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Photo: Rudenkois (Shutterstock)

Using technology to talk to the dead didn’t die with Alexander Graham Bell. The modern expression of it can be seen in ghost hunters (both the kind with basic cable TV shows and those without them) who hunt for spirits using technology like EMF detectors, high-pitched sound generators, and more.

To actually talk to the dead, the equipment of choice among ghost hunters is a simple tape recorder. They’re trying to capture EVP, or “electronic voice phenomena,” snippets of conversation from the dead who walk the earth.

This is a really easy method of spirit communion you can do anywhere. Just go somewhere dark and quiet, shout a question into the void, and hit record on your tape machine. Old reel-to-reel works best, because it’s antique and thus scarier, but you can use the voice memo app from your iPhone in a pinch. When you’re back home, play back your recording; if you’re lucky, you may have captured a ghostly voice responding to you. It seems to work better with staticky, older tape, too.

Examples of EVP I’ve heard online are far from convincing—they seem more like stretched interpretations of random noises and radio interference than voices—but hey, give it a shot anyway. I may be wrong.

Rating: 3 out of 10. Ghost voices on tape are usually just some random spirit, and conversations usually consist of cryptic phrases. This is not the basis for a good conversation with a specific person.

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