Ghost Hunting On A Budget

Over the years, people have asked me this question the most.  Can ghost hunting be done on a small budget?  My answer is, “absolutely.”  For those of you who are financially challenged like myself, you can easily get started for under $100 or less.  In this article, I will cover very inexpensive pieces of equipment that will give you fantastic results and serve you well long term.  So, I have come up with a short-list of equipment to have in your arsenal whether you are new to ghost hunting or a well seasoned paranormal investigator.

 Digital Camera

 The first piece of equipment I suggest you purchase, if you don’t already have one, is an inexpensive digital camera which can be found for $20 or less on amazon.com.  Digital cameras with built in flash is that it allows you to take photos at night as well as during the day.  After your ghost hunt, you can go home and download your pictures right onto your computer where you can enlarge them for better viewing.  This allows you to examine your pictures more closely to determine whether or not you captured anything of interest during your hunt.

 Digital Voice Recorder

Next, I would recommend that you purchase a digital voice recorder that allows you to record in “Wave” and also has a built in USB drive.  These are also readily available on amazon.com for around $30.  Not only with this device allow you to ask questions of ghosts while on your ghost hunt but, will allow you to record their answer.  Of course with this device, you won’t be able to audibly hear the ghosts answering you but, don’t fret, you may have captured them on your recorder.  I do need to mention that the first or second time you use this device, it will appear that you are just wandering around talking to yourself giving everyone else who may see you the impression you are schizophrenic but, don’t mind the living.  You’re only concerned with the dead.  After your hunt is over and you get home, you can download your recordings directly to your computer.  You also have the option of using headphones so you can hear better.  The purpose of the Wave Sound Software is so you can bleed out excess noise making your recording a little sharper without altering the recording in any shape or form.  Also, having the USB drive built right into the device itself eliminates having to have another cord connected to your computer.  To me, this is a plus because my computer work station already has enough cords and wires that I’m constantly having to corral at different points in time.

 Spirit Box

Another great piece of equipment to have is a “Frank’s Box”, “Ghost Box”, or “Spirit Box”.  No, these are not all different pieces of equipment but all of these names plus more refer to this single piece of equipment.  You may have seen them used on some of the more popular Ghost Hunting TV Shows.  With this device, you are able to communicate with ghosts in real time meaning you can ask them questions and you will be able to audibly hear them respond to you.  It’s different from the Digital Voice Recorder I mentioned earlier for the simple fact that the “Ghost Box” does not allow you to record the ghost’s responses.  However, you can use the digital voice recorder along with the “Ghost Box” and you will be able to record ghostly responses.  The cost of a “Ghost Box” will usually set you back about $80 which is still not too bad for a micro-limit budget but, at the higher end of your budget cost-wise.  Whether new or used, the cost stays the same on average including shipping.  So, I would prefer to buy new rather than save $2-$5.  This way, you at least have a warranty on the device in case it’s defective or malfunctions.  If you want to add external speakers to this device rather than rely on the built-in speaker, you will have to fork out another $20 if, you can find them.  For me personally, external speakers are nice to have but, not necessary for the device to work.  This item will be offered for sale through Haunted Houston Tours’ website http://www.hauntedhoustontours.com June 2013.  You can also  book a Ghost Hunting Tour offered by Haunted Houston Tours to test out your device once you receive it.

 Dowsing Rods

Next on my list is somewhat unusual but, works very well is “Dowsing Rods” or “Witching Rods”.  Originally, these  devices were used by Water Witcher’s locate water in order to dig a Well.  They were predominately made out of a “Y” shaped Willow Tree branch which would bend in the direction of water sources signaling the spot in which a Water Well should be dug.  With the advent of technology, this device and it’s users became obsolete except in the world of ghost hunting.  Since our bodies are made up of 80% water, “Dowsing Rods” are quite effective in indicating the presence of a ghost.  Another benefit of this device is that they can be made very cheaply if not for free.  The materials needed to make your own set of “Dowsing Rods” are a “Y” shaped Willow Tree branch (free) or you can go to your local Walmart or  other Household Supply store and pick up a bundle of brass coat hangers ($2 or less).  If you go this route, untwist the coat hanger then straighten slightly until one end has a 90 degree angle, snip off the excess leaving you with a long side and a short side.  The short side is the handle you will hold loosely.  Now do another one just like it since you will need one for each hand for them to be effective.  If you happen to have children who are interested in ghost hunting, you can use this opportunity to make creating them a fun family project.  I personally use them all the time.  The only kicker is that the coat hangers have to be either brass or copper since both of these metals are very conductive.

