Paranormal Communication: Practical Gear Tips For Newbie Ghost Hunters
Getting Started as a Ghost Hunter
When my cat died, the house seemed unusually quiet. There were no more soft footsteps in the middle of the night and no more distant scratching noises. And yet, I felt his presence everywhere; something I could not explain. I simply knew he was still with me.
Vindication came when I went away on a short vacation, then came home to find that everything that had been on my mantle was now on the fireplace below. I asked neighbors if there'd been an earthquake, but they said everything was as usual. I joked with them that "Ghost Kitty" had expressed his displeasure at my absence by knocking everything off the mantle.
Then, weeks later, a globe in my office spontaneously fell to the floor. Not from the edge of the desk to the floor, but from the back of the desk to the middle of the floor. Ghost Kitty had struck again. This was my impetus to investigate ways to communicate with the dead, especially to communicate with my deceased pet.
Basic Ghost Hunting Gear for the Beginner
I was able to "talk" to Ghost Kitty with a few effective, simple ghost hunting tools that did not cost a lot of money. I've also tried these simple tools at known haunted spots and have found that they perform well, are easy to transport, and easy to maintain. If you're just starting out as a ghost hunter, or are simply curious to give it a try, here are some tips for getting started.
1. Get a Good Flashlight
There are two types of lights you will need. The first is a headlamp that has a bright white light, and red and green lights for night vision. Features such as adjustable lighting direction, adjustable light "throw" or lamp brightness, and water resistance are desirable, but each feature adds to price. At minimum, you'll want to be able to adjust the tilt or direction of your light, and if you can, spring for adjustable lamp brightness.
The second type of light you'll need is a hand-held flashlight. You can use a regular heavy-duty, on-off, aluminum flashlight, or you can get something with adjustable brightness and night vision (red/green light) features.
If you decide to get a headlamp with only white light, then get a flashlight with both white light and night vision bulbs. At least one of your light sources should allow you to see in low-light, nighttime situations.
There are many flashlight choices that come with a built-in power bank. I'd advise getting this type of flashlight because you never know when you might need to recharge your phone.
2. Use Your Smartphone
You can definitely use a good smartphone camera to take video and still photographs during your ghost hunting activities. You can use your flashlight to help illuminate areas at night, or use apps to help you get better night-time picture resolution.
Make use of your phone's built-in voice recorder. Again, the quality is quite good, so take advantage of it. You can use the recorder as a communication device, or simply as a way to take notes in the field.
There are a number of very good apps that really add to the power of your smartphone as a ghost hunting device. See the next sections for a more discussion.
Using a smartphone instead of fancy, specialized gadgetry simply means that you'll have less to carry, less to worry about in the field, and that you'll have saved your money for other ventures.
Prison Cell, EVP Experiment
EVP Analysis Ghost Hunting Tools App
3. Download an EMF and EVP App
For the newbie ghost hunter, I'd recommend starting out with a free app, with both an Electromagnetic Field (EMF) presence detector and Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) detector and analyzer, that you download onto your smartphone. If, in future, you decide that you want to continue to investigate paranormal activities, you can upgrade to specialty EMF and EVP equipment.
There are many choices in the EMF/EVP app area, some better than others. I've recently been experimenting with one called Ghost Hunting Tools. This app monitors EMF, and, with its EVP analyzer, attempts to match sounds that it picks up to words in its built-in vocabulary, giving the user single word or short phrase results whenever it is able to "translate" a sound. The downside to this type of EVP analysis is that it has a limited vocabulary, and you don't actually hear the sounds that the app is picking up, so you can't apply your own interpretation to what is heard. On the plus side, this app is free. There are several apps out there to try, including some that allow you to ask questions and receive an answer. See what works best for your purposes.
When I used the Ghost Hunting Tools app to see if my cat's spirit was around, I placed my phone in a closet where my cat liked to hide. The words I got from the EVP monitor were "Liver," and "Come back." What I found interesting was that my cat did enjoy liver-flavored cat chow, and since he died very young, he probably would like to come back home.
I also tried this app during an early evening tour of a former prison. I simply turned the app on and placed my phone in my pocket for part of the tour. I tried to stand close to the cells as we walked by. When I checked the app later, the words from the EVP included "murder," "many," and "under bed."
Ghost Hunter's Poll
Have you definitely proved to yourself that you have communicated with a ghost or spirit?
4. Wisely Add to Your Photography Toolkit
Low-light Photography Apps
Many smartphones take good-quality night photos, however, the addition of a low-light photography app can take you from good to great. Start with a free app, to see how you like it, and to get used to taking photos in very low light.
I've been experimenting with Night Camera, with varying degrees of success. It has a nice timer, which is a big plus for taking clear nighttime photos. I also believe that this app has made my day-time photographs better. For nighttime photos, though, I think the app works best when used with a tripod, so that the camera is perfectly still.
Tripods and Lenses
If you plan to take nighttime photos, I suggest getting a small tripod, pocket-sized, to take in the field. It won't take up much space and they are fairly easy to set up quickly.
In regard to using different lenses, my recommendation is to start without them. Smartphone lenses are too tricky to attach and detach at night, or when your emotions and anxiety may be running high. They are easily dropped and lost, which will only distract you.
5. Dress for Strategic Advantage
You will want a comfortable ghost hunting wardrobe that you can move in, that will keep you warm and dry, and that will in no way hinder you when you need to access your gear quickly.
Jacket and Cap
One thing that I have learned is that there are often physical reactions that you may experience while ghost hunting, especially at night. Commonly, you may get the shivers, or at least feel a chill that runs like an electric charge from head-to-toe. I recommend outfitting yourself with a warm jacket with many pockets, gloves, and a brimless knit or polyester cap. Brimless caps are preferable to baseball-style caps, because a brim creates shadows that can show up as artifacts in any photos you may take.
For gloves, I like fingerless gloves, sometimes called "bum gloves," because you can still manipulate your equipment without fumbling around. Fumbling while in the field increases anxiety, which in turn increases the likelihood of false readings or sightings. Your mind will play tricks on you if you are anxious.
Lastly, footwear is extremely important. You want footwear that is comfortable, that will allow you to run if necessary, and that will keep you warm and dry. I prefer waterproof running shoes, but many of my friends wear combat boots from the military surplus shop, which seem to survive everything.
Respect the Hunt
I've pretty much been criticized on all sides for my belief in the paranormal, for my reliance and belief in smartphone apps for ghost hunting, and for not using the specialty gear designed and built specifically for paranormal exploration. I've decided that it's all fine, because you can't please everyone. I equally respect the professional paranormal investigator, the casual ghost hunter, and the curious believer/non-believer. Should you decide that you want to try your hand at paranormal investigation on any level, it is your right to do so. Simply be respectful of the work that others do, respect what you may encounter from the other realm, stay safe, and remember to breathe.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 KA Hanna