Many paranormal investigators use a huge range of equipment in order to capture and catalogue evidence. 

The goal is to obtain proof in the form of scientifically validated methods, such as the use of thermometers, EMF meters and cameras, to help show and prove the existence of the spirit world.

Cameras

Cameras are used to record activity.  This could be spirit activity or the recording of other devices being used as part of the investigation, like EMF meters.

Camera lenses can be modified to remove UV and infrared filters allowing photos or videos to be taken in the full spectrum of light.  This increases the chance of capturing paranormal activity that we may not see with our own eyes.

Unmodified camera use is also common, as is the use of analogue cameras like the polaroid or 35mm film cameras.  

Visual evidence is often considered the holy grail of paranormal evidence. 

We have infrared cameras, full spectrum cameras, a normal DSLR and our mobile phone cameras when we investigate.

With all visual evidence there is a real need to be objective in determining whether the capture is paranormal or not.  Dust is visible when taking a photo or recording and most orbs are nothing more than dust particles or moisture particles.  Mist anomalies could be the result of environmental changes such as evaporation or condensation.  Objectivity in evidence review is the key.  

If you are in any doubt as to whether any evidence is paranormal or not, don’t call it paranormal.

Thermal Imaging Equipment

Thermal imagery equipment allows us to capture our environment in a heat map.  Using thermal cameras we are able to see areas of hot and cold spots which could indicate spirit presence. 

It also allows us to debunk potential cold spot phenomena.  As an example when using the thermal camera we may see an area in a wall which is incredibly cold.  This would then warrant further investigation where we then discover that there is a crack in the wall letting in cold air from outside.  We can then discount this cold spot as an area of normal activity.

Alternatively we could find a cold spot in an area for which there is no logical source.  In combination with other equipment we can explore this cold spot in more detail to perhaps come to the conclusion that it is paranormal.

Human forms, hand prints mist-like anomalies  have all been captured on thermal cameras. 

It is important when reviewing thermal imagery that you consider logical explanations for hot or cold spots before attributing them to paranormal activity.  For example, our body heat can reflect off of glass or metallic surfaces creating the image of a human form on the thermal camera.  This isn’t paranormal, it’s actually just us, but if we weren’t being objective in our analysis we would perhaps not have considered the logical explanation.

If you are in any doubt as to whether any evidence is paranormal or not, don’t call it paranormal.  

Structured Light Sensor Cameras

SLS cameras are very popular tools to use on investigations.

SLS cameras were introduced originally for video gaming, most notably the Microsoft Kinect.  These cameras emit an array of infrared lights and an imaging camera.  A sensor measures the depth of the light beam of the infrared lights and feeds this information back to software along with the visual image which converts the data in to the imagery we see on screen.  

In the picture below you can see an orange figure with a stick man within.  This is actually the physical body of Kirsty stood in front of the stage at Margate Theatre Royal, the stick figure is mapped in to confirm it recognised as a human form.  

Above Kirsty’s shoulders there are two stick figures with no human body shape around them.  We believe these to be spirits up on the stage.  They must create enough of a mass to allow the infrared light to measure a change in depth, but they do not have the human figure to allow the camera to recognise the shape of their bodies, therefore we see them as stick figures.  

Once we see these figures on the SLS camera we can then begin to try to interact with them, asking them to move to the left or right, jump up and down, wave.  

Digital Recorders

The humble digital recorder is an essential item in your paranormal toolkit.

Using these devices we are able to capture spirit voices that we may not have been able to hear with our own ears.  These are called EVP’s, electronic voice phenomena.  They can also capture direct voice phenomena, (DVP), where we hear the voice with our own ears as well as capturing it on the audio device. 

We aren’t sure why or how his happens.  One theory is that spirit speaks to us in a frequency out of the range of human hearing.  This frequency is able to be captured on the digital recorder allowing us to hear it when it is played back.  The really strange thing about digital recorders and paranormal activity is that you could have 3 recorders in the same place, but only one of those recorders will capture the spirit voice.  We actually had this happen to us at Ashwell Prison with our good friends of River End Paranormal.  It is not known why this can happen, perhaps spirit has to be focused on one device in order to get their message out, the only way we can ever know is to keep investigating until we have the answer. 

Some investigators also like to use analogue recorders.  These devices record audio on to tape which can then be rewound and played back.  The replay quality is not as crystal clear as that of a digital recorder, but there are occasions where more spirit activity  has been captured on analogue than digital. 

When you use a digital recorder in an investigation be sure to mark every sound you hear and explain what it is.  For example a scraping sound made by your foot or someone’s tummy rumbling.  This allows us to immediately debunk it when analysing the recording afterwards.

