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Here are just some of the traditional experiments

you might find on an paranormal investigation.


The first documented séance is said to have been recorded in 1659, but a wider worldwide interest came about with the Fox sisters in 1800s with the introduction of Spiritualism. In French this means ‘sitting’. It’s a way for a group of individuals to seek Spirit communication from the dead or seek a physical manifestation. Preferably, a ‘medium’ if not a ‘main sitter’, should be the only person to ask questions to the otherworld. Comfortable chairs are recommended and a suitable table. A quiet room is also needed, with no distractions. Other instruments, such as trumpets, bells, cabinets, slates and a rapping hand can be used during the session.

Talking Board (Ouija)

Believed to be of Ancient Egyptian and Chinese (Quanzhen school of Taoism) origin, the talking board is thought to have been around for centuries. The use of the board may have been kept underground, due to it being frowned upon by society, with the penalty of death. It is also known as the Spirit board (Ouija). It came to prominence in the 1800s with the advent of the Spiritualist movement, the American Civil War and an open Victorian society in Britain. Businessman, Elijah Bond patented the planchette (meaning “little plank”), a device users connect on, which was sold with a board with the alphabet on it. There are many versions around the world. Christians and occultists have associated it with evil. Numbers 0-9, letters A-Z, Goodbye, Hello, Yes and No are normally printed on the board.

Altered EMF Communication

It is important to use the right EMF (electromagnetic field) gadget to take readings when base testing. Considerable steady and fluctuating spikes can occur when monitoring a location. Using EMF meters in paranormal research increased when the introduction of such TV series’ as Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters were broadcasted to a worldwide audience. Modern paranormal investigators suggest a spike in the EMF signal, a change in the electrical current amounts to a Spirit making contact or being close proximity Such gadgets as the K2 meter, Mel meter, TriField meter and a compass are common tools used, but each have different ways of feeding back information. Taking natural and man-made interference out of the equation and with all other sources of contamination exhausted, a shift on the EMF gadget might be the result of Spirit making contact.   


This method of impression has been used for centuries in discovering what history lies upon reflection. Mirrors are commonly used; you can also use water (black base), a crystal ball, or other reflective surfaces.  If you gaze for a long period of time, your face might start to disappear, or you might see images in the background. Often, experiences can include seeing different surroundings, a change of facial features or take on a non-identical emotion. All in all, every one of your senses could be affected in doing this type of experiment. It doesn’t have to stop with reflection. Visions can be perceived by using fire, smoke, the sky or staring at the inside of your own eyelids, and so on. It can be effective in candlelight or very dim lighting. Sceptics advocate that low level sight of edges, outlines and lighting of the face causes hallucinations or illusions.

Frank's Box (Ghost Box)

This was created in 2002 by Frank Sumption as a type of communication, using a combination of AM radio frequency and white noise to relay voices. The key to using it is to call out questions or remain silent and wait to hear a response come back from the box. The device scans the airwaves, sweeping back and forth, and picking out snippets of sound. Some sceptics believe the voices are coincidental but others refer to them as being accurate to the credibility of the location or situation they are in. In some cases, during the experiment vocals or other sound occurrences could occur from another source, and not entirely from the box, to enhance or disguise the genuine phenomena but also the plain explanation.    

Tarot Cards

A type of divination, a card game that goes back to the fifteenth century in parts of Europe laying claim to being associated with gambling. A usual pack consists of seventy-eight cards. The Minor Arcana cards have four separate suits (wands, pentacles, swords and cups); numbered from one (ace) up to ten including four face cards (king, queen, knight and jack/knave). There are twenty-two Major Arcana or trump cards. Tarot is used by mystics to foresee future events. Tarot can be used to see a location’s past or future, to a type of haunting, a Spirits story or just used as trigger objects and other particular experiments.

