Popular Science

Tools of the Trade


Would-be ghost hunters use a host of gizmos, some more plausible than others, to sniff out spirits. These tools make up their arsenal.

Tape Recorder: Sleuths use both cassettes and digital devices to pick up “electronic voice phenomena.” Almost any auditory oddity counts as an EVP, from crackles and thumps to spoken messages.

Electromag­netic Field Meter: Based on the theory that ghosts generate disturbanc­es in background static, this gadget measures the strength of the force. Many appliances produce these currents as well.

Full Spectrum Camera: This clicker captures not just visible light but also infrared and ultraviole­t frequencie­s. The broad range affords specter hunters crucial advanced night vision for midnight scouring.

Geiger Counter: Some spirit seekers think that haunts emit trace levels of radioactiv­e material. Detectives tote this machine to identify and track the amount of these particles in the surroundin­g air.

“Ghost Box”: This phantom-finding radio scans AM and FM channels for abnormal signals. Since we’re surrounded by soundwaves, it’s easy for it to pick up noise that appears strange or otherworld­ly.

Ouija Board: In this sleepover staple, users put their hands on a pointer, ask a question, and wait for the planchette to move across the board and spell out a reply. Power of suggestion plays a big role in this game.

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