Do I believe in ghosts? I don’t know. Do you? I am balancing nicely on the fence of their maybe existence. On the one hand, it almost seems small-minded to believe there isn’t anything more than misinterpretation for such a common world-wide cultural phenomenon, especially since its already been established that we can’t see every light on the spectrum (infrared for instance.)
On the other, with an estimated 108 billion people ever born to this Earth since the very first woman, let alone all the other creatures to inhabit this planet (why should humans be the only ones to have such fun,) you’d think the haunting gig would be a little bit crowded by now. The bottom line though is that, with a multitude of opinions on the subject without any irrevocable proof at hand, this whole ghost theory can get somewhat tricky, leaving me wholly undecided.
So, while I balance on the fine line of do they/don’t they, I have an immense amount of fun watching ghost hunters conduct “research” on TV, and decided to find some ghost hunting tools of my own, since its ghost season. (No, its wabbit season! Sorry, not sorry.)
OMG, Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me, I’m a Reality-TV Show Junkie??
Turns out, I shouldn’t be so quick to mock reality TV, and the people who watch it, because apparently I’m one of them. I am so utterly addicted to any “reality” show based on the paranormal; I can’t get enough of it. It’s not like I sit there and expect they’ll finally have irrefutable proof on whatever ghost/myth they are trying to catch by the end of the episode.
If they did find such proof, it’d be all over the news well before that episode aired. But despite this, I still find myself highly entertained while watching a team of mostly American men, walk around the dark with nothing but a FLIR camera to lead the way.
I think what draws me in most are the richly-dark histories little towns across America and all over the world entail, and how these shows present such historical events, sometimes dramatically, or by local tour guides for instance. The other draw is the highly imaginative tech some of these shows invent for ghost hunting.
It’s All a Conspiracy by FLIR
I’m not even kidding here. ALL paranormal shows walk around with FLIR cameras, from Finding Bigfoot, to Ghost Hunters, to Destination Truth, they’re all packing FLIRs. I have this theory that the only reason why these shows air on channels like Travel, Discovery and History is so that FLIR can sell more infrared cameras to history buffs and thrill seekers. That’s it.
But, No Really, Ghost Hunting Technology is Awesome
This is probably the biggest reason why I can sit and watch all kinds of ghost hunting shows. Walmart actually doesn’t have an aisle to help you in your ghost finding needs, so these paranormal investigative teams build, or find an expert to build, tech for them that could theoretically pick up audio or visual cues from the “other side”.
Whether this tech actually works or not is beside the point for me. I’m in awe with how they’re inventing a lot of intricate contraptions in a desperate hope to prove their theory, and love to see what will be invented next.
One such inventor, Bill Chappell, actually created a hunting device using an Xbox Kinect to search out a matrix of a human body we can’t see with our own eyes. And if the Ghost Adventures show on the Travel Channel is meant to be believed, without bias, it works.
Tools To Capture a Ghost
So here is some tech that you can use at home to ghost hunt… Or you know, maybe not your home per se.
Seriously. All the experts use it, and a FLIR, while particularly pricey, can be useful in so many ways of daily living, including checking which part of your car’s engine is overheating, to which tray of bento sushi-to-go isn’t as cold as it should be, that you can qualify purchasing the camera for more than just a ghost hunt or two. The science behind using infrared for ghost hunting is based on the theory that ghosts can register as a cold spot.
When you suddenly find yourself in a spot that’s truly cold despite all the warmth surrounding it, you’re either under a cooling vent, or standing in a ghost. A FLIR can pick up hot and cold spots and show you how large/small the cold mass is, and where it could be coming from (like a not-properly-insulated window.) It would be super spooky if that cold mass is in the shape of a human. Also, if you decide to walk around a house in complete darkness, you can use the FLIR to guide you with it’s night vision capabilities.There is now even smartphone attachments to simply add FLIR’s infrared capabilities to your phone instead of buying a separate camera. #DearSanta
EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomena, is when you’ve somehow recorded a disembodied voice. Imagine being in a room alone, no music playing, central air isn’t on; perhaps you’ve decided to work on a podcast, or just like to hear your own voice played back to you, and you hear the quietest of whispers saying “Hello?” in your recording that didn’t come from you. Freaky right?
There is a whole study on EVPs that apparently have happened. For me, its one of those things that I’m very curious to try if I ever step into a haunted building, because I have way too many ideas on how it could be faked on TV. But if its not faked? You could potentially tape more than what you expected.
Gotta love wearable tech! GhostStop’s EVP Band Recorder To Limit Ambient Distractions
There are a boatload of ghost hunting apps, built for various methods of audio and visual detection, for both Android and iOS [search keywords: ghost hunt], that I almost couldn’t figure out where to start.
I haven’t tried any apps yet, but the Ultimate EMF Detector Free (to detect electric magnetic fields where there shouldn’t be any, which some have theorized is a sign of paranormal activity,) and Ghost Radar®: LEGACY (a word generating app, with the assumption that beings from the other side are able to produce on your phone,) in Google Play sound like promising beginner apps.
Its difficult to search for apps when you don’t have an iPhone/iPad/Mac, but I did come across this Ghost Observer app that sounds like a good place to start. Also, the same Bill Chappell who designed a Kinect ghost detector, also created iOvilus, which is a word generator, based on outside elements affecting the phone. Kinda cool thinking your environment might be trying to tell you something!
Ghost Hunter M2 – This is apparently Selena Gomez’s trusted ghost hunting app of choice. Thanks to Rebecca C for the share. 🙂
Not sure where to start your ghost hunt? Google is an awesome friend that will help you find some of the most haunted places in your hometown. I would highly suggest testing any of these items outside of your home if you’re easily spooked.
Am I the only one who watches these paranormal shows as a guilty pleasure? Tell me you enjoy them too!
This post is part of Geek with Style’s Get Spooky series. Subscribe to the GwS newsletter now to keep up with the next installments.