8 tech tools every Ghost Hunter needs
So, you want to be a Ghost Hunter? There’s never been a better time: a lot of the tech tools hunters use in the field are available to everyone, letting you start your search for the paranormal as soon as you get home from Best Buy. From infrared cameras to night goggles, high-tech gear comes in real handy when dealing with the ethereal backlog of human history, not to mention otherworldly spooks.
Starring on the SCI FI Channel’s Ghost Hunters is The Atlantic Paranormal Society (or T.A.P.S. for short), a team of paranormal researchers captained by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, and they aren’t afraid of no ghosts. Click Continue for a list of eight essential devices the real Ghost Hunters utilize in the field, and learn what separates the hunters from the haunted.
The trusty workhorse of many a professional photographer, a good ol’ fashioned film camera takes a little more skill to wield than its digital brethren. Learn to use it, however, and it’ll pay off in spades. Film is easier to enlarge when processing an image (to spot all of these teeny tiny ghostly details), less erratic with its light sensitivity, and, maybe most importantly, it’s harder to fake a film image. After all, as a ghost hunter, you’re going to have a hard enough time convincing people of your evidence as it is.
When a ghost starts moaning or knocking on things, you want to make sure you get a nice, clean copy — not a tape full of muddy noises and audio flaws. That’s why many ghost hunters choose a digital recorder over using analog tapes. With digital, you can also be sure you’re picking up everything within and beyond the range of human hearing, which is very important when most of the human noises you hear in your line of work are screams.
See-through apparitions aren’t necessarily the most photogenic models around. For haunting visages invisible to the human eye, you’ll want to pack an infrared-ready camera to keep tabs on sneakier phantoms. As you more or less have to keep an infrared sensor scanning continuously to make sure you don’t miss anything, it’s a good idea to send its feed to a hard drive where the footage can be stored and studied later.
Whether you’re confronted with Casper the Friendly Ghost or something that looks like it stepped off the set of the X-Files, you’re going to want to make sure you get all of it down. Digital video cameras offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to storing and capturing moving images. For instance, you can get one with plenty of internal space like a large hard drive built-in, or a model that records on several different formats, such as DVDs and MiniDV, so you can swap on the fly and never run out.
Ghost sightings often happen fast and in a major way. If you don’t want to miss anything, you’ll need more than just visual and audio equipment to record all relevant data. Setting up a digital thermometer is usually a good idea. Temperature changes frequently accompany the presence of the paranormal, and a digital thermometer can stream continuously updating measurements to your equipment.
Similar to the digital thermometer, the EMF recorder will keep you abreast of whatever electromagnetic fluctuations occur during a sighting. EMF recorders aren’t employed by all ghost hunters — many discount them because all kinds of things (televisions and other appliances, for example) emit electromagnetic fields, but the thorough ghost hunter is the one with the most evidence.
Unfortunately, given the creepy nature of hauntings, many ghosts won’t want to come out until it’s good and dark. You don’t want to stumble around when candlesticks are flying across the hallway, so you should probably take a pair of night-vision goggles for low-light situations. In absolute darkness you’ll need infrared, but for most situations the light amplification night-vision specs provide should be more than enough.
Where the digital thermometer gives you a rock-solid record of your bone-chilling experience, a thermal-imaging sensor on a digital camera will give you visual proof. Thermal imaging is enormously useful as you’ll be able to see how big hot and cold spots are and how they affected the environment around them during a haunting. You’ll also get to make fun of the guy who has the big warm spot down the front of his pants when the ghosts first appear.