| It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use.
– Sam Abell
When it comes to investigation people believe they need a lot of equipment right from the start. While the more types of equipment one has the more in depth the investigation it isn’t always financially feasible. The list below will help beginners to determine what equipment should be purchased when, with explanations of what or how they are used. However if you get a good deal on a piece of equipment go ahead and purchase it.
The list is broken down by levels but that shouldn’t imply if you purchase all the items on the list you are a proficient investigator if you’ve only done a few cemetery crawls. Only experience and knowledge will differentiate the hobbyist hunter from a credible paranormal investigator.
NOTE: There is a common scam where a so called producer from a television network or show will contact a group and in order to determine whether they qualify as “professional” or “dedicated” investigate team they will request the teams equipment be mailed to them for evaluation. THIS IS A SCAM. No television producer will want the responsibility — or cost — of receiving, evaluating, and return the equipment.
If you are approached contact the television station directly, not from the contact information provided but from the station’s own web site to verify. If the ask about your equipment, a photo should be sufficient.
Don’t loose your hard earned equipment for the dream of fame and glory.
- An open mind
There are two things to keep in mind “experts tend to find what they are experts in” and as John Lubbock said “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” If you enter a property presuming it’s haunted you may overlook a more mundane reason for the activity, by the same token not allowing that a property is haunted may cause you to stretch reason like a rubber band ready to break.
Put more elequently by Thomas Jefferson:
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
Beginner Level Equipment
- Case(s) for carrying the equipment
- Notepad & pen
- General notes
- Time log sheets
- Pre-investigation questionnaires
- Investigation post-mortem’s – no pun intended
- Signage (quiet zone such as: recording in progress, Powered Area, …)
- Still Camera
- Digital or film – don’t forget extra batteries, rolls of film (if applicable) and make sure to empty all cards for digital cameras
- String or rope / Scotch tape
- For marking off or securing areas were experiments are running. Remember to be careful if you tape not to use it where it will do damage. An alternative to tape are 3M removable hooks and tabs
- Baking Soda or Carpet Fresh (chairs and carpets) / Flour or Corn Meal (hard, sealed surfaces) / Small dust pan and broom for cleaning it up afterwards
- Lightly dust areas where footsteps are heard (mark the area off so no one walks across it make tracks or to avoid accidents if it makes the floor slippery)
- Lightly dust around objects that reportedly move “on their own”
- Measuring tape/ruler
- To document how far things moved or size of “finger-/footprints”
- Provide scale information
- For checking doors, or floors where things have a tendency to always move or open
- Ambient room thermometer(s)
- Video Cam w/tripod
- Make sure it has Infrared or Nightvision capability for low light recording
- Digital or film (if you can still find them, if the digital camera uses a card make sure they are emptied first, if they use disk make sure you have plenty on hand.
- Voice Recorder
- Digital or tape don’t forget extra batteries, rolls of film (if applicable) and make sure to empty all cards for digital cameras
- Extension cables
- These are good for keeping members in communication, however they can cause more problems by effecting EMF meters or interrupting an EVP session.
- Poor man’s EM detector, some people have reported compasses reacting in the presence of a entity
- So you can identify a room as being in the north or south, rather then just front or back
- Thermal Gun
- EMF Meter
- Dowsing Rods
- Small Table for Table Tipping
- (this is more popular in England) if you’re into that, it is more for show during a séance then investigation
- Herbs & Accruements (burning equip.)
- For clearing things (check for allergies of residents before, and actually research what you use, its amazing who many people smudge without really knowing what they are doing)
- For filling in electronic versions of forms
- Recording readings or log document
- Quick review of digital photos or digital audio (EVP) recordings
- More sophisticated video
- i.e. security setup that allows for several images to be displayed on one screen
- Go pro’s
- Full Spectrum Cameras
- These see father into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums
- Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics.
- Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics.
- Dynamic Mics.
- tascam dr-40’s
© Minnesota Paranormal Investigators (MNPI) 1991-2016