Ion Detector and the Paranormal

In a previous article I had mentioned on being asked what equipment to use in a ghost investigation. More specifically what devices to use in detecting entities you can’t see, hear or touch. There are two conditions that I learned that is believed to be associated with the presence of ghosts. The first is a sudden drop in the room temperature is thought to be caused by a spirit which could be recorded by a thermometer either infrared or open air. The second is ghosts are believed to create an abundance of magnetic fields within an area, where none should exist that any Electromagnetic Field (EMF) reader should detect. Now, a third condition some claim to relate with ghosts which introduces the second installment of my series on lesser known paranormal investigation equipment, the ion detector.

Now, like myself, there are a few who have not sat in a high school science class for awhile and may benefit from this refresher. An ion is a molecule or atom where the number of electrons is not equal to the amount of protons. Under such conditions the atom forms an electrical charge that a surplus of electrons creates a negative charge while a lesser sum creates a positive. Within the atmosphere, they are roaming around and refereed as air ions.

Now I have yet to find the origins to this latest theory which associates excessive amounts of negative ions with paranormal activity. Sometime in the last decade, someone developed an idea that the presence of a ghost causes the accumulation of negative charge ions within an area. Some believe this to be the result of the magnetic fields created by spirits or that they are made of positive charged ions. This interpretation has led a few paranormal researchers to start using ion detectors in their investigations.

Ion detector counts and tracks the number of negative and positive ions in the air within an area. Now the idea here is if there is a sudden concentration of ions spiking off the device something maybe near by. Also to note, some paranormal investigators had started to utilize negative ion generator which is technology used in air purifiers. This method is thought to increase the amount of negative ions would result in summoning a ghost or some other paranormal activity.

I am sure by now, almost everyone has seen or even heard about those reality shows on ghost hunters. They had standardized ion detector and generators within their investigators which seem to been followed by other paranormal researchers out there in the world. Some would testify to observing results while others state it’s useless and unreliable. Like the spirit box, there are the few who warn in experimenting with such devices could be dangerous. Myself I have never used or directly observed the ion detector or generator in action. I saw them on the reality shows and even watched how to video on the Internet, but have no idea if any of these ideas or claims hold any truth which I leave you to decide.


Parsons, Brain. Handbook for the Amateur Paranormal Investigator. Ohio: Self-Published. 2010.

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