Article by Ghost Guide Daniel
The following list of investigative tools used by the Ghost Walks for years. Sorted into 2 categories. Both holding a strong reputation in the paranormal, and both summed up as tools for a field steeped in the unknown.
- The Scientific / Physical
- The Spiritual
Many paranormal groups sway towards the scientific. You can call us the “old dog” veterans of the spiritual. Doing what has worked for us – detailed below.
The Scientific and Physical
Your Instincts with Pen & Paper
Nothing gets more old school than this, as you step away from technology and rely once again on your instincts. We all have them, the ability to determine what isn’t natural around us when being in an unfamiliar space.
Hone those instincts when investigating a supposed haunted location, to build your ability to see beyond the physical. It is instinct, the kind we’ve lost over the years as technology slowly takes over. This technology advances the field in great ways; however nothing can replace a human element.
Having the pen and paper sessions will focus you, take you out from behind the technology, and add an important element to your findings.
Investigation Tip –
Walk away from your team and explore the space alone with just a pen and paper (have a camera or recording device in your pocket just in case, but avoid it).
- Write down any noises you hear.
- Note any changes in temperature around you.
- Any feelings you get, no matter how subtle.
At the beginning I recommend getting the entire team to do it. But don’t share results until the end of the night.
Once you know enough about investigation (practice makes perfect), your instincts become stronger, which is just as true for paranormal investigation as it is for anything else in the world.
Investigation Tip –
Be alone in the dark… Setup a recording device (video and sound if possible) and go through the following spiritual, instinct driven exercise.
- Stand alone in a dark and haunted space.
- Close your eyes and try to visualize the space around you in your mind’s eye.
- Focus on your available natural senses (hearing, smell and touch)
- Make note of subtle changes in the room.
- Once completely focused, open your eyes to survey the area around you.
- When done – write down your thoughts using your pen and paper.
Have scientific and spiritual tools nearby and in working order just in case something major happens.
The most known, and in many cases effective, ghost hunting tool that exists is the camera. It exists on the idea that a camera’s lens can see things the human eye is unable to pick up. This is true, there are many things a digital camera can see, making it a useful device for investigation.
The danger is natural phenomenon, which can easily be confused for ghostly things. This includes…
- Orbs – the most common ghost photo because there are so many natural reasons for it to occur, especially in a flash photo on a digital camera.
- Energy strings or spins – Caused by the camera strap or string in front of the lens.
- Mists – Caused by smoke.
- Figures, shadows, faces, etc – Caused by the mind’s need to see people and faces. These figures seen most often in blurred or distorted pictures.
Get the Best Ghost Photos
The best ghost photos (see Ghost Walks Gift Shop Artifacts) ever taken are always clear and easy to decipher, and for that reason it’s so very important to control photography during an investigation…
- Use a tri-pod – It’s lightweight, easy to cart around and manipulate. Leave it engaged as you move room from room, and have the camera on, and at the ready. The steady and clear shots provide accurate results. Avoiding tough questions when capturing something.
- Take 3 photos of everything – Your tools point you in the right direction, you turn with the camera and snap… then, snap, snap! This is a great habit to form when in a haunted place. Taking 3 pics in a row will document the space for your audience, fights against lingering natural elements, and make it just a bit more difficult to question.
I would personally put aside any images that are noticeably blurry (as in you can’t make out clear shapes), and orb photos. The proof isn’t there even if you see something ghostly.
Finally, take lots and lots… and lots of pictures. Thanks to the digital camera, there is no limit to how many photos you can snap in an investigation. For this reason, go crazy! Don’t worry about whether you or your team looks good, or is ready, or even is picking up on anything ghostly, just shoot. The best ghost photos are random and unexpected.
Sound Recording Device
Thanks to modern day cell phones, capturing an EVP is easier than ever. EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or ghost voices we can’t hear with our extremely limited ears.
We are big believers in this proof through personal experience, and the many interesting EVPs we’ve heard over the years.
Remember, this must be a controlled environment! Since we’re dealing with subtle sounds and no visuals, there is only one way to review this evidence, using our previously mentioned limited ears. It’s very easy for a creaky floor to become a ghost yelling to the heavens as he dies on the battlefield. The simplest amplified sounds are confused and misunderstood.
Investigation Tip –
Do sound recording sessions alone in haunted spaces. One person’s actions are easiest to control.