Calling-Out Vigil

Sometimes being at the forefront calling out questions or just relaxing into the atmospheric surroundings in the vigil could influence a presence to manifest. You could do this during a separation vigil or as a group. Asking relevant questions to the location, connecting in with your personal thoughts, feelings and exchanging them with present team members might get credible results. Other team members might have similar experiences, or they could clash and be different to yours. You might get a reaction back on your visual and audio equipment, as well as other altering factors to your senses as you take time to concentrate on what’s around you and in the background, compared to other experiments in the foreground.


This is another type of divination, dating presumably from ancient Egypt and China but first recorded in the middle ages in Europe. Our ancestors have used this method in the past for finding water, oil, buried metals and even gravesites. Also known as ‘divining’, it is thought to find ley lines (symbolic pathways of ceremonies or trade) and pick up on electromagnetic and geological forces through vibration. It was recognised by Martin Luther (one of the leading figures of the Protestant Reformation) in 1518 as “the work of the devil”. Using a twig, Y or L shaped metal rod or crystal pendulum, the ‘rodman’ asks questions to which the instrument will give an answer to by movement, often occurring with the rods swinging inwards or outwards or the pendulum rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise in circular motion, or forwards and backwards in a straight line.

Past Enactment (Singapore Theory)

The origin of the name of this theory is unknown, but the method has been around for some time. It is a form of ritual or action that may evoke a Spirit entity to become active. If the Spirit wrote poems - read a poem. If the Spirit was a musician - play their favourite instrument or song. Sometimes dressing up in period attire or using trigger objects from that era can attract a strong effect. If a particular event in history happened at the location you’re doing, a enactment of what had or perhaps should have occurred (changing the history for that time) may bring back the memory for that Spirit to manifest.

Automatic and Planchette Drawing/Writing

The planchette is regarded to have been invented by French spiritualist, Mr.Planchette in 1853. This is a heart-shaped piece of wood with wheels or coasters that are commonly used with a talking board. Planchettes that have wheels can be utilized for a drawing/writing experiment. A downward pen or pencil is used to support the other wheels. Individuals connect on this divination tool, and with its versatility the instrument can move around in all directions. This is ideal for a Spirit to draw a picture or write a message. Automatic drawing/writing is a method of receiving information from the Spirit world through an individual’s clear mind. With the hand, lightly gripping on a pen, pencil or chalk, and then lightly touching the surface of a piece of paper or slate, a possible message might be displayed, drawn or written out, a short time later.


Often working with big groups, it is hard to give everyone a chance to communicate with the Spirit world. The Spirit may wish to communicate with smaller group numbers, or one particular person, to a gender (male or female), character or appearance. More ground is covered if you’re investigating a large location. However, it is always responsible to have some sort of contact with the rest of the team when on your own, in case of emergency. When in solitude, the senses might intensify depending on many factors, where you are, knowledge of the area, how far away you are from team members or best still, simply from a Spirit making contact. However, being more aware might make you more perceptible to false speculation.

Glass Divination

An experiment that is less precise in achieving answers but assumed safer method to using than the talking board. This is another type of divination seeking communication by channeling Spirit energy through human energy to an instrument. For example, an upturned glass is commonly used, placed on a smooth surface of a table. Placing the index finger lightly on top of the glass, the Spirit allegedly determines what direction the glass moves in. The glass may minimally or vibrantly move, go in straight lines or circular motions, topple over or even fall off the side of a surface it is connected on. Other tools that can be used for divination are planchettes, coins and even toy cars.


A form of ESP (Extrasensory perception or second sight), telepathy is when one person (the sender) transfers their thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions, images or words to another person (the receiver) without using our known senses to communicate.  Telepathy comes from the Greek word tele, meaning ‘distant’, and patheia, which means ‘feeling’. It doesn’t stop with person to person. The experiment can be carried out with person to Spirit too using glass divination, dowsing (pendulum), and automatic drawing/writing and so on. A Joseph Banks Rhine, a French parapsychologist used a deck of Zener cards (a pack contains twenty five cards consisting of five different symbols, star, cross, circle, square and three vertical wavy lines) for participants to guess what symbol was on each card. There is an average of 4/5 in getting between 3 and 7 correct. Achieving 8 and over is a 1/10 chance. Matching 15 is about 1/90,000. Getting 20 correct is a 1/5,000,000,000. Managing to get 25 is above extraordinary. A consistent run of five and over correct answers means telepathy is apparent.

