ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ghost Hunting Techniques: Where's the Science?

Updated on June 2, 2014
Some people believe that the orbs in this picture may be signs of a ghost.
Some people believe that the orbs in this picture may be signs of a ghost.

Ghost hunting has become an increasingly popular hobby. To make this hobby more attainable for everyone a slew of new products and gadgets have hit the market to help you find local haunted hot spots. However, despite all of the high-tech scientific gear used, ghost hunting is still regarded as a pseudoscience.

If you are interested in picking up this hobby, I highly suggest that you learn more about the gear and gadgets you are considering buying. While some of these items seem very useful, they may not be appropriate for the type of areas you are considering investigating. Furthermore, it is important to understand that none of these objects will offer wildly accepted concrete proof.

Electromagnetic Field Meters

It is believed that when an electromagnetic field meter, or EMF meter, spikes suddenly that a ghost is nearby or attempting to manifest. This may be because ghosts are comprised of electromagnetic energy or because ghosts used this energy when attempting to make contact.

However, EMF meters are intended to measure human exposure to certain types of radiation and not ghost hunting. Since so many things can cause an EMF meter to spike, prolonged sun exposure to an area, certain types of electrical wiring or a microwave working, it is hard to say that an spike is certainly a ghost.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon Recordings

Electronic voice phenomenons, or EVPs, are sounds that are caught on recording equipment. Sometimes these sounds are what are considered residual sounds. These can be sounds like footsteps or gun fire, something that would relate directly to what a person would have done normally in their lifetime. These sort of EVPs may point to the fact that the present ghost is unaware of your presence. The more intriguing EVPs are the interactive type. This is when a ghost can hear you and tries to communicate.

Sometimes people can actually hear a voice or unexplained sound while searching for ghosts. Other times the sounds are only picked up on recording devices.

Apparition Caught on Thermographic Camera

Thermographic Cameras

When it is believed that a ghost is nearby it is often thought that the temperature of the area drops drastically. People experience chills, goosebumps and occasionally people report being able to see their own breath suddenly. For this reason experienced ghost hunters have begun utilizing infared and thermographic cameras to measure and see these bizarre and sudden changes. Interestingly, when people catch a "ghost" on these cameras they are shown as heat and not cold.

Many of the apparitions caught on thermal cameras have been easily written off as frauds. Others have been debunked as residual heat from the sun, central heating or air drafts carrying warm air. Unfortunately, the remaining clips, those that have not been exposed or debunked, only show proof of heat. However, because they are unexplained, this leaves these phenomenon's open to hypothesis.

Personal Experiences

Often, personal experiences with ghosts are those most easily discarded by science but offer the most proof for those who experience these occurrences. People claim not only to have seen spirits but also of hearing them, feeling them scratch or push and seeing them move items around. While these stories are very compelling, they offer little real proof.

Ghost Stories

Have you had a personal experience with a ghost?

See results

Motion Detectors

There are several types of motion detectors currently available that are thought to catch the movement of ghosts. Often someone will set up a static video camera along with motion sensors. When the sensors are triggered, hunters will closely examine the tape looking for any movement: shadows, mists, orbs etc.

However, with so many available sensors it is hard to say how easy or difficult it may be for a sensor to be tripped. Upon examining the video a person is more likely to accept any slight difference as proof of an apparition. Even though, when examined more critically, you may discover that the movement is a shadow you cast or dust being kicked up when the air conditioner kicks on.

This picture claims to have an orb, a figure forming and two faces.
This picture claims to have an orb, a figure forming and two faces.


Even the most amateur ghost hunter will bring a camera along on the hunt in hopes of catching orbs, mist, shadows or figures on film. Each of these items are thought to be signs of ghosts. However, lighting and camera issues can explain most of these images.

Orbs can be caused by dust and bugs catching a glimmer of light. Mists are often the result of smoke or fog that is unseen until caught by the light. Shadows are often the result of someone or something casting a shadow that was unnoticed by the naked eye. Figures are often more of a psychological trick. Our brains are programmed to create faces and figures where there are none. Try staring at your ceiling for a few minutes and you will quickly see several faces and figures.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • twosheds1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub! When I see "evidence" of a paranormal entity, I always ask the question "What makes it paranormal?" "Orbs" are the best example. OK, you have blob of light in your picture. You don't know what caused it, it's weird, but what makes it supernatural in origin?

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      In the course of doing healing work, I have come across spirits who needed prayers. But I think I wouldn't go into ghost hunting as a hobby. :)

      Ripplemaker's News: Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Do visit this link to see your nominated hub in the Religion and Philosophy category. Be sure to read and vote! Have a great time with the Hubnuggets!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)