On this page we take a look at pieces of equipment featured commonly in the paranormal fraternity
Full Spectrum Cameras
Can capture visible and near infrared (VNIR), can also detect ultraviolet around 350 nanometres (nm) to 1000 nanometres (nm). Due to modifications on the hot mirror (blocking filter) with an infrared pass or transmitting filter, we are able to see a wider spectrum of colour. The UV light can be essential in finding body fluids, while IR can pick up gun residue and both are useful in archaeological findings. Developed in the 1950s, full spectrum cameras are ideal instruments to have, as they can also block out any orb phenomenon and reflections you might catch on a normal digital camera.
First used in Nazi Germany in 1942, otherwise known as close-circuit television; a number of video cameras (some with sound) that relay a signal through meshed wire or wireless connections to a motherboard to record. Infrared video cameras that are set up in darkened rooms/areas are recommended, essential in picking out any disturbance. Some devices have software that let you know if movement has been detected within the cameras scope.
Video Cameras (Day/Night Vision)
Remembering the famous saying, “I only believe it if I saw it with my own eyes”, then catching footage of your investigation has to be centred on video recording equipment. The more cameras you use, the better if you are to catch anything specific. The prices for video cameras have come down dramatically in the past few years. It is rare to get a video camera with night vision capability. They can be purchased over the World Wide Web, and can be bought with an infrared light to add better picture quality.
Taking pictures of ghosts (Spirit photography) became popular in the 1860s. William H. Mumler was the first to use the technique but in a fraudulent manner. Interest still grew in capturing ghosts in pictures. With the birth of digital cameras – came orbs; believed to be Spirits (ghost lights) but in most cases is a result of the flash from the camera capturing the reflected light from a solid or liquid particle or dirt within the lens. However, digital cameras are a great option for picking up instant moments of significance. Most are easy to use, compact and display what a location looked and felt like.
Disposable (celluloid film) Cameras
Still can bought today at many photography outlets; they are very cheap and reflect the older ways of ghost hunting. Spirit photography became popular in the late nineteenth century with double exposure, and falsified negative film.
Digital Sound Recorders
A huge amount of paranormal phenomenon is found around the listening sense. It is much harder to prove however, as many reasonable explanations can discount such good findings. Technology has enhanced the EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) sessions that ghost hunters use today. The digital era has taken a hold on this and improved the way we can listen back to recordings, catch noises that we have not heard earlier and replay them back in much quicker time. Digital recorders, mikes and other audible enhancers can be picked up quite cheaply now. Most electronic recorders are compatible with PCs and other computers. There is certain software you can get as well to enhance and block out any noise disturbances you receive. One of the latest innovations are the binaural (two) microphones which bring the listener into the area/room. The brain responds to the difference in soundwaves (time and intensity) reaching each ear just as if you were there when the recording happened. It brings a 3D stereo sound sensation to both ears.
The pressure of setting up experiments and equipment and finding each other is taken away by using walkie-talkies. They are very handy in big locations. They can become very valuable in times of distress, or for calling out what conditions an individual is feeling in a room. When needing to seek out if an individual is being affected by a Spirit in a dark damp area of a dwelling, you ask for that person to be affected in certain areas of their body, or change temperature or ask for something to happen in their surroundings. If the individual comes back on the walkie-talkie to say they have witnessed a change in that environment, similar to what you asked for, then you may have got a hit. Always talk with a clear voice over the walkie-talkie. Don’t cry wolf and play jokes using them. A good tip is to leave one walkie-talkie in a locked off room and call out through another walkie-talkie for some activity, from another part of the building or location.
First used in China in 1600 BC, and later incorporated into religious rituals and sound therapy. To achieve a musical note the bowl is struck by a mallet. The sound flowing within the bowl can be enhanced by rotating the mallet around the rim. Quicker revolutions of the mallet result in louder note being played. The singing bowl has been associated with healing powers, relaxation and temporary changes to the minds state.
Commonly used in churches and temples, and our day to day life. The use of bells can be traced back to the 3rd century BC. Bells have been rung to signal a death, and were used to ward off evil Spirits. They were regular used in nineteenth century séances, sometimes to detect movement; on top of a table or a Spirit making contact, and are still used today in the paranormal community.
