Friday, January 2, 2009

Ghost Box/RadioShack Hack

First, let's begin with a bit of a history lesson on something I have been doing some research on. There seems to be a new legend soaring throughout the paranormal community right now that Thomas Edison planned on creating some type of device that could provide two-way communication with the dead. Please be aware that there are not facts to prove that Edison was indeed in the process of creating any such device. In fact, many people who study Thomas Edison and his work will say that this is nothing but a myth. However, while I am a firm believer in paranormal phenomenon and things like EVP, we must stick to facts here. And the fact is that there is no evidence Thomas Edison was ever in the process of creating a device like a ghost box.
Most of us are familiar with EVP. But for some who may not know, EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. This is a technique most ghost hunters use during their investigation. When conducting an EVP session an investigator will walk around a presumed haunted location with an audio recorder asking questions such as "Is there anyone here?" or "Can you please tell me your name?" Now, the investigator will not hear any audible responses at the time, but upon playback of the recording may indeed hear a voice answering his or her questions. Being that that one could not hear the voice at the time of the recording, it is difficult to establish a form on 2 way communication. This is where the ghost box comes into play.
The ghost box, or RadioShack Hack as it is sometimes known as, sounds like the answer to everyone who wants to establish communication with the other side. The way this ghost box works is it tunes the AM/FM channels on a radio back and forth without stopping. Frank Sumption (creator of a similar device called Franks Box) calls this the sweeping method. The schematics are simply obtained by doing a Google search for "How to build a ghost box." So just out of curiosity I decided to build one. The specific ghost box I built is called the RadioShack Hack. What it is precisely is a hand held AM/FM radio (CAT. NO. 12-469)
which can be purchased for about $25. What you do is remove the screws in the back and gently pull the backing off, thus exposing the two connected circuit boards. Next, unscrew the screw that connected these two circuit boards and gently pry them apart. Now that you have the circuit boards split apart, on the bottom of the top circuit board you will see a strip with 13 pins in it. You need to find the pin which reads "Mute" (which I believe is the 5th pin in) and either clip it with wire cutters or bend it down. What this does is eliminate the pause when changing through the channels. This gives you the sweep effect wherein you never stop between channels. Now, carefully reassemble the radio, insert your batteries, and there you have it.
Now for the big question: Does it work? The answer is yes, but only in the sense that it does sweep through the radio channels. I have used this device plenty of times with absolutely no success of any communication with the other side. What I believe is going on is that when the ghost box sweeps, it scans channels very rapidly, but you still catch single words here and there. I have to admit there were times when I would ask a question and I would hear what seemed to be a response. But honestly folks, there is so much voice interference that it leaves more than enough room for doubt. And if there is any doubt, any respectable paranormal investigator should never consider it evidence.
What is happening here is that people want so desperately to make contact that their judgment is being clouded and they are matrixing words. For example, suppose there is a car advertisement which says, "Welcome to Sam's Car Lot, where you can get the best quality cars for the cheapest prices. Heck, if you can find a dealer cheaper than us, we'll watch it. YES folks, I said "match it.'" And as the radio is scanning you ask "Is there anyone here?" and you pick up the "yes" from the commercial, that is not contact, no matter how bad someone wants it to be. As paranormal investigators we need to look for the most logical answers and when no logical answer can be found, then we may have to look towards the paranormal side of things. With the ghost box scanning that broadcasters are speaking on, there are simply too many things to factor in before claiming they are the voices of the dead. If anyone thinks they have had success with this device and has any audio samples, please send them to me at

The Winter Freeze is Breaking

Most serious paranormal investigators know and have come to generally accept that the winter months of every year are a slow time. A lack of experiences and, perhaps, the weather itself combine to see to it that cases and investigation requests are at a standstill.

Not for Phase 3 Paranormal.

Not this year, anyway.

While we have had our share of cancellations this winter (2 in November alone), January 1st seemed to not only signal in the new year of 2009, but also a rebirth in investigation requests for our group.

Wednesday night I found myself at a New Year's get together where the topic of the paranormal came up more than once since I was there with my friend and fellow investigator, Amanda. We talked about our group's paranormal-themed radio show, "Strange Frequencies," as well as the type of investigations and research we perform when we are called in to a location.

But aside from that, another party-goer named Dan spoke a bit about the basement of a friend of his that is reportedly haunted. Though he unfortunately didn't have much information, and admitted to being something of a renowned scaredy-cat, it was an item of interest and something that may transpire into a future investigation for us.

But it was yesterday, New Years Day itself, that brought out the most surprises. The first thing I saw upon checking my personal email was a message from Phase 3 Paranormal team member Katie about an interest from a co-worker of hers in an investigation of her mother's home. It seems that the paranoid feeling of being watched has been reported throughout the house, and the youngest daughter has recently begun to see a "monster" in the basement (it's always the basement, isn't it?). The other children in the home are becoming more and more frightened. While the feelings may be nothing more than a reaction to high electromagnetic fields, and the "monster" nothing more than a child's typical fear of the basement coupled with an active imagination, it is our duty to investigate should the family contact us. We will stay open minded to the possibilities, but also do our best to serve them appropriately. Helping others is what we are about.

The other investigation request came later on in the same day when a co-worker of our team member and web developer Gary reported activity in her childhood home where her mother still resides. Though there have been many deaths in the home, and the activity is reportedly a somewhat regular occurrence (apparitions, disembodied footsteps, and phantom smells, etc.) the current resident is not scared at all. In fact, having a very healthy acceptance of the paranormal, she has asked our team to come in simply to experience it for ourselves as a way to gather information and data. Well, I know I speak for the whole group when I say that I am down with that!

I hope that New Years Day, and the events of the past couple days, really, are a sign of things to come. It looks as if 2009 is going to be a very interesting year for Phase 3 Paranormal!

Keep your eyes tuned to Ghosts and Haunts for all the details, and much, much more!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stay Tuned!

Hello, and welcome to Ghosts and Haunts, the official blog of Phase 3 Paranormal. In this blog, group co-founders Bobby Nelson and myself, Jason Korbus, will be sharing inside information on our investigations, evidence, as well as giving our opinions on the paranormal field in general. It should be a lot of fun!