Equipment

 

An investigator's observation skills, common sense, and research abilities are at the heart of any investigation.  But it’s the evidence gathered using equipment that makes up much of the final product of an investigation. Witness statements, investigator experiences, and the background of a potentially haunted site are extremely important, but people want to see or hear evidence. The equipment we regularly use on our investigations is shown and described below..

 

 

 

 Digital Voice Recorders

 

A common theory is that spirits can communicate with us, but at a different frequency or decibel levels that we cannot no rma lly hear.  Digital rec orders can help us to hear these sounds and are called Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) or ghostly voices.  When used during an investigation, ask questions like “What is your name?” or “Is there anything you want to say?” You may just pick up answers to your questions.

 

 

Omni Directional & Zoom Microphones

 

We use these in conjunction with the digital voice recorders and Mini DV Video Cameras. These microphones have their own power source via battery in the back. This way we the microphone isn't dependent on the power from the recorder, increasing battery drain, and helps to cut down on the background noise caused by the electronic components of the recorder that would otherwise be picked up by its own microphone.

Faraday Cages / Boxes

 

Modeled after Michael Faraday's design, the box actually has 2 functions.  The first is the box prevents any stray radio or cell frequencies from affecting a recorder placed inside the box.  The second is the box is grounded, so any electromagnetic interference will be absorbed by the mesh, sent through the ground source and away from the recorder, thus creating an anomaly free recording.  Christopher built the boxes we use, so would like more information or are interested having him build you one, please click here.

 

EMF/ELF MeterCell Sensor EMF Meter

 

EMF/ELF Meters

 

It has been said that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can be caused by a spirit trying to manafest itself.  However EMFs can be created by many man made sources as well (i.e. TV's, stoves, microwaves, electrical wiring, fish tank filters, etc.)  Humans are sensitive to these fields as well.  High EMFs can cause feelings of nausea, panic, or even give us the feeling like we're being watched.  We use this meter to measure the level of EMFs at a location to rule out the possiblity of man made EMFs causing the paranormal experiences someone may have.  We also use it to measure any unknown sources of EMFs in the event some kind of paranormal activity is occuring.  Our Faraday Box can block these fields from affecting the recorders we place inside.

 

Carbon Monoxide Meter

 

Carbon Monoxide Meter

 

We use these meters for debunking purposes to help rule out any claims of paranormal activity being caused by a natural or man made reason.  Just like high levels of electromagnetic fields, Carbon Monoxide (CO) can cause some sensations that can be misinterpreted as paranormal activity (i.e.: apparitions, shadows, hearing voices, & other types of hallucinations). 

These are not the kind that plug into a wall, but rather personal meters we carry around with us.  We take initial readings prior to the investigation starting, then hook onto our belt or Grab-It-Pack and continue to monitor the CO levels throughout the investigation.  They have a small alarm that will go off if the level gets above 35 ppm and a louder alarm if the level goes above 100 ppm.  This way we don't have to keep an eye on the meter to know if the levels get too high.CO is an odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable gas to the human senses, so people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, hallucinations, nausea, and dizziness.  High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms which includes mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness, & ultimately death.

CO concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). Some people can experience very mild symptoms from prolonged exposure to CO levels of approximately 35 to 70 ppm. As CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable. At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.

Digital Cameras

 

An important piece of equipment that can capture strange anomalies can be a camera.  Strange anomalies can be anything to mist, shadows, and orbs or balls of light (we don't hold much stock into orbs though since they can be easily recreated). Sometimes you can get lucky and find full apparitions (note: we have not captured an apparition as of yet. We've been told it could take a life time of searching to find.)

35mm SLR Camera

 

Because film can capture the same type of evidence a digital camera can, we also use a 35mm SLR camera during our investigations. Many investigators believe that because digital images can be altered in many ways, it's easy to fake a bit of parano rma l evidence.  Plus, there is also the problem of pixilation or matrixing with digital images, making them unusable as evidence. By using a 35mm camera as another investigation tool, we can have a negative to back up our findings.

Mini-DV Video Cameras

 

The video camera is another important piece of equipment that can capture strange anomalies. Our camera has a night vision feature which allows us to film in the dark.  We’ve also paired it with an additional infrared light (See IR Light below) to help us see more when we record.  We either walk around with it or, with the use of a tri-pod, place it in a location to record. We look for anything out of the ordinary like objects moving on their own, shadows, or lights coming from an unknown source.

