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  • Writer's pictureThe Codex Cultus Concept

Spirit- Box myths and facts


In this article we are trying to explain as simple it gets the functionality of the Spirit/Box . Understanding how the ghost box functions, especially with regard to the sweep, audio fragments and white noise...

Most of the ghost box models we have created or tested are altered to sweep either the FM or AM radio band - many offer the option to use one band or the other. As the channels are swept through, either upward or downward, a mix of white noise and audio fragments can be audibly heard. These audio fragments may best be described as bits and pieces of disc jockey voices, music, or whatever is being broadcasted across the band at the time the radio sweep is made. The sound a ghost box produces is similar to using the tuner knob on a vintage car radio to quickly pass over the stations, by hand.

With the spirit box radio sweep method, the ''spirit'' or ''ghost'' voices seem to be carried upon these audio fragments and white noise, the audio mish-mash acting similarly to carrier waves (carrier signals) used to bring forth radio communications. We believe these audio fragments sometimes not only alter the tone and overall pitch of the spirit voice recorded but also may affect the pace of the message by causing it line-up, in sync with the speed of the changing radio frequencies. Our experiments seem to indicate that the ''spirit'' voices we recorded are affected by the frequency changes of the audio which is used as a carrier of the ''spirit'' voices. Hence, the voices typically tend to be held captive to the speed, rhythm and pitch changes of the audio being generated.

However, there have been times when we have also recorded spirit voices that were not affected, whatsoever, by the audio fragments and white noise; the pitch and tone were left unaltered by the sweeping spirit-box. These messages seemed very much "on top" of the audio frags and white noise but not affected in tonality, though they were syncopated in rythm, possibly caused by the frequency changes of the ghost box. These ''spirit'' voice recordings sounded much like EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomenon, and were quite lengthy, appearing as the same voice in different recordings.

Altering the Voices of Ghosts? Sometimes the voices heard through the spirit- box are altered by the sweep itself; but not always. This is why we cannot always know for sure whether we have recorded a male or female person on the other side of the grave by voice pitch alone. We must rely more upon the information provided by ghosts or spirits themselves.

We should also mention that the function of the ghost box, especially how well it works for bringing forth ghost voices, seems to be directly affected by the strength of radio signals in the area where it is being used. Poor signal quality reduces the amount of radio fragments and may limit the ability for spirits and ghosts to make contact through the device. Perhaps there is not enough audio bits to be manipulated successfully for real-time communication. In low signal areas, enhancing the antenna on the ghost box can improve results for the researcher.

What science says about the Spirit/Box ?

Dr. Novella is a Neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine, as well as the president of the New England Skeptical Society. He recently published an article on NeuroLogica about the pseudoscience that ghost hunting is and especially the use of the infamous ‘Ghost Box’ or ‘Frank’s Box’.

What does Dr. Novella think about this contraption? Pareidolia.

What you hear, then, is what you would hear if you had an old radio with an analogue dial and you simply moved the dial quickly up and down the frequencies. You get a mix of static with snippets of speech or music. It is a perfect set up for generating audio pareidolia. The practice emerged out of electronic voice phenomenon (EVP), in which ghost hunters listen to hours of audio recorded in an allegedly haunted location and listen for noise that their brains can interpret as words. They then impose meaning on the random words. The ghost box just speeds up the process by generating “raw audio” for the pareidolia.

There are two layers of pattern recognition that are occurring when we have an eager ghost hunter sitting in front of a radio scanner (sorry, I mean “ghost box”) listening for the ghosts. The first layers is hearing words, names, or phrases. Sometimes the words are actual words coming through from a radio station. Sometimes, however, they are just noise that the brain tries to match to a word. Here is a great example – most of the words and phrases “heard” by the ghost hunter in his/her video are more imagination than anything else. I suggest you listen to the audio without the video and write down any words that you think you hear. Then watch the video and see if they match what the ghost hunter thought he heard.

This is a well-known phenomenon – when a word or phrase is suggested to you, your brain will hear what is suggested.

There is also a second layer of pattern recognition, however – the meaning of the words. People are very good at inferring meaning, which is a useful skill in a highly social species. Like many such things, we are too good in that we tend to over-infer meaning. I see people do this all the time with their pets. They assign very sophisticated human understanding and intent to behaviors that probably have a much simpler explanation. We saw this also when researchers tried to teach apes to communicate with sign language. The researchers were very good at inferring what the apes meant even when signing essentially randomly. Sometimes, for example, the animal would try to be funny or playful by signing the opposite of what he meant.