Microphone Amplifier Box
The use of this equipment is to magnify any confined sounds around an experiment or area/room, making it easier for recording devices to receive. A microphone stand with a flexible lead clips into place the dynamic microphone which can be positioned hanging over a table. The dynamic microphone is connected to an amplifier box which enhances any emitted sound.
A rotating phonograph device, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, and was later known as a gramophone (referred to as record player after 1940). Vinyl has come back into fashion in the last decade, and has an authentic texture to it. Vinyl record analogue recordings capture the whole sound wave making it the ideal choice for investigations if you like to tempt the other side over.
Radio Shack 12-587
The Radio Shack 12-587 was one of the first Ghost/Spirit/Frank’s Boxes used in the paranormal field. The device had no constant sweep-rate but by following some simple instructions (bending a couple of pins on the circuit board) the device would be able to scan the radio waves. Spirit communication can be done in AM/FM and it comes with an amber LCD display screen, making it easy to use in the most darkened of places.
The Portal was produced by Steve Huff of Huff Paranormal and is linked to the GeoBox created by George Brown. The Portal does not include a sweeping radio signal, yet it can be combined with a Spirit/Ghost/Frank’s Box or phone app to work. The Portal removes the white noise commonly heard from radio transmission, separating possible EVPs and making them easier to identify. The Portal consists of an amplifier and two pedals that enhance the radio communication. In addition, the user can hold the copper coiled antenna at the base of the connector cables in an attempt to channel a Spirit through them to the Portal.
A polished, transparent, flat-surfaced object used in optics, with at least two surfaces that have an angle so as to refract light. They can be triangular and rectangular shaped and can be used to reflect and split white light into a spectrum of colours. Using prisms with an artificial light in a dark room, we can try to see if the colour bands can be disturbed, or the white light disoriented when shone against a piece of white card or paper.
Ultraviolet is an electromagnetic radiation, measuring from 400 nanometres to 100 nanometres (nm). It is present in sunlight and can be rarely seen by humans. Ultraviolet LED Torches are limited at around 365 nanometres (nm) to emit light. Ironically, this is the same measurement of ultraviolet that bugs and flies are attracted to. Exposure to UV light can help the nervous system and bone structure, however, sensitivity to skin and the eyes can prove harmful.
ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC FIELDS
These gadgets use a lighting system to highlight electromagnetic fluctuations. They read a relatively small scale of between 0-20 Milligauss (mG). The meter’s fault is that it doesn’t record data, but it is an attractive and absorbing instrument in trying to gain a conversation with a Spirit. Newer versions have an audio buzzer, just in case staring at the device becomes a bit too much. Who doesn’t love flashy colourful lights?
EMF Gauss Master Meter
This instrument uses a needle pointer to record the electromagnetic field, from a scale of 0-10 Milligauss (mG), and an ultra-sensitive setting of 0-1 Milligauss (mG). The meter has an extra feature with an audio buzzer built in. The meter switches itself off after a brief period of time, but is able to give a more precise reading than a K2 meter, making it perfect for Baseline tests.
These are copper, ball-headed, tubed sticks with neon lighted bulbs that react to high e-fields produced by plasma lamps, ion generators, dangerous high voltage lighting and tesla coils. When set up for a séance or as a trigger object, the e–field waves generate the neon bulbs to light up. When disturbed by a physical force or interrupted in proximity, the bulbs will dim or flash. This can aid your evidence and enhance activity when a Spirit comes forward, as copper is a great conductor. Other potentials for the probes to light up include strange weather conditions, radiation and static charges.
Thermal Imaging Camera
William Herschel made the discovery of infrared in 1800, a radiation beyond the red light (he discovered the planet Uranus in 1791). The thermographic camera produces a heat area picture using infrared radiation, with the wavelengths working as far as 14,000 nanometres (nm). The higher an objects temperature, the greater amount of infrared radiation is discharged. The camera points out these differences in temperature with an image, and measurement of heat in Centigrade or Fahrenheit, with a few optional contrast viewing modes. It is a perfect piece of equipment to see how people and room/area interact with changes in temperature. The price of thermal imaging cameras have come down in recent years.
