Some Harsh Words for EVP Research…

The following is a portion of a letter from John L. Randall that was sent to Callum E. Cooper and included in his recent book, Telephone Calls from the Dead. This portion actually has more to do with EVP than phone calls from spirits, but it jumped out at me and I flagged it. John L. Randall (who passed away in 2011 not long after writing this) was a biologist and a member of the UK’s Society of Psychical Research. In this letter, Randall was critiquing anomalous phone calls in general. 

“I must confess that I am ninety-eight per cent sceptical when it comes to anything in the field of EVP. I read Raudive’s book when it first came out… I didn’t bother to keep it for my collection. None of his ‘voices’ conveyed anything approaching extended conversation. It struck me that if you are prepared to ransack all the languages of the world you are bound to find a few isolated words which will match up to any random noise on your tape-recorder. By choosing the right language you can even make the ‘voices’ say whatever you want them to say. A noise such as ‘mer’ for example, could be English (a female horse) or French (mother or sea). In playing this game you have plenty of scope for innovation!”


I’ve been finding that I am more critical of EVP than many, but OUCH! Tell us how you really feel! 🙂 



Click HERE for my review of this book. 








About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit! View all posts by Patrick Keller

8 responses to “Some Harsh Words for EVP Research…

  • Randall Keller

    Well… We’re learning more and more and quicker than ever, but there’s only one sure way to know the actual truth. So, i might suggest that now he knows for sure. No?

  • Cal Cooper

    John could be a lot more harsh than this at times, but I had to agree. He found many other forms of survival research more worthy of research than modern EVP. However, John’s main area of research was ESP and PK lab studies, the last two years of his life he researched as much on survival as he could for personal reasons and experience with mortality.

  • Tom Ruffles

    It’s worth adding that despite his view of Raudive, John still spent quite a few hours experimenting with EVP in the last couple of years of his life while preparing an article on survival for the SPR’s magazine Paranormal Review. Nothing evidential turned up then either. He knew something of electronics, having built a radio as a schoolboy.

  • LeeAllenHoward

    Randall makes a point that some extrapolate a bit too freely from scant bits of EVP (single words or supposed words). But just because “extended conversation” does not occur regularly doesn’t mean all recordings are worthless. I’m glad he devoted some study to it. We need to keep trying.

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