The Best Ghost Hunting Apps and Tools for Halloween 2018

0

Do I think ghosts are real? No, I’m a journalist! But do I think ghosts are real? Yes, it’s October.

When the air gets chilly and the leaves fall and all the suckers start quoting the end of Gatsby the magnificent, it’s time to open your heart to the possibility that you don’t understand everything. You probably don’t even remember why the leaves are turning orange. I know not! You could buy some ghost tracking gear and play around with it, and that would be an okay and maybe even admirable thing for you to do. Maybe better than many other ways to spend your money, huh?

I sat down with Kim Johnston, a paranormal researcher from Birmingham, Alabama, to find out what kind of money I should be willing to spend on ghost hunting apps and gear this fall, and to get some expert advice. on which dozens of ghost hunting apps available in the app store are gross scams that will only trick me and hurt my feelings.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

To begin, could you give us an overview of your experience in the paranormal field? What are you specialized in?

Kim Johnson

I have either experienced paranormal activity or investigated and researched it for the past 10 years. It started when I moved into a house that I can only describe as haunted, in 2008. So that’s where my journey into the paranormal began. I have a day job – I’m a senior software engineer who designs and develops commercial web applications for an insurance company – so I tend to be quite logical and skeptical. But sometimes there are things you go through that you have no other explanation for.

I write stories about local history and local hauntings, and then I also do a lot of residential cases where people call me because they’re experiencing paranormal activity and they need help.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Could you tell us a bit about the local stories you refer to? And when you help people at home, what exactly does that entail?

Kim Johnson

Here in Birmingham, in the early 1800s, the Creek Tribe were driven from the land by Andrew Jackson. There was a lot of fighting in the area around us – battles and massacres and that sort of thing. We have this kind of history here that I think causes some of our hauntings.

The city of Birmingham was also known for its pig iron in the 1800s during the time of the industrial revolution. We have mines everywhere. All abandoned mines tend to be haunted because so many men have died during mining. Sloss Furnace is located here in Birmingham and it is one of the most haunted places in America I would say. It is haunted because so many men would die, falling in fires, or smoke inhalation, or other industrial accidents. These are some of the stories I have investigated.

The first thing we do if someone thinks they have paranormal activity is, using an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter, to determine if there is an electrical problem in the house. High EMF ratings have been linked to hallucinations and feelings of paranoia, or making you feel like you’re being watched. These things can feel like they are paranormal to the person experiencing them, but it could just be very high EMF and prolonged exposure to it. So the first thing we try to do is demystify and exclude the paranormal.

If you don’t have an EMF meter to detect these different electromagnetic waves, there are apps that have it built-in. One of the apps is created by Laxton Ghosts; they are Swedish researchers. This application contains several tools, and I find this one useful because it is designed by real researchers and not by people who are just trying to have fun or create an application that is some kind of joke.

A basic EMF meter, also known as K2 meter, which you can find on Amazon or just about anywhere online. The cheapest model you can find is around $40 or so. It detects electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by everything electrical: household appliances, your electrical box at home, the power lines that pass above you. A TriField meter is a bit more expensive. They cost around $150 or more, depending on which model you get. But this one can detect magnetic fields alone, then electronic fields, and also radio frequencies depending on the settings you choose.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

I’m curious to know a bit more about how expensive it is as a hobby or as a research project. Other than the counters we talked about, what kinds of things should you buy if you just want to try it out?

Kim Johnson

It can be a very economical hobby. All I started was a flashlight and a voice recorder from Walmart which cost me about $30. Those were the two main tools I needed to get into paranormal research. The voice recorder is used to capture Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). That’s all you need to get started. You can simply go to a place that you know is haunted or feels haunted, turn on your voice recorder and start asking questions, and see if any voices appear on your recording afterwards.

