A Big Archive of Occult Recordings: Historic Audio Lets You Hear Trances, Paranormal Music, Glossolalia & Other Strange Sounds (1905–2007)

Aleis­ter Crow­ley in cer­e­mo­ni­al garb, 1912, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

We’ve all had our wits scared out of us by films, images, and the writ­ten word, but some­how few forms work their haunt­ing mag­ic quite so effec­tive­ly as sound alone. Think of the snap of the twig in the woods or the creak of the stair­case in the emp­ty house — or, to take it far­ther, the sound of pos­sessed chil­dren speak­ing in tongues. You can hear record­ings of that and oth­er unusu­al phe­nom­e­na at Ubuweb, which hosts the col­lec­tion Occult Voic­es – Para­nor­mal Music, Record­ings of Unseen Intel­li­gences 1905–2007.

The eerie record­ings on offer include “audio doc­u­ments of para­nor­mal phe­nom­e­na includ­ing trance speech, direct voic­es, clair­voy­ance, xenoglossy, glos­so­lia includ­ing eth­no­log­i­cal mate­r­i­al, para­nor­mal music, ‘rap­pings’ and oth­er pol­ter­geist man­i­fes­ta­tions as well as so-called ‘Elec­tron­ic voice phe­nom­e­na.’ ”

A rich mix­ture indeed, and one that begins with those pos­sessed kids, all of them record­ed in the post-Exor­cist late 1970s and ear­ly 80s; you can hear the eight-year-old “Janet” sound­ing not unlike the dev­il-filled Lin­da Blair in the record­ing embed­ded above.

Lat­er we hear from medi­ums like Britain’s famed Leslie Flint, one of the last of his kind to osten­si­bly speak direct­ly in the voic­es of the chan­neled deceased, includ­ing fig­ures as accom­plished and dis­tinc­tive as Oscar Wilde in 1975 (above), Char­lotte Bron­të in 1973, and Win­ston Churchill in 1980.

The col­lec­tion also con­tains the voice of Arthur Ford, who made his name as a medi­um by claim­ing to have made con­tact with the spir­it of Har­ry Hou­di­ni. In the clip above, you can hear five min­utes of Ford’s final Hou­di­ni séance, con­duct­ed in 1936.

No col­lec­tion of occult mate­ri­als would be com­plete, of course, with­out some­thing from Aleis­ter Crow­ley, sure­ly the most famous occultist in mod­ern his­to­ry, and one known in his time as “the wickedest man in the world.” Just above we have Crow­ley recit­ing “The Call of the First Aethyr,” a piece of occult poet­ry he record­ed in a 1920 ses­sion that pro­duced the only known record­ings of his voice.

Though Crow­ley, like many of the oth­er spir­i­tu­al­ists cap­tured here, hailed from Britain, much of the mate­r­i­al in the col­lec­tion comes from Ger­many, espe­cial­ly the kind of para­nor­mal music heard just above. But no mat­ter where in the world these record­ings were made, and whether or not you believe in the exis­tence of oth­er realms beyond that world, describ­ing any of the record­ings gath­ered here will leave you grasp­ing for any adjec­tive besides oth­er­world­ly.

Enter the archive of Occult Voic­es here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

3,500 Occult Man­u­scripts Will Be Dig­i­tized & Made Freely Avail­able Online, Thanks to Da Vin­ci Code Author Dan Brown

1,600 Occult Books Now Dig­i­tized & Put Online, Thanks to the Rit­man Library and Da Vin­ci Code Author Dan Brown

Aleis­ter Crow­ley Reads Occult Poet­ry in the Only Known Record­ings of His Voice (1920)

The Strange, Sci-Fi Sounds of Skat­ing on Thin Black Ice

Eerie 19th Cen­tu­ry Pho­tographs of Ghosts: See Images from the Long, Strange Tra­di­tion of “Spir­it Pho­tog­ra­phy”

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (11)
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  • John Cox (Wild About Harry) says:

    Oops! While that is indeed a clip of the Final Hou­di­ni Seance in 1936, that is not Arthur Ford. That is Edward Saint, busi­ness man­ag­er and boyfriend of Beat­rice Hou­di­ni. Saint was not a medi­um, and the Final Hou­di­ni Seance was one last pub­lic attempt by Bess to con­tact Har­ry. Hou­di­ni did not come through, and Bess for­ev­er closed the door on future attempts, con­clud­ing that com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the spir­it world was “impos­si­ble.”

  • Carl Russo says:

    Sil­ly but enter­tain­ing, and a delight to hear what Crow­ley sound­ed like.

  • Amanda seals says:

    Yes, but, im not sure if the voice goes with the face lol .. But, I loved it

  • Toad says:

    Eight struck me as implau­si­ble, so I googled it up, and I’m pret­ty sure ubuweb has the wrong age of Janet in the first record­ing. That would be Janet Hodg­son, of the “Enfield pol­ter­geist,” which you can look up in Wikipedia. Janet Hodg­son would have been 11, not 8, when it hap­pened. As an adult in 2016, she still said it was true, giv­ing inter­views tied in with the film The Con­jur­ing 2, which evi­dent­ly was about the sto­ry. So she was even able to mon­e­tize it. You got­ta com­mit to the bit.

  • Dr Mu says:

    They made an error stat­ing that the Call was the only record­ing , there are a few such as this won­der­ful poem.

  • Martin G Elster says:

    Alas, he sounds like Quentin Crisp imper­son­at­ing Win­ston Churchill. I wish that I’d nev­er heard him speak: my esti­ma­tion of Crow­ley has nev­er quite recov­ered from the shock.

  • Mydanthe says:

    .… Mis-ter Crow-ley , did you talk to the dead-ed
    Mis-ter A‑larming .……

  • Anthony C says:

    Are these record­ings Cre­ative Com­mons? Are we able to use them for music as long as cred­its are giv­en?

  • yeboah gideon says:
  • Tom Ruffles says:

    This was a CD set released by Sup­pose of Berlin in 2007, and I’m fair­ly sure this is a breach of their copy­right.

  • Marco says:

    Pub­lic image Ltd did a song about Anneliese on the first LP

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