Sunday, November 29, 2020 01:52

SBox

November 22nd, 2020

The SBox

The SBox is a spirit box scanner, similar in nature to a SB-7 Spirit box except this device can record the sweeps and play them back.

Like the SB7 the direction and speed of the frequency scan can be changed, it also does AM as well as FM radio. It has a rechargeable battery, built-in torch and headphone socket and it can be used as a Bluetooth speaker making this piece of kit very versatile.

When using the SBox if it detects a spike when scanning it will stay on that frequency a bit longer in case there is a voice trying to get through. This will hopefully allow multiple words or a full sentence to be heard rather than just one word.

The SBox uses a micro SD card to record (max 32Gb)

We have used this SBox just a few times and it has shown some very promising results and we cannot wait to use it in places which have been incredibly good for spirit box or EVP recordings in the past.
It is too early to say what the pros or cons of the device is, we need to test it some more. But it will be an improvement when trying to record a spirit box session, as previously we would have to have a voice recorder recording the spirit box, this will save having two devices. Whether we record any more spirit voices or it increases the chances of spirit communication remain to be seen.

This normally retails for about $90 and is only available from Ghost Stop.

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Pen and Paper

July 28th, 2020

Pen & Paper

Finally the most important piece of kit is you!
Our senses are the best tool we can have, we can feel when something isn’t right or feels uncomfortable.

We can hear a pin drop in the right surroundings, and we know when the temperature fluctuates, we can feel it. You can hear a whoosh of a dress as a spirit walks past. Or a door slam in a prison. You can also smell the perfume or a cigar from a passing spirit.

We don’t need any special equipment to search for the paranormal, but we can’t remember everything so a pen and a notebook are essential so that we can record what happens during an investigation.

So no matter how much kit you have, don’t forget to write down what it feels like wherever you investigate and write down what happens, so that on future visits to the same location you can recall what happened and how you felt and compare each visit with previous visits.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself too, investigating should be fun. As soon as it isn’t, stop.

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SLS Camera

July 28th, 2020

SLS Camera

An SLS Camera in its basic form is used to detect people. Originally designed by Microsoft for its Xbox range to detect movement for sports games. The software and sensor bar has now been modified for use as a standalone device for the paranormal community. SLS stands for Structured Light Sensor but most people prefer to call it “the stickman camera”.

Frequently these cameras are now used to detect or interact with spirit energies and has been used on many Ghost Hunting TV programs.

The idea of using one of these cameras is that the sensor bar emits thousands of small infrared dots. The camera can see the dots and when something blocks the light the sensor can detect how far away the object is and its shape. This is then displayed to the user via a tablet. This can be used in daylight or night.

Interpretation is by itself a limitation for the use of the device. Simply, these devices and the software is designed to show people, therefore any anomaly will be displayed as a person, as that is what the software is designed to do. However frequent use, the user can understand the sensors limitations and uses. For instance, reflections must be accounted for as this sensor can accurately pick up reflections in items that you would not expect to be reflective (e.g. solid wooden doors, kitchens or wooden panelled rooms). Flowers, trees and plants can inaccurately be displayed as people especially if they are displayed on a stand. Recording the sessions can be harder as the tablet usually has no capacity or space to record a whole night. We know that this involves storing the footage on a SD card, but then we also recognise that this will have to be analysed which we know from our other camera footage, this will be time consuming.

We like these cameras because they can sometimes pick up anomalies that we would have missed by any other means. The camera has on a few occasions helped us communicate with the spirits and we have had some amazing results by simply asking the spirit to wave or stand up. The rig’s that we have are fully portable, although battery intensive. Batteries only last for a few hours (3-4).

There are now several versions of these SLS cameras for sale. The best deals are those that have been converted by those who know what they are doing. The software for the Kinect system is free from Microsoft, but there are many people who charge for this. That said it is always better to get the software installed with the sensor and sold as one unit, rather than trying to install it yourself to save a few pounds. We would expect to pay between £300 – £450 for a V1 with a camera & tablet (fully installed). You can purchase these from many places including Infraready, Amazon & eBay.

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Ovilus

July 23rd, 2020

Ovilus

An Ovilus is used by the spirits present to pick word from the devices memory to help with communication. There are 2500 words in the dictionary which isn’t many by our verbal vocabulary but there is also a relevancy bar, the more of this that is displayed, the more relevant the word is to the conversation or question.

