It’s Halloween and, as such, here’s a handful of gadgets to get you started in the exciting world of ghost hunting, plus a couple of tips and tricks. Enjoy…
EMF Detector ($30)
A staple in any ghost hunter’s arsenal, an electro-magnetic field (EMF) detector does just what it says it does: detects electro-magnetic fields. Many theories say that disembodied souls, while often invisible to the naked eye, emit such fields.
Bonus: You can use an EMF detector around the house to see which of your appliances and gadgets give off unsafe levels of electro-magnetism.
IR Thermometer ($30)
Using an infrared thermometer can help the aspiring ghost hunter to detect “cold spots,” which are often attributed to areas of paranormal activity. The theory is that when a ghost attempts to manifest itself, it’ll draw energy from the air around it, leaving behind a small pocket of cold air. Use an IR thermometer to measure abnormal cold spikes in certain areas where the surrounding air is otherwise warm.
Bonus: Use an IR thermometer to help troubleshoot your car or to measure surface temperatures for cooking.
Digital Voice Recorder ($35)
A decent digital voice recorder is a must-have for picking up electronic voice phenomena (EVP). The idea behind EVP is that ghosts often make sounds that aren’t heard by the human ear but that are able to be recorded electronically. Many ghost hunters will have a digital recorder with them and recording at all times while hunting.
Bonus: Use it to remind yourself to pick up ingredients to make chili and whatnot.
A decent camcorder is a must. Some ghost hunters use Mini-DV camcorders, while some use hard drive or flash-based camcorders. I’m partial to hard drive or flash-based, but go with what you like. Whatever you decide, make sure to pick up a night vision light to mount atop your camera or get a camera with built-in IR features (such as Sony’s Night Shot mode) or you’ll be left with super dark footage. Everyone knows you’re supposed to hunt ghosts at night with all the lights out, right?
Bonus: Use it to record “other” activities in the dark. Mmmm-hmmm.
Compact LED Flashlight ($5)
You’ll want something small but bright. No giant MAGLITE’s here – look at all the other crap you’ll have to carry around all night. A compact LED flashlight should fit the bill.
Bonus: It’s a flashlight. Everybody needs a flashlight.
Stay away from gadgets that are marketed as made for ghost hunting. Case in point: the EMF detector listed above at $30 is sold at double the price when packaged as “The Ghost Meter EMF and Paranormal Detector” even though it’s the same exact thing. There’s a lot of money to be made from this ghost hunting craze, but you can pick up almost everything you need at a hardware store and if you already have some sort of camcorder, you can get up and running with everything else for under $150.
Bonus Gadget for the Well-Heeled: Thermal Imaging Camera ($3,000 and up)
If money is no object and you really want to get into ghost hunting full force, then consider picking yourself up a thermal imaging camera from a company like FLIR. They’re not cheap, running thousands of dollars, but they’re put to good use capturing and recording faint body heat signatures given off by paranormal entities.
Bonus: Use it to find anything that gives off heat; rodents in your walls, burglars in your home, and thermally sensitive equipment. You know, fun stuff like that.
Good Ghost Hunting Shows