Thursday, March 09, 2006

Become an Amateur Ghost Hunter without the Expensive Equipment

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Ever since I was a little kid I loved Ghostbusters. It is one of my favorite movies, and I always watched the cartoon, bought all the toys, and was interested in anything having to do with ghosts. Although I've never seen a ghost myself or am convinced they exist, some people do attempt to seek out and find ghosts, along with evidence of them.

Most "professional" ghost hunters have very expensive equipment that uses all sorts of electromagnetic reading, detects changes in the atmosphere, expensive recording devices (both audio and video), and many other techno gadgets - all in an attempt to capture the sound or picture of a ghost. Now you can be a ghost hunter without all that highly expensive equipment, and try to find your own supernatural entity. But, you'll need a few supplies.

The Ghost Radar

A company located in the UK makes a device called the Ghost Radar, which is basically a small USB drive with additional features beneficial to finding preternatural spirits by way of detecting changing in surrounding atmosphere, EMP fields and more.

THE SENSORS
The white ball at the top of the GhostRadar is part of the electro-magnetic sensor which detects changes in local energy fields. It's not a roller ball, and doesn't need to be rotated. If you try, it may move and the magnetic sensor will lose its sensitivity.
The thermal sensor detects changes in temperature and, in normal mode, its data is combined with that from the other sensors, the lunar-cycle clock-timer set-up, and your bio feedback. It's widely believed that most ghostly presences are accompanied by a chilling of the air.

The optical sensor detects changes in the light level and, in normal mode, its data is combined with that from the other sensors, the lunar cycle set-up, and your bio feedback. Most apparitions appear as the evening light fades and the long dark night begins.

The bio-feedback sensor builds your experience into the detection algorithm. Generally, as you become nervous, your skin resistance changes. Maybe you then become more likely to see ghosts.

GhostRadar is unaffected by the very high frequency changes in electro-magnetic radiation used for communication by mobile phones, radios, and televisions.

The smallest size, which holds 128MB of data, costs about $74. The lights on the front panel of the device can be hard to read, and the other question is whether or not it really works and how sensitive it is. However, it's low cost compared to other devices, which generally will only detect one type of impulse, is quite low. So, it might be worth a shot.

Of course, as with everything, it comes with a disclaimer.

GhostRadar does not guarantee to detect ghosts, nor does it imply that they exist. But it might, and they may. However, your interaction, emotional state, and belief system, may be important factors in how you interpret unusual events.

A Camera with Infrared Film

Most likely, you already own a camera of some type. If it's a digital camera, it is possibly that the pixilation is too low for getting good shots of ghosts (at least according to ghost hunters), so you might have to invest in a regular film camera if you don't have one. A common recommendation to take pictures of ghosts is by using infrared film, which allows you to capture a wider spectrum range of light, and is more UV sensitive. It is higher priced than regular film, so it isn't something you would want to use for everyday shots. Although infrared film isn't required, it is preferred, so if you are truly intent on capturing a good shot of a ghost, infrared seems to be the way to go. I am not a photography expert, so I couldn't tell you which brands are best or which cameras it will work in, or even a good place to buy it. But, I have linked a good FAQ that details more about it. I'm sure there are lots more other links on the web with more information about this as well, and probably some books you can find on the topic.

An Audio Recorder

Sometimes, often the strangest evidence of other worldly presents is captured via some type of audio recording. You could use a cheap tape recorder from an office supply store to do this, or professional recording equipment to capture sounds within higher or lower frequency ranges. You could also use an iPod voice recorder, like the iTalk from Griffin, which sells for about $27 on Amazon.com. Once you've recorded as much as you want, you could hook it back up to your PC and listen to see what you've found. There is quite a bit of software available that allows you to enhance, change, filter, and isolate different parts of audio files so you can try and decipher what you might have picked up. There are different schools of thought on how you should listen to 'ghost' recordings, what frequency they can come, if they should be listened to in reverse and so forth. The same is true with photography, and all other aspects of it. Probably the most problematic issue with audio recordings is interference or sounds that could be suspect as to what exactly they are. Obviously, if you're in search of a phantom spirit you'll probably have an open mind, so you'll have to judge for yourself.

Video Cameras (Optional)

There are lots of video cameras available today, even some very cheap wireless ones from X10.com that allow you to remotely watch areas without anyone being there. X10 makes quite a range of products that might be ideal to an amateur ghost hunter, such as remote cameras, some with night vision & remote arms, motion sensors, remote audio recorders and other nifty stuff. If you never caught a ghost, you could always use it for home security purposes (which is what it's meant for). Of all the TV shows on ghosts I've watched, I don't recall them ever successfully seeing a ghost on video camera. It seems like they always set up a huge amount of equipment and sit back and expect a ghost to show up on the screen. My personal opinion is that if ghosts exist, they probably would not readily show up on camera. Why? Well, possibly because they might know people are looking for them. Ghosts seem to be reclusive creatures and generally pop up when people aren't looking for them, which generally impedes the average ghost hunter (or proves they don't exist). However, there's no harm in trying. I would wonder if a ghost would set off a motion detector though?

So, where to find a ghost?

There are many guides, directories, and listings online and off of where ghosts have been sighted, and many places will intentionally advertise the fact that they are haunted (such as small bed and breakfasts in old houses) in an effort to draw tourist dollars. So, don't go out of your way to try and find a ghost. There are probably places in your home town where people might have claimed to see a ghost. Cemeteries are always good, as are old battlefields, extremely old buildings with a history of many generations of residents living there, and always the eerie and strange lure of abandoned buildings and other similar places (just beware of trespassing laws). If you're really gutsy, you could always try and find the scene of a death. Places where people have died by way of tragic consequences seem to gravitate with stories of hauntings. Just keep in mind the large amount of urban legends associated with the topic. But also keep in mind to have a respect for these places and the dead. Don't go out and expect to find a ghost your first try, or even your second or third. Some people spend half their lives looking for ghosts and never find one, but don't let that discourage you. Once you start going around hunting ghosts you can call yourself a "Paranormal Investigator" or even get a degree in it. In fact, there are a whole lot of "schools" that will certify you in this field. I'm still trying to figure out how you become a demonologist or vampirologist.

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1 comment:

SARAHAIGH said...

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