This is just some of the basic things you need to know before you go hunting for ghosts. There are several good books that have a more in-depth look at ghost hunting, most of which can be found at larger book stores
GHOST HUNTING EQUIPMENT
"While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead."
Percy Bysshe Shelly, 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'
Notebook and Writing Utensil
As with any investigation, taking notes is a must. These can be used to sketch a map of the
area, locations, dates, times, witnesses' names (and contact information), environmental
conditions, and experiences should all be noted. They can also be used to write down any random
thoughts you have while investigating a haunted area.
Because most investigations are done in dark places a good flashlight is a must (two would be
better). Keep a small, lightweight one in your pocket, and a larger, bulkier one for more
extended use (especially outdoors). The brighter and more durable the lights, the better.
Because you will be using other equipment, it might be a good idea to get a hands-free light,
like the ones that strap to your head. A red filter or gel is also benificial. In a dark setting, your eyes are less affected by red light. In other words if you turn off the light, it takes less time for your eyes to adjust in the darkness.
Extra batteries are an absolute necessity. The batteries you bring depend on what your using. Of the equipment listed, most require batteries. If your in the middle of some rare phenomenon and the batteries give out, you'll lose valuable data
Even though it has been reported that some electronic devices have operated 'without' power, it is still a good idea to keep extras with you.
Watch or Stopwatch
Knowing the time and recording it in your notebook is important in any field work. It lets you
pinpoint the exact time when something occurs. This is helpful in finding patterns in activity.
Often a scene may replay itself only under certain conditions. Like a suicide might only be reenacted on a full moon at three in the morning, the way it was when the event occured.
A compass has many uses in investigations. First, it will give you an orientation of the surroundings. This can be helpful when sketching a map of the area.
It can also be used as an inexpensive EMF. Even as spirits can cause electrical variations, they can also affect the magnetic force of a compass. The needle going in all directions could be an indicator of a spirit.
Electromagnetic Field Meter
An electromagnetic field (or EMF) meter is an important tool for the serious ghost hunter. They
give specific readings of electromagnetic energies. There are several small, hand-held units on
the market in the price range of $50 to $250.
For the average hunter the more expensive models aren't worth the extra cost.
When picking out and EMF meter, ones that detect DC fields are best. AC meters can work as well. The fields encountered by ghosts can at times change just like an AC field. So, either type can detect ghosts, but it's best to use AC meters to find and rule out artificial fields, and use DC meters for locating phantoms.
One of the best tools to have is a camera. There are three types to consider getting.
Each camera has pluses and minuses, and should be considered before buying.
The three types are the Polaroid instant cameras, 35mm cameras, and digital cameras.
- Digital Cameras
- Pros: Instant feedback, cheaper to use, naturally sensitive to some infared and
- Cons: Produces no negative, usually not as high quality as film.
- 35mm Cameras
- Pros: Usually higher quality than digital, produces a negative for examination.
- Cons: No instant feeback, more expensive to use, more difficult to capture infrared or ultraviolet.
- Instant Cameras
- Pros: Faster than traditional film cameras, image won't be tampered with or destroyed by developers.
- Cons: Even though it is faster than other film cameras, it is still slower than a digital, the pictures cost more than a dollar a shot.