Instrumental Trans-Communication

Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC) is the practice of using electrical appliances for contact with the Spirit world, such as televisions, tape cassette recorders, radios, computers, tablets, walkie-talkies and the Frank’s box. It is suggested that Spirits either make their presence felt through appearance, sound or both. To make the experiment successful, video cameras or digital recorders are essential to later review recordings. It was German physicist Ernst Senkowski who first invented the phrase, Instrumental Trans – Communication in the 1970s.  

Table Tilting (Table Turning, Table Tipping)

 Table Tilting originates from Victorian times, highly popularised by the Fox sisters in the mid-1800s. Fingers are lightly placed on the table whilst individuals are standing up or sitting down. The table might shake, rock, rotate, slide and sometimes even hover when commanding a movement to happen. A light circular table is recommended. The phenomenon has been opposed by many sceptics, claiming that the movement is caused by muscles moving unconsciously, by trickery or quite simply from expectation and demand.

Channeling and Mediumship 

Channelling or Mediumship is perceived transmitting or exchanging of information (sharing), from a Medium between humans and Spirits. Not to be confused with possession, the control of an evil Spirit or Demon over a person. In Spiritualism, a Spirit guide is often used by a Medium to open and close communication, and offer protection. The technique of channelling can come through many ways, through seeing, (clairvoyance), hearing (clairaudience), smelling (clairalience), feeling (clairsentinence) and so on. Some Parapsychologists believe when fraud isn’t involved, suggestion and a multiple personality disorder can be explained for the Mediums actions.

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Altered Electrostatic Communication

A device used to detect electric charges or ionized radiation. Electrostatic occurs when there is a build-up of charge between surfaces, with one being highly resistant (trapped charges).  The Electrascope has two LED acrylic tubes that light up in the presence of free floating static electricity - green and red, to alert the direction of where positive and negative charges are being received. It is essential to remain still using the apparatus due to the static flow of body movement; ideally it is best placed resting on top of an object. High humidity could also reduce static growth. Static electricity can be present on our bodies, so Spirits could carry on these charges into their realm too.


Philip Experiment

In 1972, an experiment in Canada was conducted where parapsychologists tested individuals to see if they could make contact with a fictionalized ghost through expectations of human conscious control. The personality created was a – Philip Aylesford. His fictional history was partly connected to the locations. He was born in England, 1624 and served as a soldier and was knighted at the age of sixteen. He was involved in the English Civil War and was a confident of Charles II. He committed suicide in 1654, aged 30. The test-group involved in a séance experienced table vibrations, breezes and rapping sounds in response to questions about Philip, yet he never appeared to the participants. The experiment can be altered, discounting group conformity. Instead, using telepathy, precognition and clairvoyance; forms of ESP (Extrasensory perception), the sender creates and envisages a character (based on a picture of an unknown person) with a certain emotion (and possible word/words – three to four syllables) to see if any of the receivers pick out any information from that personality further along in the investigation.


Presentiment (Brain Activity and Pain)

We are believed to be without conscious reasoning – intuitive, prior to a possible provoking event occurs. The sense of foreboding or apprehension is often perceived beforehand. Some of these ‘hunches’ can go on to be correct. A scientific study done by Dean I. Radin in 1997 suggested that there was a difference in electro dermal activity (EDA) before individuals were shown randomly presented calm and emotional photographs. The study showed higher EDA before the display of emotional pictures, compared to the calm pictures. Further insights concluded that the pre-stimulus occurred roughly two seconds beforehand. This experiment involves using an electroencephalography (EEG) device and a Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machine to test for presentiment. Brain activity is monitored, and mainly scrutinised two seconds before a shock (boost) is administered.

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