Sometimes when on an investigation, you may hear some fancy terms used to describe activity. If you have been in the game for a while, you probably know what they are. Maybe you have an idea from watching some of the reality shows. One of the biggest problem a paranormal enthusiast can face is knowing what is what. A lot of investigators explain things differently, have different beliefs or may be a little misled or uneducated on some of their views. Our diversity and differences is one of the things that makes our field so great, but it also makes it really confusing too. It can be very easy to get your wires crossed and not know what information you should be listening to and who you should be taking advice from. One of these instances is when someone is referring to a ‘disembodied voice’. What is it, what does it mean and is it different to an EVP? Here is all you need to know and some of my thoughts on a potential explanation.
What is a disembodied voice?
In simple terms, it is a voice you hearing with your own ears and you cannot see the source. On a paranormal investigation for example, you may hear a scream, a moan, a growl, a word or even a sentence. There is no one else around that you can see, so therefore the voice is disembodied. A voice without a body.
How is a disembodied voice different to an EVP?
This is where things can get a little tricky. We will look at this from a common belief perspective. A lot of paranormal investigators classify an EVP to be a voice on a recording that they did not hear with their own ears at the time. There are many theories as to why this could be so if you want to learn a little more on that topic, you can read my article EVP and Frequency. So an EVP is a voice you are hearing on playback. It is different to a disembodied voice because when a voice is classified as disembodied, you are hearing it as it happens. EVP you are hearing after the fact. A confusing term I have heard on many occasions is someone claiming 'I caught an EVP of a disembodied voice'. I will leave that one with you because it could be argued a few ways, but you can see why people are easily confused. Maybe we don't need to label things so definitively. Maybe 'Hey I caught a voice on my recorder and I don't know what it is or I heard a voice with my own ears and I couldn't find the source' could be suffice?
Is a disembodied voice a ghost?
One of those hard to answer questions. I mean first you would have to establish what exactly a ghost is. There are just as many questions around the topic of ghosts as there are with disembodied voices. Some believe yes it could be a spirit talking to them. I myself on one occasion have heard what would be classified as a disembodied voice with my own ears that I can’t explain to this day. It doesn’t mean that it was a spirit whispering in my ear, but I sure thought that was what was happening at the time.
A disembodied voice is also a term that is used to describe an actor who is doing a voice over for animations or narratives. Other people have described this experience as more a message from either a god or spiritual figure. It could be a message that helps to give them direction. Mediums or people sensitive to the paranormal who have a clairaudience ability would hear these voices all the time. To them it is spirit communicating with them.
Then of course there are some natural explanations as well. A person could be suffering from what is referred to as auditory hallucinations. In short, a voice in their head. It is a side effect often associated with schizophrenia but can also occur when someone is using drugs or suffering from delirium. Then there is what we call audio pareidolia. In the same way our eyes can trick us into thinking we are seeing an elephant shape in the clouds, our brains can trick us into thinking we are hearing a voice, a word or a sentence when it is just a garbled sound that our brain is having trouble processing. Sleep can also cause you to hear these voices. When you are in that place between awake and asleep, some people claim that you are the most vulnerable to the spirit world. You are also quite vulnerable to your brain as well. I have on many occasions when I have been dozing off to sleep heard what has sounded like a voice either saying my name or some weird random word. It is enough to wake me and jolt me a little. Is it spirit trying to communicate or is my brain slipping into a dream I suddenly woke from? What about when you are a room full of people and all you hear is the general buzzing or chatter. Suddenly you hear a sentence or your name out of the blue. It is like it has come from nowhere. It is really just a from of selective hearing called the cocktail party effect.
There are also some odd things that can happen where you do hear a voice from seemingly nowhere but the source isn't readily recognizable. One experience I will never forget is my children were staying at parent's house so I had an afternoon all to myself. Like most mum's with young kids and a baby at the time would do, I spent the afternoon in bed napping. I was laying in bed and got a horrible fright. I heard a baby crying. I ran to my son's room in auto pilot but he wasn't there. That's right he wasn't home. So why was I hearing the disembodied voice of a baby? It took me a while (I wasn't even a paranormal researcher at this point) but I figured out that the frequency on my baby monitor must have gotten crossed with one of the neighbours because I could soon hear talking. Maybe a television has been left on, a phone could be on speaker phone, there could be radio interference on a two way radio. There are a lot of possibilities. Just because they are not obvious, doesn't mean they arent there.
How do I know what is what?
At the end of the day it is up to you to decide. I can't tell you if you are having an experience or not. I can present you with some alternatives and it is up to you to decide what you are experiencing. I always say as well there is a thing called context. What were the events leading up to and after the voice occurring. There is usually some sort of pattern. Are you reading too much into something or is it randomly out of the blue. Looking at the experience from different angles can help you figure it out. Then of course there is your gut. We say that the best tool a paranormal investigator has is their own body. Listen to your gut. Ultimately we don't really need all the fancy terms such as apparition or disembodied etc. The phrase itself doesn't make it paranormal. It is really just a voice. It is where it came from that is the real mystery.
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