Infrared Lights

 

We pair this with our video camera with night vision capabilities to give us more light the camera can pick up during an investigation.

 

 

Incadescent Black Lights

 

We call this the poor man's infrared light, even though it's a black light (ultraviolet).  Because our Mini DV cameras need more infrared light to record in a dark area, we need to add more IR lights (see above).  However, this can get expensive at $40 to $80 a pop.  That's why we turn to this method for a cheaper alternative. 

 

Even with the IR filter turned on, our Mini DV cameras can still record in normal light.  The UV light that this bulb produces is so close to the natural light wave length, our video cameras can still pick up this light in a dark room just like an IR light.  Unlike its fluorescent partner, the amount of UV light we can see is very minimal, allowing us to still investigate in darkness.

 

With the reflector costing between $7 to $8, and an incandescent blact blak light bulb costing $1, youc an see why we turn to this lesser expensive option.

 

If you would like to see this light at work, Christopher made a demonstration video that can be viewed by clicking here.

 

 

 

DVR (Digital Video Recorder) System with Infrared Security Cameras

 

A DVR is a system that records motion video from infrared security cameras in a digital format to a hard disk.  This is the same type of system some companies utilize for their own security system.  Our system allows us to monitor multiple locations on to one source, at one time.  Used in conjuction with our Mini DV Video Cameras, if any activity happens we should be able to capture it.  Our software enables us to review segments of the video for playback while the cameras are still recording which prevents us from having to stop recording if we want to review evidence immediately.

Pasco Barometric, Temperature, & Audio Data Loggers

 

We use data logging equipment from PASCO to measure and record a variety of different atmospheric conditions during investigations.  We want to measure and record if there is any correlation between atmospheric conditions and reported activity.

One datalogger we use is the Xplorer with a probe that records 6 different atmospheric conditions at the same time (barometric pressure (25" to 34" of mercury), absolute & relative humidity, dew point, temperature, & relative altitude).  We carry this datalogger around with us during investigations to monitor changes in these conditions, but it also logs the data during this time (hence the term "data logger") so we can go back at a later time and review the information.

The second data logger we utilize is called the GLX, which we generally leave in an area with a high level of activity.  We attach a barometric probe that measures a higher and lower range of pressure than the weather probe (4.4" to 37" of mercury).  The GLX also comes with 2 rapid response temperature probe ports.  With the temperature probes at either ends of the data logger, we can see if there was a uniform temperature fluctuation.  If one picks up a temperature fluctuation and one does not, this deems further review of the evidence to see if any activity was recorded at that specific time.  The GLX also has an audio sensor that measures the decibel range.   Because a decibel is the measurement in the frequency of human hearing (20 to 20000 htz), if we capture an EVP on a recorder placed near the GLX, and there's no decibel fluctuation, it may be safe to assume that the EVP captured was not in the normal human range of hearing.

Once the investigation is complete, we connect these dataloggers to our computers to analyze and graph the data.  The beauty of these dataloggers is the number of different probes that work with them, from motion sensors to magnetic sensors.  We will be adding to the probes at a later time.

Keep an eye on future investigations for images of the graphs.

 

Motion SensorsDoor Sensor

 

Motion & Door Sensors

 

Motion Sensors serve 2 purposes.  Placed in high activity areas, one purpose is to keep the evidence honest by alerting us if someone enters the room the equipment is in.  The sensors also alert us to possible activity in the room.  The door sensors we have use the same monitoring station our motion sensors use, and can be placed on doors that have a history of opening by themselves.

Laser Level

 

OK, I know what you're saying, "A laser level for paranormal research???"  Let me explain.  During an investigation, this is placed in a location we are video taping.  The laser forms a + on the wall.  This serves 2 purposes.  First, it helps keep the evidence honest.  If someone were to try and tamper with the video, the beams would break, alerting us when we reviewed the evidence.  Second, if something tries to manifest itself in the room, it's possible the camera may not pick it up.  The + on the wall could possibly warp or break, which the camera will pick up.

Grab-It-Pack

Grab-It-Pack

 

The Grabit Pack is not your typical fanny pack or versa pack.  It's unique, ergonomic, PATENT PENDING design allows the ability to use other items such as tool belts and back packs while providing the durability of a military pack.  We utilize this pack to store our extra batteries, pens, EMF meters, thermometers, flashlights, note pads, and anything else we might need during investigations.  If you would like one of these, please click on the picture.

 

More equipment coming soon... 

 

 

 

 

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