Also, so your team members and the world can’t deny your proof, setup a video camera on a tri-pod to record you, recording sounds. By starting the video and sound recorder at the same time, it gives you 2 forms of evidence and the ability to sync up the video with the audio to eliminate creaky floors, knocked over items and times you may talk to yourself (we all do it).
Other Tools of Science and Technology
From our old school vision, we see the tools of the scientific trade including the EMF Detector, Parabolic Microphones, Ovilus Meters, the Ghost Box, K-2 Meters, etc, etc. They all have a purpose in investigation under the main description of “Detection Tools”.
They can gather evidence and point you in the right direction, however are not the focus of this article.
To get more information about the existence of these devices, you can visit an amazing online shop for scientific tools called see this article, then Google anything you don’t understand.
There are ancient beliefs that gemstones are able to carry, or store, the different energies of the planet. For this reason it’s thought that using gemstones to affect the results of an investigation is a useful method. Many investigators with strong spiritual beliefs will wear different stones during investigations to promote different abilities, such as Rose Quartz to calm, or Amethyst to promote psychic ability.
Whether this is a factor in the use of the pendulum remains unknown, but it can’t hurt!
The pendulum is a gemstone hanging at the end of a string or chain. When held up and steady, you can get answers to Yes/No questions as the pendulum swings.
What is this Energy?
But is this ghostly energy? We believe it is not.
In our experience, everyone is moving. You are controlling this through subtle shakes and swings of the hand. The most interesting thing is… you don’t know your hand is moving!
This supports a thought that the pendulum is tapping into your natural psychic subconscious. Supported by the amazing results reached by so many non-psychic folks (including myself) using this method.
Here’s our best accept instructions for the Pendulum…
- Hold it by the end of the chain using a steady and calm hand.
- Clear you mind of chatter and stress
- Ask the Pendulum to “Show me Yes” – Make note of the swing direction
- Ask the Pendulum to “Show me No” – Make note of the swing direction
This now becomes your Yes and No for the rest of the session
- Start asking Yes/No questions of the Pendulum keeping your focus on the stone – Do not look at your hand.
This is another widely accepted method tapping into the natural energies of the planet. Divination has been around for hundreds of years, and most recently (as in the 1800’s) was used to determine the location of water sources to dig wells.
The idea behind the digging of a well is the same idea that proves its usefulness in investigation. Using tree branches, our ancestor would walk a field to see where the branch starts to bench downwards towards the ground. This is picking up on a change in energy around the ancestor caused by the moving water under his/her feet.
Same with paranormal investigation, as you move around a haunted space with more modern versions of the rods, they will move with the energy around you. If it changes, such as an outside presence affects your energy, then the rods will react by crossing. If there are no other energies surrounding you, then and they remain separate and apart.
Keep in mind…
- The ghosts don’t come to you, move around the room to find the change in energy.
- Other external sources of energy can cause a reaction (such as water pipes or power wires)
- The rods must be kept upright and still, or your movement will cause false positives.
The Ouija Board
And last but definitely not the least of all the spiritual methods, is the one that strikes fear in the hearts of all investigators and amateurs alike… the dreaded Ouija Board (aka Spirit Board, aka Talking Board).
We’ve used the board during investigations since the beginning, and since then nobody from the team has been possessed or hurt to the point of discouragement.
We do believe the board is dangerous if used incorrectly, but that its effectiveness outweighs those dangers…. some of which are conceived based on lies.
Most of this misconception is caused by the movies portraying the board as negative, and most of the time, deadly! The origin of Hollywood’s use of the board can be traced back to the movie The Exoricist, which blames the board for causing poor Regan to be possessed by the devil, and eventually killed the handsome priest.
In our experience, the following 3 rules will help protect you and your family from any of the real dangers surrounding this form of communication…
- Be serious and never treat it like a game.
- Always end the session by saying Goodbye (even if you have to force the planchette)
- Never use it in your home – The one most people don’t like to hear, however we are at our most calm, relaxed and vulnerable when in our homes. Why disturb that peace if you don’t have to.
Please do not misunderstand this to be a call for more use of the Ouija Board, it is not. This is only supporting notes.
Now Get Out There!
In the end, experience and instinct are the best tools you can have in ghost investigation. Get out and investigate whenever possible. Don’t focus on only the known haunted locations, get out to all places… any home or location with history, during the day or night, and see what happens.
By using the above tools and methods carefully, you may just discover new haunted hotspots for the rest of us to enjoy… and if you do, message me on Facebook (Ghost Guide Daniel) because I’d love to hear about them!