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Laser Grid: a Ghost Hunting tool to drool over

The laser grid

It’s been a few years since we began ghost hunting, but already the technology has taken a huge leap forward. There are many items out there that can give you higher quality ghost hunting experience and stronger evidence of paranormal activity.  One of these new and innovative items is the laser grid.

In this video, you see a pair of paranormal anomalies traveling through a laser grid. This video was taken during a private investigation of a home in Louisville, KY. In the video, you see what appears to be two entities, one following the other.

How the laser grid works

Laser grids are used to detect entities that move in front of a stationary video camera.  A laser grid works by distributing a laser through an optical glass lens. The lens scatters the laser beam into patterns of light including a grid of dots. The pattern of the laser grid can be adjusted by turning the cap. A tripod-mounted video camera can then be set to monitor and film any movement within the laser grid pattern.  The laser grid is small and easy to carry to your next ghost hunt; it’s also easy to quickly set up. Just set up and ask the ghosts to disrupt the light or move across the area and cause the grid to move.

Since the camera isn’t moving (or the tripod on which it’s mounted), the only movement that can be recorded is of anything that moves across the stationary set of green laser dots, causing them to appear to have moved.

Laser Grids to detect shadow people

Laser grids can capture the presence and movement of ghosts or other visual disturbances during a ghost hunt investigation. This is especially helpful in cases where you may be dealing with shadow people. This is because the darkness of their form is much more likely to interrupt and be tracked by the light beams of the laser grid.

You’ve most likely seen the laser grid used on ghost hunting television shows. A recent episode of Ghost Hunters showed the laser grid being used to detect the presence of spiritual entities. The result? The recording of the laser grid revealed the distinct outline of a shadow person walking through the targeted area. The lights visibly bended as they landed on a dark and possibly semi-physical presence that passed through the grid. This is something a standard camera probably would not have been able to catch on it’s own!

Do’s and Don’ts for using a laser grid during your ghost hunt

  • Do make sure everything is stable. The laser grid is designed to detect movement. For that reason, it’s important that it isn’t moving itself. You need to make sure that you are using a stable video camera and tripod that won’t wobble or move while being used or if a person is walking nearby. The slightest movement will corrupt your data since the dots will look like they have moved when they haven’t.
  • Don’t cast the laser on movable objects. Since the laser grid is being used to track any movement of entities through the area, make sure to only cast the light on non-moving objects like walls or furniture. Do not let the light fall on curtains, flags, fabric or other items that could change their position due to air movement.
  • Do keep the laser out of everyone’s eyes. According to the FDA“The light energy from a laser pointer aimed into the eye can be more damaging than looking directly into the sun. In addition, the startling effect of a bright beam of light aimed at someone driving a car or operating other machinery can cause serious accidents.”  For that reason, make sure to use a lower-powered laser (5mW), which has less potential to cause damage.  Also, don’t let the laser shine into your eyes, into the eyes of other people or pets.  This will ensure that you operate a safe ghost hunt.
  • Do make sure to buy a laser grid with a clamp. It’s key that you buy a laser grid with a clamp. This will allow you to keep the laser’s “on button” off whenever needed..

Next: Read our article on Ghost Hunting Equipment

Have you used a laser grid?  If so, did it help your investigation?

laser grid - ghost hunting device
laser grid – ghost hunting device
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Ghost Story: Elma Sands

Our video on YouTube, ‘Ghost Story: Elma Sands’, tells the sad tale of Elma Sands, who was murdered in early NYC and continues to haunt us centuries later. Watch our video and let us know how you feel about it. Below is the story of Elma Sands in greater detail. 

The restless ghost of Elma Sands

New York City is one of the oldest and most historic cities in America. As such, it is home to millions of stories, some of them ghost stories. It is no surprise that the supernatural films like Ghostbusters, 1408, Deliver Us From Evil or Ghost take place in the Big Apple. One real-life ghost story that is among the most sad is the story of the ghost of Elma Sands, the Ghost of Spring Street.

Elma Sands lived - and died - on an early NYC block much like this.
Elma Sands lived – and died – on an early NYC block much like this.

Elma Sands: who was she and what happened to her?

‘Elma’ was the nickname of Gulielma Sands.  Her parents had died when whe was young and she eventually went to live in her cousin’s boarding house in New York City. Manhattan was an important port city much like its sister cities, Philadelphia and Boston.

Levi Weeks was a carpenter who lived in the same boardhouse as Elma Sands. He worked for his brother, a well-connected architect that designed buildings for the prominent lawyer, Alexander Hamilton. It has been reported that:

During his stay at the boardinghouse Levi Weeks was noticed paying attention to both Hope Sands and Margaret Clark, but he was also seen entering Elma Sands’s room late at night. On Sunday, December 22, 1799, the last the last day Elma was seen alive, she told Hope Sands that she and Levi Weeks planned to secretly marry that night.

On the night of December 22, 1799, 22-year old Elma Sands left her home for a walk with her fiance, Levi Weeks. Some suspected that Elma was pregnant with Levi’s child. unknown, Levi was accused of having strangled Elma to death for reasons that remain a mystery. The murdered then dumped Elma’s body in a well on Spring Street.

Elma Sands’ body was not found until the 2nd of January 1800. Her dress was torn violently according to someone who rescued the body.

Before her funeral, the public was allowed to participate in an open viewing of Elma’s body at the boardinghouse. Thousands of people traveled to view the body and pay their respects.

Levi Weeks was arrested and imprisoned. Because he was part of a wealthy and well-connected family, he was able to secure Alexander Hamilton, Henry Brockholst Livingston and Aaron Burr as his attorneys.  The case divided the New Yorkers, and was considered the first major American trial of the modern era.

The haunted well is one of Travel Channel’s 10 most haunted places in America.

The well where the body was thrown Elma still exists.  In 1817, a red-brick building was built on the location, which is now 129 Spring Street In 1980, the owner of this Spring Street location decided to excavate the basement, which was full of dirt.  During the excation, the workers managed to unearth the infamous seven-foot tall well.

Elma Sands ghost well
The well in which Elma Sands body was found – and the source of the haunting. It now sits in a clothing boutique in NYC.

For many years, the well sat in the basement of a restaurant restaurant “Manhattan Bistro”. The well was inaccessible to visitors during this time. While the restaurant was open, there were reports of dishes flying on their own through the restaurant, cups that were thrown mysteriously, and mysterious noises heard by the customers. Footsteps have reported been heard in the room where the well sits. Also, banging against the door that opens up into the room.

The Travel Channel has named this building one of the 10 most haunted places in America.

The restaurant closed down in 2014. During December 2014, COS, a trendy Dutch retailer opened up at the location.  The multi-story clothing store includes a shopping area right where the haunted well sits in full view of shoppers.

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