How to Make a Spirit Box: DIY Ghost Box

For the beginner ghost hunters working on a budget, this is a quick guide on how to make a spirit box from home. The spirit box (also known as a ghost box) is probably one of the first bits of kit most ghost hunters choose to start with but, if you don’t want to buy one, building one is a good choice.

With a few basic items which you can get cheaply (or find around the house) you can make your own spirit box and start trying to communicate with the dead. There are plenty of variations to the build but this is a simple way to start.

Important note: Please make sure you’ve read the guide on how spirit boxes work (and how to use them) before trying to use one. I see a whole lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings on how to get the most from your ghost box. I heavily suggest understanding this before you start trying for yourself.

Also remember: If you just want to try using a spirit box without getting anything I’ve covered ghost hunting software for the PC which you can use to get started without the need for physical equipment.

Building a DIY Spirit Box

This guide will a simple guide to encompass most types of radios, but we can’t account for all the hundreds of different radio varieties. If our instructions don’t make much sense for the radio you are using, look up your exact radio model regarding spirit boxes to find more exact instructions.

This guide will a simple guide to encompass most types of radios, but we can’t account for all the hundreds of different radio varieties. If our instructions don’t make much sense for the radio you are using, look up your exact radio model regarding spirit boxes to find more exact instructions.

You Will Need

There are just a few main items required when creating your own spirit box.

These items are:

  • AM/FM Radio
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire Cutter
  • External Speakers
  • Digital Recorder

Gather your items and find an appropriate place to work, keeping in mind you will be using sharp objects and electronics. Safety first!

Step 1

The first step when working with any sort of electronic is to make sure it is unplugged or that the batteries are removed. It’s incredibly dangerous to work with live electronics and wires!

Carefully unscrew the back of your radio, making sure not to lose the screws. There are a lot of complicated parts here, so be gentle.

You are going to want to locate the wire that controls the AM/FM sweep or tuning function. You might recognize this function from your car radio, where it is commonly labeled as the SCAN function. This function allows your radio to sweep through radio stations, stopping when it locates one.

Cut this wire.

Step 2

Building a DIY Spirit BoxScrew the back of your radio back on. Now you are going to want to test the sweep or scan function on your radio to make sure you’ve clipped the right wire.

Test that you have cut the correct wire by holding down the TUNE button on your radio. It should run through all the radio frequencies without stopping. If your radio stops on a radio station during the sweep, the right wire hasn’t been cut.

If you’ve accomplished this, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3

Grab your external speakers. Some need to be plugged in while others are battery-powered, both of these types of speakers work just fine.

The only type of external speaker not suited to ghost box creation is Bluetooth speakers. As long as your speakers have an AUX cord, you’re good to go.

Plug your speakers into your radio and pick a radio station for the test. You should be able to hear the radio station playing from your speakers, not the radio itself. If this is successful, we can move on to the digital recorder.

Step 4

With your digital recorder, make a small recording of the radio station being played from your speakers as well as yourself speaking, and then listen to that snippet to make sure it comes through clearly. You don’t want any distortion or feedback affecting your ghost box session.

It’s important that you hear both the radio station and your own voice clearly.

If the recording is clear, then your spirit box is ready to go!

Step 5

Set your digital recorder up to record, and start your radio on the tune sweep function, letting it freely move through the radio frequencies.

Here is where you will ask simple questions to the ghost or other paranormal entity you are trying to contact. Do this for as long as you feel necessary.

You will then review your recordings on a computer with audio software to isolate snippets of communication or to clean up the recording.

Making a Spirit Box vs Buying One

Making a spirit box is a rather straightforward process that can get you well on your way to ghost hunting within an hour or two. A homemade spirit box is more than adequate for the beginning ghost hunter, and should still be able to pick up most of the communications that a store-bought ghost box could.

Unfortunately for the frugal among us,  a store-bought spirit box that was custom made for ghost box users to be able to communicate with the spirit world is going to be at least a bit more accurate than one that was made from home.

The fact of the matter is that radios modified into spirit boxes can still experience complications and be a bit rough around the edges compared to sleek spirit boxes made for the exact purpose of spirit communication.

This is because you are modifying a machine made for one purpose, acquiring radio frequencies, to be used for a different purpose, ghost hunting. Homemade spirit boxes can experience more distortion and pick up more white noise than their custom-made counterparts.

That being said, a homemade spirit box is still an incredibly useful and versatile tool. If you’re just getting into ghost hunting, it’s definitely worth making your own spirit box to test the waters before shelling out the big bucks to buy one.


Spirit boxes can seem intimidating for the amateur ghost hunter looking to record paranormal messages, but when you break them down into their most basic elements it’s easy to see that these ghost boxes are just modified radios and recorders. Not so intimidating after all!

Making your own spirit box isn’t too complicated, and can be accomplished with just a few items and a little bit of time. Be careful and take your time when building your own spirit box to get the best result possible on your first try.

Happy ghost hunting!