Tuesday, July 14, 2020 13:23

Thermal Imaging Camera

July 9th, 2020

Thermal Imaging Camera


A Thermal imaging camera is used by engineers (of many industries) to detect hot or cold spots usually within a building trade environment or rescue services (fire) to find heat sources and crime prevention. In an unusual way you could say that this detects the past (If you place your hand on a table and leave it there for about 30 seconds, then remove it. Point the thermal camera where you had your hand and you will see a clear thermal image of your hand). In the paranormal field we hope to record a thermal image of a spirit or a static object that has a heat source acting upon it.


Obviously, there are many reasons why something would be hot or cold and where the ambient temperature is either hot or cold will determine the usefulness of this device. There are also many occasions in the past where we have wished that we had a thermal camera, but the cost of these cameras is a limitation in itself. The user must be careful as many heat sources that have been spotted are the heat signatures of people who had been sitting in a seat or touching a door prior to the thermal camera being in the room. It is extremely easy to assume that something is strange when in fact there is a logical explanation.

We like it because it offers another dimension to our events, we have cameras that the viewer can see in complete darkness (IR cameras) and with this camera they can now possibly see other elements that our eyes cannot. This camera is also portable and easy to use.

Prices range from a few hundred pounds (in this instance about £400) up to £60000 for the state-of-the-art video thermal cameras. The best place to buy them is a specialist seller like ISSWWW although you can also purchase these at Amazon or eBay but they often are more expensive than going direct to the authorised reseller.

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Traditional

July 9th, 2020

Pendulum, Dowsing Rod & Writing planchette


These are considered the traditional tools of the trade because they have been used for many years to contact and communicate with spirits. They all have other uses too, from finding water and oil (dowsing rod) to healing people (pendulum) to tricking people (writing planchette). The purpose of these tools is to communicate with the spirits using guidelines practised over many years.

Both pendulums and dowsing rods are used for binary questions (i.e. yes/no, left/right, male/female, good/bad) whereas a writing planchette can be used in a similar way to automatic writing; asking the spirit to draw/write something. There are no limitations on what the spirit can do, only their own ability.

On events it is very easy to get “addicted” to the modern devices (KII, Ghost Pro, Ovilus) to get your evidence but there is a better likelihood to get a better answer or a clearer answer using these tools as there is little scope to misinterpret the answer. As with all tools or devices it depends on the questions or how you ask the questions as to the clarity of the answer. We like using these because of that reason. The answers can be personal to the user and the user can feel the answer and know what is right or wrong from how the pendulum or dowsing rod feels. The writing planchette is a little different because its ideal when several people use it at the same time (about 4) with the questioner (the person asking the questions) not touching it.

You can purchase these items from many places including pagan style shops, Rune or Tarot card shops and online at Amazon or eBay. Prices range from £3 – £20 depending on the style and quality of the materials.

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Ouija board

July 7th, 2020

Ouija Board


This is the marmite of the industry. So many people will instantly say “No, not doing one of those” or “My Grandma/Mum told me never to use one” or “I’ll watch”
Most of the time there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. TV and Hollywood have made these boards out to be a dangerous device. Many people ask, “Are they dangerous?” Our answer is “Is a gun dangerous?” and the answer to that question is “Depends who’s holding it”. Like any tool for any job an untrained person using the tool could possibly hurt themselves and others unknowingly or by accident.

No matter what tool is being used to contact the spirit world, there are dangers and politeness and respect go along way. Using a Ouija board is no different than using a KII meter. It is just another tool we use to contact the spirit world. So long as a Ouija board is used in the proper way and the questions asked are sensible then there is every likelihood the answers will be useful and to the point. We have had some amazing evidence given from a Ouija board, information that we could verify and lookup. This is the point of using a Ouija board, because you have the ability given patience to get a full answer from the spirits. There is no need to guess the answer, you just have to wait for the spirit to answer the question.

Due to the nature of the device and using either a glass or a planchette to get the answer (letter or number) there is always the possibility to misinterpret the answer because either the glass is over two letters or number of the planchette is not pointing directly at the letter/number. However with practise these imperfections can be overcome and the answer to the question can “feel” right or wrong.

Sometimes we have connections to spirits that are very well educated and you know that they will be able to impart their knowledge by using a Ouija board as this gives the best form of quality of evidence. The answer to questions is immediate and with our technology (mobile phones) it is possible to look up information and verify claims quickly. This is quite rare but it does happen from time to time and we have had answers to what seemed to be impossible questions answered via a Ouija board.

