Whether you believe in ghosts or not, one thing is undebatable: the recent explosion of reality based paranormal/ghost hunting shows has made the subject almost impossible to ignore. No longer is it a niche subject that the weird couple across the street was into; it is an ever-expanding part of our daily pop culture. There are currently over 25 programs that air across several different cable networks which results in one, if not several, of these shows on literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With several more shows currently in production, the hunt for life after death will continue to fill up our daily programming. From popular shows such as Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Caught on Camera to some of the lesser known shows, they all have one thing in common — the equipment they use to hunt spirits.
In my opinion, one of the main things that make these shows so appealing is that anybody can hunt ghosts. All you need is a few bucks and a haunted location and you’re in business. Although old standbys such as Ouiji boards still have a place, the hunt for apparitions has become much more technical. Regardless of the size of your budget, there are a litany of devices that will enhance your experience. I’m going to touch on a few of the most prevalent and how they work.
EMF (ElectroMagnetic Frequency) Meter
Probably the most popular device because of its simplicity, price point and portability, the EMF meter is a ghost hunting staple. Simply push the button and the meter will light up if fluctuations in electromagnetic energy are detected. Many paranormal experts believe these disturbances indicate the presence of a spirit. These range in price from $15.00 to $250.00.
Spirit Box (aka Frank’s Box)
No ghost hunt is complete without this user-friendly accessory. A spirit box is a handheld device which rapidly scans radio frequencies, providing white noise through which spirits can communicate. Ask a question and wait for a reply. Initially nothing more than a modified radio with an auxiliary port for a speaker, current models possess many more bells and whistles such as built in speakers, infrared flashlights and temperature change detectors. You can pick one up for around $70.00.
EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) Recorder
Pretty much any of your modern digital recorders would work, although the ones specifically designed to hunt ghosts feature heightened sensitivity with external microphones. Simply hit “record” and ask questions; go back later to see if any replies were captured. Generally speaking, a quiet room is best for play back, as responses are usually whispers that can be hard to hear. Serious ghost hunters often employ voice enhancing software to amplify any voice phenomena. You can find a nice one of these for around $200.00.
Pretty self-explanatory and likely already in your possession, you won’t make it on Paranormal Caught on Camera without video footage of your experience. However, a must-have feature for ghost hunting is night vision as nearly all ghost hunts happen in the dark. There are camcorders targeted specifically for ghost hunting that also boast infrared and full spectrum recording. Needless to say, the best camcorders are the ones that capture ghosts!
So there you have it: your basic ghost hunting starter kit which can be purchased at retailers such as GhostStop.com and Amazon. While these four essentials will get you started, there is much more advanced equipment available. Like everything else, you can spend as much or as little as you see fit. Remember, ghost hunting should be fun. While the right equipment certainly helps, you won’t have a successful paranormal experience without a lot of patience and a willing spirit!