Spirit Story Box is the latest iPhone app which claims to let you to talk to the dead by allow spirits to generate single or multi-word messages from beyond the grave.
It's been described as "the only ghost-hunting iPhone app you will ever need" by Huffington Post UK and I agree, of all the ghost detecting apps out there, this one does seem to be the best.
The app is pretty simple to use with just two buttons, the on/off switch and a high/low switch.
Upon opening the app, you're presented with a well designed interface, which has the feel of a proper piece of vintage ghost hunting kit. The basic version at 99p comes with two different skins.
The app's key selling point is that it uses a "unique, proprietary story engine" to produce meaningful, simple sentences. From time to time spirit voices appear on the display and a computerised voice reads them out.
A list of the words which have come through appear on the 'history' tab so you can keep track of the ghostly interaction during your investigation.
I think this app is great fun, it's definitely the most useable and most engaging ghost hunting app I've seen and I can imagine it being used to scare the hell out of people on hunts in spooky locations.
Does Spirit Story App really work?
Although the app sells itself as a scientific solution to ghost hunting
, there's no mention of the technologies used on the app's website or app store page.
Paranormal investigator, Paul Katz believes the app is "triggered by electro-magnetic frequencies, the theory is that the spirits are able to manipulate it and deliver a word that is relevant to your situation."
The only problem with this theory is that the iPhone doesn't have any way to detect or measure electro-magnetic frequencies.
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"We believe that if a spirit or a human consciousness that survives death can manipulate a random number generator then at the time they want it to chose a word, they can manipulate it so it will chose a word, it'll become non-random at the point when the word comes up."
OK, that might not be the most succinct sentence from Roger Pingleton who created the app with his wife, Jill, but I think what he's trying to say is that the app is actually nothing more than a random word generator but the hope is that a spirit will know how to interfere with the app and force a word of their choosing rather than it dishing out a random word.
My main issue with this is that as a living human I don't know enough about mobile phone technology and proprietary app development to be able to affect the outcome of a random word generator, so how come once you die you seem to acquire this knowledge?
Secondly, this app is primarily designed to spew out random words with the hope that a spirit will intercept and change them, but that means the app will come up with random words regardless of whether there is a spirit present or not.
I guess this isn't too much of a problem, it just means it's down to the user's judgement to determine whether the word is randomly generated or is indeed relevant to the location and the result of ghostly interference.
Despite all of this, the creators of the software do remind us that "Spirit Story Box is for entertainment purposes only."
I tested Spirit Story Box over an hour-long period and below are a list of the words which were spoken by the app. I must admit, I did talk back a few times to ask for more information and one word even made me jump as it came through.
7:36am - foyer
7:37am - impartial
7:38am - claw
7:42am - shadow here
7:46am - crib
7:50am - disturbed
7:56am - Tyler
7:56am - caution
8:02am - infectious giggle
8:13am - skin
8:14am - shattered collar bone
8:15am - wardrobe
8:17am - enchanted woods
8:18am - war
8:19am - obese
8:26am - watches
8:34am - miserable Bruce
Poor Bruce, the obese man with the infectious giggle. He's disturbed because Tyler shattered Bruce's collar bone during the war in the foyer of the enchanted woods.