This version, which is version 3 is probably the most popular version of this tool as this was the first time that the word was printed on the screen as well as being heard. This is the dictionary mode. There are other modes including a phonetic mode, but the dictionary mode is by far the easiest to understand. This is also one of the most requested tools during any of our investigations.

Since there is a limited dictionary, the words picked can be the wrong words or not relevant to the conversation, as we, human beings have a vocabulary of about 50000 words, 2500 words is not a lot to explain anything. Therefore there will be times when the words don’t mean much.

We often try to explain to our guests that these devices are not designed to answer questions, but to assist in communication and will help answer questions, but not directly. The word that come out are usually relevant but not a direct answer. Unfortunately this leads to misinterpretations which is perfectly normal, but like so many other paranormal equipment, we don’t rely on just one tool, we use several at the same time so that we can understand and communicate with the spirits.

Version 3 of the Ovilus was the better version in our opinion, there have been improvements but for the ease of use and the size of the device, this version was the best. The newer version Ovilus 5b has more features and more capabilities and costs about $400 from Digital Dowsing  however, you may be able to find a version 3 on Amazon or eBay, but we would expect to pay about £300 for a used one.

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Vibration Pod

July 23rd, 2020

Vibration Pod

This is used to detect small vibrations on 3 axis and the led lights show where this vibration has been detected from the lights on the top of the unit. At first this is quite difficult to read and understand but after a few goes at testing this in a known environment (we used a busy road with lots of lorries going past) then it is really easy to understand and it is remarkably interesting how vibration and noise can affect these devices.

This is similar to a Geophone, but where a geophone only turns noise into a light form so that you can see the noise, this turn vibrations into lights so if something is vibrating predominantly on the right then more lights will be light on the right on the pod.

The stronger the vibration the more lights light up to show the strength of the vibration and the direction using a simple and familiar blue, green and red.

Like many tools for the paranormal industry this is a purpose-built device, but other factors may influence the usage and any movement however small is likely to disrupt this device.

The size of this unit is perfect to include with our vast amounts of kit as it compliments many other sensory tools which we use to rule out or account for environmental factors in our investigations.

The full size Vibe Pod pre-2014 has been discontinued but you can purchase a smaller new version from Pro-Measure and these are built to order for $150
You may also find the original versions for sale on Amazon or eBay

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Hearing Enhancer

July 21st, 2020

Hearing Enhancer

These are commonly used for those who have hearing problems to listen to television at home or for hunters to hear animals. When these devices were first developed no-one had envisaged that they could be useful in the paranormal sector. In fact, few people knew that spirits and ghostly phenomena is generally a few decibels lower that human speech. Often EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) must be enhanced so that we can hear the response.

Using these listening devices enables the wearer to hear conversations several meters away, whispers and other quiet noises that would be missed without their use.

A disadvantage is that someone who is not aware that people are wearing these can make loud noises which can be deafening! The other disadvantage is that these are directional, which means you must point the device in the direction you want to hear or enhance otherwise you will not hear anything at all. Another problem is that because whispers can be heard as loudly as someone standing next to the wearer voices and other noises can be easily misinterpreted.

We have used these in all manner of places and sometimes have heard things which we would not have if we were not using these enhancers. In some large venues or those that are very quiet these devices have been very useful as two people standing tens of meters away from each other can have a conversation without the need for two way radios and conduct individual EVP experiments without disturbing the other person.

Whilst these items were once popular with ghost hunters, they aren’t anymore, this is due to their limited use, the size of the device and now it is possible to get better audio recording devices and microphones which can record at very low decibels. These can still be found occasionally on Amazon or eBay for about £30

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Full Spectrum Camera

July 21st, 2020

Full Spectrum Camera


A Full Spectrum Camera takes photos using Infrared lights as well as Ultraviolet lights and visible light. Therefore, this covers the full spectrum of light. Admittedly we cannot see the full wavelengths of Infrared and Ultraviolet although a camera can capture objects that we cannot see.

The science behind it is that if a room is lit with infrared and ultraviolet lights, we may be able to record spirit energies. However, the power needed for all these lights limits the range of the camera, as portable infrared light shines about 3m (9 feet) with clarity, ultraviolet light shines a little less. That said, you never know when or what you may capture as we have found out on numerous occasions.

The biggest limitation is obviously the lights and the power to them, rechargeable batteries is a must, but they never last as long as needed!

Over the years we have photographed some amazing anomalies which defy science and the limitations of the cameras. These cameras are modified versions of normal cameras. It is worth the extra money to get a professional to convert the sensor as any wrong move could damage the sensor irreparably.

