Sunday, March 1, 2015

More Trade Secrets: The Essential Ghost Hunters Toolbox

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By Calvin Waters

The advice on how to use real Ghost Hunting equipment can only be be answered by real researchers with years of experience in the ghost hunting field. Many would be Ghost Hunters only shop Paranormal Detection Equipment, Electronic Ghost Hunting Detectors because they think it is cool and want to try their hand at it. Usually without any prior training or other interest then doing what they think is cool.

Paranormal investigators make use of over a dozen different tools and electronic devices to help track down and locate possible evidence of paranormal. But are they in your ghost Hunters toolbox? I can remember the day when individuals went into a very haunted house armed only with a Camera: 35mm camera with black and white film and/or infrared film. It took no more then that to make many into true believers. Today it is all about full documentation with no errors, and sworn testimony to the level that it makes us all look suspect. that is if we don't have or do what they do on TV.

A Ghost Hunter from JACKSON, MS. she wrote me telling me in her long email that she had been ghost hunting professionally for over 5 years. And that she was an upstanding Member of the TAPS Family. Her request was for me to explain how to use the EMF detector she owned for 4.5 years and never quite got the hang of. In truth I discovered she actually used it because the clients who she investigated for expected it. But she had no clue to what the readings actually meant.

My advice is: Determine which ghost hunting methods you'll feel most comfortable working with: sensory or scientific. Sensory includes the use of dowsing rods, wind chimes and even psychics, sensitive's or mediums. Scientific employs gadgets such as video cameras, thermal imaging scopes and electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors. Some ghost hunters use a combination of both.

At UnivCon 2008, Brian Harnois gave a presentation entitled "21st Century Ghost Hunter" wherein he questioned the tools that are used for ghost hunting on paranormal television shows. He discusses Flir, digital voice recorders, IR cameras, and more. Keep in mind that this is edited together, and therefore is not the full lecture.

Many of us realize that both amateur and professional ghost hunters will appreciate the extensive range of ghost hunting equipment available to suit any budget and any level of experience. But people just don't buy something because you think it's cool. Electronic equipment adds objectivity and reliability to your paranormal research. But if your knowledge and use of the item is weak why pull it out?

If you must learn from your Ghost Hunting or other Ghost Hunters mistakes you should retreat and start at the beginning. These beginner's kit is great for hobbyists and novice ghost hunters.

This Basic ghost Hunters Beginners Toolbox or Paranormal Investigation kit should include:

  • 1 ELF Zone EMF Meter
  • 1 Ghost Research book
  • 1 video or digital camera

And of these important three items one should know all the ins and outs and instruction concerning the fine art of Paranormal investigation.

EMF meters, Infrared thermometer, RF meters, digital voice recorders and all usual Ghost Hunting equipment, cameras and video recorders are always the most important things to have. They verify what is going on that you can't see or detect with your five senses.

ATN Thermal-Eye X200xp System Description The Thermal-Eye X200xp is the smallest and lightest handheld thermal imaging camera available on the market today. It is designed for a variety of applications including public safety security and military. Easy to Use, Thermal Imaging Camera - Enter the world of professional investigations with the ultimate piece of tech equipment, also see: Thermal Imaging Camera!

GAUSSMASTER: This long-time favorite meter for beginning ghost hunters is back! The meter offers an easy-to-read analog scale, a unique built-in audio signal and an auto shut off switch when not picking up energy changes. It's hand-held, lightweight and easy to use in both light and dark locations. If you are just starting out in this field, this is the meter for you and operates with a standard 9-volt battery (not included). $39.95

TRI-FIELD NATURAL EM METER..... The personally recommended meter of researcher TROY TAYLOR! One of the most sensitive devices on the market and one of the most complex. It is not always recommended for beginners and is so sensitive that it can even pick up the fields of living persons. It was originally designed to read the activity of geo-magnetic storms so it can be delicate to carry around in an investigation. The best use for it is to place it in a stationary location and allow it to pick up movement in the extended range around it. It can also be used as a hand-held device but must be used carefully. Features a continuous analog reading and a SUM setting that allows it to pick up electric and magnetic fields at the same time. Signals any changes in field with an audio alarm. Highly recommended for the experienced ghost hunter! Only $199.95

