Equipment Isn't Enough
Equipment Isn't Enough
GHOST HUNTING TIPS: III
Thermal Imaging Camera: Flir Model TG 165
Paranormal research took a giant leap when thermal imaging cameras (TICs) started popping up in various ghost hunting shows on TV. Manufacturers such as Flir, Reed, Fluke, and Xintest saw sales expand because of the new interest generated by the shows. If you get one of those cameras, you will soon realize that any anomalies you capture with the TIC need to be supported by quantitative and qualitative data derived from other investigative equipment. It's easy to be fooled by thermal images! Other supportive data applied to any suspected anomaly is highly desirable!
Did you get any EVPs while the anomaly was being photographed? Did you get any spikes on your EMF meter at the time? Was there a sudden variation in ambient temperature? These are some examples of supportive data.
You can get a good idea of temperature gradations by taking some pictures of known objects that give off various heat signatures. The light bulb is the brightest and hottest spot in this photo followed by yellow, red, purple, and blue. What colors of the spectrum would a spirit display in a TIC photo?
Put your hand on a wall for a few seconds and then remove it. Take a picture with your TIC, and you'll have captured a eerie remnant of the heat given off by your own hand. After sitting in a chair for a few minutes, you can also obtain a residual heat signature from your body.
Be careful not to jump to conclusions should your TIC take a picture like this one. It's actually a reflection of me that came from a framed print under glass that hangs on our cellar wall!
Getting EVPs in Noisy Locations
The key to obtaining EVPs in noisy locations simply is to go ahead and attempt it! With a good audio software, you can delete portions of the audio track that don't contribute to the EVP capture and use editing tools to enhance the recording.
During January, 2016, Carol and I had lunch one day at the Owl Grill and Saloon in Grass Valley, California. The Owl was built from joining two existing structures and opened in 1883.
I won't go into describing the Owl's long history as you may click on the OWL link if you wish to learn more.
After we entered the Owl and sat down at a table, the waitress took our order for food and drink. We had a brief conversation with her about the Owl's history, and she revealed that the booth space next ours is famous. It seems that a man named George was gunned down at that location. Of course, hearing this information spurred our interest and I just happened to have my Olympus digital recorder with me. Despite the music, kitchen sounds, and other voices I was determined to try to talk to George. Below is the EVP we obtained. Turn up the sound, and listen to Track 1 first. You will hear my questions in addition to the noise before the EVP appears at the end. Next listen to Track 2 next to hear the isolated EVP. Sounds like "Got in the mood" or "Not in the mood." Is is part of the music or superimposed over the musical track? The voice seemed different from the other voices in the song. What do you think?
Click on the OWL link below.
This was the location where George was allegedly gunned down.
Five Distractions to Avoid at the Investigation Site
Let's say that you're planning an investigation at a private residence. Before you finalize a date with the clients, you must make them realize that you cannot do an effective job if there are distractions at the investigation site. Human generated noises, movement, and odors can defeat your use of digital voice recorders, camcorders, motion sensors, trap cameras, static CCTV cameras, and other equipment you've positioned for the collection of paranormal evidence. You are not visiting their house for entertainment purposes, so it's important for you to make it clear that anything that interferes with your work will be counterproductive. Hopefully, the clients will cooperate, and you will be able to do an effective job. Just remember to thank them before you leave!
1. With few exceptions, children should not be present in the house! Ask the clients to arrange for the kids to spend the night at a friend or neighbor's place.
2. As with children, you don't want any pets to freely wander about the house. Arrangements should be made for them as well.
3. Ask the clients to avoid asking friends, relatives, or neighbors to join them during the evening of the investigation. Their talking and movement would interfere with what you are trying to accomplish.
4. If the clients insist on remaining at the location, they should remain relatively quiet. Instead of watching TV or listening to a radio or stereo, they should move to a quiet location and read a book or a newspaper.
5. Cooking and food preparation creates undo noise and odors. Tell your hosts that you'd appreciate it if they could have their dinner before your team arrives.
Maintaining Equipment Manuals
After several months or years of paranormal investigating, individuals and organized groups eventually build up a noteworthy inventory of research equipment. Over time, the literature that came with those items often gets misplaced or lost. When you're out in the field and you need to reference a particular manual or spec sheet, you don't want to be wishing you had brought it along with you or spend a lot of time looking through cases and cartons for a specific document.
Accordingly, I recommend that you get a small file case that can house the scads of manuals, spec sheets, and instructions pertaining to the various types of equipment that you take along to the investigation sites.
Larger manuals can be inserted in regular file folders with various labels. The smaller documents, pamplets, instruction cards, etc. may be stuffed into a small manila envelop to reduce clutter. The envelop can then be placed in its own folder.
Effects of Infrared Light on Ghosts, Shadow People, and other Sentient Entities
I would like to extend an invitation to other paranormal research groups to ascertain the overall effectiveness and integrity of employing supplemental infrared lighting while investigating with digital cameras, CCTV, and camcorders.
Based on my research and experience, it seems to me that there is growing evidence that ghosts and other entities do not like to be exposed to supplemental I.R. lighting as it is utilized by paranormal investigators. I have seen many video clips that reveal a shadow person or apparition quickly fleeing a room or hallway that is suddenly flooded with I.R. light.
Am I inferring that we should quit using I.R.? Absolutely not! It is a valuable tool for allowing us to see in total darkness. What I am saying is that we should consider modifying our methods for its use. As an investigator/ghost hunter, how many times have you watched hours of CCTV or camcorder I.R. footage without any meaningful anomalies? Sure, you can capture orbs and insects, but what about apparitions and shadow people?
So here is my tip. If you want to employ CCTV cameras at your next investigation site, go ahead and set them up like you normally do. When you're satisfied with the positions of the cameras, shut them all down from your centralized monitor site. Wait at least a half-hour, and then turn them on again! Did you capture anything? Do this on and off throughout the duration of the investigation. If you want to explore the site with a camcorder and supplemental I.R. lighting, try navigating to a suspected hotspot by using a flashlight modified to supply visible red light. When you've reached your destination, train you camcorder where you want to record---especially where there are doors or other exits. Quickly turn it on with the I.R. supplemental lighting and see what you get. You can also use this approach with a digital still camera and I.R. We'll be trying this method ourselves at a future investigation.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Steve and Jason of Sci Fi channel's Ghost Hunters view a monitor showing I.R. images coming from CCTV camera locations.
Photo courtesy of BING images.
Photos courtesy of BING images.
Photos by Tom Petuskey
Photos by Tom Petuskey
Photos by Tom Petuskey