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EVP recorder buying guide: let’s catch some ghost communications!

It doesn’t take expensive equipment to record EVPs.  Here are a few examples of different types of EVP recorders, but the one you chose it will come down to your personal preference.  There is also lots of other equipment that can be used, but these are a few of the most popular.

EVP recorder types

  • Cassette Recorders (aka Analog Recorders): As the name says, this one uses cassette tapes on which to record. There are 2 most popular types of cassette EVP recorders: the ones that use regular size tape cassettes and the ones that use micro cassette tapes. Keep in mind that, although cassette recorders are generally cheaper than digital recorders, they require an external microphone. This is because the sound of the wheels in the machine can add unwanted sound.  You also have to remember to buy lots of tapes. You should only use brand new cassette tapes and never use one again after you have already recorded on it!  I suggest opening the cassette tape you plan on using after you have gotten to your recording destination.  That way, you will know that it is an unused cassette and if anyone is watching you, they will know that there are no pre-recorded messages on the tape you use for your EVP recording.
  • Digital Recorders:  This has become the most popular types of EVP recorder.  They do not require cassettes or an external Mic.  Once big advantage that digital recorders have over cassette recorders is that they can record up to hundreds of hours of time, even on the smallest recorder. However, they do require a computer to download and save your recordings. You can also find digital EVP recorders that are smaller and lighter than microcassette recorders. And since there are no moving cassette wheels, you don’t need an external microphone. And finding specific parts of your EVP sound file are alot easier – no more need to rewind or fast-forward!  The downside with digital EVP recorders is that they are oftentimes more expensive than cassette recorders.
  • Computer Recordings:  This type of recording is done completely on your computer. You need a microphone for your computer and some software on your computer that you can record.  All you do is record on the software and listen back to see if you got any messages from spirits!
The TAPS team on a ghost hunt with an EVP recorder
The TAPS team on a ghost hunt with an EVP recorder

Companion products for your EVP recorder

This is a list of products that, partnered with your digital EVP recorder, will improve the quality of your EVP sessions.

  • Spirit Box: an EVP recorder with a Spirit Box are like fries with ketchup: they go together perfectly!  With the Spirit Box, you provide the ghosts with a tool to create the EVP, which you then capture with the EVP recorder.  Two Spirit boxes we recommend are the SB7 Spirit Box and the SB11 Spirit Box.
  • External Microphone:  This is required if you are using a cassette tape recorder to cut out some of the mechanical noise the recorder makes.
  • Headphones:  These are required to hear the Class B or Class C EVPs.  I suggest getting the ones that cover the whole ear because they seem to keep more external sounds out while listening to your recordings.
  • Computer:  I suggest that you use a computer when analyzing what you caught with your EVP recorder.  It makes it possible to edit the lower quality EVPs and enhance them.
  • USB cable or Audio cable:  These cables are used to connect your EVP recorder to your computer.  They are very important and rather easy to use.
  • Software:  If you use a digital recorder it is important to get software to download your EVPs onto your computer.  It is also a good idea to get some sort of editing software to enhance the softer EVPs.
  • Voice Denoiser.  You can also use a Voice Denoiser to remove ambient sounds from your EVP recorder files.
  • Batteries:  These are very important!!!!!  You should always have extra batteries around while recording.  Spirits sometimes drain brand new batteries in seconds, so it is always good to have extras around because this would be a perfect time for recording!
  • Journal:  It is a good idea to keep a journal, not only while recording but also while editing. When recording, you can keep a log on the conditions of the area and any background noises that occur so as not to get confused and mistake them for EVPs on playback.  While editing, it is good to mark in the journal any noises or voices you hear during playback and note their time on the recording, how long the noise lasts, and what you believe the noise or voice is.  Then you can flip through the journal anytime and find the info you are looking for.

Are there any items missing from the list above that you like to use with your EVP recorder?  If so, share this info in the Comments section below.

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The EMF meter: a key technology for hunting ghosts

Have you ever thought that you have been somewhere haunted?  Maybe you felt that tingle on the back of your neck that people associate with ghost sightings or maybe it was just a rumor of ghosts.  Either way if you want to find out if there is a ghost nearby consider using an EMF detector to find signs of ghosts.  The EMF meter is a key technological device (along with digital cameras, EMF recorders and Spirit Box) that has been used by the ghost hunting community for years.

