This is a listing of equipment that we use on investigations. Each investigation site is unique and the appropriate equipment is brought along to optimize evidence collection at each location. Our equipment in inventory is constantly growing and we are always looking for innovative tools and techniques to use during investigations. While not listed on here specficially, every time we do an investigation, we bring extra batteries, IR lights, tripods, trigger objects, balls (or other toys that can be easily moved/manipulated), etc. We highly recommend investing in outdoor padded cases (like Pelican) to carry and protect your equipment in!
The K II meter is perhaps the most commonly used piece of ghost hunting equipment. It measures fluctuations and spikes in the electromagnetic field. The built-in LED lights illuminate in conjunction with the intensity of the radiation field. Investigators often use this device to interact with an entity, as it's assumed that a spirit can be taught to illuminate the lights in order to communicate with the investigator. The meter charts both the ELF (extremely low frequency) range and the VLD (very low frequency) range, at 50-20,000hz. The K II must be used with caution, however, as it is sensitive enough to pick up radio and cellular signals from a distance of over fifty feet, which can create false positives. Primarily, however, the meter tracks fluctuations within a six feet radius.
Unlike the other EMF detectors, this is designed to measure DC fields, along with radio and microwaves. The best use of this we have found is for measuring static charges, which entities often are able to control. Static charge is responsible for making your body hairs stand on end and is very useful to determining if your body is reacting to something psychologically or environmentally. The audio alarm is also useful when leaving the device stationary and detecting an entity moving past it.
A staple device during any investigation, the EMF detector will detect fluctations in EMF radiation levels. There are a wide variety of EMF detectors on the market ranging from tri-field to functionality like audible triggers. We use an Extech single-axis meter which detects fields in the 30Hz to 300Hz range. These are very sensitive to movement and also require movement along different axes (x,y,z) to pick up on different readings. The idea is that when an entity manifests, it emits EMF radiation, just as any device that uses AC power.
Also an AC EMF meter, this measures frequencies in the 30Hz to 300Hz range. The gauge is analog, and it also has a built-in audio signal which makes it easy to find EMF fields in the dark. It is helpful in locating normal EMF sources, which allows the investigator to rule out household appliances and fault wiring when encountering EMF spikes during an investigation.
The H2 is one of the best digital voice recorders out for ghost hunters. It has a "Monitor" mode which allows someone to listen in real-time for EVPs, through the use of headphones or external speakers. This allows for investigators to know that they are getting responses to their questions while they are being asked. It also can amplify the volume so that a very faint, distant sound can be heard clearly. Another great feature is that it can record in four channels: L/R front and L/R back (360 degrees). This allows for great clearity and directional awareness for sounds. Given all these excellent features, the cost is actually quite low; you can find it in most stores for under $150. This is a must-have for any investigator.
Digital voice recorders are critical for any investigation and the more, the better. They can be hand-held during EVP sessions, or just left in rooms while other rooms are being investigated. You normally want to get a voice recorder that has a good battery life, and saves in some non-proprietary format (such as MP3). Most allow for storing to a removable memory card, but if not, make sure the internal storage space is sufficient for several hours of recording! We always have at least one voice recorder per person when doing an investigation.
Aside from recording audio, it can be useful to monitor the sound level at a location. This is a good way to detect when an EVP may have been captured since it will display changing levels in noise, which can be beyond the range of normal human hearing.
This is an affordable thermal imager from FLIR that allows us to view heat signatures while investigating. Thermal imagers allow investigators to capture some of the best evidence of paranormal. It's important to understand the limitation of thermal devices though. They aren't very high-resolution unless you spend a lot of money. They also need to constantly calibrate. Still, these remain a powerful tool in the paranormal world. With more affordable thermal products coming out, we expect to see more thermal evidence of paranormal.
These HandyCams (Sony HC-62) have built-in IR light and NightShot mode, which allow investigators to record in complete darkness. These are also good for leaving in areas to cover visuals while investigating other locations. The camcorders have proven to be pretty durable! It is important to have the largest size battery for these (~400 min). Additionally, there are external IR lights that can be attached to the camcorder, allowing for recording of further distances than what can be captured with the built-in lights. The downside to these camcorders is that you have to replace the tapes every 60-90 minutes, plus in order to import the data to your computer, you need to play back each tape from the camcorder and import it second-for-second; for large investigations, this can take days to do. We currently have three of these Sony HandyCams for use during investigations.
A CCTV system is a must-have to cover video in multiple locations. The cameras are night-vision with their own infrared light source. They also have the motion-sensor technology that draws boxes around any movement (sensitivity is user-defined), so that we don't have to stare are a static screen for hours to watch for any slight movement. In addition, we also have a special modified CCTV camera to allow capture of UV/IR (multispectrum) video. In order for the video to be useful, it must be stored, so we have a terabyte DVR system that records four-channels (with audio, if desired). Additionally, this requires tons and tons of long cables to be ran across rooms, but having wired cameras is more reliable than using wireless, which may get interference or not reach more remote areas.
This specially-modified camcorder is designed to capture UV and IR light (no visible wavelengths). Sometimes paranormal activity can occur at these wavelengths and require special equipment to convert it to visible colors. With these types of camcorders, it is important to have a light source that emits UV and IR light. A regular flashlight will emit some light beyond the regular visible spectrum. The lens and sensors of camcorders have to be modified in order to pass through the UV/IR light and capture it, so usually these are custom ordered; although, some ghost hunting equipment sites are starting to sell them as inventory.
The GoPro HD video camera allows us to record excellent-quality video while keeping our hands free. It also has a nice wide-angle lens to capture a full room and a range of mounts so we can put it on a tripod, on our arm, or just set it anywhere. With a lot of big equipment to carry around, it's nice to have a tiny camera to take with us anywhere.
