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Common Misconceptions Regarding Temperature Equipment Used During Ghost Hunting

Updated on July 12, 2008

Non-Contact Infrafred vs. Thermocouple


There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to equipment being used in paranormal investigations. I am hopefully going to shed some light on these misconceptions. I am going to talk about the use of temperature equipment. There are generally 2 types of used during investigations, the first one being a non-contact infrared thermometer. The second is a thermometer that reads ambient air temperature.

The "gun style" or non-contact infrared thermometers seem to be the most commonly used. Most groups or investigators use these because they are often mimicking what they have seen off of television. I will admit that I was one of them. Well on some level. In some of my earlier training this was all I used so this is what I became accustomed to. When it came time to start my own group I waned to do things my way. I did the proper research this time. I found that non-contact thermometers measure surface temperature only. These are best used in industrial settings to measure extremely high temperatures of items or liquids. They now have been used on ghost hunts to try to detect cold spots. The problem with this is that unless the cold spot you are trying to detect is on the surface of the closest wall the likelihood that you obtain an accurate reading is slim to none. If are trying to get a general reading of the air temperature of the room the readings will also be inaccurate. There is one small theory that if you are pointing the gun towards the wall taking a temperature reading and a cold spot travels in the path of the reading it might be detected. I have never had this happen though. I would rather have something a little more concrete especially when it comes to trying to prove or disprove the paranormal. There are already so many factors working against us that we really shouldn't make things harder for ourselves. One other misconception about these types of thermometers is that the laser that is sometimes present on these thermometers is actually taking the reading. This is false. The laser is usually just used a guide so you know what you are taking the temperature of.

The other type of thermometer that I use and have found very effective is an ambient air temperature thermometer. The readings are extremely accurate and quick. This measures the direct air temperature. The room temperature can be more easily identified. If a cold spot is detected the thermocouple with a type "K" probe can be inserted into the area where the temperature seems to be dropping. This provides a more precise reading and can be documented easier. These are easy to use and the digital display is simple to see.

There is a new way that I am starting to monitor temperature. I am currently testing out USB data loggers. With my data loggers I can monitor room temperature with a sample rate of every 10 seconds. I can use the graph it produces to correlate with my other temperature data and other readings from other equipment through out the night. It's consistent and effortless when using. I am always looking for new ways to improve my investigating. I hope that I have shed some light on the subject of temperature taking equipment used during paranormal investigation.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Non-Contact Infrared ThermometerThermocouple with type "K" probeData Logger
Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
Thermocouple with type "K" probe
Thermocouple with type "K" probe
Data Logger
Data Logger


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