I have a fascination with ghosts and research into the paranormal, and love writing about it.
Ghost hunters (also known as paranormal investigators or parapsychologists) have been investigating hauntings for many years using a wide variety of equipment in their efforts to detect spirits. Audio and video recorders, along with cameras, were the main technologies in their arsenal in the early years. With the advent of affordable electronic devices, a whole new generation of ghost hunting equipment has been developed to detect and record spirits, providing ghost hunters sophisticated tools to find evidence of and interact with spirits. Some crafty ghost hunters have even developed cell phone apps that use the phones’ sensing features to sense spirits.
Traditional Ghost Hunting Equipment
Traditional Ghost Hunting Equipment
Traditional ghost hunting equipment that has been used for many decades includes:
- Audio recorders of various types that record responses to questions asked by investigators. The recorded responses are known as electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). There are actually many recordings in which the recorded responses clearly answer the questions asked by investigators. Audio recorders can also record unusual noises or voices encountered during a ghost investigation. The difference between EVPs and traditional audio recordings is EVP responses are not heard until a recording is played back, whereas unusual noises or voices are often heard by investigators in real-time and are also captured on an audio recorder.
- Cameras that take photographs that show a wide variety of potential spirit activities. Photographs have shown everything from orbs (balls of light believed to be spirits but are sometimes explained as ordinary things such as dust or light reflections), misty substances that are believed to be spirits trying to manifest themselves visually, and ghostly images that appear to be spirits manifesting themselves in human form.
- Video recorders have captured many intriguing video recordings of spirits in locations believed to be haunted. Everything from shadowy figures moving through dimly lit rooms to moving orbs or misty substances to partial or fully human-looking ghosts has been recorded on videos during paranormal investigations.
Electronic Ghost Hunting Equipment for the 21st Century
A lot of innovative and sophisticated ghost hunting equipment that uses modern electronics to capture evidence of spirits is used by ghost hunters, including:
- Spirit boxes are a rather ingenious invention that appears to allow live communication with spirits. A spirit box quickly scans available radio frequencies and occasionally spits out an intelligible word or phrase. The communication is believed to be from spirits using the energy from the spirit box to vocalize their thoughts. Like EVPs, spirit box communications are often pertinent to the questions asked, so it’s not easy to write the answers off as just voices from random radio signals.
- A REM Pod (radiating electromagnetism pod) radiates an electromagnetic field in a limited area in all directions (360 degrees). It indicates a disturbance in its electromagnetic field by generating a sound and flashing lights. A disturbance is caused by things such as a live person going into its electromagnetic field, an object placed in its field, or when nothing is there and it goes off, investigators believe it’s a spirit that is interfering with the electromagnetic field.
- An Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detection meter is used by ghost hunters to detect spikes in the electromagnetic field within an area under investigation that is believed to be an indication of spirit activity. An EMF detection meter can also be used to detect sources of EMF radiation to determine if electromagnetic field spikes are being caused by a manmade object, such as electric wires behind a wall, rather than by a spirit.
- Infrared motion detectors are used to detect unusual motions, changes in light, and temperature changes that may indicate a spirit is present within a room. They can also be used to monitor rooms under investigation to ensure a person doesn’t enter the room and interfere with the investigation.
- A device that records temperature fluctuations is a must-have for a ghost hunter. The presence of spirits is often associated with either cold areas (cold spots) within a room or an entire room being noticeably colder than other rooms within a structure. A digital thermometer can be used to obtain instant temperature readings in an area of suspected spirit activity. A REM Pod with Ambient Temperature Deviation Detection (ATDD) capability provides audio and visual alerts when the temperature drops or rises near the device. An infrared camera that detects and displays temperatures within a room and can also identify cold spots or other unusual activity. Hand-held infrared cameras can be quite useful when investigating temperature fluctuations associated with the presence of spirits.
- A K2 meter is used to detect spikes in electromagnetic energy, which may indicate spirit activity is present.
- An Ovilus is a device that contains a database of syllables and words. Once a question is asked by an investigator, the Ovilus measures nearby changes in temperature, and magnetic fields provide auditory responses.
Ghost Hunting Smartphone Apps
I was skeptical when I first heard that some ghost hunters and a lot of other curious people use smartphone apps as part of their investigations into hauntings. However, once I looked into some apps, I understood that sophisticated smartphones have a number of built-in sensing features, such as a magnetometer that detects fluctuations in magnetic and electro-magnetic energy and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) that estimates distance based on light waves. Ghost hunting apps make use of these high-tech sensing features to provide feedback that can be used to confirm the presence and location of spirits.
Here are a few smartphone apps that might be useful to include in a ghost hunting arsenal.
- Ghost Science M3
- Ghost Hunting Tools
There are many smartphone apps that have a ghost/spirit investigation theme. Some are just for entertainment purposes and don’t have any true ghost hunting capabilities. Do research before downloading and using an app that claims to provide a conduit to the spirit world because some are provide nothing useful in this regard and do nothing more than creating the impression of paranormal interaction to simply entertain users.
Hints on How to Get the Most Out of Ghost Hunting Equipment and Apps
If you’re looking for spirits, investigate known or suspected haunted locations or try a location with a long history of people living there. Also, bring along people that are serious about investigating spirits and document your findings as much as possible.
Keep in mind that much of the spirit detection and communication equipment mentioned in this article can be set up in multiple locations within a suspected or known to be haunted structure in order to capture activity throughout the structure, whether investigators are physically present or not.
Ghost Hunting Equipment Discussion
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 John Coviello