It is possible now to get 4K video full spectrum cameras as well as still cameras and most cameras don’t cost that much, a basic one would cost about £100, see Infraready as they have the biggest selection of cameras available in the UK. There are also many cameras available on Amazon and eBay.

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REM Pod

July 16th, 2020

REM POD

A REM Pod uses a mini telescopic antenna to radiate its own independent magnetic field around the instrument. This EM field can be easily influenced by materials and objects that conduct electricity. Based on source proximity, strength and EM field distortion four colourful LED lights can be activated in any order or combination. The Pod also emits audible tones correlating to the disturbance.

A REM Pod can also be used as a proximity device as the closer the disturbance to the pod the more lights are lit.
As with other devices that measure or detect EMF (Electromagnetic fields) the pod can pick up mains electricity sources, mobile phone signals, hearing aid loops and wifi signals.

REM pods are very useful on investigations as they provide a simple and easy method to determine if there is a spirit interacting with the device. Simple questions can be asked, and answers can be interpreted by using these devices. Many American TV shows use these, the first being Ghost Adventures.

The new versions of the REM POD has temperature detection built in.
As with most of the paranormal equipment we use it has been purchased from the USA, Ghost Stop has these, priced at $190 but you may find the odd ones for sale on Amazon or eBay.

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EDI Meter

July 16th, 2020

EDI Meter

An EDI Meter combines several meters into one device. It has a thermometer, an EMF meter and a Geophone. There is nothing remarkable about this device, but it does cut down on the amount of kit (and batteries!) that need to be brought on an investigation. It saves have three separate devices to measure the three elements. An EDI is quite a large device, certainly not designed to be in the pocket but this is not the purpose of the device. It should be placed on a table or in a part of the room or space being investigated so that it can be seen periodically. It can be useful to know if the temperature has increased or decreased as well as a spike in EMF energy at the moment that someone in the room heard/saw/felt something or if other meters detect a change.

Like all EMF meters, they are prone to other devices like mobile phones, hearing aid loops and electricity and will pick up these signals with ease. The built in Geophone is very useful as this converts noise into a visual display, so if this lights up when placed in a quiet area or in a locked off room then this would be an excellent device to see the noise if it was inaudible at the time.

We like the EDI because of the compact nature of the device, the build quality is excellent as well as the rugged look and it combines several meters in one device. The new model has a pressure sensor, a humidity sensor and a data logger which for paranormal investigations make this useful to download the data.

This is a purpose-built device for the paranormal and is only available from the US, Ghost Stop is an authorised seller and the cost is $200

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CCTV System

July 14th, 2020

CCTV System


There are three main types of CCTV systems; wired and main powered, wireless and mains powered and battery operated and wireless. We have two of these; wired and wireless but main powered. The wired system is powered from a central hub and all the cameras are connected to this hub, cables can be connected together for a maximum distance of 250m without any loss of quality. The wireless system, the cameras are connected to mains electricity but wirelessly connected to the hub. At the hub (no matter which system is used) the screen of all cameras can be projected or shown on multiple displays.

The biggest problem is the time taken to set up these cameras, wired systems are better and have a better quality but it takes a couple of hours to get everything connected and making sure the cabling is safe. Wireless systems are quicker, but the signal can be interrupted by wifi and other radio-based systems.

However once set up, any cctv system is especially useful for guests to watch what is happening in areas that are either inaccessible or where people do not want to go (e.g. cellars/basements)

Some of the venues that we investigate we have used CCTV systems for many years and know exactly where to put the cameras to get the best quality, the whole setup for a 4 camera wireless system can be achieved in less than 30 minutes. A wired system for the same venue can still take 1.5hrs.

One of the other problems with a CCTV system is the amount of video that is recorded. If we have a 4-camera set up, and we have an event for 6 hours, that is a total of 24 hours of video. If there is no moment that we must watch, someone must watch all the video in real time to see if anything interesting has been recorded. This is a very time-consuming job.

We like these systems though as they add an extra dimension to the event. In the breaks people can watch what is happening in rooms and spaces where no-one is, or where someone has just left the room. Later in the evening guests particularly like to watch other people experiencing the different rooms and the activity that they encounter which can be entertaining!

You can buy a wireless 4 camera cctv system for about £150 – £180 or a wired system of 8 cameras from £300 on Amazon or eBay. However you may get a better deal from a cctv specialist like Spy Camera CCTV

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