Have you ever watched tv shows like Ghost Adventures or Ghost Hunters and thought you’d like to have a go at ghost hunting? If the answer is yes you’ve come to the right place. We get asked all the time about how to get started and what ghost hunting equipment to buy, so we thought we’d write a quick guide to get all you budding Zak Bagans out there on the right path to becoming paranormal investigators.
Generally speaking it’s relatively easy to start ghost hunting, all you need is a location, some basic equipment and a healthy interest in the unknown. Let me be clear investigations can often be a lengthy and at times a boring process, but with patience, the right equipment and a little bit of luck you‘ll be in with a good chance of capturing some paranormal evidence.
So what equipment do you need? We’ve compiled a list of affordable ghost hunting equipment that mostly falls under $100 mark. You could start off with just one or two items and learn how to use the equipment, and then over time add to your ghost hunting kit.
Below is our list of equipment we recommend and use in our own investigations:
Professional ghost hunter Rich Newman arms beginners with all they need to start investigating the paranormal. Covering proven scientific methods and the latest equipment and technology used by the pro ghost hunters. You’ll learn what ghosts are, why hauntings occur, the different types of supernatural phenomena right through to how to conduct your own investigations, forming a team, interacting with spirits and examining evidence. A must read for anyone interested in investigating the paranormal.
Get your copy of Ghost Hunting for Beginners here.
Recommended Ghost Hunting Equipment:
A digital camera is the number one piece of kit any would-be ghost hunter should start with. In most cases you’ll already own one. We don’t recommend using mobile phone cameras, we get lots of ghost photos taken on mobiles, but 9 times out of 10 we can’t use them as the picture size is too small and the quality too low. Always use a camera with a high resolution – 5 megapixels and above. Remember, the higher the resolution the more detail you will be able to see in your pictures.
When choosing a camera also try to look for fast shutter speed and also a high ISO settings for better night time shots. We recommend the Nikon D3300 or the Sony Alpha a5000, as both cameras are relatively easy to use and take incredible low light shots – ideal for hunting at twilight or night time when the moon is shining.
Ultimately you should get as good a camera as you can afford. Simple point and shoot digital cameras work fine (just look at our gallery for proof) however a DSLR with a good quality lens is even better.
Check out the best selling digital cameras.
There are two main methods for using video cameras in paranormal investigations, either set one up on a tripod and leave it running or carry one around with you as you investigate. We’ve seen amazing results using both of these methods but perhaps some of the most exciting evidence we’ve seen is when hunters film as they go. We asked lots of our paranormal colleagues and almost all of them use the GoPro HERO series. They’re light, extremely portable and are designed to film on the go.
Of course if you’re filming at night you should try to make sure your camera is equipped with night vision, SONY’s ‘Nightshot’ is often a popular choice with investigators as is the practice of using modified cameras that make them full spectrum (modified with UV and IR sensitivity to view the full spectrum of light). Just as with digital cameras get the best video camera you can afford that suits your requirements and style of ghost hunting.
Check out the bestselling video cameras
For those of you who haven’t heard of a Ghost Box, they are the latest piece of ghost hunting equipment taking the paranormal investigation world by storm, and for good reason. Made famous by the Ghost Adventures team, the Ghost Box originally known as a Frank’s Box (named after its inventor Frank Sumption) is a specially modified AM radio which features a unique scanning function that allows spirits who want to communicate to search the airwaves until they find a station to stop on and to manipulate the noise to form words, or even to construct entire sentences. This allows investigators to have complete, real time conversations with spirits.
Commonly referred to as ITC (Instrumental Transcommunication), The Spirit Box P-SB7 is one of the most popular ITC models among investigators, well known for its reliability as well as being one of the more affordable models on the market. Another popular device is the Ovilus IV which uses multiple environmental readings to convert into real words.
A new player to enter the ghost box field is the Huff SCD-1, which has taken ghost box technology and made it mobile. Designed to work on a Windows laptop, tablet or phone the SCD-1 app is fast growing as the must have tech in hunter circles. For laptops you can get the application on disk to install on your computer or you can download the app directly to use on tablets or phones.
EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are a staple of any good investigation. Simply put an EVP is an event in which human-sounding voices from an unknown source are heard on recording device, in radio station noise and other electronic media. Often the voices are not heard at the time of recording; it is only when the audio is played back that the voices are heard.
