Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most commonly hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature), and disorganized…
A brief look into the history of EVPs is outlined here as some background information to help explain how paranormal research on EVPs got to where it is today.
The great inventory Thomas Edison is generally credited with being the first to conceive that a device could be created to hear and speak with spirits. In a 1920’s newspaper interview he said someday it may be possible to have such a device. This is considered a remarkable comment since Edison himself never really showed any interest in the paranormal or supernatural, nor express any deep spiritual beliefs.
At the same time other great inventors such as Gueglielmo Marconi (wireless radio) and Nikola Tesla (famous for his work with electricity), perhaps in cooperation with each other, also began work on devices that they believed could communicate with the dead.
In the late 1920’s through 1930’s several psychic researchers claim to have heard voices on recorded radio broadcasts that were not part of the broadcast not could be accounted for by anything in the surrounding area. During World War 2 Swedish and Norwegian radio operators reported hear unfamiliar voices. They assumed it was the Germans. But after WW2 when capture German records were searched no evidence of Nazi activity on those frequencies at that time could be found.
The actual credit for having first recorded an EVP goes to Fredrich Jurgenson. In 1959 Fredrich Jurgenson, a Swedish film producer, was supposedly recording bird songs in the Swedish Alps (he would later admit he was out trying to record the voices of the dead). He claims not to have heard anything unusual during the recording but heard many voices upon playback. He claims to have heard his own mother’s voice calling his name (some accounts say he heard his mother’s voice telling him he is being watched!). Jurgenson recorded hundreds of voices over his life time and played them at many symposiums and conferences. His recording still remain unexplained to this day.
Through the 1960’s and 1970’s researchers, especially in England, claim to have recorded thousands of voices. In 1982 engineer George Meek and psychic William O’Niell built a device call the “Spiricom”. They claim it allows two-way real-time communication with spirits. This claim is still under heavy dispute.
Today, with the advent of digital records and reliable, professional grade sound editing software, paranormal investigators around the world continue to record and analyze unexplainable voices.
In 1873 the Athens Lunatic Asylum opened its doors. It is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world.
There was a decrease in individualized care and attention that led to a renaissance of many of the primitive treatments of Colonial days—with a few new tortures thrown in for good measure. What sorts of things were done to human beings at the Ridges?
1. Water Treatment - Patients were submerged in ice-cold water for extended periods of time. Sometimes they were wrapped in sheets which had been soaked in icewater and restrained. 2. Shock Therapy - Electric shocks were administered to patients submerged in water tanks or, more commonly, directly to the temples by the application of brine-soaked electrodes. A patient held a rubber piece in his mouth to prevent him from biting his tongue off during the convulsions which followed a treatment. (See One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for a painful example of electroshock therapy.) 3. Lobotomy (Original) - Patients had their skulls opened and their neural passages separated midway through the brain. This difficult and arduous procedure killed many people, but those who survived did in fact forget many of their depressive or psychotic tendencies. They also forgot a lot of other things, like how not to shit down your leg at dinner time, but with such an abundance of patients the only thing most doctors worried about was how to streamline the process. Open-skull brain surgery is a tricky business no matter how you slice it. 4. Lobotomy (Trans-Orbital) - Developed by Dr. Walter J. Freeman in the early 1950s, this simpler lobotomy became something of a craze in mental health circles up through the 60s. Dr. Freeman’s method involved knocking the patient unconscious with electric shocks, then rolling an eyelid back and inserting a thin metal icepick-like instrument called a leucotome through a tear duct. A mallet was used to tap the instrument the proper depth into the brain. Next it was sawed back and forth to sever the neural receptors. Sometimes this was done in both eyes. There is some evidence that this method actually helped some people with very severe conditions, but much more often the patient had horrible side effects and in many cases ended up nearly catatonic. It also killed a whole bunch of people, too.