Haunted words from the void

This story about a pre-Edison sound recording is really interesting:

The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" was discovered earlier this month in an archive in Paris by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable -- converted from squiggles on paper to sound -- by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
On a digital copy of the recording provided to The New York Times, the anonymous vocalist, probably female, can be heard against a hissing, crackling background din. The voice, muffled but audible, sings, "Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit" in a lilting 11-note melody -- a ghostly tune, drifting out of the sonic murk.

You can listen to the short recording as an MP3. I'll say it's no American Idol -- in fact, you really can't understand the words, but the overall effect is haunting as the story describes. Of course, this is after an awful lot of processing and enhancement: it's a hint of a song, but not a practical archive.

I would say it's the phonographic equivalent of those "ghost-capturing" photographs. Very spooky.