Digital Infrared Thermometer Laser Gun
This hand held instrument uses a laser to pinpoint the surface of certain areas. It can test how hot an object is, with a steady hand. Suitable for measuring a flat surface of trigger objects (before and after) in case of movement. Not to be confused with the ambient temperature within a room or area. It can take readings in Centigrade and Fahrenheit. Simple, light and easy to use, it is also an affordable piece of kit to buy
The Mel meter was invented by Gary Galka in 2012. It is named in honour of his daughter Melissa who died tragically in 2004. In most cases, they help to build a picture of anything electrical inside or outside a location, to provide guidance that triggers high electrical pulses. The Mel meter can take precise readings in varied amounts of Tesla (T) and Milligauss (mG). At the same time a room/area temperature can be measured (Centigrade and Fahrenheit) with an additional probe. It can record on the spot data to the highest and lowest point. The meter comes with glow in the dark display, and in recent years a P-SB7 integrated Spirit box, and a vibration, touch feature have also been added.
Environmental Multi-Function Meter
This four in one digital meter reads sound level (dB), light (lux), humidity (RH) and temperature (Centigrade and Fahrenheit). Supplemental to the apparatus is a microphone, temperature probe, humidity sensor and photo detector to give better accurate readings. This instrument is a must for Baseline tests. It offers a maximum reading button and data hold button to make recording easier. The only unfortunate problem is that this device is rare to purchase at the present moment.
This device, when set up with a video camera, can help create a 3D image of a Spirit should any obstruction happen with the red laser lines of the grid. Generally, the instrument needs to be positioned behind the camera, for instance formulating a grid onto the surface of a wall, ceiling, doorway, or stairs, in front.
Magnets have an invisible field and are attracted to iron, nickel, cobalt and other rare earth metals and can attract and repel other magnets. Magnets are used in everyday appliances, such as plasma TVs, generators, speakers and electric guitars. Some researchers have said there is a link to the magnetic field and ghost sightings. The magnetic field produces moving charges interacting with the stationary charges of the electric field (combined EMF). Compasses are a cheaper and can be used as a type of EMF detector. Magnets can be used as trigger objects too.
First Aid Kit and Attire
Injuries can happen when moving around dark locations: spiral staircases, precarious foundations, and unpredictable roofing, the list goes on and that’s before you have to deal with any spooks. Cuts and bruises, sprained ligaments could occur in an investigation. So a medical kit is essential. You will need crepe bandages, plasters, scissors, sanitiser wipes, ice packs and whatever you think is necessary for the team and observers who are tagging along on your investigation. You could ask invited observers if they have any health problems before an investigation, or to come to a certain team member or individual in private to discuss any queries they might have. Different locations and different times of the year may need differing types of attire. Proper footwear is essential. Warm clothing is also essential for longer, colder investigations. Hats and gloves can be a ghost hunter’s friend too. Take bottles of water for refreshment and high energy foods to stimulate your own energy levels, such as fruits and biscuits. Take care in what you bring and what you leave behind and make sure you bring back whatever belongs to you.
Pen, Paper and Powder
It is important to document what results you get. It is also important to write times, places, who felt what, what they sensed and any other significant activity down on paper, to look back on after the investigation. Interviewing sources before and after an investigation is a great idea too. Taking names of the individuals or observers may help make your overall findings easier to obtain and pinpoint accurate recollections of the event. Powder is an ingredient for measuring movement. It can be placed around a trigger object, or left in a particular area where footsteps are heard. The area would be locked off from any other individuals. When the area is examined afterwards, in the company of witnesses, differences can be examined should the trigger object have moved.
For centuries, men and women have been using their senses to help go about their daily lives. Ghost hunting goes back a very long time and certain spectres and ghosts have been documented since the start of time. What you hear, smell, taste, see and feel can help give you inkling as to how and where to investigate. It also could affect your emotional template on what to do next. Certain Spirits may feel more comfortable by activating one of our main senses.
EDI Plus Meter
This tool has five attributes. It has an EMF range of 0-10 Milligauss that alerts with an audible buzzing sound should there be any spikes. Ambient room temperature can be analysed with the coloured lights (blue for room/area becoming cold, red/orange if it is getting warmer). There is a sensitive geophone; with indicator lighting panel to detect vibration. Air pressure and humidity are the other two sensors the meter possesses. An SD card is needed to record all the data which can be later reviewed with software on a spreadsheet or timeline graph.
