Difference Between Spirit Box and EVP Recordings


Spirit Box or Digital Recorder- Which One to Use?

Spirit Box and EVP Captures

Individuals new to ghost hunting know the terms EVP and spirit boxes. However, many don’t know the definitive difference between spirit box and evp recordings.

To best define the two, spirit boxes, aka ghost boxes, are explicitly designed to capture the voices of earthbound spirits using a unique device built or altered specifically for that purpose. On the other hand, EVPs are typically captured through a recording device.

What Is a Spirit Box?

A spirit box is a device for capturing voices from spirits through radio frequency sweeps. A spirit manipulates the energy of these audio fragments to form answers to questions. However, a recording device must be used in tandem with the spirit box to record the voices that the ghost box produces. 

Spirit boxes, also known as ghost boxes or Frank’s boxes, are electronic devices used in paranormal investigations to communicate with spirits or entities. The concept behind these devices is to rapidly scan through radio frequencies, providing white noise that paranormal investigators believe spirits can manipulate to generate meaningful responses.

One of the earliest and most well-known spirit boxes is the Frank’s Box, invented by Frank Sumption in the early 2000s. Frank Sumption was a paranormal researcher and inventor who claimed to have received instructions from a mysterious entity named “Frank” on how to build the device. The Frank’s Box used a modified radio receiver that swept through AM or FM frequencies rapidly, creating a constant stream of audio snippets.

Frank’s Box Gained Popularity

Frank’s Box gained popularity in the paranormal community, with many investigators using it during their ghost hunts. However, it’s important to note that the scientific community remains skeptical of the effectiveness of spirit boxes and other similar devices, as they often attribute the perceived responses to pareidolia (the tendency of the human brain to interpret random stimuli as meaningful patterns) or other psychological factors.

While Frank Sumption is credited with popularizing the concept, there may have been earlier attempts or variations of spirit communication devices. The idea of using radio frequencies for paranormal communication has a history that predates Frank’s Box. 

Spirit Boxes Go Back a Long Way

The notion of using radio frequencies to enable spirits to speak is nothing new. There have been numerous pioneers in the spirit communication realm beginning with the inventor, Thomas Edison, just prior to his death.

I was a skeptic when I first saw a ghost box demonstrated on a TV show. I bought one out of curiosity and immediately became a fan for life.

In my first session, some spirit voices actually answered my questions. I knew it couldn’t be a CB radio or radio station supplying the answers. Radio stations or CB enthusiasts can’t hear my questions. Therefore, how can they provide answers via a radio transmission? Nonetheless, it was a very exciting moment for me.

Currently, I primarily use a PSB-7 Spirit Box, but I have others spirit boxes . I even managed to hack a few radios to sweep stations like my 12-589 Radio Shack radio and DT 200x transistor radio.

Unfortunately, hackable radios are now hard to come by as now manufacturers  virtually made their newer models unhackable.

When Spirit Communication Enthusiasts Began to Alter Radios

The first Ghost Box Hack was created by Frank Sumption in the 1990’s. Sumption (now deceased), was inspired by a 1995 Popular Electronics article on spirit communication.  He began experimenting with EVP-Maker software.

Sumption soon invented “Frank’s Box, which was the first Spirit Box hack. This radio utilized a rewired AM radio.  Others soon followed with their own version of a box. The most notable, are Andy’s Box, and the PSB-7 Spirit Box which is the one I mainly use.

Many Spirit Box responses and EVPs, are typically not heard in real time. However, in more rare cases, few responses can be heard quite clearly while recording.

The PSB-7 Spirit Box Was Invented by Gary Galka

When his daughter tragically died in a car accident, Gary wanted a way to communicate with her in the afterlife.

Gary, a talented engineer, created the P-SB7 Spirit Box, which eventually became highly popular. It’s small, easy to use, affordable, and beautifully captures snippets of spirit voices. You can order P-SB7 Spirit Box on Amazon, eBay, Ghost Stop, or any trusted Ghost Hunter online store.

Tips for using a Spirit Box:

  • State your questions clearly and wait for a response. It’s been our experience that you generally get responses quickly rather than having to wait for a long period of time.
  • Space your questions at least 10 to 15 seconds apart so spirits can answer.
  • Do your research and ask questions related to the entity you believe is there.
  • Remember that you won’t always get a response.
  • Train yourself to hear responses but always record your sessions then listen later.
  • Good practice for the above is to state your name out loud and politely ask them to repeat it.
  • Often you’ll hear responses that you either missed or that clearly weren’t there during your sessions. So always record your sessions!
  • Place your recorder a few feet away from the box.

