Take some time to carefully plan what sort of a ghost hunting expedition you are trying to mount and what sort of equipment and supplies you need for your team.
Also, you have to think about how to organize your ghost hunting trip, because creating a good organization is the key to getting compelling evidence of paranormal activity.
The following is a check list and organization chart for scientific ghost hunting squads of anywhere from five to nine people.
You do not have to have every piece of equipment on this list, but the more backup you can have for each reading the better, especially video, audio, temperature, time, and location of any paranormal activity.
Ghost Hunting Equipment Check List
- Digital video recorder: DVRs have gotten fabulous in the last few years and there are dozens out there to choose from. Buy quality, because your digital video recorder is one of your primary tools.
Be sure and get a DVR with excellent sound quality and buy a good static free external shotgun microphone to go along with the camera. This allows a good DVR to function as a digital audio recorder too.
- Digital Still Camera: It’s all about the Megapixles! – The higher the resolution the more you will be able to zoom in later on when you are analyzing your photos in Photoshop.
- Digital Image Editing Program: Sometimes by adjusting contrast, shadows and highlights or colors, you can find things in a photo you didn’t know were there. Photoshop is my favorite. And remember you can give your video the same treatment with the color correction tools in a Video Editing Program like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.
- 35mm FILM Camera: Yes, I’m talking actual film – there are tons of great digital still cameras and they are much easier to use, but, remember, a film camera processes the images through a chemical process, not through an electronic sensor array.
Experienced ghost hunters will tell you that a traditional 35mm camera, especially with black and white film often catches images that do not show up on even the best digital cameras. So, make sure someone on your team is rolling old school.
Today Ebay is far and away the best place to buy 35 mm cameras. My all time favorite is the Nikon F3. It has simple, dependable controls and is built like a tank.
- Misc. Camera Gear: You’re going to want a decent camera bag and tripod, extra film for the 35mm, plenty of memory cards for the still camera and extra tapes for the DVR.
- Night Vision Equipment: Night vision scopes have gotten a lot cheaper in the last few years and there are adapters that you can use to attach them to video recorder and cameras so you can shoot in near total darkness.
- Analog Tape Recorder: Like the 35mm camera magnetic tape recorders are also quickly headed for obsolescence, but they also record sound differently than modern digital audio recorders. Also, you should be getting digital audio through your DVR, so this gives you a valuable double check for any anomalies you encounter.
Remember to rewind the tape and listen to it at the end of the expedition even if you didn’t hear anything unusual while you were there. Spirit voices sometimes are recorded on magnetic audio tapes even when humans hear no sounds. This phenomena is known as EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Be sure and use new tapes, because the tiny scratches from rewinding and playing tapes make it much more difficult to pick out very faint noises. Like 35mm cameras, Ebay is also the best place to shop for Analog Tape Recorders.
- Flash Lights: Obviously, this is a no brainer. If you haven’t already moved up to a modern LED flashlight now is a good time. Battery life is much longer, the LED bulbs are almost unbreakable, and they often allow for different colors of light and intensity. However, no matter how good your primary flashlight is every other team member should carry a back up light.
- EMF Detector: EMF Detectors pick up electronic fields at a variety of frequencies. Usually, where there are ghosts there are disruptions in the electronic magnetic field. This is one piece of equipment that every ghost hunting expedition should have and they are fairly cheap.
- Compass: Obviously, you can use them for navigation, but on a ghost hunting expedition the primary role is as the low tech back up for your EMF gear. A compass reacts to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and since it is your backup do not buy an electronic compass. A glow in the dark needle is nice.
- GPS: You can use GPS to record the exact time and location of each paranormal incident as a way point, also some outdoor GPS’s are loaded with extra features like altimeters and thermometers.
- Thermometers: Obviously, a good thermometer can detect changes in the air temperature, but your ghost hunting team should carry both a traditional mercury thermometer and a digital thermometer to ensure good backup. Also, today both types are very cheap.
- Barometers: Follow the same logic as with thermometers and have both a traditional and electronic.
- Wind chimes: Buy the lightest wind chimes you can, preferably ones that are easy to move, and as you move from room to room you reposition the chimes.
Windchimes are cheap, but sometimes they are the first piece of equipment to record an unusual phenomena. The team should have several windchimes on the expedition. Many people like to paint them with glow in the dark paint.
- Infrared Thermal Scanner: These are a great pieces of gear, because they essentially allow you to see changes in temperature across a room or field. When you see the anomaly move towards your team and trigger the wind chimes and the thermometers it is an incredible moment.
- Air Ion Counter: These are expensive, but useful. They measure positive and negative ions in the air and often provide additional evidence to support thermometers, barometers, and wind chimes.
- Walkie-Talkie: Always useful, but try to get one that is hands free, preferably with headsets. Today, you can actually link a team together through conference call on cell phone if everyone has the minutes.
- Spot Light: You can get a 200,000 candle power light for about $30.00, but they do tend to eat batteries.
- Motion Detectors: These can really give you a heads up and they are not expensive.
- Extra Batteries: Try to have extra batteries for everything.
- Matches and Candle: Just for back up.
- Watches: Each team member should have a watch and they should all be synchronized with the other members watches and time codes on the camera equipment. Sometimes this is the most challenging part of a hunt.
- Paper and Pen: They don’t run out of batteries and they are cheap, and you can record a written log. It’s a good idea to have a secretary recording the time and description of events as you go, because this represents the closest you can get to human memories, without the filter of technology.
- First Aid Kit: Ya never know!
If you’re interested in Ghost Hunting you really should check out their site, even if you’re not looking to buy anything. There’s a ton of really good information over there as well as info on more advanced Ghost Hunting techniques, including remote multi-camera recording setups. These guys are ghost hunters themselves and know more about Ghosthunting than just about anyone.
Here’s a well made video that shows some of the main pieces of Ghost Hunting Gear and how they are used in a Paranormal Investigation: