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Mad Anthony Paranormal Society (MAPS)

Ghost Box in an Echo Chamber

Written by Curt Brahm, Founder, Lead Investigator

Disclaimer: This article was originally written when I was part of another paranormal group and evidence used within this article was obtained during that time frame. I am the true author of this article and created the Ghost Box pictured.

The History, Evidence and Theories, Precautions, Uses and Misuses

The History

“Frank’s Box” or “Ghost Box” was developed by Frank Sumption who drew his inspiration from a 1995 article in Popular Electronics magazine on EVP.

After poor results, he shelved the idea until he came across the same magazine in 1999 during Christmas break for the school district he worked for. He adapted white noise to his creation and began to get results. To this day, he continues to modify his boxes and has been an inspiration for paranormal researchers.

How Does It Work?

This box produces random voltage to create raw audio from an AM tuner, where it is then amplified and then fed into an echo chamber and recorded. In short, ghost boxes such as Frank’s Box create audio bits and white noise (constant background noise) that ghosts and/or spirits can then manipulate into forming words, creating two-way communication.

In late 2007 another discovery was made by a retired electrical engineer known as Sum Duc. His find has been dubbed the “Radio Shack Hack.” Here is his story:

“I was in Radio Shack looking for parts for a new type of device for ITC (Instrumental Transcommunication to capture voice and image) I’m currently working on. I saw the (Radio Shack) AM/FM 12-469 on the shelf and thought, “I bet I can make this work.’ I had no idea it would be so simple.”

Mad Anthony Paranormal Society’s version of the Ghost Box

The first two Ghost Boxes used by MAPS were developed simply by modifying the 12-469 radio by opening up the radio and snipping the “mute” prong allowing a continuous scan of frequencies. When timed against a stop watch, these frequencies scan at 1/100th of a second (estimated). (This will become an important fact later on.)

The 12-469 audio was then fed into a speaker. Question and answer sessions began and recorded using a digital voice recorder.

Ghost Box Set-up

The third Ghost Box was taken a step further.  The Radio Shack 12-469 raw audio was fed into mini Sony Speakers, along with a digital voice recorder with ten minutes of white noise recorded.  All three items were contained within a plastic container, creating an “echo chamber”.  The white noise would circulate with the raw audio within the echo chamber and depending on the volume of the recorder containing the white noise, drown out any “chatter” from radio stations.  Question and answer sessions began and evidence was collected through digital voice recorder.

Evidence and Theoretical Questions Open for Discussion

The following recordings were made using our Ghost Box. To call these EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) is debatable. A typical EVP is captured on a digital voice recorder, making it questionable when raw audio is added.

The first recording you will hear was taken at Soop Cemetery in Belleville, Michigan. This was our testing ground the first few times we used our version of a Ghost Box.

We used just the scanning radio and a speaker. The additional noise you hear as the frequencies scans we have named the “R2D2” effect (bebop sound) and were due to the output of the Altec Speaker we were using.

The question was asked, “Is there anyone here that would like to communicate with us?”
Response: “Yes.” “Yes.” (Six and seven second mark):

YesYes

What is significant about this response is that it answered one of our questions– do responses land on a very brief bit of white noise or overlap on chatter? The answer: responses tend to overlap whether is be on chatter or white noise. In other words, you will not hear a response “pushed away” by radio chatter.

Previously in this article, it was indicated that the time of each scanning frequency is 1/100th of a second. The time that it took for the first “Yes” to begin and the second “Yes” to finish was no less than six scanning frequencies (one second). The reason why this is significant is that it is substantial proof to skeptics that believe responses to be nothing more than radio chatter. The two clear and deliberate responses provided to a question asked are not radio chatter but an intelligent response.

Lastly, these two responses are two very different and distinct voices (listen closely). Which poses another question – do spirits realize there other spirits around them? Do spirits only know of others from their time period or dimension?

The two questions in the previous paragraph lead us into the following response. This response was gathered in a townhouse during an investigation and not a cemetery:

“Can you tell us your name?” Response: “Bryan.” “Trisha.” (Six second mark) distinct male and female voice, teenager or twenty-something’s, (eight and eighteen second mark) “Tracer” distinct male voice, but hard to make out clearly and “George or Jordan”, once again, male voice.

Names Recorded from Ghost Box

Again, at Soop Cemetery, we had many responses to the question of “how many of you are there?”  So, do spirits only sense what they can, possibly from only their time period?

“How many are there?”  “One or two?”  Response:  “Three.”

How Many Are There?

Here are a few more from Soop Cemetery, which tend to have an accent.

“Can you say Scott?”  Response:  “Scott”

Scott

“Are you related to Scott?”  Response:  “Scott?”

Scott – Second Iteration

“What is your name?  Response:  “Robert”

Robert

Precautions, Uses and Misuses

The Ghost Box has had very little research conducted on it, not to say that it does not work as evidence shows that it can be a valuable tool. There are a few precautions which need to be observed, however.

The first precaution is to realize that it can be addictive! MAPS has noticed that the responses, although astonishing, seem to draw in many spirits, and tend to be personal at times. What is meant is that it can be considered a bit of an electronic Ouija board and Ouija boards, as any good paranormal researcher will tell you, should be avoided.

Has MAPS known any evidence of an adverse effect? No. Meaning, while we have used this tool, we have not knowingly opened up any portals and brought anything home with us.

With that being said, no one in MAPS that has access to a Ghost Box uses it in their home unless it had been part of an investigation (no freelancing so to speak).

