The first paranormal investigation I participated in was on the main floor apartment of a century old house. There were reports of unexplained sounds, moving shadows and strange smells within the dwelling. Now picture this, it’s the mid 90s, four guys working minimum wage jobs, just graduated high school and then image the type of equipment available to conduct this investigation. There was a bulky camcorder holding VCR tapes for video recordings, tape recorder with audio cassettes for EVPs and the old film cameras for picture along with a two day waiting discount envelope for development. Other tools were a measuring tape we used for recording distance, a compass on had to detect magnetic fields and an outdoors thermometer to take temperatures in finding those cold spots. We had these old 80s walkies talkies for communications, pens and clipboards to record any observation and a pair of 70s flashlights when stubbing in the dark. With the internet just emerging back then, the real research was done at the library or city hall to find any information about the history of the place. Lucky one guy on the team had access to computer which was only used to print documents and store any EVPs taken.
Now 20 years later, half the work can easily be done by anyone with a smart phone with internet connection. Amazing the changes in technology between now and then, which I wish had access too on those nights, as that camcorder was heavy. In sharing my knowledge and pass experience, the following is a composed list of basic equipment that I believe would be needed by any upcoming ghost hunter.
1) EMF Detector to pick magnetic fields believed to be created by ghost
2) Digital Audio Recorders to record any EVPs
3) Camcorder to record video and for a few extra bucks can get one equipped with night vision, thermal imaging and other features
4) Range Finder in measuring distance is quicker and easier then a tape measure
5) Lighting such as flood lights, flashlights, etc when working at night and exploring those dark basements
6) Cameras with flash option to take pictures because for some reason I have yet to know, still photos seem to pick on images that camcorders miss out on.
7) Motion detectors if you could afford them, to monitor areas you are not in or watching
8) Digital Thermometer to record temperatures in finding those cold spots
9) Cell or Smart Phones are a multiply tool on hand for communication, recording, etc
10) Air Ion Counter is a fancy and expensive option, as the device is believed to detect the presence of ghosts by measuring the amount of certain ions in the air
11) Pen and Notebook as you still have to take notes, record observations, etc
12) First Aid Kit always be prepared
Remember, if you can’t get the latest and greatest device, low tech is always another option that works such as a compass to detect magnetic fields if EMF detector is unavailable.