Common Paranormal Investigative Equipment
Many ghost investigators use a variety of tools to aid them during the process of investigation. Most ghost investigating equipment can be purchased at a relatively low cost to the investigator or team. Conversely, some initial equipment may be more costly. Nevertheless, such tools can provide investigators and paranormal teams with the ability to increase the success of their investigation. Therefore, what kind of equipment does a ghost investigator typically need?
If an investigator plans to capture electronic voice phenomenon samples (EVPs), they will definitely require a tape recorder. Some investigators use digital recorders because of their simplicity; they do not require tapes and they are reusable. Conversely, some investigators elect to use standard tape recorders because they are a less expensive way to record and it provides them with the ability to review the tapes later.
Digital recorders eventually fill up with information and the only way to remove the information is to download it to a computer or to delete it. Thus, when using a digital recorder it may become necessary to bring a laptop on an investigation, depending on how many EVP samples are going to be taken. With standard tape recorders, the investigator will require additional tapes. Quality digital recorders have become reasonably affordable, so the investigator can choose whichever recording device he or she desires.
When taping EVPs, most investigators use external microphones. Instead of using the internal microphone that is built into many recorders, investigators often prefer the use of an external microphone because internal microphones tape the internal mechanisms of the machine. Further, such internal sounds can be mistaken for actual EVPs. External microphones are fairly inexpensive and usually run in the price range of 5 to 10 dollars.
Electromagnetic Field Detector
Investigators often use Electromagnetic Field Detectors (EMF Detectors) to determine whether or not there are any electromagnetic disturbances in the area being investigated. It is believed that EMF detectors pick up on spirit activity. When spirits manifest they use and create energy. The only pitfall of an EMF detector is that it also picks up on the electromagnetic fields created by natural sources. Thus, an investigator is required to do an initial walk through of any location that they investigate and also must make note of any naturally caused electromagnetic field sources. Finally, electromagnetic field detectors can be purchased for as little as $20.00, however, the quality of such equipment is directly parallel to its price. For just a few more dollars, an investigator can pick up a higher quality EMF detector for about $40.00.
The use of a digital thermometer during the process of ghost investigation is a fairly common practice. Ghost investigators use digital thermometers to detect extreme drops or increase in temperature. When a spirit manifests, it uses energy from the atmosphere and this can create what is termed as "cold spots.” Sometimes, the temperature increases dramatically, and such an increase is referred to as a "hot spot.” Digital thermometers can be purchased for as little as 30 dollars or for as much as 100 dollars, depending on the brand. Finally, akin to digital thermometers, sometimes investigators will bring along a standard room thermometer to use when comparing overall room temperature to the temperature of a specific area of the room.
A compass can be purchased for as little as $5.00 and often proves to be an invaluable tool for the ghost investigator. Compasses tend to malfunction when there is spirit activity and they will sometimes begin spinning without explanation. Finally, a compass provides ghost investigators with an invaluable resource for ghost detection in the event that they do not own an EMF detector or if they are in an area where using an EMF detector would be imprudent.
Many investigators attempt to capture spirits in photos. A 35mm camera is one of the most common tools that an investigator owns and can be purchased at a minimal cost. The fact that photos can be processed in as little as one hour has literally eliminated the waiting period for film developing has made this tool popular. Even today, with digital cameras available, it is a good idea to have a 35mm camera for backup.
There are myriad brands of digital cameras you can purchase for ghost investigating. Further, many digital cameras provide investigators with unique options like night shot and digital cameras are a great asset for the ghost investigator because they totally eliminate the need for film development. Consequently, they also remove the undue cost. However, digital cameras are still hotly debated as not being a reliable source for spirit photography, so having and using a 35mm in conjunction with a digital camera is a good idea. Finally, the cost of a digital, depending on the brand, can be a bit steep for the beginning investigator and you will want to shop around for the best prices. What is essential for the investigator to remember is not to compromise quality for cost.
Some investigators use video cameras to try and record spirit activity. Purchasing a video camera can be an expensive endeavor, however, if an investigator manages to capture a ghost on film it could prove to be well worth the cost. When an investigator purchases a video camera they should make sure that it is easy to later upload the video to a computer and that they purchase plenty of tapes to record any activity. In addition to the video recorder, an investigator might have to purchase a battery with an extended lifetime, a tripod, and a carrying case.
Notebook and Writing Implements
Notebook and writing implements are imperative on any investigation and are carried by every investigator. Investigators take notes about the location, the activities that occur, the temperature changes, and note natural sounds that might later be questionable during EVP analysis. They also document the time incidents occur and who was present at the time of any incident. Finally, such notes prove to be invaluable during the analysis stage of the investigation.
Some investigators use headset communicators or walkie-talkies to communicate with one another. Such a tool is valuable when investigators are at a large site and they want to maintain communication with the other members of the team. Finally, a two-way radio set can be purchased for as little as $20.00.
When on an investigation, investigators ensure that they have lots of spare batteries. Batteries tend to drain quickly at sites with reported paranormal activity. In fact, it is not uncommon for brand new batteries to be completely fine before the arrival at a site and then to later not work at all. Thus, bringing extra batteries is crucial to the success of an investigation.
If an investigator is using a 35mm camera they should bring several extra packages of film along with them on the investigation. The film should be un-expired with a speed of at least 400. Likewise, if an investigator opts to use a video camera, they should bring along extra video tapes.
Some investigators like to bring along a laptop on investigations so that they can record information or even download files on the site. It also allows them to download any digital recordings they might have captured. Thus, although it is not a fundamental tool to have, it is a nice asset that can greatly assist an investigator during an investigation.
Article written by: Dayna Winters
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