door and they fly back in through
the window. The monad strikes back!

The only sound recording I ever issued was a tape of an ancient
Tristan und Isolde in 1985. But it came off old shellac, not old walls.

Enjoy the Fringe:)
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-08-2001 02:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okeydokey, another one from an addled memory (primary sources are for wimps). The theory was something along the lines of buildings which contain iron rich masonry can store sound in the same manner as a magnetic tape. Can't remember how you play houses, I have a vision of nails and bits of wire which may or may not be totally unrelated.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 11-08-2001 09:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember on tv there was a thing about a haunted pub the investigators had tried to see if they could explain it.

So for some reason they a placed an electric current through a wall for a period of time (probably overnight) and attached a microphone to pick anything up.

I believe they managed to get some sounds as if it was a busy evening at the bar such as chatter clinking glasses etc etc

it was put forward that the wall may contain minerals similar to a cassette tape that may be able record sound in certain conditions
and play them back I am not sure if they thought this was the answer or just puzzled by it

this was a couple of years ago and details are very sketchy (as usual) or it may have been a book!
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 11-08-2001 12:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was the telly, Fortean, and I remember it, but like you
can't recall the details of what they did to the wall to get it
to sing.

Maybe nothing: these sounds must have attracted attention
originally without any electrical assistance.

Passing an electric current through a tape, though, isn't going
to get sounds out of it, so why should it work with a wall, unless
it appreciated the attention:)

Over the years I have heard dozens of ghost noises, recorded
on tape in empty rooms. Clicks and raps are the commonest and
easiest to explain away. Voices and other sounds can always be
said to have been induced by radio signals - I used to get some
very unmysterious break-in on my own tapes that had not been
audible on the source.

Yet I believe they happen. There is a fair amount of stuff on the
web about the Electronic Voice phenomenon pioneered by a
Rumanian? guy called Raudive. He claimed to have hours of material
of the voices of the dead speaking at low level on tape. This
version of aural ball-gazing does require the technology to show
itself. I'm not quite sure, though, how far the voices were on the tape
or in his head. Samples I have heard are at the borderline of audibility.

Endemic to the whole business, of course, is the fact that a team of
ghosthunters, however well armed with kit, is always going to be
assumed to be wanting a positive result. The desire to investigate
some things will be taken as evidence of minds made up.confused
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 04-09-2001 07:18    Post subject: EVP Reply with quote

Has anyone tried EVP?
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TheBeast17Offline
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PostPosted: 04-09-2001 10:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you say 'tried' do you mean, tried to record EVP, or has anyone heard EVP? I've never heard EVP, otherthan the ones you here on TV programs about wired stuff, and I've never tried to record them.

I'd love to try, but just haven't got the equipment.

Have you, tried? If so, have you been successful?Very Happy
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TheHoodedClaw2Offline
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PostPosted: 04-09-2001 11:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erm, whats EVP?
confused
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