One other decision made was limiting question and answer sessions using the Ghost Box to either five or ten minute sessions. Listening to the evidence of just ten minutes can take an hour depending on the amount of activity and you want your ears and mind fresh during this process.

To show how personal this medium can be, the following evidence is offered:

I was asked to conduct a Ghost Box session during an investigation at the townhouse previously mentioned.

This was the first time we had used the mini-box echo chamber. A question we had was whether or not white noise had any influence in gaining responses.

I turned on the radio scanning frequencies, feeding into the mini-speakers and turned the digital recorder with the ten minutes of white noise, all enclosed in the container creating an echo chamber. This being our first time, the white noise drowned out the scanning frequency raw audio. We determined that it may not have needed to be as loud but, any response we heard could no way be confused with radio chatter for all we heard was white noise.

At about the six and a half minute mark, my full first name was said. In previous sessions at Soop Cemetery, I would introduce myself and ask if a spirit could say my name, but I would use my shortened name, “Curt” not “Curtis”.

Curtis

The room being pitch black, I asked the others in the room if they had called out my name, their response, “No, it came from the box.” Core members within the group know me as Curt. Very few ever call me Curtis, those who do not know me well may at times and of course, when I was very young. It felt as though someone were trying to get my attention.

There is one other thing about this response; the pitch of the voice is almost identical to mine. When I heard it live, I was shaken. When I listened to it over and over I questioned, “How?”

Fast forward a week later. I was not in town to help dissect the evidence from this investigation. A member who had worked on gathering the evidence emailed me and asked, “Curt, did you have a loved one, someone you knew or served (Navy) with by the name of Chris?” My response was, “Yes, my dad, Chris was short for Christie.” My father died in 2004.

She sent me two other audio clips, please listen closely.

“My name is Curt, can you say Curt again?” Response: “Chris” (ten second mark)

Curtis – Second Iteration

Please listen one more time; I made a discovery that I do not believe has been documented before.

At the eight second mark, you will hear a “whisper manifestation”, meaning, the spirit was forming the name “Chris” before it was came out clearly at the ten second mark.

Disclaimer:  “Whisper Manifestation” had been discovered and may also be referred to as “throat clearing” (Rick Moran, Coordinator – The Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomenon, Inc.)

I believe this to be similar to a cold spot, much like what happens prior to a spirit manifesting into a full body apparition.  The spirit is drawing energy from the white noise and/or raw audio and able to form a word.

Why this was not heard when we used just the radio and a speaker, possibly the white noise environment?

The next audio clip went a step further.  Please remember, my full first name was called out, then, the spirit identified itself as “Chris”.  The following clip leads to further speculation that this may be my father.

“Can you tell us your name please?”  Response:  “Christie” (five second mark)

Name Please – Throat Clearing

Once again, at the three second mark, the “whisper manifestation” forms the name “Christie” before clearly pronounced at the five second mark.

We believe the spirits may not always sound as they do when alive as they have to fight through frequency which, like being underwater, can distort sound.

Was this my father or could a spirit be playing a game? Can a spirit make itself sound identical to me or my deceased father?

When I received a copy of the master recording and listened to the entire eleven plus minute session, I realized that it was not just two times that the spirit sounding like my father was trying to get my attention.

Listen closely to the entire session. The answers provided are in both seconds and minutes/seconds depending on the counter used in your audio software:

108 seconds – 1:48 “Christie”; 128 seconds – 2:08 “hello” female voice; 282 seconds – 4:42 “Curtis”; 300 seconds – 5:00 “Christie”; 397 seconds – 6:36 “Curtis” (sounds like my voice); 416 seconds – 6:54 “Chris”; 435 seconds – 7:15 “Christie”; 473 seconds – 7:52 “Chris”; 512 seconds – 8:32 “Curtis”; 531 seconds – 8:51 “Christie”; 550 seconds – 9:10 “Christie”; 573 seconds – 9:33 “No” female voice; 588 seconds – 9:48 “hi dad” (once again, it sounds like me); 646 seconds – 10:45 unknown response

Several Responses from Amy’s house

With the exception of “Curtis” at the 6:36 mark, it was not until the evidence gathering session did anyone know what had been entirely recorded. We could not hear the responses at the time of the session, I just asked random questions.

As mentioned before, you can probably see how this could become addictive. Those who had loved ones pass on may see this as an electronic séance session. However, we can never really be absolutely sure who the spirit is.

This new medium can possibly provide answers to questions during an investigation, but with so many other spirits using it as well, more testing needs to be done.

The investigation within the townhouse involved a young girl being bothered at night when she slept.

It was mentioned by the little girl to her mother that the spirit did not like the dark. She would sleep with her light and television on but when the spirit would begin pressing her leg, the girl would sleep inside her parent’s room or in the hallway.

The little girl’s mother asked me to ask the following question during our second session, using just the radio and speaker:

“Are you afraid of the dark?” Response: “Yes.” (Six second mark)

Afraid of the Dark

If this was the spirit in question, it confirmed what the girl had been told.

In conclusion, we live in an extraordinary era for the exploration of paranormal research.

Man has always adapted to his surroundings. The same is true in this realm. The equipment we use, although not designed for this research is adapted, experimented with and enhanced to fit the needs of our curiosity.

We often ask, “Why?” Maybe we should be asking, “How?”

The answers are around us, it’s ‘how’ we go about unlocking them.

 

“I believe that the extraordinary should be pursued. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

-Dr. Carl Sagan

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  1. Adriana says:

    Curt, I really like this article. It is convincing, to the point, and evidence-based/factual. This is what we need more of. Thank you.

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