Sarah Estep

Estep, Sarah Leading expert on Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP )and founder of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION— Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA—EVP). Sarah Estep collected thousands of EVP recordings and established the classifi cation system for grading the quality of voices.

Estep was raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania. She was five years old when she saw her first dead person—an event that would influence her decision to research EVP many years later. Once a year her family visited her father’s parents in Westfield, New York, where they owned a funeral home. The family lived upstairs on the second floor, where Estep and her parents stayed. Five-year-old Estep was taken into a room where bodies were prepared for burial. There she saw a man laid out in a casket. Fascinated, Estep would sneak into the room to peek into other caskets.

The sight of corpses in caskets conveyed a finality of death to young Estep, and she grew up believing that there was no Survival After Death. Her turnaround came in 1976, when she read The Handbook of Psi Discoveries by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder. There were two chapters on EVP, talking about the work of Konstantin Raudive, Friedrich Jurgenson, Harold Sherman, and Walter and Mary Jo Uphoff. The evidence for survival challenged and intrigued Estep. She decided to try EVP herself, using a large reel-to-reel tape recorder belonging to her husband, Charlie. She committed herself to a week of trials—if she got no results during that time, she would abandon the effort.

Every morning Estep went down into her basement and tried to capture voices on tape. She returned late at night to check for results. She asked the question over and over again, “Is anybody here?” For five nights, nothing happened. On the sixth morning, she changed her question to “Please tell me what your world is like.” A female voice of the highest quality, Class A (clear), replied, “Our world is one of beauty.”

Thankful and delighted, Estep continued her EVP experiments, only to be greeted by silence for nearly a month. Just as she was ready to quit again, she heard voices say, “Don’t give up” and “Keep it up.” After several months of more experimentation, Estep recorded voices nearly every time she tried. Many were Class A.

Estep taped seven days a week and received three to four messages a day. She kept up her practice until the year 2000, when she cut back to occasional taping. Her vaults now contain 25,000 recordings, about 22,000 of which she says are dead human beings now living in the realm of spirit. About 2,000 seem to be extraterrestrial, and the remaining 1,000 are beings from other worlds or dimensions. About 90 percent of all the voices sound male. Estep is uncertain why, but suggest that it may be a factor of technology.

Estep graded voices according to three classes: Class A, clear, understood without headphones; Class B, loud and somewhat clear, may or may not require headphones; and Class C, faint, requires headphones. About six years after her first EVP results, Estep received a comment from the dead on her long-ago experiences as a child, when she concluded that “death is a casket” and the final end to everything. A clear class A voice told her, “Death no more a casket.”

In 1982, Estep founded the AA—EVP, one of the largest nonprofit organizations devoted to the study of EVP. She directed it until 2000, when she turned it over to the leadership of Tom and Lisa Butler of Reno, Nevada.

In 1996, the Dr. A. Hedri Foundation for Exopsychology and Epipsychology awarded Estep and George Meek first prize for Epispsychology, in recognition of their accomplishments.

Based on her research, Estep believes that all beings go to their own appropriate Afterlife. She also believes in Reincarnation, and that we do not change form, that is, a human will always reincarnate as a human. Estep believes she has had many lives. Her most profound past-life EVP experiences occurred during her three trips to Egypt, where she feels she had several past lives. She found a desert cemetery where she believes she was buried more than 2,000 years ago. She took a recorder into tombs and pyramids and captured voices. In an ancient cemetery, a female voice said, “I buried you.” In a small pyramid she got a voice of a boy, perhaps about 12 years old, who said, “Mother.” In the Great Pyramid in Cairo, she was called by name. Voices asked if she could be trusted, and other voices answered, “Yes, she is a good person.”

During the first year of Estep’s EVP work, she received strange messages that did not seem to originate from the realm of the dead but from extraterrestrial sources because of their content. Estep had the feeling that a transmission could come through her television set. A voice told her to tune her set to channel 47 at night. After several tries, letters appeared on her screen. Estep initially was unable to interpret the message, but three days later, letters appeared that spelled recognizable words. The first word was VENUS, which appeared many times. The word ARRIVED came six days later. Two weeks on, the ETs brought pictures to the television screen with words underneath. One was a circle with lines in it and the word VENUS beneath it. Next to it was a circle resting on a holder with the word WAR beneath it. Within 24 hours of this transmission, the United States took action to try to free American hostages held in Iran. Other pictures and words came through in the following weeks.

The ET voices talked about their own worlds. Their messages were longer than the short and clipped messages from the dead. Estep asked them about their god. They told her they have different gods. “Our god is with you,” they told her, and she replied that she was honored that he came.

Once Estep saw two beings who looked like human men, dressed in black uniforms, who were working on a small box in front of her television set. They said their craft was over her home or the river in front of it, and that they had brought down boxes to Estep’s office. Estep had the impression that the boxes facilitated communication in English, and the appearance of images and symbols on her television screen. Her little French poodle, Misty, seemed to see the ETs and shake all over when they appeared.

On another occasion, Estep asked ETs what color their world was. The answer was, “We look like yellow.” Two nights later, Estep was visited by a bright yellow light the size of a basketball that came down from the sky and was visible through her home window. The next day she received the message, “We came down to see you.”

In addition to Venus, ET messages have come from Mars and Alpha Centauri. Estep has received the most from Venus, and has been told that Venus most closely approximates Earth in terms of life there. Some of her messages have been corroborated by messages received independently by other EVP researchers.

Estep has written two books, Voices of Eternity (1988) and Roads to Eternity (2005). Roads to Eternity is accompanied by a CD featuring spirit and ET voices from Estep’s collection. The voices speak on either the forward or reverse sides of the tapes. Some of the reverse voices are from scientists such as Charles Darwin and Arthur Stanley Eddington. The CD includes some of Estep’s many contacts with Beethoven and features a musical chord and a minute of music from one of Beethoven’s compositions, which is slightly changed from the original. Estep lives in Annapolis, Maryland.


  • Estep, Sarah. Voices of Eternity. New York: Fawcett, 1988.
  • Estep, Sarah. Roads to Eternity. Lakeville, Minn.: Galde Press, 2005.
  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. “Death No More a Casket: The EVP Revelations of Sarah Estep.” FATE, December 2005, pp. 20–24.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007