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Low-Tech Ghost Hunting Tools and Techniques
You don't need a FLIR to spot a spirit
By Rick Loe

Paranormal investigation, especially ghost hunting, has seen many advances in the last few years. New shows on TV, new books, improvements in tools and technology have all helped in the advancement of discovering the other side. These are all wonderful things, but it's important to remember you don't have to use the latest equipment to conduct your own paranormal investigation.

Listed are some of the low-tech tools and techniques that you may already have in your house, and will do nicely in your investigation.

Powder on a cookie sheet. Take an ordinary cookie sheet, large pan, or even a heavy,Pan of Powder sturdy blanket and place it in the area where the paranormal activity is taking place. Sprinkle baby powder on the sheet or blanket and leave the area. Return and check for any marks or changes to the powder.

Crunch security alarm. Similar to the powder on a cookie sheet, this uses a pan of chips or other crunchy material and can alarm you of activity. Place the pan in the area of the paranormal activity and listen for the crunching. Of course, if you get bored, you'll always have a snack available.

Compass. A compass can be used to detect electromagnetic activity, similar to the way an EMF detector operates. Hold the compass normally as you would when trying to get your bearings. When a spirit passes by, the theory is that the compass will spin or point in a direction other than North.

Bell on a string. Another excellent low-tech tool, this will work if your paranormal activity includes entities which tend to move things or are a bit more solid than a mist. Stretch the string across the suspected paranormal area and tie one end to a stable object (like a chair or table leg.) The other end should wrap around the other end of a stable object with the bell hanging free. The concept is that anything that moves against or wiggles the string would cause the bell to sound.

MirrorMirror. Some believe that looking into a mirror allows the viewer to see into an alternate universe or to see things that our naked eyes are unable to see. Situate a small mirror so that it's reflection allows you to see the paranormal area.

Turkey thermometer. It's not just for Thanksgiving! Use your digital meat thermometer to detect cool spots, drafts, and other-worldly activity.

Disposable camera. I've been on many investigations where the investigator with the inexpensive digital camera got the best shots. Don't discount their ability to capture descent images of paranormal activity.

Incense or Sage. The smoke from incense and sage is a great way to find drafts in an enclosed area. Of course, this may ruin your ability to smell a disembodied scent, but it works great if you're unsure of where that breeze is coming from.

Digital laser level. Many people have a laser level in the tool box or shed. Use it to ensure locations are level, but they can also be a great way to lightly highlight an area for any movement.

Tape recorder. You may have an older cassette recorder hidden away in the attack or laying in a drawer. Cassette tape recorders have a tendency to make more mechanical sounds than they're cousin the digital voice recorder, but they'll do the trick when you're doing an EVP session.

Dowsing rods and pendulums. Use these to detect spirit activity similar to an EMF Dowsing Rodsdetector. There are many different thoughts on the correct way to use these, so we would recommend doing internet research to find a technique you would like or follow package directions.

Wind chimes. Another great way to detect drafts or spirit movement. Try placing it in an area that doesn’t have a draft for spirit detection. You can find that by lighting an incense to see if it leads to a previously unknown area where drafts are occurring. If the smoke seems to lead up in a consistent direction and thickens it is less likely to be affected by drafts.

Pets. It's believed that pets, such as cats and dogs, have the ability to see into another realm. Pay attention to your pet and take notes. Investigate areas that the pet seems to be focused on.

Observation. The best and simplest tool and technique is your own body. Use your personal senses such as sight, sound, smell, and even your feelings to detect paranormal activity.

As you can see, there are many different techniques available for the beginner investigator which don't require any complicated or expensive tools.

Rick Loe is co-founder and Director of the Pensacola Paranormal Society.

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