What We Use and Why We Use It…
When you think of a ghost hunter, you probably have an image a person who dresses in black and has cases and cases of electronic equipment with shiny lights and loud sounds. Paranormal television programs has ingrained this image of the ghost hunter in our minds, and many ghost hunting teams fit that bill.
The Motor City Ghost Hunters are no different. What sets us apart from most teams out there is that we own a ton of gear dedicated to ghost hunting, and we know how all of it operates. There are investigators on our team with years of experience using equipment as an investigation aid. We also have an electronics engineer in our group who makes equipment for us to test out during our ghost hunts.
It is important to remember that it is not the equipment that makes the ghost hunter, it is the ghost hunter’s technique (which may or may not involve using paranormal investigation equipment) while investigating that will tell if there is any paranormal activity present. For years, starting from the first ghost hunter, Harry Price, the only tried and true equipment used are a pen, paper, a flashlight and you five sense. All other equipment is useful, but nothing is more useful than having a pad of paper with important names, dates and triggers written down. If you spend your entire investigation staring at a piece of equipment, you might be missing a full bodied apparition standing right in front of you!
So What Does MCGH Use?
We have all the bells and whistles. When we booked out one of the nation’s premier haunted locations for a private lock-down, the persons operating the facility said that our team brought more gear than any other team who has ever visited – and that includes all of the TV shows!
To make things easier, we will show you the main topics and then you can visit each one to learn a little bit more. Hopefully you will gain a better understanding of commonly used paranormal equipment and know what to expect when purchasing, or investigating, with the more common paranormal investigation tools out there.
When we use detecting equipment, we are looking for deviations from the normal values of a location. If there is no measurable activity, and a deviation occurs that seems to produce intelligent responses, then we might include this as possible evidence, especially if there is audio or video evidence supporting the deviation.
We can never be certain which device will trigger during an investigation which is why we bring a bit of everything with us. We have found through countless hours investigating that the path of least resistance is often what a spirit will choose. Some can communicate via magnetic interference, others through electric interference, some through static – and that doesn’t even touch upon modulation devices like an Ovilus or a Ghost Box that are also used quite frequently for communication. That being said, we are going to go over a few of the most common detecting devices you will see paranormal investigators, like the Motor City Ghost Hunters, use during an investigation.
EMF Meters, Dowsing Rods, Pendulums, Static Electricity Detectors, Frequency Detector, Motion Detectors, ION Counter
Energy emitters are useful tools for our paranormal investigations. Paranormal investigators often believe that if a spiritual presence attempts contact through a field, for example EMF, then providing ample EMF for a spirit to use should mean that there is more resources available for a spirit to communicate with. There is also the belief that providing these resources for spirits to use will also save on batteries (more on this can be found in the discussion on EM Pumps).
EM Pumps, EM White Noise Generator, Shumann Resonance Generator, ION Generator, REM Pods
Audio has been the heart and soul of modern ghost hunting since it was brought to light by pioneers like Konstantin Raudive and Friedrich Jürgenson. The first EVP’s were recorded on wax cylinders and paranormal investigation has moved forward since then. Modern ghost hunting began with reel-to-reel and then cassette tape. Some used field DAT recorders and other devices for investigation. What really began the modern EVP audio renaissance was the invention of handheld recorders like the micro-cassette and ultimately the devices we all use today, handheld digital audio recorders.
Handheld Audio Recorders
Video is often described as the most appealing evidence a ghost hunter can obtain. It allows for the capturing and reproducing of a paranormal event for all to see. There are several types of video cameras used today, and it is important to know the difference between Night Shot, UV, IR and Full Spectrum video.
Video Cameras and Lighting Enhancements
Every team wants to have a thermal camera in their arsenal. Nothing can hide from a thermal camera – if there is a heat source deviation, a thermal camera will pick it up. It can register cold spots. It can register foot prints and hand prints long after the foot or hand has been removed and we here at the Motor City Ghost Hunters are exceptionally happy to have one in our gear bag.
Still Photography Cameras
Photography, as a medium, is well understand and over its 150 + years, there have been several documented paranormal images. Still photography is very present in paranormal investigations today and currently most everyone has access to high quality digital cameras (although there are still some dedicated film users out there). For a typical paranormal investigation team, like the Motor City Ghost Hunters, there are three types of cameras that are used.
DSLR, Point and Shoot, Cell Phones
Modulation devices are fantastic because they manipulate existing signals to provide an interface that allows for real time communication with the dead. These modern devices are starting to gain credibility and have been used actively since ITC (Instrumental Transcommunication) introduced modulation to the paranormal community in the late 1970’s.
Ghost Boxes, Ovilus, Paranormal Puck, EVP Maker, Cell Phone Apps
Environmental Monitoring Devices
Paranormal Investigators need to log what the normal conditions are in a given environment to be able to determine if there is any correlation between changes in environment and paranormal activity. The following devices are used by the Motor City Ghost Hunters in hopes of recognizing the changes in ambient environment to either support or refute paranormal activity at a given location.
Thermometers, Humidity Detectors, Air Particle Counter, Anemometer
In cases where you enter a location where you know grievous bodily harm occurred, a professional Ultra-Violet Light system can allow you to physically see the remnants of the harm. Blood and tissue are easily detected so you can see where the victim was at the time of the attack. This allows you to add substantiated evidence to your line of questioning and reports.
Flashlights are an absolute necessity for any paranormal investigation. It allows you to see where you are going and what you are doing. It also allows for possible contact with the paranormal due to something called “The Flashlight Trick.”
Mag light, other
Trigger objects are objects that you bring to an investigation in order to elicit a response from any spirits that may be present. We bring all kinds of trigger objects with us on an investigation and someday, we hope to capture some definitive interaction on camera with them.
Toys, Dice, Marbles, Lighter, Ordnance, etc.
A paranormal investigators toolkit is never complete. There are always things that you can find that will make your investigations go smoother. We often bring tool kits along with us to help debunk paranormal events – but sometimes even tools cannot explain a cellar door opening….
Level, Tape (duct, gaffers and electrical), Tape Measure, Flour, Notebook & Pen