Pendulum

 Finally, the last piece of equipment on my short-list is a Pendulum.  I know, I know.  I can hear everyone balking at this suggestion because of the occult connotations surrounding this item.  Believe me, I completely understand your apprehension about using such an item however, all of this nonsense aside, it’s very reliable and something that can be either purchased or made very cheaply.  If you choose to purchase one, it will cost you around $3-$7.  If you choose to make your own, you can cut this cost in half.  There is no hard and fast rule regarding the materials used to make a pendulum either.  I’ve seen them as simple as a ring on a string to rare crystals.  Let your imagination run wild on this one.  It is also a great opportunity for a fun family project too.

My parting words to you are, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that expensive equipment equals better results.  This is simply not true.  I have seen people use very expensive equipment and get zero results and people who use very inexpensive equipment who get huge results.  Trust me, equipment doesn’t make you a good ghost hunter.  Ghosts do.

Also, all photographs used in this article to represent a piece of equipment is just that, a representation.  I’m not under any circumstances promoting one brand of product over another by any means.  I will leave that job up to the marketers, advertisers, and product developers.  I’m merely a Paranormal Investigator.

© J.F. Dietz 2013

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About James Franklin Dietz
James Franklin Dietz is a ULC Minister, Historian, Paranormal Investigator, Lecturer, Speaker, and Author specializing in Supernatural History, Paranormal Investigation, Ghosts, UFOs, “Crypto” Zoology, Ancient Symbols, Conspiracy Theories, Parapsychology, and Secret Societies. He is also the founder and owner of Asylum Paranormal. As a child, my babysitters were Lon Chaney, Vincent Price, and Boris Karloff who I consider to be the true “Masters of Horror”. Growing up with monsters, ghosts, and “creatures of the night” spawned a three decade long love affair with the paranormal and things that go “bump in the night”. In 2005, I began collaborating with Kasey Clark in the development of Haunted Houston Tours which opened its doors for business in 2010 offering Historical Ghost Tours in the Houston Metropolitan Area every day of the year. From its inception Haunted Houston Tours has grown into a thriving business providing its patrons a “living history” of one of the most haunted towns in Texas and has been featured in the Houston Chronicle, ABC Channel 13 News, and local Community Magazines. In my role as manager of Haunted Houston Tours, I provide mentorship for its staff and make “special appearances” as a guest Tour Guide. In 2013, Kasey Clark, owner of Haunted Houston Tours, approached me again on a new project. Immediately, we teamed and began collaborating on the development of Haunted Lafayette Tours which held its Grand Opening on October 1st offering Historical Ghost Tours in the Lafayette Metropolitan Area every day of the year. From the time Haunted Lafayette Tours opened its doors for business it was an instant media sensation and has been featured on “Good Morning Acadiana”, KATC Channel 3, and as front page news in both the morning and evening editions of The Daily Advertiser newspaper. Haunted Lafayette Tours Provides its guests with a hauntingly insightful look into the seedy underbelly of an innocent looking college town in Louisiana termed “the most haunted State in the U.S.” In my role as manager of Haunted Lafayette Tours, I provide mentorship for its staff and make “special appearances” as a guest Tour Guide. In addition to managing both companies, I am a contributing writer for Paranormal Underground Magazine on a regular basis. Currently, I reside in Lafayette, Louisiana with my wife and two dogs where I am featured as a regular Speaker at Ghost Hunters University giving lectures on “Basic”, “Intermediate”, and “Advanced” Paranormal Investigation. When I’m not speaking, lecturing, giving tours, managing my blog and writing articles, you can find me conducting active paranormal investigations gathering information for my next book.

5 Responses to Ghost Hunting On A Budget

  1. Reblogged this on Paranormal Society of Bradenton, FL and commented:
    For those on a budget, listen up!

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  3. This is really interesting, You’re an overly skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for seeking extra of your great post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  4. At this time it appears like Drupal is the best blogging platform out there right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    • J.F. Dietz says:

      No. I’m using wordpress.com for my blog but, I’m working on converting to wordpress.org which will be a much better platform. The reason behind the move is nothing more than I have outgrown the wordpress.com platform and will be expanding the focus of my blog. WordPress.org offers so much more plus the freedom of CSS and HTML coding.

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