GHOST HUNTING EQUIPMENT AND ITS USES
by Peter Underwood, Ghost Hunter
A section of Peter Underwoods Ghost Hunters kit -
Image © Peter Underwood - used with full permission
Before looking at the essential items in any self-respecting ghost hunter's bag, it might be profitable to remind ourselves of the commoner types of haunting that the ghost hunter today is likely to encounter, for it must always be remembered that there do appear to be many different kinds of ghosts; and we can then consider some methods of investigating the different varieties.
Putting completely aside for a moment the ghosts of the seance room, the commonest reported spontaneous ghosts today are poltergeists, remnants of traditional or historical ghosts, death-bed visions, atmospheric photograph ghosts crisis apparitions and ghosts of the living. By far the majority of so-called ghost sightings, however, are not ghosts at all but the result of malobservation, natural causes and conscious fraud, hallucinatory or telepathic in origin, or the result of a disordered brain.
In the investigation of any of these types of ghosts we must decide what if any apparatus and equipment the serious ghost hunter will take with him, but first we will consider the items that the ghost hunter should have already collected. These items are not in any particular order, but they are all important, and most can be purchased very reasonably.
The first necessity is a bag, case or box in which to store the ghost hunting kit, and this can either be a capacious bag or stout suitcase which is quite adequate and easily transportable; or, if a car or other transport is available, a sturdy box (with catches and a lock) is probably the best receptacle since it can be partitioned and labeled inside and so organised that there is somewhere for each piece of equipment. I will detail all useful components for the ghost hunter's bag or box, but of course this list can be modified to suit the cash that is available or increased to suite individual requirements.
Several battery torches (and spare batteries and bulbs) of varying sizes will be needed; the very small fountain-pen, keyhole or handbag type are always useful, and so is a fair-sized and solid torch. Both the rubber cased variety and those with a magnetic attachment have their advantages, while the motoristís self-standing type with a flexible head and automatic 'on and off' red warning light is often useful, as is the floating torch and the torch with an adjustable spotlight. A hurricane lamp has its uses in some instances, and the inclusion of half-a-dozen palmitine self-fitting candles and a couple of boxes of matches should adequately cover the ghost hunterís lighting requirements.
The camera or cameras that the ghost hunter takes with him must be dictated by personal preference or financial considerations, but at least one, and as good a one as possible, should be included, and a tripod. A simple and inexpensive camera is all that is really necessary and the fewer the controls the more chance the ghost hunter, or his companion, has of obtaining a print of something in the event of a sudden movement or appearance, although of course a better result will be obtained with more sophisticated equipment, and instamatic polaroid cameras have many advantages. The fully automatic cameras that are now available have many advantages too. The use of a cine camera is distinctly beneficial in some circumstances, such as poltergeist cases. At all events spare black-and-white (fast) and colour films should be included and spare batteries and flash-bulbs where applicable. The camera enthusiast will also include infra-red films, filters, various automatic attachments and other refinements.
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