Spirit Boxes Guide for Ghost Hunters

An Introduction to the Spirit Box

The spirit box is one of the most popular devices used by paranormal investigators, as it allows instantaneous two-way communication between the living and the dead. This device uses radio technology to generate frequencies that the spirits can manipulate to produce sound.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with a spirit, what questions would you ask? Are you prepared to hear the bone-chilling answers? Nowadays, you can’t watch a ghost hunting show without seeing the team interact with the dead via the spirit box. Oftentimes, this will be the most exciting moment in the show; an investigator asks a loaded question, the whole team suspensefully waits for an answer, and then a voice comes through delivering a clear, emotionally charged answer that sends everybody jumping out of their seats…

Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) consists of two-way communication between the physical plane and the spiritual plane via electronic devices such as telephones, recorders, computers, or in this case, radios. The possibility of the existence of ETC has fascinated mankind since the dawn of telecommunication technology, and there are some scientists who are brave enough to study the phenomenon.

A study published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration was able to document anomalous results produced by a yes/no random generator during an experimental test of instrumental telecommunication. Even though it’s extremely hard to obtain empirical evidence of paranormal phenomena, there is a plethora of evidence that spirits can really communicate with us through this type of technology.

Paranormal researcher Steve Huff has dedicated his entire career to ITC research and has posted almost a thousand videos on his YouTube channel, Huff Paranormal, in which he documents his conversations with the “other side.” He’s known for building his own version of the spirit box and attempting to communicate with deceased celebrities.

There is a reason why most ghost hunters consider the spirit box to be their favorite paranormal tool. It’s like putting a ghost on speakerphone and having a conversation. The best way to start off any investigation is to establish a line of communication. Every serious investigator should have this device in their arsenal. 

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

What is a Spirit Box?

A spirit box is a device that sweeps through radio frequencies at a rapid rate by disabling the function that limits it to a certain station. This causes the radio to rapidly switch between three to four frequencies in under a second. Spirits are said to be able to manipulate the white noise created by the constant frequency changes. Sometimes, they can manipulate existing voices, like when they cause two radio stations to play consecutively to form a word or sentence. Other times, they can produce their own unique voice.

The spirit box is sometimes called a “ghost box” or “Frank’s box,” depending on which model it is. Different versions are currently available on the market. The most common one that you see in ghost hunting TV shows is the P-SB7 model. The P-SB11 is the upgraded version and sweeps through radio frequencies much faster. Other versions of the spirit box include the SBox Ghost Scanner and the Backwards Box.

A Brief History of the Spirit Box

Since the moment the first radio was built, the question of whether it could be used to communicate with the dead plagued the minds of men. Allegedly, the first person to experiment with radio spirit communication was Father Roberto Landell de Mour back in 1910, who claimed to have built a device that allowed him to talk to the “other side.”

Throughout history, other pioneers such as Marcello Bacci and George and Jeanette Meek have experimented with radio technology as a tool for spirit communication. They were all able to capture conversations with the dead and laid the foundations for modern-day ITC research.

The first portable spirit box was created by Frank Sumption in 2002 and is known as the Frank’s box. The late inventor claimed to have received instructions for building the device from disembodied voices. His first design consisted of a standard white noise generator that was fed through a random voltage circuit.

The circuit was linked to an AM radio receiver which reacted to the voltage by tuning to a specific spot on the radio dial. This allowed the spirits to create their own vocals through the receiver in addition to the radio sounds.

After experimenting with different configurations, he introduced the “sweep” method, in which the box simply tuned back and forth through the AM band. Before he passed away, he made his plans available on the Internet so anyone could experiment with his design.

Gary Galka invented the popular P-SB7 (and 11) spirit box. He began designing paranormal devices after hearing his late daughter’s disembodied voice in a recording. He has since designed over 30 gadgets, one of them being the Mel-Meter, named after his daughter, which, in addition to having an embedded spirit box, also detects a range of electromagnetic and temperature changes. Gary’s gadgets have made several appearances on the famous TV show Ghost Adventures, and his story is well-known in the paranormal community.

On his popular YouTube channel, Huff Paranormal, Steve Huff has been demonstrating his version of the spirit box at work. The Backwards Box is one of Steve Huff’s latest inventions. It has gold-plated cables, Herkimer diamonds, and a copper plate for bio-electric connection. This device reverses all speech going in so that what comes out is pure gibberish unless a spirit uses it to speak.  He also created other spirit communication devices like the Portal, the Wonder Box, the SoulSpeaker, the Astral Doorway, and the Miracle Box.

With the evolution of smartphones, the integration of apps into the field of the paranormal was inevitable. Now if you download the right app, you can have a spirit box in your back pocket. New versions of the spirit box are being generated nearly every year, and the equipment keeps getting better.

What is a Spirit Box Used for in Paranormal Investigations?

The spirit box allows entities to communicate in real-time, so it’s used to obtain information and evidence on the spot. During an investigation, it’s important to try and communicate with the spirits in order to determine if it’s an intelligent haunting and how to proceed with the investigation.

When scanning through the frequencies, the spirit box will pick up some voices from AM/FM radio stations that are not paranormal. These voices would be considered a false positive. Any voices that come through are only considered paranormal if:

  • They span over several sweeps: It’s impossible that a radio voice could span over several sweeps because each sweep is a different radio station. This could only be done by a spirit manipulating the white noise.
  • They’re 100% relevant: If the voice says something that is completely relevant to the situation at hand, this contributes to the argument that there might be something paranormal going on.
  • The same voice comes through too often: If the same specific voice comes through more times than it should considering the cycle of radio sweeps, this is an indication that you may be talking to a spirit.

The best type of evidence is cumulative evidence. If all three of these rules are happening at the same time, you’ve hit the paranormal jackpot.

It’s a good idea to record footage of spirit box sessions so that you have both video and audio evidence of any paranormal activity that might occur during the session.

Alternative Uses for the Spirit Box

The traditional way of using a spirit box is to ask questions out loud and pause for a reply that the entire team of investigators will be able to hear. There is an alternative way of using this device that has recently grown very popular in the paranormal community.

On the popular YouTube channel, Sam and Colby, the boys introduced to their enormous audience a new investigative technique called the Estes method. Invented by Karl Pfeiffer in 2016, the Estes method consists of one investigator being blindfolded while listening to the spirit box through noise-canceling headphones. The teammates ask questions out loud, but the subject cannot hear them. Whenever a clear voice comes through on the spirit box, the subject speaks it out loud. This technique further isolates and concentrates the random radio feed, making the answers more significant and removing bias.

The Spirit Box is an Essential Tool for Paranormal Investigators

The spirit box is a staple in any ghost hunter’s arsenal. If you want to uncover the mysteries of a haunting and collect the best evidence, you need to be able to establish a line of communication with the spirits.

With this information, you should now have a solid understanding of the different ways to use a spirit box and how to capture the best evidence. All that’s left for you to do is get one for your toolkit and begin your own paranormal adventure!

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