Amid cooler temps, falling leaves and pumpkin spice everything, it's no secret autumn is officially here and naturally, that means we are knee-deep in the season of spook! While a number of TV shows and movies all month long are serving up a fright, A&E's groundbreaking reboot of the beloved series, Ghost Hunters has been leading the charge among paranormal reality shows seen today with its multilayered plunge into authentic field investigations, blending personality with supernatural analysis.
Among its profound and genuine exploration into unexplained phenomena, the team, led by original series investigator, Grant Wilson utilizes a number of devices capturing evidence that he previously shared with PopCulture.com was not your run-of-the-mill kind of gadgetry.
"We're not using any kind of like, homemade tech. We're using stuff that has a warranty," Wilson told PopCulture.com this past August. "Great, amazing stuff, 3D audio and then we have more stuff in the works."
While Ghost Hunters has showed audiences a plethora of new devices week after week that fans, aspiring hunters and seasoned paranormal investigators can add into their own arsenal, the show's stars are dishing all on what you need this Halloween to kickstart your own dive into unexplained phenomena.
In an exclusive with PopCulture.com and tying into our first season of coverage with the A&E series, investigators, Wilson, Daryl Marston, Kristen Luman, Mustafa Gatollari, Richel Stratton, Brian Murray and Brandon Alvis are sharing what technology you can use on your own or with friends to investigate the paranormal because whether you're a believer or a skeptic, you're going to need the right tech for ghost hunting!
As evidenced in all the episodes seen with its first season on A&E, a good, old fashioned and sometimes, basic audio recorder is one of the best pieces an investigator can invest in. Exclusively sharing how such a device makes all the difference in your investigations, Wilson says it delivers a lot more than you think.
"You get so much more information from a voice than a black shadow running through a room. Not only could you possibly get the answer to the question you are asking, but the tone of that voice can tell you so much; gender, age, nationality, emotional state and more," Wilson told PopCulture.com.prevnext
Echoing Wilson's feelings over the audio recorder, co-lead investigator, Marston also expresses his love for the device and shares some specific picks fans can benefit from.
"Zoom 6 or something of that nature because it's such high quality," co-lead investigator, Marston told PopCulture.com. "I know they're a little pricey, but if you can see about the money and buy one, that's the way to go. It's not garage tech, it's actually proven. They use them in movies and audio all the time for different things and they're really high quality. That's my go-to."prevnext
When it comes to visual technology identifying figures and activity of the afterlife, there are a lot of gadgets a paranormal investigator can choose from. Between spurts of movement on infrared video or shadowy figures seen in photos, the team has captured some of the most intriguing and baffling evidence of life after death through visual technology. While PopCulture.com didn't get a chance to catch up with practicing hypnotherapist and co-lead investigator, Luman in time for publication, the paranormal researcher shared via A&E earlier this summer that her favorite device was the data logger.
"The data logger is amazing because it records temperature changes, humidity changes, vibration, and EMF," Luman told A&E. "This helps us to detect what was going on in the environment during a possible encounter."prevnext
Sharing his picks for both an economic choice and a more high-end device, Gatollari tells PopCulture.com how data loggers are perfect for any aspiring paranormal explorer because they can distinguish movement effectively, and can be used to document and record all environmental conditions of the areas under investigation.
"It's so many devices in one. You can detect movement, you can detect motion, you can detect temperature changes, you can detect EMFs and you can detect pressure changes, humidity, all of that stuff," he said.
He adds that if it's out of your price range, an investigator can also hit up a "very basic" one from Amazon, for about $8 or $9. With the basic motion detector that gives off a light," Gatollari said. "[It's] similar, I think, to the one that Brandon uses, his own personal one that we use on the show, it's $9 you can order off Amazon."
If you've got a little extra money to save up though, the New Jersey native enthuses over the data logger by EDI, which he reveals makes the one seen on Ghost Hunters. "I don't know of any other products [or] other companies that make products like that, that are that great — that's a good one too."prevnext
Whether it's for the sheer requirement of needing to see as you move around dark, abandoned sites, or if you simply need light to help communicate with a spirit, a flashlight is an absolute necessity for any paranormal investigator.
