In this incredible world of paranormal investigation, I get many calls and emails as to what people should buy to get started in ghost hunting. I started a list of items that HPI cannot live without. We’ve researched and tested the items for you and really like how they work. You do not need to spend a ton of money to get started. Here are a few of my favorite toys, where to get them, and for how much…
Electromagnetic Field Meter- meter, (sometimes referred to as an EMF Detector) is a scientific instrument for measuring electromagnetic radiation.
There are many different types of EMF meter, but the two largest categories are single axis and tri-axis (or Trifield Meters). Single axis meters are cheaper than a tri-axis meter, but take longer to complete a survey because the meter only measures one dimension of the field. Single axis instruments have to be tilted and turned on all three axes to obtain a full measurement. A tri-axis meter measures all three axes simultaneously, but these models tend to be more expensive.
Electromagnetic fields can be either AC (Alternating current) or DC (Direct current). An EMF meter can measure AC electromagnetic fields, which are usually emitted from man-made sources such as electrical wiring, while Gauss (Trifield) meters measure DC fields, which occur naturally in the earth’s geomagnetic field and are emitted from other sources where direct current is present.
You can find EMF and Trifield Meters on Ebay for about $40.00(EMF or K2), and $150.00 (Trifield)
Digital Audio Recorder- Any quality digital, (or tape) recorder will work. But I highly suggest a digital one with a USB port so you can upload your evidence to your computer for analysis. First and foremost while collecting EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon be in a quiet area, and turn on your recorder. I like to do my recordings in short stints* so it makes them easier to go through on the computer. You can use a program called Audacity to go through your audio and turn your EVP into an email able file. Many investigators swear by an external microphone, I’ve found it to not be that necessary. Digital Recorders are available at Radio Shack for about $35.00 or on up to about $80.00 for a higher quality. I love my Olympus VN-3100PC it’s cheap, very easy to use, and has a ton of recording space.
The EVP method I speak of has been coined the “McCabe Method”© of gathering EVP’s. I did not coin this myself, but many of my H.P.I. investigators use the method and find it to be very effective in collecting ghostly voices.
Step 1- Hit record on your digital or tape recorder.
Step 2- Speak to the entities you’d like to contact.
Step3- Wait 15-30 seconds then hit stop.
Step 4- Play back the recording immediately. If you have something then hoorah! If you have nothing continue with the steps a few more tries then move on to another room or location.
The theory behind all of this is: You walk into a room, you see (or don’t see) a person standing there. You say “hello”. They answer you back immediately; they usually won’t wait two hours to say something, right? It works well for getting intelligent haunting activity and validation to your question. Don’t get me wrong, leaving a recorder running is a great way to catch sounds and voices, but it just doesn’t work for a gal with ADD. I need instant gratification and the “McCabe Method”© does that for me.
Audacity Sound Editing – Free online software to help you with your EVP editing. www.audacity.sourceforge.net
Digital or Tape Video Camera w/ Night Shot- A great tool to help you capture your video evidence. Used in conjunction with a little monitor can be loads of ghostly fun. Set your video camera on a tripod in the areas you think activity might be and wait to see what happens. I use a Sony 30GB Hard Drive recorder with infrared (about $400.00 on Ebay). It has served me well but other cameras are incredibly useful also. Fry’s electronics or Best Buy are excellent resources for all your recording needs.
Batteries- Spare batteries, nothing ruins an investigation like lost or missed data. Greatly varying prices for different brands, sizes and quantity in package. I prefer to use batteries that are rechargeable. Saves a ton of money in the end. Batteries with a self-contained power level gauge can make trouble-shooting problems with equipment in the field a bit easier. Rechargeable batteries available at Radio Shack for about $16.00
Pen/Paper- For recording any desired information or data. Some times you're not able to dictate into your audio recorder with out disturbing the investigation or because it is being used in another area. Write it down! Or if you are watching a monitor you can use the time stamp on the screen to tell you when the phenomena happened, jot that down. It makes going through your tape A LOT easier! Available at your own home for free!
Dowsing Rods-To use dowsing rods to find ghosts, most dowsers recommend using two L-shaped rods that have been made from brass or some lightweight metal. Some dowsers even used metal coat hangers, so there is really no standard material. The rods should be about two-foot long and bent into an L-shape, which fits into your hand. Then, hold the short end of the rod so that the longer piece points outward, away from your body. The rods should be held loosely so that they have room to swing easily back and forth.
After that, begin searching the building or location. It has been suggested that it’s possible that by searching, and by concentrating on what you are looking for, you can find ghosts, anomalous energy and some say even dimensional portals, using dowsing rods.
Walk about the location and follow where the rods lead you. They are supposed to point in the direction of any energy they detect. Once you have discovered the energy source, the rods will cross, signaling that the area in question has been found.- Use copper wire from Home Depot $5.00.
Infrared Thermometer- Infrared contact-free digital thermometer. This type of thermometer uses light at the infrared end of the spectrum to reflect off of an object at a known rate giving the temperature without ever physically touching the surface. This thermometer is nice to use in the field as some have a backlit option with a large digital display that can read to the tenths or hundredths. Know that you can purchase models with or with out a lighted laser 'sighting' as they are typically called. This means on thermos with the laser sighting you are able to see a red dot when the thermometer is activated. On those with out the laser sighting you will save a little money and only lose the colored laser sightings but typically no other capabilities. About $15.00-45.00 on Ebay.
Frank’s Box/ Spirit Box- This is one of my favorite new toys. Psychic and TV star, Bobby Marchesso came up to Sacramento to film a new show with HPI called, Mysterious Realms. He brought up his Frank Box and we had a really great time with it. It was a simple AM/FM hand held radio hooked up to a pair of small speakers. We were able to ask questions to the entities and get immediate responses back that we could document on camera. It was a pretty incredible toy. I highly suggest picking one up for about $50.00 on Ebay. Or if you are electronically inclined, use Frank’s plans and build one for your own! http://www.ghost-tech.com/adobe/Franks_box_6-19.pdf
And last, but certainly not least…
Thermal Imaging Camera- This particular piece of equipment shows and records temperatures and temperature fluctuations in forms of colors. Most of these units are looked through much the same way a video recorder is to view the image. Some units have jacks that allow for the connection of an external separate viewing monitor. Some of these jacks can be used to record what images are viewed and if looking at making the investment we would highly recommend it having this option. The entry-level price range for these meters is going to get you a gray scale temperature difference viewfinder. Basically you will be able to see the image you are pointing it at in different shades of black and white but with no temperature read out. Some other features of the higher end models will have features such as being remote controlled and on unit recording capabilities. These cameras are available through Flir and can range from $6,000.00 to over a Million Dollars!
There are many items that you can find around your own home that you can use. Everyone nowadays has a camera, get out and start taking photos… You never know what you’ll find. Ghost Hunting is like a “box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git”.
If you have questions about gear or just want to get opinions on something you plan to purchase email us at www.HPIparanormal.net
President, HPI International
Mysterious Realms TV
Ghost Girls TV