Ovilus Guide for Ghost Hunters

An Introduction to the Ovilus

The Ovilus is a hand-held ghost hunting tool that allows paranormal investigators to receive messages from spirits in the form of text and automated voice.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to receive a text message from a ghost? Using an Ovilus might be the closest thing to texting the dead. If you’re addicted to checking your phone, this device will unlock a whole new kind of obsession for you.  Not only does the Ovilus display messages from the other side, but it also has the ability to speak the words out loud in an unsettling robotic voice.

You can’t watch a ghost hunting show without seeing the team get startled by the eerie Ovilus voice announcing a ghostly message. There’s nothing more ominous than hearing that robotic voice pierce the silence of a dark room with a foreboding reply to an investigator’s question.

When activated, the Ovilus scans through its database of words and syllables and selects a word to display on the screen. The text-to-speech feature reads the word out loud so that investigators can hear it. The randomness of the selection is influenced by the electromagnetic field and temperature around the device, which can be manipulated by spirits in order to generate a relevant response.

This guide will introduce you to the origins of the Ovilus, how to use it, how to recognize false positives, and how to get the best results.

What Is an Ovilus?

The Ovilus is a classic ghost hunting tool that transforms fluctuations in the environment into words. It is often used as an alternative to the Spirit Box as it is quieter and easier to understand since the responses appear in text form and stay displayed on the screen for a longer period of time.

The sensors in the device measure environmental changes, and those measurements correspond to numbers, which in turn are linked to certain words in the database. When a change in the electromagnetic field, temperature, humidity, or radio frequency occurs, the number associated with the change will trigger a word to be displayed.

There are several versions of the Ovilus on the market as the device is continuously being upgraded and optimized, with the latest version being the Ovilus 6. Some companies offer Ovilus alternatives, such as the HexCom, and there are several phone apps that imitate this type of spirit communication technology.

The Ovilus started off as a mechanical device, but the newer versions would be considered digital as they can store information from each investigation. Version 5b, which is currently on the market, has an integrated memory card that can be accessed via USB cable.

If you’re looking for an Ovilus, we recommend the Ovilus V Ghost Box.

A Brief History of the Ovilus

The Ovilus was created by Bill Chappel, a retired electronics engineer and founder of digitaldowsing.com, in the early 2000s. Bill is a staple in the paranormal industry and can often be seen on the popular tv show Ghost Adventures, where he field tests equipment that isn’t yet on the market.

The first model he created, the Ovilus I, was powered by a 9-volt battery, had two audio-out jacks, and did not have a text display. The device used a process Bill called  Environmental Communication Mode, which modulated changes in the energetic field into audible speech using a synthesizer chip and a text-to-speech function. This version of the Ovilus had seven modes:

  • Dictionary mode produced words from the dictionary of stored words.
  • Phonetic mode produced words from syllables.
  • Combination mode used both the dictionary and the phonetic modes together.
  • The “Yes” or “no” mode provided quick answers to binary questions. 
  • The dowsing mode functioned as virtual dowsing rods.
  • The EMF modes included an auditory mode that verbalized EMF readings in mG and a visual mode that displayed the readings on a graph.

Throughout the years, Bill continuously improved his design and made new models available to the public. The first Ovilus had a dictionary of only 512 words, while version 5b has over 2500 words stored.  Originally, only English voices were available. Now, an option for Spanish has been added to the latest models.

The first version to have an external text display was the DTG (Digital Text Display) which was a companion display that showed the spoken words produced by the Ovilus X series. The Ovilus II was the first version with a built-in LCD display, a user-programmable word list,  and flash memory. The Ovilus II Rev A featured near-human speech with 11 different voices.

The Video Ovilus II, which is still in production, has a built-in video camera and sonic range finder. It plugs into video goggles with built-in infrared illumination. A newer version of this device, the Video OSD Ovilus, was featured in an episode of Ghost Adventures in which the team uses it to navigate hands-free in complete darkness while receiving messages from the spirits.

The Ovilus 6 is the newest model and will soon be released to the public. This wrist-mounted Ovilus includes light spectrum analysis and employs ITC modes based on motion, frequency, temperature, and more. This exciting new device is capable of sensing a wide range of light, including ultra-violet, visible, infrared, and thermal heat signatures. Ghost hunters will soon have all of this technological power at the “flick of the wrist.”

What Is the Ovilus Used for in Paranormal Investigations?

The Ovilus is primarily used for spirit communication. Some versions have additional features, like sonic range detection, infrared video, and EMF measurement, but the main reason why ghost hunters are drawn to this device is for the word dictionary.

This tool is important for ghost hunting because it has features that other spirit communication tools don’t have. EVP sessions take up time, and Spirit Box sessions are noisy and often confusing, with different people hearing different things. The advantage of the Ovilus is that the response comes through in both text and voice form. The text is helpful because it provides clarity and can be stored and reviewed. The voice form allows investigators to roam the area and investigate hands-free, drawing attention when a response comes through.

Another advantage of the Ovilus is the fact that the way in which the responses are generated removes any potential bias caused by preconceived notions or beliefs. When an investigator is expecting to hear specific words, it is more likely that ambiguous auditory stimuli may be interpreted as those exact words. This is known as pareidolia, and it’s one of the scientific paranormal community’s biggest enemies. Spirit Boxes and EVP recordings are susceptible to this psychological phenomenon, but the clarity of the Ovilus eliminates it entirely.

In season 11 of Ghost Adventures, the paranormal investigators use the Ovilus in almost every location, and it’s clear that the device has become a team favorite. Another popular TV show called Paranormal State features the device being used by the team members on a regular basis.

The Ovilus provides evidence of intelligent hauntings, as any type of entity that can manipulate the environment to respond to a question is conscious and therefore considered an intelligent haunting. It is particularly compelling when the spirits’ answers provide information that can be verified. This type of evidence is usually paired with EMF readings and other types of environmental measurements, as well as phenomena captured on camera, to build a case that the location is haunted.

It is common practice amongst Ovilus users to allow the device to “warm up” at the beginning of the investigation. When activated, the device scans its immediate vicinity for energy fields and begins to display words while adjusting to the environment. These words are usually considered false positives unless relevant. On some models, users can adjust the sensitivity of the device using a slider.

Any time the Ovilus provides a response that is a direct answer to a question, it would be considered a “hit.” Words that are deemed as not relevant to the circumstances or location are generally considered false positives.

During an investigation, most ghost hunters will experience a brief period of time where the Ovilus seems to be “on a roll”, providing consecutive intelligent responses that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. This is the type of interaction that investigators are looking for, as it provides evidence of consciousness and direct communication.

Alternative Uses for the Ovilus

The Ovilus was built specifically for the purpose of spirit communication and is only used within the field of the paranormal. Some versions of the device have features that extend beyond spirit communication, like sonic range detection, which can help locate movement in dark environments.

The EMF reader built into the later versions of the Ovilus is convenient as investigators have less equipment they need to carry around while still being able to measure environmental changes. The Video OSD Ovilus is a game changer as it allows ghost hunters to see their environment through goggles illuminated by infrared light, so they can navigate in pitch-black darkness completely hands-free without disturbing the spirits with flashlights.

The Ovilus Is an Essential Tool For Paranormal Investigators

Every paranormal investigator needs an Ovilus in their tool kit. If you’re trying to communicate with spirits, there’s no clearer method of communication than this one, and the fact that the responses are written and stored can save you a lot of time and confusion.

With this information, you should now understand how the Ovilus works and why it’s essential for ghost hunting. All that’s left for you to do is grab one for yourself and start your own conversation with the Other Side…

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