Hello, lovelies! Welcome to this week’s blog post! We hope you enjoyed this episode (cause we had a lot of fun with this one). Have any tips for us or stories about your ghost hunts? Send them to us, we’d love the hear them! You can share either on social media or by email using firstname.lastname@example.org!
As always, below you’ll find info on the podcast featured during this week’s drink break and Rebecca’s research notes (with sources!). Enjoy!
This week’s drink break is brought to you by Meet My Ghost which is a podcast of short ghost stories where you’ll hear a collection of quick but spooky encounters. Because a ghost story doesn’t have to be long, to be creepy. Click Here or on the logo to listen! If you decide to share a ghost story with us, make sure to copy this podcast too for the chance for your story to be featured on Meet My Ghost!
Ghost Hunting for Dummies (or for people who don’t know what’s going on… like Rebecca)
Parapsychology: The study of the paranormal and psychic phenomena
- Always be respectful
- Research the location beforehand (history, safety, accessibility, etc)
- Don’t go alone
- Use common sense and/or follow your gut
- Always say goodbye and be respectful
- If at any time you feel in danger or have a sudden sense of dread, it’s ok to follow your get and GTFO
Pendulums have been used to answer questions, either of yourself or spirits, and to find lost things.
Pendulums answer questions by swinging in a specific direction, and can swing in the following directions: front to back, back to front, diagonally, clockwise, or counterclockwise
How to use a pendulum:
- Hold the pendulum by the chain, chain in one hand and tip of the pendulum just touching the palm of your other hand (enough to keep it from swinging.
- Set your baseline, A: Ask the pendulum to show “no” and gently lift the pendulum using the chance. Note which way it swings. Reset by setting the tip of the pendulum back on your palm and repeat to show “yes”.
- Set your baseline, B: Ask the pendulum a question you know the answer to. If the pendulum answers correctly you’re ready to go.
- You must set this baseline every time you use the pendulum.
You can either hold the pendulum in your hands, or hold the pendulum above a chart. These charts typically look like half circles, some have “yes/no” answer while others are more complex, such as having a series of numbers (for instance, to ask the spirit’s age). A quick google will show you a variety of charts to choose from.
Some people, doesn’t matter if skeptic or believer, can be naturals at using pendulums.
However, if you can’t prevent yourself from internalizing the energy, you should not use a pendulum, due to the high risks. The risks are especially high if you can’t tell the difference.
When using the pendulum in a location that is expected to have activity, the more aggressively the pendulum swings the higher the energy is at that location
Warning: When being used to talk to spirits, pendulums don’t have a distinct way to say goodbye.
Sometimes, if you’re communicating with a powerful enough spirit, asking too much of the pendulum, or working the pendulum too hard, the pendulum can break due to the energy, sometimes fracturing after you’re done using it.
Scientifically, pendulums work the same way Ouija boards do (i.e. the Ideomotor Effect).
If you expect a certain answer your subconscious will cause miniscule movements in your body to have the pendulum swing the way it’s expected to.
You can actually try this at home with something as simple as a necklace (this is how Rebecca first used a pendulum and freaked herself out, she used a necklace she bought from this awesome group of indie artists, Cheap Luck Co.).
Dowsing Rods (a.k.a. Divining Rod)
Typically known for finding things, like water, dowsing rods have been used to search for treasure and, sometimes, for bodies
According to the British Dowsers Society, the tools “are simply an extension of the human response giving clearer signals than can sometimes be detected without them.”
So… Like an extension of the ideomotor effect… but that’s not why we’re here
They come in two different shapes:
- V Shaped: where the forks are held loosely in your hands, and the pointy end leads you to where you’re going
- L Shaped: Two pieces, typically about 2 ft long, one of each gets held in each hand (some people use one)
Some say material doesn’t matter, some prefer certain types of sticks (i.e. willow vs pine), while others think copper is the superior dowsing material
You can start by talking to your dowsing rod, or asking them for guidance in whatever you’re doing
While holding the rods away from your body (and slightly tilted down if they’re the L shaped variety, to help limit their movement, but not so far down that gravity prevents their movement) let the rods guide you
- The V shaped rods you’ll have to follow your instincts
- The L shaped dowsing rods will cross over the object you’re looking for)
One warning that was given was to be conscious of your surroundings because the rods might swing wildly and hit things (like your face)
Dowsing rods work the same way during ghost hunting as they do when looking for things. Whereas if you’re asking questions, you’ll need to establish a baseline like you’re using a pendulum.