TRI-FIELD METER: This is our Best Selling Basic Meter! This device combines magnetic and electric readings in one package for fast and accurate measurements. It has been adapted for paranormal research for several years and can be used by hand in taking readings of locations. In addition, this newly upgraded device is more sensitive than ever before! Features a continuous analog reading and a much higher sensitivity than ordinary meters... much easier to use than other Tri-Field Meters, it also features the options to have it upgraded by the manufacturer to include a light and audio signal. Highly recommended for the beginning ghost hunter over cheaper meters! Only $129.95

PERSONAL EMF ALARM: Just like the acclaimed TriField Meter, this has the addition of an audible alarm (that works for electric, magnetic, or RF) and you can set the alarm threshold at any level you want. The unit can be left unattended and it will alert you to the presence of a field above the threshold so you don't have to stare at the meter or you an even be in another room. Note that the threshold can be set to screen out any background EMF. As an alternative, and array of these meters can be set out over an area and the movement of a field can be tracked as the various meters sound their alarms. Remember, this is a 3-axis meter, so you don't miss important information just because the meter was not aligned properly.

ATN Thermal-Eye X200xp System Description The Thermal-Eye X200xp is the smallest and lightest handheld thermal imaging camera available on the market today. It is designed for a variety of applications including public safety security and military. $189.95

MAG-TEMP: Simultaneous EMF and Temperature Readout with Illuminated Display ! Easy to use and versatile meter gives you the chance to measure EMF readings and temperature with one device. It also gives you a wealth of information, and lots of options. Mag-Temp offers both single axis AC Magnetic field measurement and real-time air temperature readings. The display illumination is so bright, you can almost use it to find your way in dark areas, although it can be used with the light on or off. The read-out is in high resolution and offers a fast response. A basic 1-inch k-type thermocouple is included and it can be used with a variety of commercially available thermocouple probes for extended temperature ranges. Operates with a 9-volt battery. This is a step-up from the meter featured below and while slightly more in cost, is highly recommended and should be a standard tool in every ghost hunter's kit. Only $99.95

EMF Hunter: Easy to use and versatile meter that combines EMF radiation readings and temperature in a compact design. Offers and easy-to-read LED indicator and sound, so it can be used in dark locations. The temperature probe on this device is external, on the end of a six-foot cable (included). This makes it ideal for testing locations in that any EMF and temperature changes are occurring in the same spot as the investigator. This device (like the IR thermometer with the Type K Probe and the Dual Pocket Thermometer -- see both below) makes any other type of temperature sensing device obsolete. This basic meter offers both in one unit and is essential for your tool kit. Only $69.95

Peak/Hold 2-Range Gaussmeter: Another easy to use meter and a low-cost, single axis device. This unit is comfortable in your hand and features an easy-to-read digital screen -- with some added options over other meters of this type. The "peak" feature allows the investigator to let the meter run over extended periods to identify the highest fields in the area. The "hold" feature holds the current read-out, making this a great device for large areas or when searching for the highest readings at a particular location. Only $99.95!

EMF FIELD TESTER 200A: An easy to handle meter that is very simple to use with an on-off switch and a digital read-out screen that gives you a constant reading of any activity that you encounter. This is also an extremely reliable meter for measuring changes, readings and fluctuations in the EMF field of a location. We recommend it to anyone who prefers a digital reading rather than an analog scale. Only $89.95

IR THERMOMETER WITH TYPE K PROBE: This is the ideal probe that has long been recommended by the AGS and is now finally available! Measures temperature remotely and, most importantly, locally! This unique item combines a high resolution IR non-contact thermometer for checking temps at a distance with a probe that measures air, surface or internal temperatures at the location of the meter. The local, type K probe not reads temperatures at the immediate location, it does so safely with a flexible probe so ghost hunters don't have to worry about hurting themselves in the dark! This unit also has a backlit screen and an adjustable high / low alarm which alerts the user when it exceeds programmed limits. Highly recommended! $129.95

