Tag Archives: audio recorders

The Brilliant Britt Griffith! More from Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home…

See the end of this post for links to previous posts in the series.

Two of the biggest highlights from my T.A.P.S. weekend at Belvoir Winery involve the brilliant Britt Griffith. Now a permanent member of the cast of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, Britt brings a much-needed fresh voice to the team… oh and gadgets. Lots and lots of gadgets. But he knows how to use them, researches them, knows their background, and in some cases has a hand in their design!

 

Britt’s Paranormal Technology Session

I was able to sit in on his paranormal technology session on the second day. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I found that I learned quite a few things. The best was having some of my own personal opinions and experiences reinforced or validated by someone who clearly has knowledge and a lot of experience. As if I was sitting in an undergrad lecture, I took lots of notes (which is why I don’t have a better photo), but out of respect for Britt and these events, I won’t cover his whole session here. Instead, I’ll point out a few things that really hit me in the head.

 

  • Did you know that both Britt and buddy KJ McCormick had done experiments with EMF and audio while under water?
     
  • Britt has apparently changed his mind about using IR (infrared) illumination during investigations. This really made me think and was kind of an “Aha moment”. In order to see shadows, you need contrast. Too much IR will prevent shadows. He went into some suggested ways to illuminate a room to prevent this problem. If I remember correctly, he also touched on the fact that we don’t really know what effect, if any, IR has on spirits (or humans, for that matter) when we blast them with it in large doses. Is it harmful? Is it polite? It very much reminded me of the first place I heard this topic being brought up. Check out Karl Pfeiffer’s How to Photograph a Ghost for more.
     
  • I learned that my current DVR would be of better use in the dumpster out back. I’m in need of a new one and now I know what to look for.
     
  • Britt is not a fan of the cheaper digital recorders (like the Sonys that I often use), because of the compression and the false anomalies they cause. He suggests only using them for stationary audio, but then also using a more quality recorder at the same time, to compare events to hear what actually happened. This is when I felt like a genius! I’ve always done this in EVP sessions. Along with one of my Sonys, I use a nicer Tascam recorder with a pretty good external microphone that would pick up a ghost in my neighbor’s house if it were quiet enough. When I think I have the Devil saying “Hey Keller! You suck!”, I compare that same moment in the Tascam and often learn that it was simply me scratching my nose, or my four-legged and furry son Meril rolling his eyes at me and sighing at the thought of another EVP session. It is why I’ve even considered video taping my sessions as well… to get a visual along with the sound. He suggested a few recorders. One of them is on my wish list.
     
  • Among many other things, he discussed logging barometric pressure (which I’ve often done, but can’t seem to find the perfect equipment for an investigation), E pods and REM pods, IR thermometer guns (Duh! Don’t use them to detect cold spots!), carbon monoxide detectors, debunking, Ovilus, reviewing evidence, and a popular favorite… orbs. I’ll only tell you that I very much concurred with his position.

 

Again, Britt used my spirit box! AAAAAAHHHH!

It was already a pretty cool spirit box, considering I got this particular one secondhand from Stephen Hill. But then during the overnight investigation, Britt suggested we get it out for a demonstration in a room that had already proven to be a hot spot for spirit box communication. Because this was such an Elvis moment, I awkwardly fumbled around in the dark trying to set it up and get it working to hand it off to Britt. When it didn’t turn on, I remembered Stephen Hill has always told me to take the batteries out while not in use. I’ve never really been good at remembering to do this…. but it turns out the previous time I used it, I followed those orders. I somehow found batteries fairly quickly, turned it on, and handed it off. Several of the people in our group had never seen or heard of a spirit box. We did get some communication, but you’ll never see it since my video footage of that moment has mysteriously vanished into thin air. See this previous post for more on that story. Actually, I have digital audio of that moment, but I’m still in the process of going through all of that.

 

Did you know?

Britt keeps himself busy by doing so much more than just paranormal investigation! Did you know he has been in several movies?

Check out his acting reel!

 

And the trailer for the 2012 film, The Black Dahlia Haunting.

 

Thanks, Britt! 

 

Previous posts from the Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home series:

Ghosts can do that? The Evidence… Sort of…
Amy, Adam, Britt, and Chip!

New Friends!
The Photos
I’m Baaaaaaaaaack!
TAPS and Chip Coffey at Belvoir Winery in March! 

 

 

 

 

 


Evidence Review and Whispered Conversations Debunked!!

Kitchen and corner pantry

 

For over a month now I’ve been reviewing evidence and writing up the report for MOSS’s abandoned farmhouse investigation. I used two stationary audio recorders that ran throughout the investigation, in addition to all of our other video and audio, so it’s a lot to review. Since I’m very detailed, documenting almost every sound and action, finishing up an investigation takes a very long time… especially with a “real job” during the day. 

 

The way I review evidence is by starting with all of the audio. I keep a detailed log of unexplained noises, what investigators say and do, and the time stamps as they happen. For this particular investigation I easily ended up with a 15-page Word document by the time I had made it through the audio. When I hear possible EVP or suspicious noises, I listen to them and document, but I don’t get too detailed until I have gone through everything else, video, etc. Then I return to those time stamps to really dig deep into the audio.

Opposite corner of the kitchen

 

Yesterday, I was returning to what I was referring to as a “possible whispered conversation” that was captured at 10:55pm in the stationary audio recorder that was placed in the kitchen, which is in the very back of the house. After matching up all of the other audio and video I knew that no one was near that recorder. Three investigators were in the very front of the house.

 

I was absolutely fascinated by the whispers in the kitchen. I couldn’t figure out what they were saying, but there was no doubt in my mind that this was a conversation that was being picked up. You could hear all the “S”s that appear so pronounced when someone is whispering quietly. While matching up other audio and video I discovered that no investigators were speaking at that exact moment. I began texting and calling my team excitedly to let them know what I had caught. 

Front entrance/hallway where investigators were located at the time of the whispers

 

Ten minutes later, after playing the audio and video of that moment over and over, I began to notice a pattern of sounds, both in the whispers from the kitchen, and in the video from the investigators on the other side of the house. My heart sank… but not for long.

 

The pattern you’ll want to listen for happens as soon as you hear me clear my throat. And it goes until you hear me start talking again. The cord to my headsets hit either my equipment or other items in the room, creating about five quick sounds. Then pay attention to my footsteps. There is a rhythm to the whole thing. Who said being a music teacher couldn’t help with paranormal investigations? Then go back to the original audio from the kitchen and listen for that rhythmic pattern.

 

Whispered Conversations from the kitchen…

Original, unenhanced audio

Enhanced audio 

 

Video of the same moment from the front of the house…

 

I was so proud of myself for getting to the bottom of those whispers. It would have been truly very cool to present that as evidence… but it wasn’t. But, it was like a difficult puzzle that I solved when I was so certain that what I was listening to was real. I almost did a cart-wheel when I figured it all out. It just goes to show how very easy it is for groups and investigators to walk in with one recorder and then tell you you’ve got a ghost. Are we really working hard to “debunk” things we think are real? Are we paying attention to the details? Or just the fun stuff?

 

 


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