This device will detect motion through an IR sensor, then capture video, audio, or photo when triggered. It's good for monitoring a location for long periods of time. It hooks up to your TV and also uses a removable memory card to upload the data to your computer.
These little camcorders are nice to use when there is plenty of light and you want to monitor a specific room, or just want to document your investigation. They are supplementary to the Sony camcorders, but you don't have to worry about changing tapes constantly and it's easy to upload the recorded data to your computer.
This camera has been modified to capture UV and IR light. It is used on investigations to capture wavelengths that are outside of the visible spectrum. Entities have been known to manifest at these wavelengths. so it is important to have devices that can capture images beyond the regular wavelengths that regular cameras capture. While some cameras pass through IR light at the lens, the sensors will not capture it. Also, most lenses filter out UV light because it causes haziness in photos. Ideally, photos are taken at the same time with both a regular camera and a multispectrum camera. That way, the resulting photos can be compared.
Cameras are often the cause behind many "false-alarms" due to people not realizing how light interacts with particles. Please refer to our debunking page for examples. Photos are still important to an investigation because you never know what your eyes might miss. They also help your memory! Try to avoid using flash, or if you need light, use an external light source that is not at the same angle as your lens, to where you are shooting. This will help avoid capturing "orbs".
This is the latest product from the great people at Digital Dowsing. It is 1/2 Ovilus and 1/2 Paranormal Puck. There's not too much information about how this product works, but it appears to detect EMF frequencies and maps dictionary words to them. Entities should be able to manipulate frequencies to have it speak words that they wish to communicate. It is an experimental device and the main problem with it is that you can almost correlate a word to anything (pareidolia). This device does offer a functionality that is more credible though, and that's the phonetic mode. This mode takes the basic sound components of a word and assigns them to frequencies. So if multi-syllable words are formed, the likelihood of it being contextual is greatly increased.
These little devices detect thermal changes around them and light up. It's a great way to detect cold spots from across the room, or even have them in hallways to be able to follow the movement of a ghost. They don't rely on just changes in light source like some shadow detectors, they are using thermal data for protection.
This is special paper with a coating that will change color based on temperature changes. There's paper for different variances in temperature and sensitivity levels. This is useful to track footprints or interactively try to have a ghost place their hand on the paper. Ideally, since ghosts are often associated with cold temperature changes, paper that is sensitive to colder levels should be used. Usually thermal paper is based on higher heat levels, so make sure the temperature range is ideal for your environment.
This little USB device logs temperature and humidy readings at regular intervals, which then can be loaded onto a computer and correlated to timestamps of events during the investigation. This is a great tool to capture evidence of cold spots since it can be left stationary, or easily carried around.
This device detects the field generated from touch (or very close proximity) of a ghost. It lights up and can be used in place of a loose flashlight to get responses from spirits. It is currently being used experimentally, but is more reliable than using the flashlight technique because it removes more false positives.
An IR thermometer can remotely determine an object's temperature by measuring its emmited IR radiation. The best use for this is to accurately document cold spots that occur sometimes when entities manifest and draw energy (heat) out of the air. It also can be used to verify if an entity is lowering a room's temperature to the exact value requested by an investigator and properly document it.
We use green and purple lasers with a grate cap to create a grid of light points in a room. A good setup is to take a rubberband and wrap it around the device to keep the "on" button pressed. Then, a camcorder is placed at an angle that will be able to see if any shadows pass in front of the lights. This allows us to see the actual size and general shape of a shadow and capture it on film.
These were designed by the good folks over at SpecterCam LLC. Unlike the gear that usually detects changes in magnetic fields, these detect static field changes. They come in positive and negative detectors. Spirits are able to manipulate these and they can either be used as a simple detector, or an interactive medium. These are a fun, and cheap way to detect changes in the electrostatic field.
An experimental-use tool that traces AC voltage and converts it into audible sound with volume proportional to electrical intensity.
The geophone is a simple, but quite useful, device to use during investigations. Designed to detect seismic activity, it picks up on minor vibrations (with high or low sensitivity levels) and triggers an audible alarm. A common use for this device is to place it in a room or staircase where paranormal activity like footsteps are often heard.
This is another device that is useful while left alone. It uses infrared light to see if any objects pass in front of it, then turns on a blue alarm light. This setup works well with IR camcorders left alone in rooms where it can monitor the motion sensor. If no one else is in the room and the sensor triggers, something else must have set it off.
This musical instrument is experimental, but shows promise. We've used it a few times now on investigations. To generallly describe how it operatates, an antenna (or two) picks up on the location of hands (or some grounded mass) and bases the oscillation and frequency on them. It then converts the electric signals into audible sound. How we've used this in investigations is to turn it on and back away, so that it emits a consistent frequency and volume. If that changes, then something else is in proximity to it that can affect the frequency (something grounded and moving to create the variance).
A simple tool used to determine the relative environmental air pressure. During an investigation, this is used to detect and quantify changes in air pressure, which causes feelings of "heavy air" and ear popping that is known to be associated with spirital activity.
Paranormal entities do not always manifest in the visible spectrum, so it's important to capture light in an extended ranges. With multispectrum recording equipment, having an UV light will allow those devices to capture anything that is in the UV spectrum, which we otherwise would not see or capture. UV flashlights are also good as a low profile light source. Having external IR lights supplement the ones that are built into the camcorders to provide further viewing areas.
Sometimes digital or analog equipment used to quantify changes in the environment are extremely costly. Scientific instruments are used to detect electrostatic and magnetic changes in the environment without the need for numerical readings. They're best used in a stationary location with a camcorder to record movement, or when trying to interact directly with spirits. The electroscope detects electric charges; an electrostatic plume shows static electricity nearby; a magnetic needle reacts to magnetic fields.