SO, better late than never … did you hear Yanny or Laurel? P*** off? That’s quite unusual. Maybe the fact there are only two options wasn’t properly explained to you?

Ah, my mistake. It seems you were simply expressing exasperation at the cultural omnipresence of internet banality. You view Future Shock as original source material for sounding interesting down the boozer and don’t endure these painfully self-indulgent intros each week to find out stuff you already know.

So let’s turn our attentions towards a more interesting perception of sound – alleged recordings of the dead talking.

If you're wanting to skip this scene-setting preamble and go straight to the main event, just scroll down a wee bit to the Sauchiehall Street headline where there's a link to these 'ghost' voices to hear for yourself. The rest of us will catch up later, armed with background and context for extra gratification.

Such taped 'spirit' communications, presumably beamed in from an unspecified purgatorial dimension swirling around somewhere beyond human perception, were last brought to cultural prominence by the irredeemably awful Michael Keaton movie White Noise. Don’t even think about calling your lawyer Keaton, you know it’s true. Birdman didn’t fully redeem you either.

As is the norm with Hollywood, the only semblance of fact left behind after heavy-handed moron-proofing was the name – electronic voice phenomena (EVP). In White Noise, these voices are demons who end up killing Keaton. No apologies for the spoiler, it saves you from enduring it.

In reality, EVP can be described as brief bursts of static or captured radiowaves being interpreted as ghostly gibberish by the naive. What makes EVP interesting, however, is that it’s clear evidence that our brains are simply computers powered by delusion.

Seeing patterns in nature is perhaps our species’ defining trait. We all have operating systems loaded with this in-built stablising code, helping us forget the horror that we’re simply a skin condition on a spinning rock flying around a nuclear furnace in the middle of infinity.

Such conceit clearly works to our evolutionary advantage, keeping us sane by invoking a sense of meaning in everything – such as the creation of written language. After all, these words you’re reading don’t really exist. Each letter is made up of tiny individual dots that would look like Bob Dylan's shirt if you were the size of a flea. We only learned to interpret specific shapes as words through years of intense brain-tattooing in primary school.

A similar trick is being pulled when folk see faces in burnt toast. Even Elvis once saw Jesus in a cloud. Apparently this heavenly visage grew a kind of cumulous quiff, with the good ol’ boy interpreting it as God telling him he was the Messiah. Being able to pull off a white jumpsuit should have been proof enough.

The scientific term for this psychological comfort blanket is pareidolia, defined as the tendency to see human characteristics in objects and sounds that are meaningless to nature’s cold indifference. There are many examples of pareidolia – such as the man in the moon, Bishop Brennan’s face on Father Ted’s skirting board or even the infamous 'Largs Hum'.

In the case of EVP, it’s clear we really do hear weird voices in static – but our minds are simply joining the dots as they have been programmed to do through millennia of evolutionary adaption to our brains' ever-expanding conciousness.

This has been recently proven under laboratory conditions, when 20 Scotsmen listened to white noise for an hour. By the end of the session, 19 of them said they’d heard Mel Gibson’s “they may take our lives” speech from Braveheart in the static. The one who didn’t was David Mundell – but apparently he can hear Rule Britannia in Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.


WITH several alleged hauntings and a copious abundance of bevvy merchants, it's clear spirits and Sauchiehall Street will always remain synonymous. Like steroids and tiny genitals. This well-kent historic Weegie thoroughfare is surely then the perfect place for any amateur ghostbuster to fantasise about firing up a nuclear-powered proton pack and zapping some transdimensionally-trapped former humans in the face.

It's a shame such weapons don't actually exist. It means that the only folk 'crossing the streams' in reality are city-centre revellers relieving themselves in the doorway of Argos.

There is one person, however, who claims that more peaceable ghosthunting techniques harvest better results - and have indeed proven that Glasgow is haunted by more than the inexplicable success of Darius "Darius" Danesh. Her name is Rachel Browing, and she is a member of paranormal investigations group EVP Voices.

The Gloucestershire-based researcher recently visited the city to catch a few seances and the like, but also took some time to quickly scan the air with her trusty tape recorder - hoping to capture some sinister voices shouting out for help in the ether above. The lads currently knocking down half the street on cherry pickers don’t count.