Analysing audio evidence is usually done either on the spot by replaying the device at the moment of the EVP session or after the investigation with the use of audio software.  The software allows us to clean up the voice, amplify the voice and even slow it down.  I’ve noticed a lot of spirit voices are spoken very quickly.

There are different classifications of EVP.  Class A is clear on replay with no editing and has vocal tone, like a normal human voice.  Class B is where it is clear without editing but it is a whisper and has no vocal tone.  Class C EVP’s tend to be difficult to understand without editing to amplify the sound, the voice is there, it just isn’t very clear.

If you are in any doubt as to whether any evidence is paranormal or not, don’t call it paranormal.

Electromagnetic Field Meters

EMF meters are another staple of the toolkit. 

EMF is measured in millagause.  We use these meters to establish a baseline reading of the location so we can see what is normal for that particular area.  

Finding an area with high readings in a location will allow us to investigate the cause, faulty wiring or a broken socket for example.  We need to do this because high EMF can create adverse reactions on humans.  People can experience paranoia, the sensation of being watched, headaches, nausea and even hallucinations.   Some of these side-effects are also reported indications of paranormal activity.  If we are able to say that high EMF is a factor we could then debunk the paranormal explanation.  The individual can then arrange necessary repairs and find themselves feeling 100% better with no more reported paranormal activity.

Another way we can use EMF meters is to establish a yes/no communication channel with spirit.  If we find ourselves with our device and the reading changes from that of the base line to something higher, so it was at 0.3 and goes up to 3, then we can assume a source of EMF has come close to the device in order for it to register this change.  We can ask spirit to manipulate the EMF field of the meter in order to answer yes. 

EMF doesn’t float about, it is fixed to the source.  An example would be a fridge in a kitchen, they all emit EMF.  If we put the device next to an EMF meter we will get a higher reading than if move two steps back with the meter.  The EMF field will also depend on the size of the item.  A fridge will have a larger field radius than that of a games console.

MOIBILE PHONES AFFECT EMF METER READINGS.  WHEN USING EMF METERS TURN YOUR PHONE OFF OR PUT IT ON FLIGHT MODE!!!!! 

REM Pods

REM pods are devices that emit their own field of EMF.  If this field of EMF is disrupted in some way it will alert, either with sounds or lights.  

It is another tool that we can use to monitor spirit activity and establish yes/no communication with.  

REM Pods can be made to look like technical devices, or placed in other items like teddy bears. 

They can also be used as trigger objects.  More on that here.  We use trigger objects to try and encourage spirit interaction and activity.  Many different items can be used as trigger objects, some technological and some not.  When using trigger objects it is worth recording them with a camera to capture any activation of devices.

Instrumental Transcommunication Equipment - ITC

ITC equipment is designed to allow spirit can communication.

Some devices utilises a phoneme database which can be manipulated by spirit to produce words, like the Ovilus.  Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and electromagnetic measurements can be manipulated by spirit, (we wish we knew how!) and these changes around the device are what allow words to be selected.

Continuing with the Ovilus, it measures the strength of the signal of the changes.  If we have a strong signal it is likely to be spirit communication.  If it is a weak signal it is likely that something else affected the environmental factors around the device, like our body temperature as we hold it.  We’ve had many an occasion where a word like “Satan” has come up on the Ovilus, but it has been a very low signal.  Try calming down guests who aren’t expecting that and are already scared when that happens!

Some devices sweep through radio frequencies, like the P-SB7 spirit box.  It has long been surmised that spirits are able to use white noise to speak to us and so by skipping through radio frequencies creates almost constant white noise.  We can spend time doing a spirit box session asking questions and listening for relevant responses.   You will get the odd blip of radio station sound coming through, with use you will learn to tell the difference between radio sound and spirit communication. 

Spirit portals work in a similar way to radio frequency sweep devices but they also have added technology to them to allow the words spoken to be heard more clearly.  This could involve a reverb function which creates an echo, or the use of a noise-gate, a device that removes excess background noise.  These can be used with a spirit radio such as the Ghost Box or P-SB7, but they can also be used with ITC apps/software.

ITC aps and software for use on mobile Phones, tablets and computers have been developed.  These use sensors within the devices to measure atmospheric changes, along with the use of digital radio and phoneme databanks.  The software then converts this data in to audible voices.  We are a little wary of the mobile apps available.  When you look at the T’s&C’s of the apps there is always a section that says the app has access to the data on your phone.  This could include your texts, emails and searches on websites.  Words could come through the app that seem entirely pertinent to you, but it is only because it’s picked that word up from other areas of your device.  Being a little wary when it comes paranormal investigative equipment is not a bad thing. 

As we have said before, if you are ever in doubt that something you have captured is not paranormal, don’t call it paranormal.