What is an EMF meter?

EMF stands for electromagnetic fields which are produced by electrically charged objects.  An EMF meter is used to measure the fluctuation in the local electromagnetic fields.  The main reason to use an EMF meter is to diagnose problems with electrical wiring and power lines.  There are two types of electromagnetic fields, alternating current and direct current, EMF meters only measure alternating current.  One of the reasons that you may use an EMF meter is to determine whether or not electrical shielding is working properly or not.  For example, if a microwave is suspected of leaking, an EMF could be deployed to determine whether there is actually a leak or not.

Why Do Ghost Hunters Use EMF meters?

You may have seen a show like Ghost Hunters where they use little handheld meters to detect possible signs of ghosts.  These handheld meters are known as EMF meters.  The reason that ghosts are thought to trigger EMF meters is that it is commonly believed they hold their own electrical charge.

Many ghost hunters and those who have experienced hauntings report that there have been strong electromagnetic fields when they undergo their experiences.  One professor believes that the electromagnetic field that makes up the conscious mind does not go away when we die, instead it stays alive along with our specter.  It should be noted that while this may be an accepted idea in the ghost hunting community it has not been scientifically proven.  With ghost being a still unproven anomaly the ability to say an EMF meter can detect them does not exist.  Many websites that talk about this connect are those of paranormal hunters.

Because of this connection between ghosts and electromagnetic fields, an EMF meter would be an obvious choice as a tool to collect data.  If ghosts truly do possess an electromagnetic field, whenever they passed through a meter they would cause it to spike.  As long as you could get a meter to spike in a house that is rumored to be haunted then it can be said that you have found a level of proof.

A ghost hunter taking a reading with an EMF meter. Courtesy of LuckyLouie
A ghost hunter taking a reading with an EMF meter. Courtesy of LuckyLouie

What Else Gives Off EMF?

Just about anything that has an electrical charge gives off an electromagnetic field.  That means just about anything can trigger an EMF meter.  While you are hunting for ghosts if you walk under an unshielded light for example you will get an electromagnetic reading as long as there is power going through the wires.  For this reason whenever you plan to conduct a paranormal investigation using an EMF meter you should take several baseline readings of the house.  This way you will know anywhere that the meter will spike because of any normal reason such as power or electrical areas.

Because of the fact that other things will set off an electromagnetic field meter it cannot be the only device that you rely on.  If you get a hit that can be a good indicator to start investigating but it could be a random phenomenon.  Using another ghost hunting device could help you narrow down the investigation and back up your evidence to further prove that there could be a haunting.

While it is general believed among ghost hunters that EMF meters can be used to detect a haunting but there is very little evidence behind it.  For an EMF to be taken seriously for ghost hunting purposes it needs to have a solid scientific backing just like any other tool for any job that you undertake.  For now the use of an EMF meter can be considered a potential aid but it does not have a solid backing with which to claim you have found a ghost.  While you may not be able to claim that you have found a ghost it sure makes for an interesting theory though.

There is always the potential that down the road that EMF meters will be proven as devices that can detect ghosts.  There is a logic behind the theory because all living things give off some form of electromagnetic field.  If part of that is caused by or being sentient and our ghost has the ability to think and remember than it too should emit some kind of field just like our brain does when we are alive.

 

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Ghost Hunting Equipment: 8 must-have items

ghost hunting equipment must-haves

People spend thousands of dollars on equipment and others just a hundred or less. All have the same results in ghost hunting. Orbs, mists and voices captured on tape or film. You can ghost hunt with the most basic gear: a good tape recorder with an exterior microphone, a camera, a notepad and paper and a positive attitude. Ghost-hunting equipment does not have to break the bank.

You can also deepen your ghost hunt with more sophisticated ghost hunting equipment, many of which focus on detecting electro-magnetic field disturbances. So what are some of more advanced tools that can take you to the next level? Here are some suggestions for must-have pieces of ghost hunting equipment that you can use on your ghost hunting journey, whether you’re traveling to a notoriously haunted place like Gettysburg or just checking out things at home.

