So, you want to get into ghost hunting? It’s a simple enough hobby, although depending on how you want to approach it and how thorough you want to be, it can become a little expensive, especially if you’re like me, a poor college student. There are two main ways to approach ghost hunting and you can do both if you like. Would you rather go at it in a spiritual sense, relying on feelings and psychics? Or do you want to take a more scientific approach? Fair warning, if you are looking to try this with the more mystical side, this is not the guide for you.
What is the scientific approach? Well, if you’ve ever watched shows like Ghost Hunters, it means gathering some equipment to try to capture evidence of paranormal activities. This section will talk about some of the most basic pieces of gear for the beginner ghost hunter.
This is, in my opinion, the most important piece of equipment to take with you on any investigation. You will need a camera with a light source or a night vision mode if you can obtain one. A ghost hunter’s dream is to capture an apparition on film and you have got to be on your toes if one were to ever appear. If you are planning to go with a group of friends or join a local group that is interested in ghost hunting, it is best for as many cameras to be rolling as possible, especially in different directions so you have less chance of missing something.
The second staple of ghost hunting gear is the digital camera. You want to take a lot of pictures on any investigation and the massive benefit for digital cameras is that you can check the picture immediately afterwards and it’s easier to put on a computer to take a closer look at everything. Supposedly the digital camera is capable of picking up things that weren't visible to the naked eye. Most often this ends up being dust particles or bugs, but it never hurts to keep a camera handy.
This is probably where you’ll get most of your evidence. A voice recorder is used to collect samples of EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomena. You take the recorder somewhere that is supposedly haunted, set it on the ground and start recording. Then you start asking some questions, giving some time in between for the spirits to respond. The theory behind this is that ghosts will try to communicate in a way that isn’t able to be picked up by the human ear. And the first time that you hear something that wasn’t there when you were at that haunted location, which can be a bit of a thrill.
Electronic Non-Contact Thermometer
Another good piece of equipment for the amateur ghost hunter is an e-thermometer. There is a theory that ghosts absorb energy from the surroundings to try and communicate or manifest. When you go to a new location, you should take a base reading of what the temperature is, and then follow up with more readings to see if there are any abnormal changes. A few degrees aren’t much of a change but when it drops by about 20 degrees, you may be on to something.
These are the four most basic pieces of equipment to have when you are just starting out. When my friends and I started out, we had a two night vision cameras, a few digital cameras, a cheap electronic thermometer, and one voice recorder. As our interest in the paranormal grew (as well as making something of the group beyond just a hobby) we started buying more gear. A lot of stuff is non-essential for someone who is just starting out or is interested in this mainly as a hobby to do now and then. You can have plenty of fun with the gear listed above. If you want to get more serious about ghost hunting, I recommend some of the other pieces of gear that we use.
This is one of our most used items on investigations. The ghost box is essentially a radio that scans through all the channels. It is believed that spirits can use the ghost box to try and communicate with us by selecting words as it scans through the frequencies. Your mileage may vary, but we get a lot of use out of it and sometimes get some very good responses.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Detector
The EMF detector does just what it says, it detects electromagnetic fields. This small device has two parts; the box that shows how strong the field is and a small piece attached via wire that does the actual detecting. Because spirits are thought to absorb energy to manifest in some form, the EMF detector is useful in trying to locate where a ghost might be. It’s also useful in the stage where you try to disprove a haunting. For example, a home that we investigated had a light switch that was improperly installed and gave people feelings of nausea when they passed it. Using the EMF detector, we realized what the problem was and let the homeowners know so they could fix it.
Electromagnetic (EM) Pump
The newest acquisition for the group, the EM pump is a small box that gives off electromagnetic energy to try and give spirits something to absorb. We haven’t had much of a chance to field test it, but it would be worth looking into for groups who want to get more serious about their investigations. One word of caution, we found that the EM pump can cause minor headaches. Two of our members reported such after long exposure but the rest of the group was fine, so keep it in mind.
Digital video recorder (DVR)
DVR is for when you’re getting quite serious about ghost hunting, whether you want to try and get the group name out there to get more interesting investigations or you just want to look more professional and try to contribute to the world of paranormal studies. Our DVR has four channels to it so that we can hook up four infrared cameras around the home and it records all four at the same time. Typically we have one member, usually someone who is interested in getting into the ghost hunting or the newest member of the group, watch the screens for most of the investigation. They have a notebook and mark down what time and which camera something happens on. It’s a good way to cover a multiple rooms, especially when the investigators are all together in one location and something occurs somewhere else.
So there you have it. A list of some of the most basic equipment a new ghost hunter should have as well as a few more items for those who are looking to make a serious effort in their hunt. I certainly hope this guide has helped some people figure out what kinds of gear to look for. Bear in mind that none of these items are particularly essential if you're just looking for the thrill and experience of a ghost hunt, although the voice recorder would really help. But if you want to try and make believers out of the skeptical or just want some kind of proof that something weird happened, at the very least get a digital camera. Good luck and good hunting!
Rebecca on May 07, 2015:
Wish I had the money for this kind of stuff
C McD13 (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on July 19, 2013:
bella on July 19, 2013:
C McD13 (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 21, 2013:
I didn't include prices mainly because it's up to the reader to decide on brands and whatnot. Also because we bought a lot of our stuff through second hand sellers so we got things cheaper than retail value.
wendy ward on June 11, 2013:
I would love to no how much items cost . Thank u x