There's an app for that: Communicate with the dead via a paranormal recorder on your phone [AUDIO]

Three frames of the app in action.
Three frames of the app in action.

A cell phone app can tell you where the nearest Starbucks is, or when's the best time to leave a movie for the bathroom. Thanks to Minneapolis computer programmer Ed Williams, there's also an app to help you record messages. Messages from ghosts.

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Back in 2009, Williams, who runs Excelltech Mobile with his brother, realized that new iPhones featured an internal magnetic compass. Instead of just using the compass to measure the earth's magnetism, he started building an app that could harness it for monitoring fluctuating electromagnetic fields, which are often associated with the otherworldly.

As Williams describes it in one tagline, "While many will tell ghost stories this Halloween, users of Paranormal Recorder can hear ghosts tell stories."

The Paranormal Recorder app for iPhones has been downloaded more than 20,000 times, making it the top-selling app of its kind. Last week, Williams released a new version built for Android.

The app can be activated by ordinary electromagnetic fields, like those from microwaves or computer power cords. But take your phone out of range of normal electric devices, and sometimes, the only explanation for high or fluctuating EMF readings is the abnormal. The paranormal.

Williams's app has a feature that makes it automatically start recording when the EMF reading spikes, and these recordings often register an event that paranormal pros refer to as EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon -- a symptom of active haunting.

Users of Williams's Paranormal Recorder can upload their unsettling recordings to a group Soundcloud page with about 1,500 clips of noises that, the uploaders say, are inexplicable. "They can be hit or miss," Williams says, "but there are a few that make you wonder."

This recording, for instance, was uploaded to Soundcloud about two weeks ago. If you turn your volume up, you just might hear some faint, unintelligible whisperings at the second section of the clip, about six seconds in:

A normal EMF level is 30-70, but these murmurs register nearly 100. As the user who uploaded this clip writes in the group's discussion section, "It whispers something I cannot understand."

He gives some context for the recording, too. "I was in bed waiting on wife while she performed her nightly ritual, removing makeup, etc," the user writes. "No TV, no outside noises, no radio, when I suddenly noticed the EMF spike above 100 so I turned para on and this is what I heard on playback... [N]o BS, no attempts to fool or act stupid. This is a real recording."

Listen in on other people's hauntings on the group's Soundcloud page, and let us know what you think -- spirits, wind, or just the paranoid -- in the comments.

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