With no general consensus of what a ghost really is or looks like, it’s hard for investigators to remain professional about their search. Skeptical Inquirer recounts the example of a “groundbreaking experience” conducted in 2015. Using a so-called “ghost box” or SB7 spirit box, a group of investigators used a modified radio sweeper that goes through AM/FM frequencies to identify “answers from spirits” to questions being asked by the researchers.
In reality, the experiment only proves one thing: Ghost hunters will hear what they are inclined to or already have a tendency to hear. This is not different from a sound heard in an EVP. It could be nothing to some or sound like a word or a whisper to somebody actively listening for proof of the paranormal. According to Skeptical Enquirer, it’s almost impossible to remove group bias from an investigation that uses methods that rely on interpretation.
There’s also the human need to make sense of and find patterns in things. According to The British Psychological Society, when you’re listening to an EVP, there will be a tendency to try to connect and understand what you’re hearing, bringing your prior beliefs and expectations into play. And if you’re part of the more than 40% of people who already believe in ghosts, spirit-based hauntings, or the paranormal, you might be inclined to think what you hear in that recording is really a ghost. Ultimately, it might just come down to that rather than science.