Backwards Masking

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Backwards Masking is the practice of recording speech that, when played backwards, has a different message. Usually occult in nature, the idea behind this practice is that while the conscious mind can only hear the forward, innocuous speech, the subconscious mind will absorb the reversed message.[1]

"In January, 1983, Congressman Jack McCoy (D-AR) proposed legislation(HR336) that would require albums which utilized "back-masking" to bear warning labels. If such a record failed to display such a warning, then it would be confiscated. It passed 18-13 in the House Committee on Public Health, and 83-0 in the full House vote. When it got to the Senate, they amended the penalty to a Class A Misdemeanor, and when it was sent back to the House for concurrence, they tabled it. McCoy vowed to reintroduce the Bill during the next session of Congress." [2]

Incidences of Backwards Masking

(All from BackmaskOnline, so you can listen for yourself!)

  • Led Zepplin - Stairway to Heaven
  • Beatles - I Am Tired
  • Eagles - Hotel California
  • Jethro Tull - Locomotive Breath
  • Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  • ACDC - Back in Black


  1. Music Reversals
  2. Rock and Roll and Witchcraft

See also