Basic Equipment and thier Pro’s & Con’s

Investigational equipment ranges in price from a few cents for a pad of paper and pencils to Thermal imaging cameras for thousands of dollars. This is not a cheap or inexpensive endevour.

 To begin with, you need paper and pencils to write down notes, sketch locations etc… From there the best beginning items to stock in your investigation kit are; a small digital or analog tape recorder to capture evps, and to record interviews and conversations, a digital thermometer to check for temperature variations at the investigation site, and a digital or film camera to get a photographic log of the investigation. Below I will go through each Item with the pro’s and con’s of their use.



   I feel digital cameras are useful, and economical. My group and several others that I have dealt with have been using them in conjunction with 35mm cameras for years.    Some old time investigators decry the use of digital cameras on investigations, how-ever digital technology has advance by leaps and bounds since the first models with poor picture clarity, missing pixels and many other bugs that at the time were mistaken for spirits or supernatural beings.


Some of the con’s: No negative to have analyzed for tampering how-ever current software can detect alterations to original photo. Storage media can become corrupted, Batteries can drain.

Some of the pro’s: You have instant access to the shots you have taken, Most digital cameras can also see and take photos in the infrared spectrum of light. (To test for this ability take your TV remote and point it at yourself.   Press the on button and you will not see the light bulb in the tip of the remote light up because it is an infrared light bulb.  If you view the same remote while pressing the on button through your digital cameras LCD screen or take a photo of it, you will see the light is illuminated.   This proves that your digital camera can “see” infrared light.)   When you take a photo with your digital camera you can actually be captured things in the visible light and infrared light spectrums. Since we believe that orbs are composed of energy that exists in the semi infrared range of light, using digital cameras will give you a better tool and a better chance of capturing an anomaly.

I believe that this ability accounts for the larger amount of orbs being photographed in recent years. Also you can download your pictures right to your PC and share them quickly.

film cameras

Some of the con’s: You can only shoot in the visible spectrum or infrared depending on what film is loaded into your camera. Film and developing gets expensive, especially when shooting hundreds of exposures. The need to have some shots enlarged to see objects better. It takes longer to get photos back. (You might have been able to move investigators to a location for more intensive study if you would have had the pictures during the investigation. If processing error occurs, you lost all photographic evidence.)

Some of the pro’s: Negatives can be useful in analyzing photos more closely, and are harder to alter without detection.



Digital Thermometer

Another must have item is a digital thermometer. These range in price from around $19.00 to $150+. It is best to get an IR model with a range of 1:1. These also allow you to pin point the area of change. Should you notice a remarkable over all change in room temperature on an investigation, you may want to have in indoor thermometer to keep track of the outside temps.  to make sure that the outside temperature has not changed drastically. There are some nice non-contact thermometers available today.




Voice recorder


There are two types of recorders, analog (tape), and Digital. The choice on these are more of a personal preference, than anything else.



 Pro: No need to buy tapes or change them out during investigation

 Con: Limited to memory space. Need to download to PC, Hard drive crashes



Pro: Have a physical copy of recordings, unlimited recording space (if you got the tapes, you got the space to record. 

Con: Need to change out tapes usually every ½ hour, Tapes wear out over time. Sound quality hampered/corrupted by then sound eminating from the recorder itself


 EMF/Gauss meter


EMF stands for electromagnetic energy field. An accepted belief in the field is that when spirits manifest in some form, there are usually unusual spikes in the electromagnetic energy fields in the area. Having a meter can alert you to the possible manifestation of a spirit,giving you notice to get you camera, voice, and video recorders ready.


There are many models available today. Some are inexpensive, as low as $40 and  some are hi tech and expensive ranging into the hundreds.

The key to using a meter is to record baseline readings in the location at the start of the investigation. This is to rule out any non paranormal causes. Many causes of EMF’s such as TV’s, computers, un-insulated wiring, fluorescent lights and microwave ovens. (These give off high readings even when they are not in use.) As for how to use the meter, there is no single, specific number to look for. In other words, a reading of 5 milligauss does not indicate the presence of a spirit. A reading of 10 milligauss does not indicate a spirit more powerful than one that registers 7 milligauss. (At least none have been determined yet. Studies of correlations between an entity’s strength and the energy readings associated with it are in the infancy stage. I am not aware of any published research in this area although I am doing studies of this type myself. The problem is that EMF research has been geared towards the belief that haunting phenomena is a result of high energy readings produced by a person. This is the theory of RSPK. Since parapsychologists for the most part do not regard an external entity as the source of haunting phenomena, no one has really done extensive research into the correlation between high energy levels and spiritual manifestations.) The point is that EMF levels will vary from one location to another and you must establish what the “normal” reading for a location is before you can attempt to determine whether anything preternatural or supernatural is going on.

Geiger counters and radiological survey meters are often used during investigations although they have not proven to be as useful as the EMF meters. Since beta and gamma radiation levels are not normally present in a natural environment, you should get baseline readings near zero. Spirits do not give off radiation either; if they did I would be pretty bright at night. However, my belief is that when there are strong enough anomalies taking place in the environment, these machines are “tricked” into giving off false readings. That alone can make them useful but they tend to be expensive. Their value may not justify the price of one for simple ghost hunting purposes.

Remote viewing or listening monitors are a good thing to have since they allow you to monitor activity in a room without coverage. Walkie talkies are a must if you will be working apart from other investigators. Motion detectors come in handy and you can buy portable ones inexpensively. They can alert you to movement in an uncovered area. More expensive models can be hooked into camcorders. That is great because once the motion detector is tripped, the camcorder will begin recording. That saves you hours of viewing time when the investigation is over. Having to watch hours of tape of a blank wall can drive you insane. In my case, that is not that far a drive.

The point is that there are many items that you may find useful. The list can get fairly long. However, for the average ghost hunter, you need not spend exorbitant amounts of money. For those who love and can afford gadgets, there are plenty of items out there.


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