GHOST HUNTING EQUIPMENT
“While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.”
Percy Bysshe Shelly, ‘Hymn to Intellectual Beauty’
Notebook and Writing Utensil
As with any investigation, taking notes is a must. These can be used to sketch a map of the area, locations, dates, times, witnesses’ names (and contact information), environmental conditions, and experiences should all be noted. They can also be used to write down any random thoughts you have while investigating a haunted area.
Because most investigations are done in dark places a good flashlight is a must (two would be better). Keep a small, lightweight one in your pocket, and a larger, bulkier one for more extended use (especially outdoors). The brighter and more durable the lights, the better. Because you will be using other equipment, it might be a good idea to get a hands-free light, like the ones that strap to your head. A red filter or gel is also benificial. In a dark setting, your eyes are less affected by red light. In other words if you turn off the light, it takes less time for your eyes to adjust in the darkness.
Extra batteries are an absolute necessity. The batteries you bring depend on what your using. Of the equipment listed, most require batteries. If your in the middle of some rare phenomenon and the batteries give out, you’ll lose valuable data
Even though it has been reported that some electronic devices have operated ‘without’ power, it is still a good idea to keep extras with you.
Watch or Stopwatch
Knowing the time and recording it in your notebook is important in any field work. It lets you pinpoint the exact time when something occurs. This is helpful in finding patterns in activity. Often a scene may replay itself only under certain conditions. Like a suicide might only be reenacted on a full moon at three in the morning, the way it was when the event occured.
A compass has many uses in investigations. First, it will give you an orientation of the surroundings. This can be helpful when sketching a map of the area.
It can also be used as an inexpensive EMF. Even as spirits can cause electrical variations, they can also affect the magnetic force of a compass. The needle going in all directions could be an indicator of a spirit.
Electromagnetic Field Meter
An electromagnetic field (or EMF) meter is an important tool for the serious ghost hunter. They give specific readings of electromagnetic energies. There are several small, hand-held units on the market in the price range of $50 to $250.
For the average hunter the more expensive models aren’t worth the extra cost.
When picking out and EMF meter, ones that detect DC fields are best. AC meters can work as well. The fields encountered by ghosts can at times change just like an AC field. So, either type can detect ghosts, but it’s best to use AC meters to find and rule out artificial fields, and use DC meters for locating phantoms.
One of the best tools to have is a camera. There are three types to consider getting. Each camera has pluses and minuses, and should be considered before buying. The three types are the Polaroid instant cameras, 35mm cameras, and digital cameras.
- Digital Cameras
- Pros: Instant feedback, cheaper to use, naturally sensitive to some infared and ultraviolet.
- Cons: Produces no negative, usually not as high quality as film.
- 35mm Cameras
- Pros: Usually higher quality than digital, produces a negative for examination.
- Cons: No instant feeback, more expensive to use, more difficult to capture infrared or ultraviolet.
- Instant Cameras
- Pros: Faster than traditional film cameras, image won’t be tampered with or destroyed by developers.
- Cons: Even though it is faster than other film cameras, it is still slower than a digital, the pictures cost more than a dollar a shot.
Video cameras can be used to document the whole investigation. Someone that knows how to use one is an asset to the team. If a ghost materializes, the footage will be invaluable. Even though video is sensitive to the same range of light as human eyes, it can also pick up unseen presences, just like a still camera does.
A video camera with night features is good for picking up infrared light. Another benefit of videography is infinite video imaging (IVI). This is a technique of electronically picking up ghostly images. For IVI you need a video camera, television and possibly a VCR (if the TV dosen’t have audio-video inputs). At the location you hook up the camera to the audio-video input of the TV. What you want is a set-up that whatever you point the camera at will show up on the TV.
A tape recorder is another important piece of equipment. It should have a microphone sensitive enough to pick of faint sounds at a distance. A microcassette recorder (the king used for taking personal notes) is perfect for use in an investigation. It is compact and can pick up very slight sounds. It is a good idea to keep extra blank tapes and extra batteries
There are useful for picking up EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). The best way to do this is to place the recorder near the area where the most manifestations are coming from. The tape recorder can also be used to tape interviews from eyewitnesses.
These are like EMF meters except that they pick up infrared activity. Best used in conjunction with infrared photography. They can pick up on invisible energy so that they can be photographed. You need to be aware that they will also show readings from humans, animals, and other heat sources from up to 150 feet away.
Dowsing rods can be made from plain metal coat hangers. To do this you cut in three places (as illustrated). The first cut is made in the middle of the bottom part of the hanger. The others are made about halfway up both sides. After cutting you bend the wires to a ninety degree angle. This gives you two wires that are L-shaped.
The short ends are the handles and you put one in each hand, then bring the knuckles of each hand together so that the wires are side-by-side. You should grip them lightly so that they can move easily. Being made of metal the rods respond to magnetic and electromagnetic forces. They will move erractically or, more often, cross each other. They are like EMF meters and compasses in that they can be used to locate energy fields.
When a ghost tries to materialize, it draws energy from the area. Heat is an energy source and a ghost may cause a “cold spot” by drawing energy to itself from the sourrounding location. Cold spots are a common incident in haunting investigations. It is best used is an area where ghosts have been reported.
A noncontact thermal gauge is one of the best thermometers to use because they give the temperature instantly up to hundreds of feet away. They analyze infrared to give accurate readings instantaneously. They cost from fifty to one hundred dollars.
When investigating a large area with more than one person (recommended), it is a good idea to have a set of walkie-talkies. When one of the group finds phenomena the rest of the group can be contacted right away. Ghosts have also been known to communicate through radio waves that can be picked up on your radios
In case of an emergency you can contact someone to get help.
These are used for two reasons. You can see in the dark without turning on any lights. They also can pick up infrared.