The word crystal hails from Ancient Greece, meaning both, “ice” and “rock crystal”. A crystal is made up of a solid material with atoms that form in a near-perfect periodic system. They can be found naturally or made artificially; like diamonds. There are four types of crystals; covalent, ionic, metallic and molecular. There is a vast amount of crystals, with many different qualities, some of which are noted for their healing, protection and spiritual awareness, such as agate, smoky quartz and amethyst respectively (which can come in handy on a paranormal investigation). Some crystals are cheap to buy; others can be expensive.
Candles are commonly made from wax or tallow (rendered animal fat). They have many purposes, including providing light, heat and even timekeeping. In some cultures they are important symbols for religious and ritual ceremonies. Some can let out sweet fragrances that can help assist the mind, body and soul of a person. Lavender is known to aid sleep and relieve anxiety and Cinnamon is known to improve concentration and creative thinking.
Digital Barometer Weather Station Meter
This meter predicts the weather forecast. This can be essential to know when travelling too, or being present at a location. The digital display shows humidity, temperature, weather forecast, moon phrase, altitude and time. It has an alarm clock and LED background light as optional functions.
REM Pod EMT
The pod predicts interference from the Electromagnetic field around its telescopic antenna by activating one, or more of its four LED lights to where the source of the activity is. Changes in room/area temperature can be also detected with LED light display and audible tone. A drop in temperature can be recognised with blue light and low pitch tone. If the temperature rises, a red light is triggered with a high pitch tone. The REM pod EMT is ideal for investigators who look for an instant response, and who don’t like looking at numbers or units found on other types of meters.
P-SB7T Spirit/Ghost/Frank's Box
The P-SB7T Spirit Box is used to find alleged Spirit voices through radio transmission. It offers a AM/FM forward and reverse sweep-rate with six speed options (100ms, 150ms, 200ms, 250ms, 300ms and 350ms). The device is easy to use in the dark with a built-in flashlight and a bright red (670nm) LCD screen backlight. The added bonus is a +/- 5oF or 2.8oC hot and cold temperature recognition with audible and visual signals.
Sometimes Spirits can get a bit fidgety, or want to have a wander around, so motion detectors are handy for picking up any movement. Some of these gadgets give out an alarm or chime; others can give an alert through flashing a light. Electronic motion detectors use microwave, optical, acoustic censoring while passive infrared sensors (PIR) take in a source of human heat temperature to a change in room environment by using infrared wavelengths and black body radiation.
Used in the DIY world, this instrument has an air bubble filled with liquid and is a cheaper form of a seismometer. It shows any imbalance so it can be essential when used with or as a trigger object. It can aid with identifying movement, vibration or slight inclinations during a séance or table tilting experiment.
Sometimes, old artefacts or materials that are or were commonly linked to the building or the persons that haunt the location can trigger the Spirit to show themselves. Leave an object placed on paper and draw around it, or surround it with powder in a corner of a particularly active room. You may get movement. Make sure to have witnesses with you when leaving and re-entering the room/area, and photograph before and after the object to see any changes.
The word derives from Greece, ‘seismos’, shake or quake, and ‘metron’, to measure This device gets triggered by flashing lights when a particular movement or vibration has occurred on a surface it is on by measuring disturbance on its horizontal and vertical axis. This instrument is ideal if a location has reported pictures falling off walls and uneven floorboards causing alleged paranormal phenomena that might be attributed to the structure. Also, soundwaves passing through a solid medium can contribute to vibrations. Outside influences such as traffic, quarries, roadworks, wind and unstable foundations of the building are just some explanations as to what can cause symptoms such as nausea and restless sleep at a location.
Ever felt the hairs go up on your arm? This is an instrument that detects electricity; designating the ionization of air by radioactivity. They are used to locate high voltage sources from electromechanical generators and static electricity. The Electroscope has a red and green lighting method to let you know where the static is coming from (another alternative is that the Spirit can use the coloured lighting to respond yes or no in a altered electrascope communication experiment). The device comes with an audible buzzing tone for monitoring where the static fields are most prevalent.