Proposed in the 1970s as a possible explanation for ghosts. It speculates that inanimate materials can absorb some form of energy from living beings. The hypothesis speculates that this “recording” or track is laid down during moments of high tension, such as murder, or during intense moments of someone’s life. This stored energy can consequently be released, resulting in a display of the recorded activity. The replay can take the form of a full manifestation or partial sounds such as voices or footsteps and may even be repeated. Paranormal investigators commonly refer to such phenomena as residual hauntings. Ghosts are not spirits but simply non-interactive recordings similar to the registration capacities of an audio tape machine that can playback previously recorded events. Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick, an early psychic researcher, claimed that objects such as buildings can absorb “psychic energy” or impressions which could be transmitted to people nearby. While the theory may explain many of the ghostly sightings and incidents that do occur, no one knows for sure exactly what the recorded energy actually is. Hweoever the possibility that it could be composed by our natural electric and magnetic fields is one of the explanations that the Stone Tape Theory advances.
Steve Goodman discusses acoustic forensics and the Stone Tape Theory.