Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Electronic Voice Phenomena

Electronic Voice Phenomena

First published in Heart Soul and Spirit Magazine, Issue 4 Nov/Dec 2014, pags 22, 23

 In 1959, the world of paranormal investigation changed dramatically with the discovery of what is now called EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena.
 Ukraine born artist, Freidrich Jurgenson was as his summer house and decided he wanted to record some birds singing close by. It wasn’t until late that evening, whilst listening back to the recording, he made a discovery of a man’s voice in the recording. Knowing he had been alone in his garden, he could not account for whom the man was.
This discovery would lead Jurgenson on to record thousands of samples, of what he termed “Voices of the dead”, he was of course criticised for his work, but it did not faze him as he had one single recording that cemented his belief that these were indeed the dead talking to him. His dead Mothers voice.

He spoke of the recording in his book “The Voices from Space” published in 1964

 Jurgenson: "I was outside with a tape recorder, recording bird songs. When I listened through the tape, a voice was heard to say "Friedel, can you hear me. It's mammy ...." It was my dead mothers voice. 'Friedel' was her special nickname for me." 

 Although Jurgenson can be noted as a pioneer in the recording of EVP, it was Konstantin Raudive's experiments and laboratory testing that made the Spirit recordings famous, and also set many of the standards in the field for how we record EVP sessions in this day and age.

Raudive read Jurgenson’s book in 1964 and was inspired to test theories and procedures written within.
Raudive took the information he learnt from Jurgenson into laboratory trials and scientific testing. He tried many different recording devices, and soon, customised his own germanium circuit, known today as a “Raudive Diode”.
 Raudive took his testing seriously, and even placed the devices into a “Faraday Cage” (A metal cage that blocks radio and Television frequencies). Like most sessions, no voices were heard during the recording, but on playback, to the amazement of all involved, voices could be heard clearly, including Raudive’s own deceased sister, who said her name “Tekle” and Raudive’s nickname, “Kosti”.

In 1968 Raudive published a book titled “Unhörbares wird hörbar:- or “What Is Inaudible becomes Audible”, which has also been published in English as “Breakthrough”, He went on to write two more books before his death in 1974.

In the last ten years of his life Raudive collected around 100,00 audiotapes of “spirit” voices, it is claimed over 400 people became involved with his research and each and every one of them heard the voices recorded.

 In the modern Ghost Hunting age EVP is an essential part of any investigation process, we ask questions, we go home and listen for answers – I should state here the “Spirit” Box or “Franks” Box are not genuine Electronic Voice Phenomena, but “Radio Voice Phenomena” (a term I coined on my blog) – they are sweeps of radio frequencies and ARE audio pareidolia, not something that can ever be claimed as "evidence" of the paranormal.
 Anyone can have a go at an EVP session, there is nothing stopping you, you do not need expensive equipment or specialised training, but there are a few tips I would like to share with you, to get you on to your path of EVP discovery!
 Firstly, I recommend a voice recorder that has a usb or memory card built in, so you don’t have to sit at your computer listening back to the whole recording, saving it into a program. Rather than that wasted time, you can easily switch the file from the device to your laptop or pc.

 Try and get a voice recorder with a good microphone, brands like Sony, Zoom and Tascam currently have some reasonably priced, stereo microphone records that work exceptionally well. Even your phone or tablet now days have good enough microphones for experimenting with, or you can always buy an external microphone and plug it in.

 If you do EVP sessions, take note of your surroundings, who else is there? What natural sounds are happening?

 I try to always put my recorder down, or use a tripod to support it, so the sounds of my movements cannot be interpreted as an EVP (this does happen). In my team, we also have a video camera pointing at us whilst we record EVPs, that we can play back later on and see if any sounds coincide to our movements.

My wife Karen also takes notes as we work, in those notes Karen will write the time, where we are, what I ask and if any natural or man made sounds are happening at the time (cars driving past, birds flying over etc) – this gives us a little bit more information that we may have forgotten when we begin our review of the recording.

My next tip is a simple one, DO NOT WHISPER – if you decide to go out with a group of people, ask everyone who is with you to be silent whilst you record, but, if they have to speak, do so in a normal voice. This is for the simple reason that you may not know someone else has whispered, and when you get to review your EVP session you hear this amazing EVP...only to find out later that it was simply a team mate whispering...

