Ghost Hunting Essentials | 5 Pieces of Equipment For Every Aspiring Ghost Hunter
For centuries, we as the human race have held an electric fascination with spirits, the undead, and posthumous communications. Since the birth of human existence and inevitable human death, our species has sought to reconnect with the world of demise, using various methods of hypnotism, prayer, and other rituals.
The undead has blossomed in international pop culture and ingrained within our ways of life, like holidays such as Halloween or Dia de Los Muertos. On a small scale, many of us have felt a drive or interest in spirit hunting, and most of us withhold experiences of witnessing a supernatural or paranormal event.
At some point in our lives, we’ve wandered into an abandoned shelter or bewitched forest, dreaming of an encounter with the ethereal energy around us.
No matter our backgrounds, anyone can equip themselves with the right gear to jumpstart their ghoul-seeking adventures. Here are five essential pieces of equipment for any aspiring ghost hunter including links!
One of the earliest sectors of pseudoscience took the form of dowsing, also known as “divining” or “water witching.” Dowsing practices date back to early civilisation. A power defined as using one’s human faculty to obtain information and global positioning that one may not access with the normal five senses.
Dowsing can either be based purely on deviceless “paranormal” abilities, but it’s commonly achieved using an elongated instrument, properly called a “dowsing rod.” This divination process was meant for finding water and minerals by farmers, treasures and stones by journeymen, and even plotting precious sanctuaries and build sites by the ancient Egyptians.
As mythical as dowsing seems, the practice is still seen today in paranormal investigations. Dowsing’s low usage stems from the fact that the technology is lo-fi and unpopular amongst the farming communities that used it many years ago. However, the instruments themselves are really easy to come by.
Dowsing rods are commonly made of skinny tree branches from Willow or peach trees, known as hazel twigs or “witch-hazel” in the U.S. The hazel twig is forked into a Y-shape and held onto by both hands. The stem points outward, and the rod is held perpendicular to the body. The user then walks slowly in a predetermined path. A supernatural discovery is signalled with a twitch or dip of the witch-hazel. Ghost hunters can have fun with dowsing rods, using their own subconscious to find paranormal hotspots and possible spiritual burial grounds.
4EMF & Temperature Meter
In the past couple decades of ghost hunting, paranormal researchers have carried out much of their investigations through scientific studies of haunted locales, using devices to pick up both electromagnetic field information and temperature changes. We now have an instrument that can do both, the Mel Meter, a small tool to pick up EMF readings and temperature variations interchangeably.
The significance lies within continuous years of ghost hunting research; ghost hunters usually see drastic changes in electromagnetic fields followed by a significant temperature drop. If one device can record both inputs together, more accurate paranormal hotspots can be discovered and accurately recorded. It’s a perfect tool for ghost hunters wanting pinpoint precision with mathematical data to back up arguments with the naysayers.
Many paranormal investigators throw around the acronym “EVP,” and general ghostbusting enthusiasts understand it as “electronic voice phenomena.” EVP’s have been theorised and studied since electricity found its way into everyday technology.
Enthusiasts first believed the initial engagement with supernatural phenomena developed through spirit’s voices bleeding into television static, empty FM frequencies, and magnetic distortion on old answering machine tape.
In modern times, EVP’s seep into seemingly innocent items, like our cell phone’s voicemail or baby monitors. Any true ghost hunter will need to invest in a portable voice recorder of some kind. The best brands are unsusceptible to Radio Frequency (RF) contamination and pick up the clearest of sound waves and increase the chances of finding haunted chatter. Old analogue tech serves as incredible gateways to EVP pick up as well. Analog systems include atmospheric, natural analogue sounds like flickers and slight distortion within higher frequencies, widening the range for EVP events. Digital systems will do the trick, too, but have lower signal-to-noise ratios due to lower bit depth conversions.
2Infrared/Night Vision Video Camera
The biggest obstacle ghost hunters must climb in sharing their adventures is presenting proof of their findings. Up until mid-20th century, there were no economical ways of capturing evidence of spirits in our world outside of photography. Even so, it was based more on chance and happenstance, and photography equipment hadn’t advanced enough for efficient investigations. Upon the release of home video equipment, ghost hunters found a breakthrough in recording their research.
Infrared videography allows for capturing another level of electromagnetic light, unseen by a naked human eye. Infrared cameras display lower-frequency electromagnetic wavelengths that detect alterations of heat instead of light. Heat waves remain in locations even after the lights turn off, and can be perfect for signifying possible paranormal activity in dark, cryptic places.
In addition to infrared capabilities, night vision cameras can create a perfect complementary visual medium. Adding filters to a lens or buying a natural night vision device will allow for stakeouts in pitch black rooms, where one can spy on late-night happenings or set up rigs for long duration recordings to maximise ghost sighting possibilities.
Sometimes the golden ticket of necessary gear turns out to be the simplest. Flashlights pose as an essential tool for any serious ghost hunter. The reason? So many paranormal quests venture into darkness and the unknown. Torches serve as the easiest and oldest source of transportable light. As spooky as an abandoned mineshaft or unexplored cave may be, flashlights provide both a safety net and a key to the unrevealed. Their lightweight nature and long-lasting batteries supply an investigator with hours of energy. Torches are cheap, easy to use, and can be either electronic or man-made with matches and a lantern.
How do we know what may lurk in the shadows? The human imagination is a vast chamber of creativity, but the mysteries of paranormal existence need a little light to fulfil our cravings for spirit tracking. A ghost hunter can pack a science lab’s worth of machinery and fancy gizmos and gadgets, but a flashlight provides the essential equipment to unlock the secrets of the supernatural, shrouded in darkness and wonder.
Submitted by T.J Ruesch