Paranormal investigation, or ‘ghost hunting’ has seen a surge in popularity in the last decade. People have been searching for answers to life’s greatest mysteries for millennia and in the modern age this curiosity for the unknown has only intensified. Modern paranormal investigators utilise a vast array of gadgets in an attempt communicate with the departed, with most of it coming under fire from the scientific community for is lack of scientific integrity.
Whilst we can all agree on the definition of a spirit; it is hard to determine how a spirit would choose to communicate with the living, or even if they can communicate at all. For most people the idea of a ghost seems childish, yet those same people who give scorn believe in some form of afterlife. Since the dawn of our species, we have always had a special space in our psyche reserved for spirits.
Whilst the methods of gaining ‘evidence’ are questionable, the bravery of those who seek out the paranormal cannot be questioned.
Paranormal investigators are usually sceptics, looking to disprove ghosts absolutely. They venture into forgotten facilities and crumbling ruins looking to come face to face with something they hope doesn’t exist. To be a successful investigator you need bravery, a thirst for knowledge and a strong head on your shoulders. Whilst you can start investigating straight away, eventually you will want some gear to document any encounters you may have.
Many investigators have a love for technology and there is a huge array of devices aimed squarely at those wanting to come face to face with the unknown. The problem I have with the majority of they are garbage. As a budding investigator you will be tempted by these devices claiming extraordinary things, but if you can put on your sensible hat, you will see these claims are too good to be true.
EMF Meters are used by electricians and other professionals to measure electromagnet fields. EMF is emitted by cell phones and lots of other electronic devices. EMF is also said to be emitted by ghosts, meaning an EMF detector should be able to detect a ghost, right? Well, no one has ever proven the existence of ghosts, so how do we know that they emit EMF?
As a paranormal investigator, your job is to shift through the BS. You don’t need all this fancy gear, just a good quality camera. Video evidence is the holy grail, it’s hard to disprove or misinterpret. A good quality DSLR camera can not only take amazing photos, but will give you high detailed video too. A digital SLR camera like Sony’s A7s is the perfect night-time companion, with super low light capabilities and lighting fast auto focus.
Do your research.
More important than a digital SLR camera, more important than a digital recorder, in fact, the most important aspect to paranormal investigation, is research! Places with sad and disturbing histories are theoretical hot spots for paranormal activity, so it pays to know where you are investigating. Uncovering the history of these supposedly haunted sites is one of the most enjoyable aspects of paranormal investigations. Knowing where we came from can give us vital clues to where we are heading.
Researching your locations will also prepare you for any type of security you may encounter. I am not condoning trespassing, but if you are going to investigate an abandoned building in the dead of night, it pays to know if you are breaking the law. Always be wary of mould and asbestos and if in doubt were protective clothing.
Paranormal investigation can be an interesting and rewarding hobby. If you are rational, you will see most products offered for ‘ghost hunting’ are nothing more than utilitarian devices jazzed up with LED’s. As we have no proof that spirits exist, we have no proof that these devices are effective in communicating with them, so don’t waste your money. A good quality DLSR camera and some research is all you need to get started. Stay spooky!