The popularity of ghost hunting has exploded in recent years. Professionals like Zak Bagans and Teddy Bear make it look easy with their flashy professional equipment.
Can it really be done with homemade ghost hunting equipment? Absolutely.
Homemade ghost hunting equipment is the best way to create an accessible ghost hunting experience for even the most inexperienced paranormal investigators.
All you need is a basic tool kit and a nudge in the right direction for where to start, and you may just find far more than you bargained for.
Homemade Equipment vs Professional
A professional ghost hunter will, of course, benefit from professional equipment. It’s reliable, precise, and scientific. It’s also remarkably expensive.
First-time or hobbyist ghost hunters may not be immediately willing to spend significant amounts of money. It may also be daunting to think of working with sophisticated machinery right out of the gate.
Instead, It’s worth considering creating your own equipment at home. You don’t need the highest-end specialized pieces for your first ghost hunt.
From apps on your phone to DIY radios, making your own tools can be a great way to start your very own ghost adventure.
It can also be extremely rewarding, as it can feel like the dedication you’re putting into an investigation is paying off if your evidence is on a device you make.
Essential Tools for Paranormal Investigators
Really, for your first ghost hunt, all you need are a few basic tools. Your goal is to find evidence of the unseen, and so your tools will reflect that. They are designed to pick up on temperature fluctuations, abnormal magnetic fields, and other classic signs of ghost activity.
You may consider having:
- An electromagnetic energy reader
- A digital audio recorder
- Temperature sensing devices
- Some kind of surveillance cameras
- Some method of direct contact (a pen and book for automatic writing, spirit box, or something similar)
There are, of course, many other things you could bring with you, but these are the absolute basics of ghost hunting gear. You’ll be able to capture evidence of spirit activity with this as well as you will with anything else.
Homemade EVP Recorder
Consider following this tutorial from David Lee on YouTube, who shows how to make an extremely basic voice recording system he used with his students. His tutorial involves only a simple circuit board, a 9v battery holder, a basic microphone, speaker, and connecting wires.
Replace the microphone with something more sensitive, so as to pick up more delicate noise. You may also consider a more stable housing unit or adding internal storage to preserve your evidence.
Homemade EMF Meter
Note: I have looked at the best EMF meters for ghost hunting and have included a budget model. If you don’t already have an Arduino lying around, you’re probably cheaper just getting a cheap one. It’s hard to shoestring something that requires specific hardware like this on a budget.
If you’re particularly tech-savvy, you might try creating your own EMF meter. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a schematic outlined in Arduino’s Project Hub.
By using their Nano R3, a normal LCD display, a buzzer, an LED, some wire, and a toggle switch, you can put together a simple sensor that buzzes and lights up in the presence of an unusual electromagnetic field.
The page includes everything you need, from detailed instructions to prewritten code.
Homemade Motion Detector
A great way of seeing physical evidence of ghosts is by capturing their movement. This can be done as easily as setting out a colored pigment on the floor and a camera to record it in an empty room.
If you want to try something slightly more high-tech, consider building this simple laser tripwire alarm system from Instructables. It’s essentially the DIY version of the professionals’ infrared motion detectors.
It consists of a simple circuit and a laser pointer. Putting them together and again recording them in an empty room may provide you with more evidence.
The pieces are easy to get with some basic online shopping.
Ghost Hunting Tech You May Already Have
You may already have a piece of equipment or two around your home for ghost hunting. Consider packing up:
- A digital or surface-reading thermometer
- A regular camcorder
- A regular radio
One thing you should definitely take with you is a physical book and pencil. Because they are an energy source, ghosts like to drain your electronic devices. So, being able to record your personal experience, from vague feelings of dread to attempted automatic writing, is a valuable resource.
You may also include a few candles, salt, or colored powder for collecting physical evidence of paranormal energy. These pieces can be extremely helpful, and won’t cost you anything to bring along.
Capturing Paranormal Phenomena with Your Smartphone
One of the greatest tools for first-time paranormal investigators is probably in your pocket or your hand right now. Your smartphone is a powerful electronic device you already have access to. Use it!
There are also tons of apps for your phone that can help beginner ghost hunters.
- Voice recorders are common apps, usually already built-in, and will work just fine for EVP capture.
- White noise generation apps can function as makeshift spirit boxes.
- There are motion detection apps that can help alert you to the presence of ghosts.
- Night vision apps can help you navigate your location, and may even capture spirit orbs if you’re lucky.
Consider looking through your app store for well-rated ghost hunting apps to download before you go out. Be wary of those with low ratings, though; sometimes, an app really is just a fake.
Ghostly Encounters Are For Everyone
Becoming a ghost investigator doesn’t have to mean investing hundreds of dollars in expensive, top-of-the-field equipment from specialty retailers.
If you’re determined to investigate the presence of ghosts near you, all you need is what you’ve already got, and what you can make. Even the simplest hunts can yield amazing results.
Try a few of these tips the next time something goes bump in the night. If you’re brave enough, that is.
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.