Ouija boards come in all sizes and shapes and we have a number of different boards and a Ouija table. There is no best or perfect board, however we do like the board designed by Lisa Parker Nemesis Now. These have a grippy surface to the board and the planchette so that it makes it difficult for someone to push the planchette. They are reasonably priced at about £15-20 including postage and are 38cm square in design. There are several places that you can buy Ouija boards including from Amazon or eBay.

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Two way radio

July 7th, 2020

Two Way Radio


Used to communicate with team members across a building or site. Especially useful in some of the larger and more outdoor locations or between two buildings.


These radios have a 10km range and can be voice activated (with a headset). We use these for large investigations where timekeeping becomes particularly important or for our live investigations.
Some cheaper sets have a limiting wavelength which can be used to listen to other conversations e.g. taxi and food delivery in cities. Interference is a problem with cheaper sets.

The rechargeable batteries on these sets usually last for 7-8 hours although it depends on how often they are used. We have had sets which only lasted for a maximum of 2 hours, which defeats the point of having them.

These are made by Motorola and come in a set of 4 (license free), waterproof, with headsets and were bought for approximately £150. These are available on eBay, Amazon or Communication specialist shops like Ligo.co.uk.

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Boo Buddy

July 2nd, 2020

Boo Buddy (Interactive Bear)


This is a purpose-built device for the paranormal field. It asks questions to trigger the spirit to respond for EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) related questions. It also can detect changes in EMF (Electromagnetic Field), temperature, vibration and motion and responds with a verbal question or statement (just like a real person would!)

The whole point of this bear would be to put this with a camera in a locked-off area or room and let the bear interact with the spirit. If you knew the area was locked-off and no-one would enter the room any voices recorded by the camera (apart from the bear) could be potential EVP’s.

The paws light up for vibration or motion along with speaking a phrase related to the environmental change. E.g. It got warm in here. As well as the belly of the bear lighting up green. (in response to  EMF energy)

We like this bear because it always asks questions, however this is off putting to guests or even scary at times!

We also get quite a lot of responses in the right environment (i.e. where you would expect children to be)

This can only be bought from Ghost Stop in the USA although you may find one on an auction site. The 2020 price is $360 but when we bought ours, we had to pay a shipping charge of about £40 and when it arrived a customs charge of £36. This is definitely not a toy!

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Infrared Video Camera

July 2nd, 2020

Infrared (IR) Video Camera


True Infrared Video cameras can only be produced by Sony as they have the trademark for true 0lux sensors. Obviously filming in total darkness is going to require an Infrared Illuminator. At one time when the hard drive cameras that we use were new, there was an added accessory, an IR illuminator that fitted on the hot shoe of the camera and took its power from the battery. We still have a few of these, although they are starting to be temperamental in use, but they are at least 10 years old. Nowadays it is much simpler to buy an additional illuminator with its own battery to go alongside the video camera. With the prevalence of CCTV systems Infrared Illuminators are very easy to find. Any illuminator will work, the more leds the better as IR light dissipates very quickly. Most Illuminators the fall off (the point at which there is no IR light) is about 10 feet from the source. To light a large room, you would need a few illuminators unless the camera was close to the subject.

We use the DCR-SR series of cameras (either 190 or 290), these all have hard drives to store the footage on, ranging from 30Gb to 80Gb which is ample for a single night, as the batteries only last about 90 minutes each. You can also use these cameras to take photos in nightshot mode which can be useful at times (as a flash can blind people in the dark)

When setting up our cameras we always set the clock to 12 hours behind the actual time. This is for one reason. If we had set for the right time when the footage is transferred to the PC it would span two days (because our events usually start at 8pm and finish at 2am). We have one set of footage from 8pm until midnight and then another set from midnight to 2am. To illuminate this problem, we set the clock for 12 hours behind the time so that when transferred we have just one folder with all the recordings from that day.

We use these cameras because they are simple to use, quite cheap to buy (compared to buying new cameras) and transfer to a PC is easy. The quality of the recording at night is limited by the IR illumination so it doesn’t matter what the quality setting of the camera is. The recorded footage will be have a green tinge or black and white.

These cameras can be picked up for about £100 on eBay (the price when new was up to £650) for a DCR-SR290 which is the top of the range. IR Illuminators range in price from about £20 up to £100 depending on how many LEDs and battery type (most CCTV ones work from a rechargeable 9v battery pack)

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Laser Pen

June 30th, 2020

Laser Pen


We use these laser pens to detect shadows or movement in dark surroundings, these are highly effective in outdoor scenarios.

