'Ghost Hunting' Shows Are Getting So Bad That It's Beyond Amusing

GNC

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A reading showing up on an EMF? .. not invented for ghost research but for electricians .. the K2 is 'industry standard' at the moment .. it will only demonstrate a presence of electrical magnetic fluctuation by illuminating a series of 1 to 5 lights to indicate how much of this perfectly natural stuff is going on. More often than not, that doesn't at all prove that there's ghost's about .. the most common fuck up is an investigator leaving his/her phone switched on and on flight mode which the EMF meter will peak at giving a false reading to the over excited and over suggestible .. the other mistake is to ignore your surroundings .. over head cover cables? .. underground power cables? .. again, you have to pay attention to these factors beforehand .. when you can confidently rule out human error while you're using this gadget (and others) .. then you might be on to something .. there's also a right and a wrong way to hold them in your hand .. most people twatting about on ghost invest point them at an area like they're a TV remote control .. they need to be held vertically towards a situation instead .. it's how they're designed.

Thanks for the detailed reply, but I was more wondering, well, what's electrical about ghosts? Do living people give strong readings on EMF meters, for instance? I would have thought if ghosts contained any energy at all, it would be extremely difficult to register - why not try a Geiger counter instead? Would a light meter show up a ghost?
 

EnolaGaia

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Thanks for the detailed reply, but I was more wondering, well, what's electrical about ghosts? Do living people give strong readings on EMF meters, for instance? I would have thought if ghosts contained any energy at all, it would be extremely difficult to register - why not try a Geiger counter instead? Would a light meter show up a ghost?
Here's one quicky explanation for the interest in electromagnetic phenomena.
Ghosts and Electrical Fields

In some haunted locations, researchers have measured magnetic fields that are stronger than normal or which exhibit unusual fluctuations. These may be localized phenomena that stem from electronic equipment or geological formations, or they may be part of the Earth's magnetic field.

Some paranormal investigators think of this as proof of a supernatural presence -- the ghosts create the field. Others suggest that these fields can interact with the human brain, causing hallucinations, dizziness or other neurological symptoms. Some researchers have theorized that this is one of the reasons people report more ghostly activity at night. Because of the way the solar wind interacts with the Earth's magnetosphere, the planet's magnetic field stretches out on the side that's in darkness. Some researchers hypothesize that this expanded field interacts more strongly with people's brains.

Medical researchers have also studied the effects of electrical fields on people's brains. Electrical stimulation to the angular gyrus of the brain, for example, can cause the sensation of someone behind you mimicking your movements. Electrical stimulation to different parts of the brain has also caused people to hallucinate or seem to have near-death experiences.
SOURCE: https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/ghost3.htm
 

GNC

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I see. But if ghosts are from a spiritual realm, and nothing spiritual has ever been able to be reliably replicated scientifically, why would the ghosts show up on science? Won't they be more in communication with souls than brain chemistry?

Also, I'd try out that equipment on a resolutely non-haunted house or two and see what the readings were. If you get similar "anomalies" to your opinion, then maybe it's not that great a way of judging.
 

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Thanks for the detailed reply, but I was more wondering, well, what's electrical about ghosts? Do living people give strong readings on EMF meters, for instance? I would have thought if ghosts contained any energy at all, it would be extremely difficult to register - why not try a Geiger counter instead? Would a light meter show up a ghost?
I've never considered using a Geiger counter .. that could also be worth a go in theory but a scientific reason for doing that would have to be put in place including hand written records kept .. an EMF meter is a light meter .. that's all they do ..

We have an interesting experience at the Shrieking Pits .. the legend is: girl drowned in the pit, she screams at the anniversary of her death ..

So as well as my favourite paper and a pen, we took the EMF meter there along with other gadgets that need to be used soberly .. I chucked a hag stone into the water, spoke out loud to 'her' (as we do at all our invests) explaining it was a present and .. nothing ..

.. so I decided to attempt an experiment by yelling out loud and to our surprise, the KP started tweaking a little bit and then peaked at one point. Now that shouldn't happen. Any kind of volume of anything doesn't affect them. We'd pre checked the area a few times including looking into if there's no man made electricity in the area .. the pool of water is very remote so we were satisfied that we weren't just being dick heads jumping at our own shadows .. no cars going past because we were in the middle of nowhere .. no power cables above or below us (we'd pre checked) .. all of our phones were switched off (I didn't even take one with me, Rossanna even jokes in our video she promises to return me home safely to the Mrs .. because I didn't take my phone) .. and I started yelling, warning the crew at first of course ... and that made the K2 EMF meter start flashing its lights .. we have it all on film and nothing is staged here ..

skip to 6:13 in this video if you want to avoid the intro stuff .

