With a lot of combined experience from myself and my team, this is my complete ghost hunting equipment list. From the essentials and beginner ghost hunting kits to the professional paranormal investigators.
This is the equipment we use and the models we prefer. Where variations exist I’ve tried to cover them too. Many of these have been made popular by shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures and so availability can be scarce but I’ve included alternatives where needed.
Essential Ghost Hunting Equipment
Let’s start with the basic, but essential, equipment. Before we get to the bells and whistles these are the things I want everyone in any group I’m in to have on them.
I know this stuff isn’t exciting, but make sure you have the basics down before getting anything else.
- A notepad. Nothing digital as it could be interfered with. A simple pen and paper will suffice.
- A backup flashlight. We’ll get to main flashlights in a moment but something small, durable and (most importantly) with a working battery.
- A mobile phone. In an emergency, individuals should be able to call for help. It also doubles as (another) flashlight and a digital voice recorder.
Best Ghost Hunting Equipment
Best is a subjective term but this is the most common equipment you’ll use and the models I suggest. You’ll rarely find a ghost hunting session without at least one of these and usually, there’s multiple.
These are in no particular order and you’ll often see all three used in combination.
- Specifically made for ghost hunting.
- Low budget. Even the upper-end devices are pretty cheap.
- Easy to find in stock but avoid anything with unnecessary features.
Usually, your first experience with ghost hunting is with a spirit box. It functions a little like a broken radio, actively flicking through radio frequencies at different rates to allow ghosts to actively communicate with us, answering questions and passing on messages.
This is the easiest way of working with the electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) and while there are alternatives (which I’ll touch on) a good spirit box will give you the best chance at communicating with a ghost and is most people’s first piece of ghost hunting equipment.
Also known as a spirit or ghost box, I’ve got a full guide on how they work and how you can use them here.
The model I (and most paranormal investigators) would suggest is the SB7 (commonly featured on ghost hunting shows). Full of features at a good price point.
The SB7 doesn’t have extra sound effects and flashing lights you’ll see in some spirit boxes. It just does exactly what you need and does it well. I’m not a big fan of ghost boxes that flash or play music. They’re pretty popular if you’re recording paranormal investigations for YouTube or something but for anything else they’re just distracting you from its actual function.
You can hear ghostly voices by the naked ear (in some cases) or picked up on voice recordings on other devices. The difference here is a spirit box helps you hear these voices intentionally.
If you’re just getting started, this is probably the first piece of equipment I’d suggest getting. Once you start having conversations with disembodied voices, you’ll probably want to take things further and see where these voices are coming from (which brings us to the cameras).
The most popular (and my #1 pick) is the P-SB7T Spirit Box reviewed here.
If there’s any piece of equipment that looks like something you’d find in Ghost Busters it’ll be the EMF detector (or EMF meter). It’s also high on the list of essential gear.
Made for civilian use it watches for disturbances and spikes in electromagnetic fields. Paranormal entities often can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless they really have a reason and the energy to be visible) but electromagnetic radiation is one of the more common telltale sales.
It’s also one of the easiest parts of paranormal evidence to collect. Switch it on and leave it to watch an area or carry it with you as you move through an area – it’ll alert you to the potential existence of ghosts.
I have a guide on how to use them and covered the best EMF readers for ghost hunting.
- Custom made for ghost hunting (often made to order).
- Mid-range budget. Sometimes a little pricey depending on demand.
- Can be hard to find in stock.
There’s always one person in the team with a strange-looking device that looks like a strange mix of science fiction and duct tape.
A while ago, people figured out that if we take the Xbox Kinnect camera which was designed to spot human shapes and movement with some custom software and a tablet screen – we could use it to spot paranormal activity and spirits which would have otherwise remained invisible to the naked eye.
I’ve covered the SLS camera and how it works here but it can be hard to get your hands on since they’re often custom made. There are some variations to using the Kinnect camera if you can’t find one, but I’ll touch on that later.
A thermal camera works differently from an SLS camera. Rather than trying to spot figures or movement, this allows ghost investigators to see heat variations from the ambient temperature.
A common sign of ghostly activity has been around in ghost stories for a long, long time. The room suddenly changing temperature or feeling a cold touch on your skin.
Again, these changes would normally be invisible to the naked eye but if we take a civilian grade thermal camera we can not only confirm where the air temperature is changing but some spirits can actually become visible through this lens.
I also have a complete guide on using a thermal camera for ghost hunting here.
Another custom device actually made for ghost hunters. Popularised by one of the ghost hunting shows, it’s basically a sensitive EMF reader hooked up to a speaker. It watches magnetic fields for you and you don’t need to actually do anything (making it one of the most passive pieces of hot hunting equipment).
