Ghost Hunting Equipment Essentials

by Doug MacGowan, November 2014 – Updated February 2021

Ghost Box Scanners are essential items for ghost hunting equipment. This model is found here.

A scant hundred years ago, mediums and Ouija Boards were among the most prominent ways people used to see if some of the dead remained behind in “haunted” houses or prisons or hotels. Today, due to the great advancements in science, modern ghost hunting equipment is much more technical and provided additional resources for today’s paranormal investigators.

Many of these devices have been invented to address more conventional areas of modern science, but Ghost Hunters have eagerly adapted the technologies for their own trade. Chances are you have witnessed them in action on various TV programs featuring paranormal investigators.

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What to Include as Ghost Hunting Equipment

Here are some commonly used ghost hunting equipment to chase after spirits.

Air Ion Counter

Because it is believed that ghosts generate electromagnetic activity, an air ion counter is used by some investigators. Ions are basically atoms or molecules with an unbalanced number of electrons. Ions can be generated by chemical or physical fluctuations some believe are generated in the presence of ghosts.


Although barometers first appeared in the 1640s, some ghost hunters theorize that ghosts affect atmospheric pressure. The use of barometers is put into place in ghost hunts to find puzzling drops or increases of air pressure.

EMF Readers

EMF readers detect spikes which may indicate a spiritual presence. This particular model can be found here.

EMF or Electromagnetic Frequency readers detect sudden spikes which may be associated with paranormal or spirit activity.

Video Cameras

Paranormal investigators utilize a whole range of cameras. It is speculated that ghosts may appear on film-based cameras and digital cameras when missed with the naked eye. There are many famous photographs alleged to capture images of spirits.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)

A modern mechanism known as an EVP (electronic voice phenomena) device can allegedly pick up voices of spirits. Like the camera, voices can be heard in real-time or heard later, when the recordings are played back.

Ghost Box Scanner

Ghost Box Scanners are essential items for ghost hunting equipment. This model is found here.

A Ghost Box Scanner sweeps the AM/FM radio spectrum in quick succession. Each random channel may provide one word before turning to another channel. It is this device can assist spirits in answering our questions.


Similar to candles, chimes can detect air movement not associated with drafts or open windows. The tinkling of a wind chime can indicate the movement of a ghost.


Like the use of barometers to detect abnormalities in atmospheric pressure, a hydrometer can alert an investigative team to unexplainable changes in air humidity.

Infrared Thermal Scanner

A common disturbance linked to ghostly activity is the “cold spot,” an area that is much colder than the surroundings. An infrared and thermal scanner can detect these areas. Although such scanners can detect small areas of abnormally cold temperatures, the cause of such areas is still under debate. A similar device used to find temperature anomalies is a thermal imaging scope. This allows an investigator to “see” the size and shape of a specific cold spot. Regular thermometers, as well as these two instruments, can help monitor air temperature.

Motion Detectors

Another commonly-known piece of ghost hunting equipment is a motion detector. These can be based on laser technology or cameras designed to take pictures when triggered by a movement in the area.

Talcum Powder

Finally, some ghosts reportedly leave footprints and/or handprints in the areas where they reputedly haunt. Placing talcum powder or a similar substance across floors, window ledges, countertops, etc., can help find these prints.

History of Paranormal Investigation Equipment and Techniques

This is only a small listing of modern ghost hunting equipment utilized in paranormal investigations. Of course, this doesn’t mean that classic methods such as psychic mediums and Ouija Boards are no longer used. However, they may come in handy in our attempt to answer mankind’s perennial quest to find evidence of an afterlife.

Doug MacGowan

Doug MacGowan lives on the San Francisco peninsula with his wife, a dog, and far too many cats. He has published five books on the topic of historic true crime. In his free time he enjoys reading.