Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe spirits can communicate with the living? Welcome back to DEAD Time. I hope you left a light on for me.
In a previous installment of DEAD Time, I shared my experiences at the haunted St. Albans Sanitorium in Radford, Virginia. During my time at St. Albans, I gave paranormal tours, worked at the haunted attraction every Halloween, and conducted paranormal investigations in my free time. During these investigations, I made numerous recordings using a simple digital recorder. I would sit in the dark in different locations, with a recorder, and ask questions to attempt to interact with any spirits that might be present.
Naturally, I got to know the abandoned sanitorium very well; and had experiences I can’t explain. This was over a decade ago, so the technology wasn’t what it is today, but I was able to obtain a couple of recordings which contain unexplained voices, possibly the voices of former patients at St. Albans. In ghost hunting and parapsychology, these recordings are called Electronic Voice Phenomenon or EVPs. I have not listened to these recordings since I first recorded them, and I’ve never shared them publicly. Recently, I decided to listen to these recordings, hopefully with fresh ears, and share what I found with you.
First, a little bit of history about EVPs.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon was first reported in 1956 by Raymond Bayless, using a recording device he had built while working with American photographer Attila von Szalay, who was attempting to enhance investigations of photographing ghosts. EVPs were rediscovered in 1959 when Swedish painter and film director Friedrich Jürgenson recorded the sounds of a Swedish finch on his tape recorder. When he played back the recording, he heard what sounded like a human voice. At first, he thought his tape recorder had somehow malfunctioned.
Afterward, Jürgenson captured voices that he believed were messages from his dead mother. Eventually, Jürgenson began conducting research into paranormal voice recordings with Latvian psychologist Konstantin Raudive, and also worked with other scientists between 1964 and 1969. After making over 100,000 recordings with Jürgenson, some of which contained voices which he believed could not be explained, Raudive published his first book, Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With the Dead, in 1968.
In 2012, I participated in multiple paranormal investigations at St. Albans Sanitorium, including EVP sessions using a basic digital recorder. Out of all the hours of recordings I captured, only two brief voices were identified that cannot be explained. One of the recordings was captured in what is called Rebecca’s room, a room known for unexplained activity with a very sad history. The story is that there was a patient at St. Albans named Rebecca who became pregnant, possibly as the result of a rape, and then miscarried. Rebecca placed her dead baby in a jar and kept it in a hiding place in her room. Rebecca reportedly took her own life after being grief-stricken over the death of her child.
Rebecca’s room has been reported to be extremely active by other paranormal investigators, but the room was oddly peaceful to me. When I played back the recording I made in Rebecca’s room, I heard myself and another person talking briefly, followed by a clicking sound and a beep, and then a voice saying, “Somebody’s driving me nuts.”
You can listen to the original recording below and decide for yourself.
The only other EVP I captured was in the attic, which is also known to be a very active paranormal location. One of the bathrooms in the attic is notoriously known as the suicide bathroom and believed to be the location of multiple suicides of patients at the sanitorium. The suicide bathroom always made me uncomfortable to the point I was not able to stay in the room for more than a few seconds. The EVP I captured was in another bathroom in the attic, where I sat on the floor beside a bathtub and attempted to get someone or something to interact with me. When I listened to the recording later, I heard a voice say, “The floor is getting wet down here,” right before the sound of a train passing nearby, followed by my voice.
Again, you can listen to the original recording below.
I was never able to debunk the two EVPs I captured at St. Albans Sanitorium. The voices on the recordings could not be traced back to any living person. St. Albans is not a location I like to think about revisiting. In my experience, there is a lot of evidence of pain and suffering, as well as a dark energy that resides in those empty rooms. Did I capture the voices of former patients at St. Albans? Listen to the recordings and let me know what you hear in the comments.
If you are a paranormal investigator, expert on the unexplained, or have a personal story involving otherworldly phenomena, and would like to be considered for a story on DEAD Time, please reach out. Until the next installment of DEAD Time, leave a light on.
You never know what might be lurking in the shadows…