EVP Session, Historic Firehouse, Salem Mass.

I thought I’d do some not-exactly-beer-related posts in observance of the Halloween season just to have some outside of the norm fun.

While traveling, when Tracey and I are not seeking out the local beers and the various establishments that sell them, we’re searching for the local historic, and supposedly haunted places, to rest our weary heads for, hopefully, a not so restful night’s sleep.

My fascination with the paranormal is quite simply an extension of other aspects of my personality – my love for horror movies, occult, Halloween, and generally anything from TV shows like the Adams Family to things that might really be going bump in the night.

Do ghosts exist? I don’t know and I suppose to a large degree that’s what fascinates me about the topic. Certainly there’s a lot of supposed ‘evidence’ out there but I won’t deny that much of it is suspect at best, fraudulent at worst.


But every now and then you come across something that seriously defies scientific or rational explanation, and it’s those times that really catch my curiosity.

Pseudo-science you say? Perhaps. But I spend all my working time in the real scientific would, and sometimes it’s just fun to let all of that hard, locked into the laws of Newton, Archimedes, Fermi, Kepler, Schrodinger, Hubble, and Cooper/Hofstadter stuff fade into the background for a bit and imagine ‘what if?’.

I suppose it can all be summed up by one of my favorite quotes by Thomas Hardy, “Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.”

So with that in mind, I present some recordings I captured a few years ago during an EVP recording session while Tracey and I were spending a long weekend in Salem, Massachusetts (a more beer-centric view can be found here).

Along with graveyard tours, historical presentations and museum exhibitions, we got the chance to investigate with Paranormal Salem in the old Historical Firehouse that’s well known for its paranormal activity.

For those new to the game, EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon the premise of which is that under the right conditions and with the proper equipment voices of spirits can be captured as recordings

What those ‘right conditions’ and ‘proper equipment’ are varies from investigator to investigator, but many believe that all you need is a recorder and a haunted spot.

The audio samples below were captured on my handheld digital record during the EVP session which was held in the basement of the old firehouse. The session consisted of various people led by a representative from Paranormal Salem. All errant sounds were tagged – in other words a statement about the sound was spoken out load so as to not contaminate the recordings.

The sound file from my recorder was dropped into Audacity and split into the smaller samples that you hear below. The sound file was not altered or enhanced in anyway and all sounds and voices are exactly as taken off the recorder. Some fidelity was lost converting them to their current format, but other than that they are totally as recorded at the firehouse.

For each file a question mark will pop up at the point of the interesting sound or voice. I’ve hidden what I think it is saying (if I have a guess) between the two sets of ** so that you can have a chance to guess for yourself before seeing what we think it is. Just select the space between them to see what we think it says.

As with all these types of recordings, you might get better results if you’re listening through headphones.

We’ll start with the least interesting and work up.

The first one isn’t much, just an odd sound you can hear after the girl gets done asking her question:

After Tracey asks if the ghost known as the Boy in the Corner likes to play jokes, she appears to get an answer: What we think it says : **YES**

Another woman in the group asks for one of the ghosts to announce its favorite color. While I think I know what it seems to be saying, I find the choice rather interesting: What we think it says **White**

According to stories, the Boy in the Corner is often heard crying, when asked why that is, the answer seemed pretty clear: What we think it says **Daddy**

I have to admit, the first time I heard that last one I got chills.

Looking at it from an investigation standpoint, I’d say this was a pretty good collection of EVPs with that last one being very good. Unfortunately, nothing showed up in an photos we took.

We had a great time investigating with Paranormal Salem, not only at the Firehouse, but Tracey got to have a very good divining rod session out in the old graveyard and witches’ memorial. If you’re ever up in Salem and are interested in the paranormal you can investigate with them as well. You can find information on their group and investigative tours here.

In a few weeks we’ll be back in Gettysburg staying at the  infamous Sarah Black room at the Farnsworth Inn. Hopefully we can scare up something there. If we do, maybe I share it the next time Halloween comes around.

Until then –  Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh!

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