EVP Voices claim they are “non-religious, undogmatic and do not follow any belief system” in their tireless search for “discarnate conscious, intelligent entities”. If they ever summon the ghost of Roger Moore we can be sure he’ll raise a cynical eyebrow at their refusal to allow guests to join their recording sessions.

“These recordings might be considered extraordinary but we are under no illusions that they constitute proof of anything other than our protracted ineptitude to fathom the truth of the phenomena,” they explain, in rather flowery prose last heard on 70s Yes albums. “We have no certain answers and pedal no paradigms. At best we might have captured glimpses of what may exist just outside of the reach of our perceived reality.”

They haven’t. Don’t let me make up your mind, however – the recordings Browing made last year in an anonymous Sauchiehall Street hotel are freely available online here:

Now that you've listened, be warned - what follows here is a typically blinkered mainstream media dismissal of any perception contrary to our own.

Incidentially, these recordings of the other side are certainly good news for folk who like lines on maps and binary perceptions of reality. It seems the spirit world is much like social media, with animated debates on Scottish independence currently taking place there too. “WHERE’S ANY OF THIS IN ENGLAND, WE’LL BE THERE”, one voice is heard to threaten ominously. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that everything recorded by EVP Voices in Scotland is a brief, garbled exclamation of oddness that could comfortably pass as a Tweet.

One entity appears to be a teenager logging onto Tinder for a booty call: “HAD TO STEAL THROUGH, WHO’S NEAR”. This cheeky chappie’s voice is actually a familiar one to Browing, coming through to her regularly - and she suggests the term “steal through” is ghost-talk for communicating with the living.

“It is comforting to know that (spirits) are able to travel to wherever we are in their dimension,” she says. Then adds, somewhat less ethereally: “The noise you hear in the background is a bin truck reversing.”

An even clumsier seduction attempt then follows. “WHEN YOU GO FAR FROM HERE WITH ME!”. This is followed by a somewhat sinister “YOU’LL DO US WELL”. This particular set of recordings must certainly be taken with a pinch of salt, however. There is definitive proof this “voice" is not a former Sauchiehall Street lothario – chat-up lines there have never been so articulate.


LUCK and a few simple twists of fate once landed this humble scribe the editorship of a weekly newspaper in Ayrshire. One particularly slow news week, our faithful readers exchanged their shiny 50p pieces to learn how a local “spiritualist” had informed clients that ghosts were touching them sexually.

“Spiritualist told me spook touched my bum” was our front page headline, if memory serves. Watergate or Stakeknife it was not.

The alleged perpetrator had been part of a ghost-hunting group who often slept around Ayrshire’s most haunted sites in the hope of finding evidence for life after death. Along with proton packs and tension-deflating wisecracks, audio recorders feature prominently in all paranormal researchers’ toolkits and this motley crew were no different, scouring their tapes afterwards for messages from the other side. The premise is that these devices – the cheaper the better it seems – can often pick up on otherwise inaudible EVP chat from spirit entities.

Scientific research has led to EVP being dubbed “Rorschach audio”, after the psychological test where humans interpret random inkblot images for an insight into their state of mind. This interpretation essentially debunks EVP as just another example of the brain’s penchant for making sense of the senseless, such as the Yanny/Laurel phenomenon or Love Island. The subconscious mind fills information gaps, resulting in illusory visual and audio perceptions. Everything we see and hear is false – truth being relative only to ourselves.

Far more interesting, however, is the actual origin of white noise. This is the sound of creation’s unwavering scream, the Big Bang’s eternal hangover – otherwise known as cosmic background radiation. A similarly out-of-this-world explanation for EVP is Earth’s broadcasts bouncing off meteor trails high in the atmosphere. “You may be listening to a nice, clear voice, but when it hits this auroral curtain it sounds like a hoarse whisper,” says radio reception expert Vaughan Reynolds. “It’s ghostly.”

Despite hearing such voices all the time, recording engineer Ian Astbury is dismissive of any supernatural suggestions. His most famous recording was a hissing voice heard during a Radio 4 show conducted in a haunted castle with Sandi Toksvig.

According to Astbury, such interruptions are often caused by microphone cables acting as aerials to pick up snippets of radio, local taxi firms and even lonely lorry drivers with old-school CBs who distrust the internet – or are banned from using it.