Posts Tagged ‘hauntings’

Written by:
Wendi Friend

More and more, people are trying to find ways to provide scientific proof that ghosts, spirits, and elemental beings do exist in our realm. As technology advances, so do the tools used for serious ghost hunters! While some of the technology may provide adrenaline-pumping results, that same technology can be attributed to many “false” validations of supposedly haunted locations.

Let’s take a look, first, at what tools are currently being used in the field of paranormal investigators, and a bit of background information on why these tools are used. Then, we can take a more objective look at how and why some of these tools can be deceiving, and why, with all this technical advancement and “scientific investigations”, the existence of ghosts or ghostly beings has yet to be “proven”.

The most basic of tools includes:

• Pen/pencil and a notebook. This is to jot down any notes and to record details of the investigation.
• Flashlights: This one’s easy. Most paranormal investigations are done in the dark.
• Cables & extension cords: why, to plug in all the high tech gadgets, of course.
• Extra batteries, cassette tapes, and film.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s the latest craze of tech tools for the paranormal investigators, “professionals” and amateurs alike:

• Digital Camera: For catching strange phenomena in still shot photos
• Standard 35mm camera: to offset shortcomings with digital results
• Video/Surveillance cameras: for recording strange movements or apparitions
• Infrared cameras for recording photos/videos in the dark
• EMF Meters: For locating fluctuations in the electromagnetic fields
• Compass: the non-digital tool of choice for locating electromagnetic field fluctuations
• Audio Recorder: for recording E.V.P.s, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, with a special microphone for filtering out background noise
• Digital audio editing software: to analyze E.V.P.s
• Thermal Scanner: a no contact thermometer for recording temperature variations.
• Motion Detectors: to be used in rooms without human observation/interaction to detect motion where people aren’t present.
• Ion Particle Counter: Used in conjunction with photo/video anomalies to do determine if the anomalies have actual substance as opposed to light reflections.

Of course, there are always the good, old fashioned ghost-hunting tools, too:

• Dowsing Rods: Copper rods used for locating spiritual entities and/or portals (also used for locating water and/or energy sources).
• Pendulums: for divination purposes

Psychic mediums are also often employed as “tools” during paranormal investigations.

The list of tools is impressive, and there are variations and extensions of each on the market today, including special “ghost hunter” watches – wrist watches that detect beta, gamma, x-ray and radiant energy! With all of these tools and tricks of the trade, why hasn’t anyone produced solid scientific proof that ghosts or other spiritual entities exist? One of the problems, I believe, is too many cooks in the kitchen.

With the rise of popularity of paranormal activity, everyone wants to be an investigator. The Internet has made it possible for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to fully equip themselves with the latest fashion in gadgets. There’s an impressive variety of “Ghost Hunting Starter Kits” available on the market ranging from the cheap to the incredibly expensive! Television has assisted this boom with such shows as Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted, Haunted Hotels, and a multitude of other programs fuelling the paranormal fire. Unfortunately, the one thing many of these amateur investigators aren’t equipped with is objectivity and/or scientific perspective. Anything that registers on the amateur’s radar becomes “proof”.

One of the biggest culprits in providing false “evidence” is the digital camera. Oh, I’ve been known to fall prey to its sly tricks, too, so don’t feel bad. We snap a shot with our handy dandy digital photo and abracadabra, we have ORBS, or bubbles of light! Orbs have been a major cause of excitement for many paranormal investigators or common civilians who catch the orbs unexpectedly on their digital camera. Some have even gone so far as to say they see faces in the orbs. Dust particles can be blamed for a good percentage of those orbs, but it was later discovered that another common factor in catching photos with orbs is the camera itself. The cameras aren’t malfunctioning or broken, but because of their make up and design, they often capture images of the light reflected from their own flash or other lights in their casing. Not all orbs can be discounted due to these facts, but the good majority of them can. Isn’t that a bubble buster?

Well, how about those EMF meters then? Surely there must be some accuracy in those, right? There are two major malfunctions in trusting EMF readings. The first problem is that “spikes” on the meter can be caused by common sources such as wiring in the wall or other sources of electricity. The second problem is that electromagnetic fields are thought to produce reactions in the human brain that cause hallucinogenic effects. A person standing in an area of concentrated electromagnetic energy may genuinely feel they’re seeing, hearing, or feeling things when, in reality, it’s only their mind firing off reactions to the energy itself.

E.V.P.s can be fascinating to listen to, but the problem with electronic voice phenomena is that it’s subjective. One person may hear something that sounds like, “run” and another person hears the same thing and perceives it as “gun”. Furthermore, because it’s a sound caught on audio and not experienced physically, it can’t be proven where the source of the sound came from. Was it a ghost or a humming generator in the background?

The tools are cool, don’t get me wrong. I love exploring the possibilities of the paranormal and am tickled pink that we’re on the road to trying to establish rock-solid proof for paranormal encounters. I’m looking forward to conducting my own amateur investigations or tagging along with friends on ghost hunts. However, I do believe it’s utterly important that we don’t believe everything we read, that we don’t buy into the media hype, and that we remain objective in our efforts.

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