The next piece of gear would be a decent camera. You can use your phone’s built-in camera, but if you want to do something like a night vision camera, these cost around $200 for a good one from a reliable retailer. You will need the infrared lights that help illuminate the room for the camera to see. I think IR lights are $40+. That’s really all you would need.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Have you seen the BooBuddy teddy bear that contains an EMF reader? I just came across this this morning and really want one.

BooBuddy bear has an EMF reader in its stomach to help detect paranormal activity.
Bytown Paranormal

Kim Johnson

I have one!

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Do you like it?

Kim Johnson

I like this. We had a very interesting experience using it in an old mining village. It contains an EMF meter, so its belly will turn red if it detects electric fields. We were standing in the middle of the woods in this mining village and the bear’s belly is starting to glow. We’ve ruled out that there’s anything electrical around to make it do that. One of the people with us said she felt like there was a little girl holding her hand. She was holding BooBuddy in one arm, then the other felt like a little girl was holding her hand. He recorded questions inside. We’ve used it some but not with much luck – at least not yet. But it seems to attract childish spirits.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

So once an EMF meter shows you something like this, what’s next?

Kim Johnson

Next we will configure the voice recorders, and we use [what’s called] a liquor box. A spirit box is an AM/FM radio that has been “hacked” to cycle through all the radio stations at high speed and create white noise. It’s really loud and it makes a lot of noise, but the theory goes that spirits can [manipulate] this white noise [make words or sounds] and communicate with us — in real time, where we can hear them. We can ask questions, and we hope they will answer.

Some [apps that can also do this] scan Internet radio stations and some just have a built-in sound bank. We have a [classic] radio spirit box, and we also use apps that are spirit boxes on our smartphones. My favorite spirit box app that I’m using right now is SonoX10, which is one of those apps that only has a soundbank; there is also a SonoX12 for Android users.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Could you tell us a bit about how you decide that a research team – and therefore its application – is trustworthy?

Kim Johnson

I had a chat with the creators of the Laxton Ghost app. I did a little research on them and saw that they were serious investigators – they weren’t just trying to create something for fun, and it was a serious effort to create something that was useful for paranormal research. I’m really basing it on whether these people are serious about it or if they’re just out to make money and cheat on someone.

I avoid [the popular free app] Ghost Radar or anything with the same name as Ghost Radar – anything that has a built-in feature where you can take pictures while you’re in the app. This type of app will manipulate your photos to make you think you’ve caught some sort of paranormal apparition or strange orb in your photos. So these are not very believable to me.

I was a little skeptical of iOvilus, which is an app that seemingly spits out random words. Supposedly the spirits can manipulate it and give answers, make it say a word that matches what you are asking or where you are. I like to play with this one. Not everything he says is accurate or even applicable to where we are or what we are doing, but sometimes he will do something or say something that is dead. This makes me think.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Given that you are a software developer, is working on something related to the paranormal something you could technically get into?

Kim Johnson

I haven’t started developing the code for this yet, but I’m in the research phase [of an idea]. I want to create something that will allow a spirit to interact and give yes or no answers. I have an idea how this can be done differently from what has been done in other apps. One day, I hope it will develop.

Kaitlyn Tiffany

My big question regarding apps is this: obviously if you’re interacting with ghosts, they’re probably pre-iPhone. Does this seem like an obstacle to you?

Kim Johnson

You say the ghosts are from long ago, how would they know how to use our gear?

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Yeah. Sorry if this is a stupid question.

Kim Johnson

No, no, I also struggled with this question early in my paranormal research. What I would do is explain to the spirits at the start of a session how to use all the different equipment. Some of my friends made fun of me because I felt the need to. Supposedly, once you’re dead and on the other side, you know everything and you don’t need these explanations, but I explain it anyway.

I think that’s sometimes an obstacle. Our gear can be intimidating, it can be noisy, I think some spirits are afraid to interact with us because of that. But yeah, I don’t know, some of them catch on really quickly and we get a good interaction.

Share.

Comments are closed.