Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) refers to alleged spiritual communications that occur in recorded sounds. EVP recordings are often used by paranormal investigators as proof of the existence of the supernatural; however, skeptics claim that the apparent voices have mundane explanations.

Spiritualists and paranormal enthusiasts have worked with audio recording since at least the 1940s, but technological advancements led to a vast growth in interest in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the popularity of such films as White Noise and Pattern Recognition, along with an explosion of paranormal TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, has brought EVP to the mainstream. Both amateur and professional ghost hunters upload apparent occurrences of EVP to YouTube and other websites, consulting with others to try to determine the source of the sound.

Like all forms of parapsychology, EVP is generally discounted by the mainstream scientific community. Many occurrences are easy to explain scientifically. Some recordings are apparently artifacts of the recording process. Some are attributable to a process known as auditory pareidolia, which is the natural tendency to find familiar patterns in random images - similar to finding pictures in the clouds.

In mental health, a belief in EVP is considered a possible sign of disordered thinking. However, many mainstream and alternative systems of religious beliefs include some form of the paranormal. Therefore, therapists are careful to take each client's religious beliefs into account when making a diagnosis.

Whether or not EVP is real, the recordings can be terrifying to those who believe. Some believers attribute the voices to ghosts or demons, potentially triggering a phobic reaction in those who suffer from a phobia of the paranormal.

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