PKE Meter. If only it was a real thing. (Image credit: Amazon)
Paranormal research and ghost hunting have been around since the 18th century and have even spawned official organizations, such as the Society of Physical Research, to investigate spiritual matters. Modern ghost hunting can be attributed to the influx of television shows that spawned in the early 2000s, including Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted, where teams of paranormal investigators visit places that are supposedly haunted in hopes of catching ghosts and other activity on camera. The teams typically employ electronic tools to help them in their endeavor, most of which are used by engineers, construction workers, photographers and other professionals.
The tools in question include cameras, EMF meters (measuring magnetic fields), thermal imagers, night vision optics, ultrasonic sensors, digital/analog recording devices and thermometers. Others can include Geiger counters, infrasound sensors (measures sound vibrations), Ghost Boxes (frequency scanners for communicating with the dead), Ouija boards, SLS cameras and motion detectors. Of course, ghost hunters also use human tools, such as demonologists, clergy/priests, psychics/mediums and animals, including dogs and cats. This all makes for good TV, but can these devices provide proof of the afterlife, those who have stayed behind in this world instead of moving on to the next?
Amazon does sell ghost hunting kits, which can double as home security, hearing aids, metal detectors, cooking thermometers and personal voice recording assistants if hunting proves unsuccessful. (Image credit: Amazon)
The short answer is no; there is no conclusive evidence of ghosts or other entities with culpable proof garnered from lab equipment or replicas from the Ghostbuster’s sets. At best, ghost hunters have documented anomalies – shadow figures, temperature changes, ULF (Ultra-Low Frequency) hums, EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena), blinking LEDs (when asking questions) and a host of others that can be explained away or are just that – anomalies. None of them have provided substantial evidence of a haunting. Even the famed couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, who began hunting spirits in the 1950s, could provide proof of the afterlife.
EMF meters will pick up fluctuations in readings near plumbing, electrical wiring/outlets, some lighting, RF and TV antennas and other equipment, none of which are ghosts. Shadow figures can be explained away by shifting light and pixelation, even with the most expensive modern cameras. Ghosts typically don’t emit radiation or consume energy, thus creating cold spots in certain areas. Cold air sinks while warm air rises and can remain stagnant until acted upon by movement, which creates the illusion of a ghostly presence. EVF recordings can be explained by RF interference, magnetic fields and other terrestrial forces. The same with sensors, which can fluctuate data if they’re not appropriately calibrated, are damaged, or even if they are ultra-sensitive.
To that end, there are a few explanations as to why some experience what are perceived to be hauntings and ghostly appearances, which manifest in homes and other buildings with high concentrations of carbon monoxide. The poisonous gas can induce visual and auditory hallucinations and can even temporarily paralyze some while having those ghostly encounters. If you experience any of these symptoms, along with headaches, visit a doctor immediately and have your home tested for carbon monoxide.
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