Vince Wilson has been hunting ghosts for years. And, as the author Ultimate Ghost Hunter: The Amateur Parapsychologist’s Handbook, Ghost Technology and phantom science; founder of the Maryland Paranormal Investigators Coalition; and curator of ghosttech.net, a blog dedicated to ghost hunting advancements, news and stories, Wilson knows what he’s talking about. He has used a full menu of tools and gadgets in his profession, and when asked for his recommendation of the best ghost hunting device, he unequivocally endorsed the Mel-8704 counter.
The Mel-8704 meter is a portable meter that looks like a walkie-talkie. A multitasking tool, it measures both electromagnetic fields (EMF) and temperature changes on a single device. To understand why Wilson is singing his praises, it’s best to go back and explain what exactly a ghost is and how Wilson searches for them.
The biggest misconception in his field, Wilson said, is that he searches for ghosts directly. Instead, he looks for dramatic changes in environmental conditions, signs that might indirectly indicate the presence of an unseen force. “There are a lot of misunderstandings in the paranormal,” he said. Wilson promotes the theory that ghosts are energy that has become embedded in an atmosphere. “You can argue that perhaps at the time of death, instead of being integrated forever into the human system, a person’s electromagnetic energy becomes integrated into the environment around them,” said Wilson. In other words: a ghost.
Wilson says he can detect this presence by measuring severe temperature changes that may correspond to the presence of an unseen force. The theory is that the ghosts draw energy from the air around them, which would cause the air molecules to line up in such a way as to cause cold spots – similar to a can of compressed air. alters the air around it, causing it to become cold and frosty. With its fast-response thermocouple temperature sensor, the Mel Meter searches for electrical resistance in air and can detect temperature changes up to three times faster than competitive thermometers.
Here, Wilson demonstrates the search for cold spots before the development of the Mel meter:
The second important part of the Mel meter is its EMF drive. According to Wilson, another way to detect paranormal presence is to suddenly change the electromagnetic energy level of a location. A hunter gets a basic reading of a room, accounting for everything from man-made cables to pipes to bad wiring. “You have to think in the fourth dimension,” Wilson said. That means not only accounting for things easily visible to you that might disrupt a reading, but “what about a fridge next door?” Then they look for extremely low frequencies or very fast changes.
Here is Wilson explaining how EMF readings were taken before the Mel meter:
There are several devices on the market capable of independently measuring temperature and electromagnetic fields; the real breakthrough with the Mel meter is that it can track cold spots and EMF changes simultaneously, eliminating the need for many bulky tools on an excursion. This isn’t the first attempt at creating a multitasking ghost-hunting device. Wilson recalled a laptop computer with several measurement tools designed to monitor an environment without human interference. The problem with this tool is common among paranormal investigation tools: they are haphazardly built, imprecise and amateurish.
According to Wilson, the Mel counter is the first device tested in the laboratory and explicitly designed for paranormal research. That’s because its inventor Gary Galka has a personal connection to the field. The “Mel” in the meter Mel is not an acronym; it represents Melissa, the name of Galka’s late daughter. She died in a car accident in 2004, at the age of 17, which means she was born in 1987. The Mel-8704 meter is a tribute to her daughter, the year of her birth and the year of his death.
Galka sensed that he communicated with Melissa after her death through various means: smelling her perfume, smelling her kisses, and turning electronics on and off. He got into paranormal research and discovered that the technologies used in the field were consumer gadgets and devices for other scientific research tasks. He therefore developed the Mel counter, specially adapted to the particular parameters of paranormal investigation.
Granted, the device does not produce ghosting audio or images like other scarier devices on the market. There’s the Ovilus, a random number generator connected to an electronic dictionary that allows ghosts to communicate with investigators. Or “Shak Hacks”, a term for Radio Shak AM/FM radio devices re-engineered for the supposed purpose of communicating through white noise.
So if you are looking to create your own version of paranormal activity this Halloween, skip the Ghost Hunting 101 kits and go for the Mel-meter. As Wilson said, for a ghost hunter, “it’s the best thing.”