Thomas Alva Edison, his contemporary peers sometimes referred to him as the Wizard of Menlo Park. Menlo Park in New Jersey, where he based the bulk of his operations, is now known as Edison NJ. Edison was as brilliant a businessman as he was an inventor. Nikola Tesla, the eccentric genius was once his employee.
Edison was the first to record the spoken voice and play it back via his phonograph.
He is also credited with inventing the Light Bulb and Motion pictures, he was a pioneer in electrical generation and distribution but lost that battle to Westinghouse in the somewhat well known battle between AC and DC produced electricity.
Another Edison Idea that never saw the light of Day was his Ghost Box aka the Frank Box [after Frank Sumption who 're-invented' it in 2002. Sumption claims to have received the designs for his invention via a disembodied voice.] A ghost communication device to contact the dead. Allegedly Edison was building a ghost box to communicate with the dead when he became one of them, whether he completed his work in the after life is unknown because we today do not have Edison's Ghost Box, just the Frank Sumption version.
Edison's Theories on the Spirit Realm
Some naysayers state that Edison neither believed in the afterlife, or a spiritual realm. This observation / opinion is neither proven or disproven as is the feasibility of the Ghost Box. He is quoted as saying 'I believe, rightly or wrongly, that life is indestructible, it is true, and I also believe that there has always been a fixed quantity of life on this planet' This statement alone implies that the naysayers are incorrect. He may not have believed in Religion, but he had some strong opinions regarding a spiritual realm and the indestructibility / eternity of life or 'life-units' as he called them.
The New York Times ran an article in 1921 stating that Edison was developing a machine that would measure life units in the human body that 'may scatter after death.' the article however stated that Edison denied any link between his experiment and the spirit realm, which seems to be an oxymoronc contradiction. NY Times Article 1921 Edison on Immortality
Modern Mechanix Magazine in a 1933 article tells of a 1920 gathering attended by Edison and his associates where Edison demonstrated a photo-electric cell that revealed spirits in a beam of light
The American Magazine in 1920 interviewed Edison and he stated 'I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us.'
Some believe that results produced from using a Ouija board, as well as a Ghost Box are spirits reaching out to you, while others claim that the spirit comes from within the user. A subconscious craving for an answer to a question may produce a phenomenon known as the ideometer effect.
The ideomotor phenomenon states that people can subconsciously move a physical object, in this case the planchette or pointer of the Ouija board, without their conscious mind being aware of it.
The University of British Columbia conducted a study on the ideomotor effect and the Ouija board . The study was conducted on the premise that the board channeled ones subconscious knowledge and was based on this premise, wholly ignoring the possibility of a spiritual connection. See - UBC researchers use Ouija boards
The subject was blindfolded and the partner removed their hands from the planchette unbeknownst to the subject. The blindfolded subject moved the planchette by themselves, answering multiple queries. The subjects produced a much larger volume of correct answers using the Ouija board than when they answered the same questions verbally.
Modern Day Ghost Boxes - Frank Boxes
The current day Ghost Boxes used by paranormal researchers are modified am/fm radios. They are modified to create white noise and audio fragments from various broadcast signals. Theoretically this enables intelligent spiritual entities to formulate messages from the fragments in order to communicate with the living.
Technologies for Spirit Communication
There have been past technologies that endeavored to contact or record spirits. One unexplained one was made by an Anthropologist Waldemar Bogoras back in 1901. Bogoras used a phonograph to record the chanting and language of various indigenous Siberian tribes and recorded something wholly unexpected. While recording a shamans ritual he also accidentally recorded unexplainable voices, speaking in both English and Russian.
The recordings are currently the property of New Yorks Museum of Natural History and are not readily accessible to the general public. Only the Modern Day high priests of Science are permitted access.
Minnesota State University physicists have been unable to explain them, and it remains the most credible piece of evidence in support of the Edison Ghost communication akin to Ghost Box theory.
In the first session an Americanized English speaking voice is heard - mimicking the shaman - the voice seems annoyed, as if it resents being drawn into the shamanic ritual - but culminates with the English speaking voice laughing.
Another session records a wolf clearly howling as the shaman beat his drum and chanted. The wolf had not been heard by the Anthropologist, it was only on the recording.
There have been several other notable and scientifically worthy experiments in communicating with the spirit realm.