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Who says you need to spend a lot to get the same kind of results as "real" ghost hunters? In this video, we tested out some inexpensive equipment that's purported to find lurking, ghostly spirits. Here's what you need in your ghost hunting kit:
The only requirements for this item is that it must be instant-read and it should re-sample the temperature at short intervals. We tested the Extech 44550 Pocket Humidity / Temperature Pen ($27.47 with free shipping, a low by $3), and it seemed to work just fine, retaking the room's temperature every five seconds. So unless ghosts are running by you, it should catch their temperature fluxuations.
Honestly, any flashlight will do — as long as it gives off light. (What does one call a flashlight that doesn't give off light? "Broken," probably.)
There are all kinds of pocket recorders that use tiny tapes and digital storage, but the best way to try and catch an EVP (Electonic Voice Phenomenon) on the cheap is to use your smartphone. Both iTunes and Android marketplaces have several free apps that let you record voice; just do a quick search and dozens will turn up. For this video, we used the PCM Recorder app for Android. It worked quite well, actually. Maybe too well, since now we're recording everything like we were Nixon in '71.
In fact, during our investigation we caught an EVP with it:
The cheapest Electromagnetic Field Meter we could find was the E.L.F. Zone Gaussmeter ($14.75 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $7). With only three lights, it's a simpler version of a Gaussmeter, but it'll still let you know when you're near a "ghost" (or an unshielded electromagnetic source pretending to be a ghost).
With this equipment, we can almost guarantee you'll catch as many real ghosts as those guys on TV do! And if you really want to hone your paranormal detection skills, you can get certified as a professional exorciser via the Oklahoma-based American Association of Exorcists. For more tips on how to get in to the ghost-hunting game, check out Bundle's article on the The Economics of Ghost Hunting.