We see the same thing in the ghost box video. The ghost hunter is good at taking the random words and phrases and inferring some meaning from them. He is then very impressed by the pattern of responses, concluding that there must be some intelligence behind them. Of course there is an intelligence at work, but it is at the receiving end of the words. Any apparent meaning to the alleged words is coming from the minds of those making the connection. In this way it is similar to a cold reading. The person making all the connections in a cold reading is not the reader but the subject. They are finding meaning in the questions and fragments (I see a letter “J”) that the cold reader is throwing out.

This general phenomenon is very common – seeing patterns in randomness and then being overly impressed at the connections. The naive premise for the believer is that if there were not a real external phenomenon going on (in this case, ghosts) then the apparent connections would not be there. This premise, however, is false. Humans are good at finding connections anywhere, and in that way we often deceive ourselves into thinking there is something there when there isn’t.

Conclusion we made as the team of the Codex Cultus Concept.

Because science is obligated to show facts and proved theories, the team of the Codex Cultus Concept is using the Spirit / Box not by taking as granted that what we hear is true and a ''ghost'' is talking to us. We are trying to study the responses we take based to the logic of the answer if there is any. Also we try to study why for example in this area we receive answers and at a second area we receive nothing at all. Such questions are the trigger to our investigations based on the usage of the so called notorious Spirit - Box


Q. Is using a spirit box dangerous? A. While I think one should be cautious with experimenting in the unknowns, I will say that I have never had anything bad happen to me personally while using the box or since I started using it. With that said, I do ask my guides for protection before every session and I do ask that no negative energies be allowed in. I think if you go to places where there are known NEGATIVE energies you should be careful what you ask for. I do not go looking for this and always try to keep my sessions positive. Every once in a while I do get called some pretty nasty names, but that's been the extent of anything negative that I have encountered and I find the name calling rather funny. And trust me I've experienced much worse from the living and that doesn't stop me from going on about my daily life. To me, the living are much more scary and dangerous then the departed.

Q. What questions should I ask? A. Obviously what you want is some type of validation that this really works right? So I would say to begin with ask simple questions and see if you get relevant answers. Ask things like "can you say my name?" If you hear your name clearly after asking this you may be onto something right? I try to avoid questions that require yes or no answers because in my opinion it would just be too easy to catch a random yes or no radio snippet. Ask questions with a definitive answer such as your name or the name of your dog to begin with. Everybody wants validation that this works to begin with so that is where I would start. Once you feel pretty confident that you are getting valid answers to your questions you can move on. I can almost guarantee you that only a small portion of your relevant questions (if any) will be answered during any given session. Be patient and keep trying. A crystal clear Class A evp direct answer to your question is worth the wait! I've had people ask me for a list of 20 questions to ask. If you are new to this keep it very simple. Hold an object in your hand and ask them to say what it is, or ask them to say your friends name sitting next to you. Until you get these validations you will not feel confident that it works and should not move on to more complicated questions in my opinion. Experiment and play around with different sweep rates (if it's a P-sb7) and try AM and FM and try forward and reverse sweep. Just test it out and play around with it to begin with.

Q. Will I pick up some radio fragments and partial words? A. Yes! While these scan through radio stations very quickly, undoubtedly you are going to pick up some radio bleed through. If you get several words in an answer all in the same voice it would be impossible to be radio bleed through. It's just scanning too fast for that to happen. I've watched many You Tube video's with the little subtitles of random words (many that I can't even make out clearly) that have no relevance to anything and in my opinion most of this is just radio snippets. Don't assume every little thing you hear is spirit communication. What you are listening for is a clear words that sound like they are ABOVE the radio sounds. And it's hard to describe but when you get valid communication you can "feel it" with time and practice and you will know.

Q. Spirit box or Ghost box? Is there a difference? A. No difference. Either/or. Same thing. I actually prefer to call it a spirit box but I use both terms. Ghost/spirit all the same to me and some good/some bad.

Q. Is it safe to use in my home? (I probably get asked this more than any other question)

A. If you don't have any paranormal activity to your home that you wish to investigate or even if you do, my personal opinion is not to use it in your home. Just in case. Investigating of paranormal is researching of the unknown, so it is very stupid from my side of view to take even the smallest risk to use such a device in your own home that you sleep and live. The usage of spirit box is debatable so we are studying it , swimming in uncharted waters

Q. How do you know it's not something evil coming through the box trying to trick you? A. I get asked this question a lot and here. My answer based on my religious believes is that we should not involve with the dead in any way, and let them rest. My answer as investigator is always "sure it could be but...why? If this is a concern of yours than you are negative and/or fearful and you should not try this. As i said before we take nothing for granted. Religions and paranormal are so close connected that we have to take in mind both sides in order to provide our investigation with the maximum possible safety.

A person with psychological instabilities it will be better to stay away of any kind of paranormal interventions

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