By emitting an electromagnetic field the device tries to spot paranormal activity entering the field and some devices also include a temperature sensor to spot a cold spot or temperature spike at the same time. They give a binary yes or no alert when it detects changes.
I use these when I’m trying to watch a large area or multiple rooms for a ghost arriving. Especially useful for long sessions it alerts when something comes near it and I’ve covered a guide on using them and the best REM Pods for ghost hunting.
Ghost Hunting Equipment for Beginners
If you don’t want to invest in specific ghost hunting equipment there are ways to communicate with ghosts without specific ghost hunters gear.
Note: Obviously most of these are not going to be as accurate or as useful but you could certainly use a combination of the below to get started.
Digital Voice Recorder
Before we had spirit boxes we had audio recorders. We used to use an old tape cassette recorder (am I showing my age?) but the result is the same with any kind of recording device.
While it is rare for the voice of a ghost to be strong enough to be heard by the naked ear but by starting a voice recorder after asking for a question and playing back the white noise on a louder volume you can find disembodied voices on the audio recordings.
This happens more often than you might think, usually, the voices are lost in whatever else we were recording and you won’t notice them unless you’re specifically looking for them.
A low-budget option for a thermal camera is a digital thermometer. While it won’t let you spot heat changes from a difference (or watch a temperature anomaly) it can still help you pinpoint temperature changes in a room or certain spots of a room.
You can also use an infrared thermometer the same way as long as it’s fast enough to react to quick temperature fluctuations.
You can use directional ones to scan specific areas looking for small fluctuations or leave separate devices watching different rooms of a house. I’ve covered my top picks (and how best to use them) on the best thermometers for ghost-hunting guide.
A flashlight is always a good idea for ghost hunters.
Most sessions usually take place at night (I personally like starting at dusk but that tends to lead into the night) and electrical interference happens so I always suggest at least one backup.
Aside from the ability to see where you’re going (which is nice) I’ve seen some paranormal researchers use a simple flashlight as a bigger part of their tool kit. At times when a spirit isn’t able to use radio waves but can still interfere with electronics using the flash of a light source to give simple yes or no answers can work commonly called a flashlight session.
I’ve shared my choices and have a guide on the best flashlights for ghost hunting.
Motion Sensor or Two-Way Radio
I’m not a huge fan of this but if you can’t get specific ghost detectors or ITC tools you might have a motion sensor or two-way radio already readily available.
Ghosts can sometimes set off alarms and motion detectors but these are not a piece of gear I would intentionally but for ghost hunting. I’m aware some teams and websites suggest this but we now have better technology than ever that is specifically designed for the ghost hunting experience and requirements.
I’d only use these if you have no other option.
Free Ghost Hunting Equipment
There is a lot of useless apps out there making claims which they just can’t possibly have (like phones claiming to have EMF meters or AM/FM radio for devices that don’t have the hardware).
This area can be a minefield to navigate but there are two things I’d look at for free options.
- There is free ghost hunting software that will work as a budget spirit box. Your computer won’t have the same kind of hardware as an actual spirit box but the idea is the same and I’ve reviewed a couple of ones worth a look.
- The only app worth a look at is GhostTube which won’t replace an SLS camera but it’s a solid choice if you don’t have one and probably one of the best free options out there for your kit.
Professional Ghost Hunting Equipment
We have guides on a couple of methods of homemade ghost hunting equipment for anyone just getting started without breaking the bank. While tacking something together from parts of radio shack is how a lot of us get started – it obviously doesn’t compare to the real equipment.
Use Pieces of Equipment Together!
The tools here should almost always be used in combination with each other.
Not every ghost is going to register on every device. You’ll often see investigation groups swap between different devices depending on what a certain ghost is responding to.
Plus, one tool alone can easily give paranormal investigations a false positive. You might get a strange coincidence of electronic voice phenomena which sounds like an intelligent response to a question but if you correlate that with an SLS video or thermal imaging then you know for sure.
Ghost Hunting Equipment Kits
There are currently no pre-packed equipment kits for ghost hunting worth the money. If you’re getting started and building your kit bag then I would suggest getting 2-3 of the main parts from the equipment list at the top.
You can always add on as you go and increase your kit with specific stuff for certain situations. The premade kits on the market currently are just Overcharging naive ghost hunters for the same ghost hunting equipment they could buy separately.
Some kits also include a guide on ghost hunting but everything you need for that is already available for free online.
Obsessed by ghost hunting and all things paranormal. Chris spends a lot of time (some would say too much time) investigating ghosts and spirits and documenting stories and paranormal communication. He teaches aspiring ghost hunters in the Paranormal Academy.