The rods can also be used to detect “hot spots”, but holding them and carefully walking around until they cross, indicating a spirit
But, since dowsing rods are used to find water, and some say they can detect electrical lines, you need to be aware of your surroundings to be able to discern what the rods are telling you
We famously covered Ouija Boards in Episode 9: The O Word’
Summary: You have a board with letters, numbers, sometimes “yes” and “no”, and “goodbye”
The planchette is placed on the board, you and a partner, or multiple people, lightly place your hands on the planchette
Questions can be asked of the board, and the planchette might spell out words or point to “yes” or “no”
NUMBER ONE RULE WITH OUIJA BOARDS: ALWAYS SAY GOODBYE WHEN DONE
Digital photographs sometimes show anomalies referred to as orbs, which look like floating balls of light
Sometimes, these orbs can take shape, and some research into symbolic meanings behind these shapes can lead you to answers
Digital cameras are the most popular way to capture orbs, because they’re now cost effective when compared to film cameras
EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and was first popularised in the 1970’s by Konstantīns Raudive, a parapsychologist from Latvia
This phenomenon happens when human-like voices and phrases or words can be heard on recorded electronic media that aren’t heard during the time of recording
Sometimes, these voices are only heard after amplification and noise filtering have been applied to the recording
Scientifically speaking, it is thought that EVP is a result of auditory pareidolia, which is the tendency of the observer to interpret vague inputs into something recognizable (like when you look for shapes in clouds)
This means an observer could listen to static or white noise and there’s a chance the observer will be able to interpret words or short phrases in the noise, which is why EVPs are generally considered pseudoscience
Investigators will use a grading scale when interpreting EVPs:
- Grade A: Clear, easy to understand, and no amplification is required
- Grade B: Don’t necessarily need enhancement to understand, but might need to be listened to multiple times to recognize what’s being said
- Grade C: Very faint and need significant enhancement before they are able to be heard.
- Class D and G: Questionable EVPs that might not be anything
- Type R: This type of EVP only becomes clear when the recording is played backwards. This type is rare to encounter
Where do these EVP’s come from:
- Voices of the deceased
- From a different dimension
- Researcher’s own subconcious
- They’re angelic or demonic in origin
EVPs can be gathered using any basic audio recording equipment, although it’s generally recommended to buy the best one you can afford to increase your chances of obtaining a clear EVP. https://www.liveabout.com/how-to-record-evp-2594034
When recording, be aware of things like ambient noise, time and location, and whether you’ll be using a series of questions to lead the conversation or leaving the device alone for a time.
EMF stands for Electromagnetic Force, which is a type of physical interaction between electrically charged particles
Things like power lines, metal plumbing, and devices that use wireless communication are the main sources of EMF in our daily lives (https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/09/vickie-warren-on-effects-of-electromagnetic-fields.aspx)
From The Shady Science of Ghost Hunting published by Live Science:
“At a haunted location…strong, erratic fluctuating EMFs are commonly found. It seems these energy fields have some definite connection to the presence of ghosts. The exact nature of that connection is still a mystery. However, the anomalous fields are easy to find. Whenever you locate one, a ghost might be present…. any erratic EMF fluctuations you may detect may indicate ghostly activity.”
This device, commonly referred to as a “Spirit Box”, is a device that’s programmed to quickly sweep through radio channels, the desired result being an other-worldly entity being able to manipulate the sound generated to be able to communicate with investigators (i.e. advanced EVP)
Best example of this device is it’s a REALLY fast version of the radio scanner in your car
Spirit Boxes are available in models that sweep FM channels, AM channels, or both simultaneously (this reportedly gets better results), and some can scan forwards or backwards
Some come with antennas to pick up radio stations, but it appears that there’s some debate on if this contaminates or skews the resulting EVP
Higher end models can come with a temperature sensor, thus being able to indicate to the investigator a temperature drop that can be a sign of a paranormal presence
Boxes can come with an adjustable scanning frequency (some with a resolution of milliseconds) and can record, some come with a speaker attachment, and some have a faraday cage accessory to help filter extra noise
Faraday Cage: a grounded metal screen surrounding a piece of equipment to exclude electrostatic and electromagnetic influences.
The Spirit Box can be used in the same way EMF readers and audio recorders are used, as in the investigator can ask a series of questions, allowing time in between each question for something to communicate through the box
Basically, like the saying “if you has infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters one of them will eventually recreate a play by Shakespeare word for word” is how Rebecca feels about the Spirit Box.