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The Practical Ghost Hunter: Motion Detection Devices

Updated on February 14, 2014

The unit we use.

These run about 5 bucks at the local hardware store.
These run about 5 bucks at the local hardware store.

Motion Detectors are great tools.

Motion Detection

Greetings and let me first say I am honored that you find your self reading my article. As a seasoned paranormal investigator, or ghost hunter if the title appeals more to you, I can tell you that a lot of people are busy selling books, videos, and lessons that instruct you to purchase equipment that is way out of your price range. Some would have you believe that you can not gather good quality evidence without these expensive toys. This is of course nothing more than smoke. You can get good and even great evidence without breaking your bank account and going in debt.

This text will focus on one of the more tedious pieces of equipment. Motion detectors to be exact. Motion detection equipment can really set a ghost hunter back if they are not to careful. The worse part of it all is most of these pieces are highly expensive and very much unnecessary. In this text I am going to give you the run down on some cheaper, yet equally effective means to accomplish motion detection. These are methods my team at Dravenstar Paranormal Research have used for years with great results.

A resourceful tool

A skoal can can become a motion detection device in a matter of seconds.
A skoal can can become a motion detection device in a matter of seconds.

Tech savy individuals can make their own.

Some Cheap Methods

There are a number of companies that actually offer a good quality product at a reasonable price. I find that these are great accessories to add to the well balanced ghost hunting kit. One thing that I suggest is you shop around to see if you can find a motion detection device that will notify you of movement but at the same time will not be a burden on you financially. If actual motion detectors are out of your price range I will show you some cheap methods that will accomplish the trick just as easily.

Sugary Goodness
I am sure that subtitle has you scratching your head. For this you will need the following items.

Items Needed
Bag of sugar- $2
Wax Paper- $1

For this simple trick of the trade you simply just place a sheet or two of wax paper in an area you are feeling spiritual movement will take place. Now coat the top with the sugar. Once again I am sure you are scratching your head wondering what I am going on and on about. The sugar when stepped on will make a very loud and audible noise alerting you that there is movement in the room you placed it in.

It sounds crazy but I assure you the sugar will give you a loud enough sound to check the scene out.

The Floating Disc

Items needed
A jerky or skoal can- $1 to 3
A bag of flour or sugar- $2

This one is a great way to test if the spirit is moving items in the home. You just need to poke a hole in the bottom of the can big enough to allow for the sugar or flour to pour out. Place the can with the hole to the ground and than fill it with sugar or flour.

Now if anything where to move this container you would have a trail of white powder to follow. No not the kind of trail Tommy lee would follow but you get the point. The trail will show you where the movement started and where it ended. We like to encourage, not intimidate the spirit to move the container.

The McGuver

This one is one I invented myself.

Items you need
Pencil- $.25
Styrofoam cup- $.25
Two Bike Wheel Lights- $1

This one is a great way to attempt and capture movement on cam. You simply place the cup on it's top. Now push the pencil through the center of the cup kind of like a t shape. Now that you have that you simply attach the bike wheel lights on each side. As you know these lights work on motion activation. In the event that something moves this amazing contraption you will get the lights on cam.

Like I said this is one of the ones I invented for my team when we were dealing with a home that was famous for items moving around without any reason to be doing so. It worked marvelously! As any ghost hunter will tell you creating your own gear comes with the territory. You have to learn to adapt and create on the fly.


This is also a method I devised.

Items needed
window security alarms- $3 or $1 at a Dollar Tree
2 tech deck skateboard toys-$1
Black electrical tape- $1

This is a great little contraption we came up with some time back. The window or door alarms work by a magnetic connection.When they are together they are silent but the moment the connection is severed a loud alarm goes off. The key to this is spacing.

Tape each section of the alarm to it's own skateboard. Now place them together so the alarm is silent. Now anytime something moves the skateboards apart you will hear the audible alarm. This is a great little tool for any ghost hunter and it is impressively cheap. I made about 8 of these for my team and they ran like $1.50 each.

Ghost Hunting needs resourceful people.

Try new methods all the time.
Try new methods all the time.

Other Methods

The key is knowing what can help you. If you are going the cheap route head over to Wal-Mart's arts and crafts department and grab a package of mini sleigh bells. You get around 25 for a buck. These little boys are plenty loud enough to be heard and are a great cheap way to provide your ghost hunt with motion detection without spending a fortune. You can attach these to the cup creation I told you about earlier, or even to random items around the house you are investigating in.

These little bells are remarkably handy and will help you out full scale.
You can use flour on the floor to detect footprints but this will make you have a hassle with clean up. You would have to vacuum the flour up. I would never suggest this method.

I always suggest that you find methods that work for you. If you have the cash to go full scale with a motion detection device by all means go for it. Ghosthunters are notorious for our creativity so why not go the route of creation?

There are tons of other methods that can work for you. Tie yarn as you would a trip wire and check to see if it is torn. The key factor is you need to understand humans can trigger these devices just as much as a spiritual presence can. This is true with any motion detection device so always coordinate with another type of evidence collection method.


Go with what feels right to you. I would advise you to try different methods and test which are the best for you. Motion detection is often overlooked in the world of ghosthunting but it can be a very important aspect of your evidence collection.

As a ghost hunter or paranormal investigator you have to be ready to present your evidence in a manor that gives it credibility. Motion detection can help with that based on how you handle it. I prefer to set a camera up focused on my detection equipment that way if there is movement I have two forms of evidence to present my clients with.

So there you have it. Cheap easy alternative to buying the expensive motion detection equipment. These method have worked wonders for my team and I am sure you will have some moderate success as well. Try the ones you feel are best suited to your needs.


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    • lorddraven2000 profile image

      Sam Little 4 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      Thanks Monis, I have a good deal of paranormal related hubs. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Awesome hub. All things "paranormal" are my thing. Voted interesting!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      I am very interested in the paranormal so your title caught my eye. Lots of advice here for potential ghost hunters.

      Interesting hub. :)


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