These laser pens were originally design for office presentations but were adapted for the ghost hunting and paranormal market by the addition of a filter which splits the beam of light into a grid.

The high-powered laser emits a grid of green, red or purple (depending on the laser colour) dots useful for detecting visual disturbances during an investigation. The size and shape of the star grid is adjustable by turning the lens.
There are only a couple of limitations, one is the size of the area that it is illuminated, outdoors is good, but the light beams can be lost in any vegetation. Indoors the room needs to be quite big otherwise it is too bright. This has an interesting ambience in fog!

One of the other limitations is being able to hold down the switch for long enough. Small tripods have been developed with a holder that keeps the button down, along with special clamps but in all honesty we just use a cable tie that isn’t tight, but tight enough to be moved on and off the switch.

We like these pens because it only requires 2 AAA batteries and is light to carry and they are fairly cheap and plentiful on eBay or Amazon, costing about £8-15 each with a set of filters.

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Ghost Meter Pro

June 30th, 2020

Ghost Meter Pro


This is a device that can be used to communicate with spirits. The Ghost Meter Pro measures the Electromagnetic energy in a similar way to a KII meter. The difference with this device is that it has four different modes, these modes enable communication as the lights are used for simple yes/no answers to questions. We tell people to use a simple one flash for yes, two for no. After a while of seeing the types of flash and how to interpret the flashing lights, users like the device.

As with the KII meter this device can be affected by electricity, mobile phones and wifi signals and the same precautions are required for successful use.

Like the KII the Ghost Meter Pro can be a very effective way to communicate with spirits and it is also very easy to determine whether the energy is a spirit energy or whether the device is picking up a man-made electromagnetic energy source. It is obvious when you see how the lights flash, as wifi, mobile phones, hearing aid loops and electricity all interfere with this device in waves, after a few minutes the user can see the repetitive flashes that man-made frequencies make.

We like this device and it is probably the most popular device that our guests want to investigate with because it is an easy instrument to use and once the user has got used to the types of questions that they can ask, the responses can be rewarding.

The Ghost Meter Pro is now not that easy to get hold of, however there are still sellers on eBay and Amazon selling them. The original ones came from the USA and you can still buy them from there. We would now expect to pay between £45 and £65 per item (depending on if it is new).

Be warned however there is a simpler Ghost Meter which does not have the four modes (which are needed for the communication mode) and is just like a KII as it is an EMF meter and not a very good one either.

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Temperscope

June 25th, 2020

Temperscope

This is another device purposely designed for the Paranormal world. This is another device built by Paranologies.

This is a simple temperature measuring device for hot or cold spot detection. When there is a hot temperature, one side of the device lights up red, if the temperature is cold then the opposite side lights up blue. It automatically resets every 30 seconds if the ambient air has a constant change it will auto-adjust to that change while still displaying the hot and cold changes

This device can easily be affected by the ambient air temperature, especially if it is near a doorway. Depending on the environment it is easy for warm air to drift over the device and equally a cold air draft.

However, if it is used in a locked off area or room then this can be an exceptionally good indication of warm or cold spots as it will light up with the temperature difference.

This can only be bought from Paranologies in the USA and is currently priced at $69.99

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Geophone

June 25th, 2020

Geophone


A Geophone is used to see noises. Strictly speaking these are data logging devices to record vibrations or sounds, however we are not after the scientific version, we just need to be able to see when there has been a noise or vibration. The device picks up sounds and converts this into light which is displayed by the device.

Some are round, others and square or oblong and others have a range of lights. The purpose of the device is the same, it is to “see” the noise. Depending on how the device lights up will depend on the loudness of the noise. Some models more lights, light up, others get brighter or different colours.

Whilst these do not measure the sound with any accuracy, these are purely designed to let you know that there is a noise or vibration. These devices are usually very accurate in picking up noise or vibrations that we cannot hear. This is also one of the downfalls of these devices, that any small movement create a noise or vibration. They are however ideal for lock-off situations or where there won’t be anyone present.

This is the reason why we like these devices as we can put them beside some other kit which has a camera pointed at it in a locked off area and know that if the geophone lights up then something must have made a noise.

At one time these were quite simple devices and you pick them up cheaply for about £20 in Maplin. However since their inclusion in the paranormal field and ghost hunting these are now quite expensive and start at about £35 and the top end models are about £80, found on Amazon or eBay.

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