I’ve recorded far more spirit box recordings than  EVPs as I primarily use a Spirit Box while investigating. However, I ‘ve also captured several excellent EVPs over the years.


Electronic Voice Phenomena was the first form of spirit voice capture. EVP spirit voices practically became a household name for ghost hunters due to the many ghost hunting shows that have exploded onto the scene in the last decade.

EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena; voices caught on recording devices such as tape recorders or digital recorders. EVPs are spirit voices that are recorded on electrical or digital equipment outside of the range of the human auditory faculty.

Most electronic or digital recording devices are wonderful for capturing EVP spirit voices because they have the sensitivity to record sounds outside of the range of human hearing—just as dogs can hear sounds humans cannot.

How EVPs Are Captured

Standard digital recorders record the voices of spirits just by turning on a recording device and typically asking questions of any spirits present. These are called EVPs or Electronic Voice Phenomena. Often, voices will answer a question with a word or phrase. However, there are various categories of clarity for these responses, which are listed below.

Just about any kind of digital recorder can capture spirit voices. Crucially, get the kind of digital recorder that you can transfer audio files to a computer or another device that can hold an audio editing program. 

As mentioned, EVPs can be recorded on any audio recording device. Yet most don’t realize that attempting to catch spirit voices started with Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb in 1931. Unfortunately, Edison died just a few weeks into his endeavor.

Next, a series of other paranormal pioneers such as Attila von Szalay, Freidrich Jurgenson, and Tom and Lisa Butler, carried on the work. 

The Golden Rule for Recording Spirit Voices

Some individuals may not like what I have to say next, but it’s an essential to know. In his book, Paranormal Investigation: The Black Book of Scientific Ghost Hunting and How to Investigate Paranormal Phenomena, Brian Sterling-Vete has this to say. “There is a ‘golden rule’ that you should never paranormally investigate your own house. If you investigate at home, then it can attract energy and entities that weren’t there to begin with.”
Sterling Vete goes on to say that entities that come in could cause problems and you may be stuck with them for some time. Additionally, downloading ghost apps on your phone and trying to detect ghosts in your house is just as dangerous.

Classifications of EVPs


EVPs are ghostly voices recorded from an environment and are not usually audible during a recording session. It’s important to understand that there are different qualities of ghost voice captures on a recording device Ultimately, an EVP classification system was thought up by Sarah Estep to separate the qualities.

AA-EVP Classifications

Sarah Estep, founder of AA-EVP (https://atransc.org/about-aaevp/), created the Estep EVP Classification Scale. In Sarah’s model, there are 3 categories of EVP set as a quality grading standard. Below, you’ll hear EVPs from my visit  to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

Classification A:
A Class A EVP is considered a clear and distinct voice that is understandable without the use of headphones and is universally accepted and undisputed because of its clarity. 

Investigating the Queen Mary 1 – Going down to the bowels of the ship I caught this weird EVP at 5 Sec. The voice says, “It’s not.”

Classification B:

A Class B EVP is voice or sound that is distinct and relatively loud. This class of spirit voice is more common and understood by most people after being told what to listen for with or without headphones.

I’m calling out to the child Jackie, who’s said to haunt pool area. At 1 sec. a little girl says, “Hi.” 

Classification C:
A Class C EVP is a faint or whispery spirit voice, or sound that is underlying other voices in a recording and is usually unintelligible. Most investigators initially disregard this class of EVP, but some save the voice clip for re-examination later.

Queen Mary Pool Area Paranormal Tour – Whispery Voice Saying “Smoke” During Talk at 6 Sec. It’s hard to hear but definitely there.

In conclusion:

As you have read, there are distinct differences between Spirit Boxes and recording EVPs with a digital recorder. Spirit boxes are handy when you want to get direct answers to questions asked. An EVP will do the same, however, the voices are less discernible and harder to capture.

Importantly, you can choose one method that works best for you. Or like myself, you can use both methods in an investigation. 

Remember, please don’t forget the golden rule of not trying to call in spirits in your home in order to capture the voices of spirits. This may be detrimental in that you may be stuck with the spirits that you call in. More importantly, you’ll want to protect yourself and perhaps family members. It’s best to use the voice capture methods described above somewhere else.

Another source you might be interested in: Electronic voice phenomenon-Wikipedia


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Carol Nicholson is thirty-five years a professional Psychic Medium and author of numerous Psychic and Spiritual courses since 2001.
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