Ghost hunting equipment #1: Thermal Scanner

A thermal scanner is used to take temperature readings. It shoots out an infrared beam and takes an accurate reading up to twenty feet away. The best way to use it is when indoors, take readings of the floor, walls, ceiling and at different areas in a room. This gives you an idea of the range of temperatures as a guide to work from. Then while you sweep back and forth scanning a room and you get an abnormal reading, that’s when you will want to take some pictures.

When outdoors like in a cemetery, take readings of the grass, grave markers, trees and anything else that will come across the path of the beam. That will be your guide to work from. If you point the beam up in the air at nothing, you will get sudden drops in temperature and they can go below zero. This is due to the beam not being in contact with a surface and it wont give a proper reading.

Once you have established a basic temperature of your surroundings, any changes in temperature either up or down could be paranormal activity.

Ghost hunting equipment #2: Digital Voice Recorder

This is a core piece of ghost hunting equipment.  Digital voice recorders are best to use as they are compact and easy to carry in your pocket. They’re better than cassette recorders for a variety of reasons including the fact that, with a cassette recorder, you need an external microphone so you don’t record the internal sounds of the motor.  It’s also smart to take two recorders so if one malfunctions, you still have a back up. With two digital voice recorders, you can also see if your EVP recordings show up the same on both tapes. This rules out the possibility of defects in the machine being mistaken for ghost voices.

Ghost hunting equipment #3: Camcorder with Nightvision

The Sony Nightshot has built in infrared night vision, which makes it a great piece of ghost hunting equipment. With the built in illuminator, you can see in total darkness for up to fifteen feet. If you buy the external illuminator, this increases the field of vision up to one hundred feet in total darkness. These cameras seem to show the orbs flying through the air. You can plug it into a small monitor so everyone can see what I see through the viewer.

Ghost hunting equipment #4: Cameras

Some people like to use both a digital camera and a regular 35mm point and shoot. Both types of cameras capture paranormal images but its definitely a lot cheaper to download pictures from the digital camera than to pay to have all the rolls of film developed. However, there is a lot of controversy regarding digital cameras and ghost orbs but if you use common ghost photography protocol, you wont have any problems determining the orbs as real or mistakes.

Ghost hunting equipment #5: Two Way Radios

Two way radios are a good piece of ghost hunting equipment to have when you are investigating a large location and you need to communicate with each other from different areas. You can also use headsets so you don’t have to keep switching hands and equipment to talk. Its also a good feeling to be able to check on your friends and know they are all right when you can’t see them.

Ghost hunting equipment #6: Motion Detectors

These work well to monitor movement in a room or a hallway where ghostly activity is reported. This is ghost hunting equipment that is inexpensive and easy to operate. Set them up and if they go off, start snapping pictures. Yes, even ghosts set these off.

Ghost hunting equipment #7: Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Detector

Another valuable piece of equipment for ghost hunting. It is thought that ghosts live in the electromagnetic spectrum of our world. They use energy to grow and transform themselves. These devices monitor the energy in the general atmosphere of the location. They will let you know of any change in the magnetic field which suggests that there may be a ghost present.

Ghost hunting equipment #8: Flashlight

Since a lot of investigations happen in the dark, it’s essential to keep a flashlight with you. Locations that you will investigate, whether indoors or outdoors are sometimes without a light or electricity source. A sturdy flashlight will help you during these times.  In fact, you should always keep several with you in case your battery dies or is drained by a nearby ghost. This is one piece of ghost hunting equipment that is essential.

It’s also recommended that you use a flashlight with a red lens.  The typical clear lens is not a problem, but you minimize the chance of interfering with night vision when using a red lens.  In fact, a significant number of investigators swear by red lenses.  They say that that once they begin using them, they much prefer them and can’t imagine ever going back to using a clear flashlight lens.

Some other pieces of ghost hunting equipment that are great to have:

  • A Spirit Box like the SB11 Spirit Box, which helps you capture EVPs
  • Laser grid to detect shadow
  • Digital thermometer, to capture temperature fluctuations
  • Motion sensors, which a ghost could set off

Lastly, you will also need a few other necessities like batteries, note pads etc.