A good starter recorder is the Olympus WS-821. It features good quality sound recording and a live listening function, meaning you don’t have to wait till you are back at your computer to see if you’ve captured any EVP’s you can check on the go. Another popular model is the Zoom H1 which boasts incredible sound quality with its X/Y pattern microphones.
As always choose a digital recorder that best suits your budget, but keep in mind with less expensive devices, you might want to think about increasing recording quality by adding external omnidirectional microphones.
Check out the bestselling Digital Recorders
One of the most popular theories in ghost hunting circles involves EMF (Electromagnetic Fields). It is believed that the presence or movement of ghosts might disrupt or otherwise affect this field allowing for its detection. There are a number of EMF meters to choose from, the K-II meter being one of the more popular models and most widely used by paranormal researchers.
It’s always best practice to take base readings whenever you begin an investigation, this allows you to monitor and detect any spikes or anomalies that may occur in during the session. However before you jump to any conclusions always check see if you’re near any wiring in the walls, floors, ceiling etc. which can affect the electromagnetic field which, in turn can trigger changes in readings.
Check out the bestselling EMF Meters
Sudden changes in temperature and ‘cold spots’ are a well-known and documented phenomenon in paranormal investigations. The general consensus being that the presence of spirits or ghosts drains the warmth or energy from the air. To accurately record any drop or change in temperature investigators use IR (Infrared) thermometers.
Just like with EMF meters, investigator should take base readings of their location before beginning any session. They should also take note of any drafts or cold areas that could be caused by ventilation or old windows. Another good practice is to also take readings with EMF meters to aid in establishing and verifying any temperature anomalies.
Check out the bestselling IR Thermometers
It hard to be a ghost hunter sometimes. Especially when the thing you’re hunting is almost always invisible to the naked eye. This is why motion detectors come in so handy during ghost hunts, particularly when you are investigating large areas.
A good rule of thumb is to always make sure you have a video camera set up, pointing towards your motion sensors so you can review the footage to see what set it off if it goes off during an investigation.
Check out the bestselling Motion Detectors
The number one rule of any paranormal investigation is never hunt alone. Ever. Radios or walkie talkies play an essential role in aiding communication between you and the rest of your team. If your group is covering a large area and have to break up into smaller teams, radios easily allow you and your teammates to keep up to date what’s occurring as well as cross referencing any findings or strange happenings may you have experienced.
Check out the bestselling radios
More Essential Ghost Hunting Equipment:
Pen, Paper, Torches And A Watch
It’s a common mistake to believe all ghost hunting equipment has to be high tech gadgets, the humble pen and paper is crucial to any investigation. Record everything that happens, such as what you’re doing, where and when. Log down fluctuations in meter readings, irregularities caught on camera, recordings, and any personal feelings or experiences.
Another common mistake new paranormal investigators often make is not taking torches to hunts. Generally you’ll be hunting at night so you’ll need access to a light source. It’s a good idea to get a small but powerful LED flashlight so you can carry it around with you wherever you go, and you won’t have to worry about replacing bulbs because LED’s last a really long time. Another popular choice is torches with a red lens. Perfect for night hunting, the red lens won’t interfere with your night vision.
Lastly all ghost hunters need a good quality wrist watch to make note of the time of any experiences or anomalies that occur during your hunt. Remember the back bone of any good investigation is organised and accurate record keeping. We recommend watches an illuminating face, or fingers so it’s easy to see in the dark.
Batteries, Batteries And More Batteries
Many paranormal investigators have noted paranormal activity tends to drain batteries; even fresh batteries seem to go dead quickly. A good source of fresh powerful alkaline batteries are essential to any ghost hunt.
Most of your ghost hunting kit is going to be made of equipment that is powered by batteries so it’s important you have a good supply with you so you can keep everything running all the way through the night. The most common types of batteries you’re likely to require are AA or AAA type batteries. Always make note of what size you need before you begin any investigation so you can make e sure to bring along extra batteries that are fresh.
Some of your equipment will use rechargeable batteries, such as your cameras. It goes without saying that you should make sure they are all fully charged before the ghost hunt, you may even consider buying extra reachable batteries, charging those to bring them along to your investigation as well. I can’t think of a single paranormal researcher that I’ve spoken to who hasn’t got a least one nightmare tale of an investigation ending early because of their equipment running out of juice. So learn from their mistakes and always take a good stock of batteries with you.
So there you have it, all the basic ghost hunting equipment you’ll need to set you on your way to becoming a fully fledged ghost hunter.
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