"That's another thing that a lot of people don't have as it's hard to find a good flashlight," Gatollari said. "Daryl got a great one, I think it's $16 [or] $17. You can get yourself a compact, great flashlight that can see down long corridors. So, with about $30 you could get yourself two really great pieces of equipment."
Gatollari adds that if you can't afford a good Tri-Field Natural EMF detector, opt for a compass. It's not only the easiest piece of equipment, but you can tell when electromagnetic fields are being thrown off.
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"If your compass starts to be whacked, that's messing up. So a compass, motion detector and flashlight won't cost you anything."prevnext
Like her co-investigators, Stratton is a big fan of the data logger "for many reasons," disclosing it's also a clean sweep favorite among all of the team members because it's "such a useful tool." However, a personal favorite of hers is the binaural microphone.
"I love that supersonic hearing. Like superhuman mom hearing," Stratton laughed with PopCulture.com. "I think it's awesome and it's amazing because I know when we were at Madison Seminary, being able to hear things in real time that you wouldn't be able to hear normally is, I think amazing, so it's definitely one of my favorites. It's just a pain in the a— to actually carry around."prevnext
Echoing his best friend Stratton's pick for an investigation, Murray tells PopCulture.com his favorite piece is also the binaural microphone, which is known to record sound using two microphones, constructed with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener.
"It's gonna give you that super human hearing and directional affirmation. Love that piece. I also enjoy the data logger — and, of course my own senses," Murray laughed.prevnext
As the team's paranormal technician, Alvis stresses one of the most important things an aspiring investigator or seasoned hunter should always consider before a deep dive into unexplained phenomena is reading as much as you can.
"As I always say, if you want to investigate the paranormal, you're just getting started," Alvis tells PopCulture.com. "I always suggest doing as much of book research as possible prior to stepping out into the field to actively investigate. Find out what your goal is, why you're investigating the paranormal, what your protocol should be. Have all that in place prior to going out and investigating in the field."
Alvis adds that if you're looking for equipment to use in the beginner phase, but don't have a lot of money, just use a compass like Gatollari shared. "A compass [will] determine if there's any electromagnetic fields in the area," Alvis said. "That will be altered, because obviously we're looking at the natural electromagnetic field and if that alters the compass, you know something's going on."prevnext
Reiterating the value of a simple audio recorder, Alvis tells PopCulture.com readers that you don't have to spend a ton of money on equipment to get the best experience as it will give you the "most information you can get out of an investigation."
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One of the best ways fans of the show can also save money for their own hunt is by utilizing their iPhone as Alvis says it can be just as effective in both audio and video, but heed one important warning: turn on airplane mode.
"If you're going to do that, make sure you have your phone in airplane mode so you're not getting any false positives from cell phone frequencies," he shares. "Every time we investigate, always make sure your phone is in airplane mode to ensure that you're not getting any false positives."
While he loves the tech side of things in every investigation, the admitted natural skeptic adds it's important in any study to back up the data. "I call myself a natural skeptic, so in order for my style of investigation to take place, I have to make sure that we're backing everything up we do with data," he adds. "And that data as investigators not only turns our experiences into actual information, but it also provides that information to the client."prevnext
WHY DATA LOGGERS REIGN SUPREME...
Known as an electronic device that automatically monitors and records environmental parameters over time, while allowing conditions to be measured, documented, analysed and validated, the data logger is a beneficial asset during any investigation. The team's tech genius, Alvis best refers to the gadget as "the Swiss army knife of paranormal tools."
"It has every piece of equipment that years ago we used to have to carry individually now all in one package and we're able to document the environmental conditions associated with these hauntings," Alvis told PopCulture.com. "It's really given us an insight into how all this is working. Just like with the Duff Green Mansion episode, you see that when we received that really significant EVP that really correlates with the history, we were having pressure spikes and temperature spikes and drops at the same time. Now, not only are we correlating this amazing EVP that it seemed to be associated with that history, but now we're seeing an environmental change at the same time."
Alvis adds such a finding is not only significant for the paranormal field, but ideal for an investigator in order to provide that kind of information and data to the client.0comments
However, the best piece of advice Alvis shares is to keep learning and most importantly, have an open mind when exploring. "Anytime you want to go out and investigate, have an open mind. Stay practical, stay logical. Start on Earth. Go out there and try and collect the evidence, and the data and push the field forward."prev