Tools of the Ghost Hunting Trade

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Paranormal researchers rely on technology and instinct to find answers. In each case, the Paranormal Research Association of Boston arrives with silver suitcases

containing recording equipment, both modern and old-fashioned: from digital video and audio devices to 35mm cameras. Each tool is used to measure aspects of the environment, from electrical frequencies to carbon monoxide. The data is collected and compiled in the final report which is given to the client. Here’s what specialists use when faced with potential paranormal activity.

Electromagnetic field meter: The EMF meter measures fluctuations in electromagnetic fields. This could indicate potential paranormal activity (some paranormalists believe that spirits emit their own frequencies) or it could reveal ancient wiring. According to PRAB, the meter can be affected by anything that emits an electric or magnetic field, such as cell phones.

Cameras: PRAB uses several types of cameras, including infrared, digital, 35mm film cameras and video cameras connected to digital video recorders.

Audio recorders: To capture the sound of a scene, the team uses digital audio recorders. Part of this analysis also includes ultra-low frequency sounds, which are too faint to be detected by the human ear.

Night vision cameras: Seeing in the dark is necessary when working in dark halls and corridors. “Traditionally, spirits are usually seen in the dark, as people’s senses are heightened to small changes that they may not perceive with other distractions during the day,” according to PRAB.

Multi-system detector: It’s all in the name. Multi-system detectors are used by PRAB to examine high EMF ranges as well as high alternating currents.

Environmental indicators: Investigators check temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and ion levels.

Eight wired infrared cameras: Placed throughout the building under investigation, the cameras allow real-time monitoring and video recording at night from an outside command center.

Eight-channel digital video recorder: It is the primary storage component for all digital camera recordings. Videos and still images are saved on the 500 GB hard drive.

Communication : By investigating,
Members of the PRAB team use ultra-high frequency radios which they claim do not interfere with readings from other equipment.

Radiation detector:
PRAB says he rarely finds radiation and is often crossed off the list of potential anomalies in the building.

Mel-8704-ProNavigator:
This tool, used specifically by paranormal investigators, is supposed to simultaneously measure temperature and electromagnetic fields. Its purpose is to “locate the source of electromagnetic fields and has a fast temperature probe to locate hot and cold spots”.

UEi CO71 carbon monoxide detector:
As with EMF readings, knowing a building’s carbon monoxide levels can help investigators provide a scientific alternative to perceived paranormal activity. High levels of CO can cause hallucinations and dizziness.
Cristela Guerra


Cristela Guerra can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @CristelaGuerra.

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