In Charles Dickens' iconic Christmas novel, the curmudgeonly old Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Although the legendarily grumpy senior ultimately embraces the spectral wisdom his phantom visitors give him, maybe he should have just trapped them as proof of the supernatural instead? If you have someone in your life who's more interested in simply hunting down a ghost on Christmas instead of being haunted by a Christmas ghost, this is the gift guide you need this holiday season.
The holidays aren't usually thought of as the spookiest time of the year, but that doesn't mean the hunt for evidence of life after death takes a pause. We've consulted with actual paranormal investigators (and maybe the spirit ream as well) for recommendations on the best ghost hunting tech. Check out our list, below!
A recording device is considered indispensible on ghost hunts. Used for both documenting the journey and capturing electronic voice phenomena, a good microphone is essential for picking up on the quiet, nearly imperceptible communications from other worlds. The Olympus recorder has over 4GB of memory to store approximately 1,000 hours of audio. Plus, it plugs directly into a computer via USB for easy file transfers.
"Digital recorders are a really good, basic tool," Nick Groff of "Ghost Adventures" told CNN. "Cheap ones are great because they generate white noise, which spirits speak within. EVPs [electronic voice phenomena] can be Class A, B, or C. Class A is so unbelievably clear you can easily make out the words. At our last location, we were asking questions and then playing back some EVPs, and the spirits said our full names, in clear voices, actually responding to our questions. Really bizarre."
Zak Bagans of "Ghost Adventures" recommended this piece of technology to Red Bull for its ability to detect "different spectrums of light: from infrared to ultraviolet."
"When you’re investigating the paranormal, your first indicator is goosebumps, which is your body reacting to the static energy spirits use while they manifest, pulling heat from the room and creating cold spots," said Bagans. "You can feel them, but you can’t always see them because they’re in another spectrum. This camera resolves that."
This particular model attaches to an iPad for an uncomplicated user experience.
The founder and lead investigator of the New York Paranormal Society Jason Stroming insisted that EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) detectors are essential for locating everyday sources of radiation that may be mistaken for paranormal activity. He emphasized that some believe spiritual entities manipulate electromagnetic fields as they attempt to manifest in our world.
“We’ve had cases where people are sleeping right next to an old alarm clock, or they don’t realize that their fuse box is right below them and could be giving off huge electromagnetic fields. That can cause hallucinations or the feeling of being watched,” Stroming told MentalFloss. “We say, ‘Move the alarm clock for a week, call us back and let us know.’ They always say it stops.”
EMF meters are certainly necessary for any ghost hunt, but there's no reason they have to be boring. This EMF reader, disguised as a huggable plushie, is great for the budding supernatural detective in your family.
"We did have a very interesting experience using [BooBuddy] at an old mining village," Kim Johnston, a paranormal researcher from Birmingham, Alabama, recalled while speaking with Vox. "It has an EMF meter inside it, so its belly will grow red if it detects any electrical fields. We were standing out in the middle of the woods of this mining village and the bear’s belly starts glowing red. We ruled out that there was anything electrical around to cause it to do that. One of the people with us said she felt like there was a little girl holding her hand. She was holding BooBuddy in one arm and then the other felt like a little girl was holding her hand. It has recorded questions inside of it. We’ve used that some but not with a lot of luck — at least not yet. But it does seem to attract childlike spirits."
A spirit box functions as a sort of digital Ouija board that picks up signals from radio waves and helps translate them into identifiable words or phrases.
"The SB-7 Spirit Box is just a radio scanner and speaker that generates white noise so the spirits can use it to speak," said Jeff Young, a member of Arkansas Paranormal Investigations, to Tech Radar. "We have talked to several different spirits this way."
Not all ghost hunting is high tech. If you're looking to go retro with your spectral endeavors, consider using an old-fashioned spirit board! Not nearly as accursed as usually depicted in cinema, these objects are believed to allow the user to consort with those who have passed into the ether.
"Spirit boards gained popularity during the Spiritualism movement of the 19th century as a means by which ghosts, spirits, and other non-corporeal entities could communicate with the living through mediums and seers," Barrial told Oxygen.com. "I cannot recommend our friends at Fiendies highly enough. Not only do they have a beautiful selection of spirit boards, but they also craft pendulum boards, crystal ball stands, and divining coins."
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[Photo: Getty Images]
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