Lastly, do NOT tell people what you believe an EVP says. Let the person listen and give their ideas first.
Why you ask? Influence... if someone tells you what an EVP says before you hear it for yourself, you are pre-influenced to hear what they say it is, rather than make your own determination as to if the recording is a genuine EVP or just some random mistaken noise.

As always folks, Be respectful. Be prepared. Be protected. Be safe.

© Allen Tiller 2014

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Barmera Hotel Haunting

The Barmera Hotel Haunting

Built in 1932 as a community hotel, the Barmera Hotel was originally known as “The Lake Bonney Hotel”, named after the large lake that is named after explorer Charles Bonney.

 This particular Riverland hotel has a reputation for ghostly goings on and is alleged to be home to a number of resident spirits.
One ghost has been named “Harold” and is described as wearing a blue checked shirt and blue jeans. Harold has an eye for the ladies, particularly younger female staff workers and likes to follow them around the hotel, touching them inappropriately. 

There are also reports of poltergeist type activity, including plumbing that turns on and off without living human interaction, and pokies machines that pay out when no-one is playing them.

 Another spirit has been nicknamed “Janie”. Janie is thought to be a youngish woman who may have once worked at the hotel, or someone who stayed there at some point, passed away and has returned. Reports on Janie are few and far between and she seems to be “sensed” more than seen.

 The hotels basement seems to be a hive of spiritual activity, with reports from previous owners and staff of unusual goings on, cold spots and odd voices in the rooms below the hotel. It is thought that bodies were stored here for coronial inquests, and that this might be the source of the haunting.

Encountered a ghost in the Riverland? Tell us about it over on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/

© Allen Tiller 2016.


Barmera Hotel Motel. 2016. Riverland accommodation | Barmera Motel | Barmera accommodation. viewed 12 September 2016, http://www.barmerahotel.com.au/

Barmera, South Australia accommodation, attractions & info. 2016. Barmera, South Australia accommodation, attractions & info. viewed 12 September 2016, http://www.murrayriver.com.au/barmera/.

Barmera Visitor Information Centre | Riverland | Lake Bonney | Barmera Markets. 2016. Barmera Visitor Information Centre | Riverland | Lake Bonney | Barmera Markets. viewed 12 September 2016, http://www.barmeratourism.com.au/.

State Library of South Australia, 2017, Barmera Hotel [B 40407] • Photograph, viewed 14 July 2017,  http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+40407

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Fatal Overdose

Fatal Overdose
O’Brien Street, a somewhat forgotten corner of Adelaide was the home to a family tragedy that could have easily been prevented.
The Thulborne family lived a happy existence in their corner of the city. George Thulborne worked for the Adelaide Corporation as a carter, and his wife, Mary was a stay at home mother of ten children.
On the morning of Tuesday the 27th of August 1912, George set off for work, and Mary woke the children, readying them for school. Some of the children had been a little ill, so Mary pulled down an old bottle of medicine from a high shelf, with the intention of taking it to the local chemist on Sturt Street to have it tested,
 Trusting her memory of what was in the concoction, she left the bottle on the table in the dining room, and headed off to the chemist.
In the meantime, her two-year-old son, Maurice, who had been playing outside, came back inside, saw the bottle, and drank from it. Mary returned home not long after, but did not notice a small amount of the contents of the bottle had disappeared.
 Within a couple of hours, Maurice was complaining of stomach pains, and by mid-afternoon he had become unconscious.
 Dr MacDonald was called, who did everything he could think of to try and work out was wrong with the toddler, and how to save him, but unfortunately by 9:45 pm that evening, young Maurice Alfred Thulborne had died.

The concoction Maurice had drunk from consisted of a mixture of Oil of Aniseed, Peppermint Oil, Laudanum and Paregoric. A mixture that would have smelt appealing to a two-year child, but was actually a toxic mixture of alcohol and opium.
 Laudanum was a popular remedy in Victorian times, which contained around ten percent powdered opium. In its mixture is several opioids, including morphine and codeine.
 Paregoric was also a Victorian era medicine, which contained
"honey, liquorice, flowers of Benjamin, and opium, camphor, oil of aniseed, salt of tartar and spirit of wine," and was used as a household remedy to treat, amongst other things, diarrhea, coughs and pain in children from teething[1].

Maurice Alfred Thulborne was buried in the Catholic section of the West Terrace Cemetery.

[1] Boyd, EM & MacLauchlan, ML, 1944, The Expectorant Action of Paregoric, Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 1944, Vol. 50, page 344