DUAL POCKET THERMOMETER: Long recommended by the AGS and finally available! Measures temperature both remotely and locally! This unique item combines a high resolution IR non-contact thermometer for checking temps at a distance with a probe that measures air, surface or internal temperatures at the location of the meter. Both readings can be displayed at the same time. Essential for accurate temperature readings during an investigation! $69.95

Wireless 4 Zone Thermometer WIRELESS 4 ZONE THERMOMETER: Measure Local and Three Remote Temperatures at the same time! This is a great item when you want to monitor the air temperature at up to 4 different locations simultaneously. Base station is one location, and you get 3 remote sensors which you can place up to 80 feet away*. Unit displays time, temperature at base station, and one of the remote sensors. One button toggles display of all three remote sensors. Updates quickly. Displays in °F or °C and will record minimum and maximum temperatures. Great for ghost hunters in any location! Moderately priced at just $69.95 *The maximum transmission range is 80 feet in a straight line (line of sight). Walls and obstructions can reduce transmission range by as much as 25-30 feet.

MONITOR 4: GEIGER COUNTER This device measures Alpha, Beta, Gamma and X-ray radiation and like other devices of this type, searches for fluctuations in radiation which will point to a disturbance in spirit energy. Great for investigations with an easy to read analog meter, red light counter, audible indicator.. and all in a hand-held unit It can also be used to check background levels of radiation in a location and uses a Geiger Mueller tube with a thin mica window. Includes a 9-volt battery. $299.95 ION DETECTOR: Unique in this price range, this hand-held ion detector possesses excellent sensitivity, is fully electrostatically shielded and can take accurate readings even under adverse conditions. This device can be adjusted to measure positive, or in paranormal investigation cases, negative ions separately. Much like with an electro-magnetic field detector, the ions in the air will measure a high disturbance when spirit energy is present. This device is great for investigations also because it is sensitive to natural effects like radiation, electrical storms and radon.... thus, is not easily disturbed by power outlets. It operates much in the same way as the Tri-Field Meter as it is not recommended for the beginner. Uses 2 9-volt batteries (included) $499.95

PORTABLE INFRARED MOTION SENSOR: Passive infrared technology is used to detect motion and temperature changes in a controlled area, which is vital for not only protecting the integrity of an investigation and for anomalous motion. The device sounds when motion is detected and then produces a loud alarm if not deactivated. Highly recommended! The sensor offers a 110 degree horizontal view and a 20 degree vertical view as far as 30 feet from the unit. Operates on 2 standard AA batteries and can be switched on and off from 30 feet away with a remote device. Great for paranormal research! $19.95

Decide how regularly you plan to ghost hunt. Ghost hunting as an occasional hobby doesn't require the use of the more sophisticated equipment, so there's no need to invest heavily in technology.

Go ghost hunting with someone who does it regularly. See what equipment they use and recommend and ask them for recommendations on local sources for equipment.

Use things you already own to avoid investing a lot of money up front. Start with the basics such as a camera, flashlights and a way to record investigation data such as with a notebook and pen or voice recorder.

Take into consideration the types of places you want to investigate and who will be with you. Walkie talkies come in handy for keeping in contact when covering large spaces such as cemeteries. Compasses not only help in navigating unfamiliar territory, they also react to magnetic fluctuations, which ghosts are said to sometimes influence.

Determine which equipment you are most likely to use if you are pursuing a scientific approach to data collection. Comparison shop at electronics and camera stores to be sure you are getting the best price and warranty on the equipment you purchase.

Real Ghost Hunting Tips & Warnings

  • Recording investigation data such as the date and location of the investigation, who's present and start time and finish times helps to preserve the integrity of the hunt. And of course it is real documentation.
  • Keep a lookout for used equipment, especially the more pricey and prized items like infrared thermal scanners, night vision equipment and air ion counters. Today pawn shops and ebay are filled with them.
  • Make sure to carry extra batteries. Many paranormal investigations do last for many, many hours. It's also theorized that ghosts drain available energy sources, such as batteries, to manifest. You want to make sure your equipment always has a power source in case you encounter Ghostly activity off the scale.

Don't spend a lot of money on fancy equipment for your first ghost hunting excursion. See if your well suited for becoming a real Paranormal Investigator first.

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