 
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EnolaGaia

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... Also, I'd try out that equipment on a resolutely non-haunted house or two and see what the readings were. If you get similar "anomalies" to your opinion, then maybe it's not that great a way of judging.
The cynical / skeptical view is that EMF meters and other apparatus have been promoted for paranormal investigations precisely because they yield readings that can be spun to suggest anything and everything the user may wish to demonstrate.

This November 2016 Atlantic article summarizes this viewpoint and the history of capturing and touting such devices' ambiguous results:
The Broken Technology of Ghost Hunting

The best tools for tracking down spirits have always been the ones fallible enough to find something. ...

Since its appearance in the show Ghost Hunters, where the ghost hunter Grant Wilson claimed that it has been “specially calibrated for paranormal investigators,” the Safe Range (usually referred to as a K-II meter) has become ubiquitous among those looking for spirits. Search for it on Amazon, and many listings will refer to it as a “ghost meter,” an indispensable tool in the ghost hunter’s arsenal. It isn’t alone among EMF meters: Of the best-selling EMF meters on Amazon, two out of the top three are explicitly marketed as ghost meters.

Scanning the various product descriptions and reviews, though, what becomes clear is that the K-II Safe Range is a relatively unreliable electromagnetic field meter. It operates only on one axis (you have to wave it around to get a proper reading), and it’s unshielded, meaning that it can be set off by a cell phone, a two-way radio, or virtually any kind of electronic device that occasionally gives off electromagnetic waves. The reviewer Kenny Biddle found he could set it off with, among other things, a computer mouse and a camera battery pack.

Yet it’s precisely because it’s not particularly good at its primary purpose that makes it a popular device for ghost hunters. Erratic, prone to false positives, easily manipulated, its flashy LED display will light up any darkened room of a haunted hotel or castle. Which is to say, its popularity as a ghost hunting tool stems mainly from its fallibility. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-broken-technology-of-ghost-hunting/506627/
 

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Ghost Asylum is OK to watch, but they make a stupid trap which is supposed to trap a ghost in every episode. Once they seemingly did catch something weird in a mirror trap which showed something moving around in the mirrors, including an eye. Can't really take the sequences with the trap building and use seriously.

Another show which was just annoying was Ghost Stalkers, which featured a ghost hunter which was so scared he screamed like a child in every episode.

 

Bad Bungle

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Sooo... what's the difference between an EMF and a metal detector ? (both need to be kept away from mobile phones and other detectors).
 

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Sooo... what's the difference between an EMF and a metal detector ? (both need to be kept away from mobile phones and other detectors).
A metal detector can identify different types of metals and an EMF meter detects Electricity .. basically ..
 

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A metal detector can identify different types of metals and an EMF meter detects Electricity .. basically ..
But the metal detector detects metal by the fluctuation in the EM field it generates. Unless you get the ones that work by magic, but they're proper expensive.
 

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Wouldn't a FLIR camera be of more use than an EMF meter for detecting ghosts? Assuming that it's correct that they cause a temperature drop.
I had the chance to play with one of those over ten years ago from some 'scopeys' .. Navy telescope technicians in Cromer for our radar dish nearby .. it even had a laser thermometer so they'd go down 'the pit' .. Cromer's only nightclub then, and one would chat up a girl while another would record her body temp readings from across the room to so if she was getting excited or not .. creepy pricks ..

 

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But the metal detector detects metal by the fluctuation in the EM field it generates. Unless you get the ones that work by magic, but they're proper expensive.
No one's an expert in this field apart from the designers ..
 

Naughty_Felid

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I think its less to do with electricity and more to do with neurotransmitters.
 

GNC

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I think its less to do with electricity and more to do with neurotransmitters.
Ideally, ghost hunters should be wired up to electroencephalographs or some form of brain monitoring machine, that would tell us a lot more about any phenomena should they encounter it. Waving a light meter about doesn't sound very convincing to me (sorry, @Swifty !)
 

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Ideally, ghost hunters should be wired up to electroencephalographs or some form of brain monitoring machine, that would tell us a lot more about any phenomena should they encounter it. Waving a light meter about doesn't sound very convincing to me (sorry, @Swifty !)
People have been running around with EMF devices based on one guy's research that was never duplicated. Just to prove they are "scientific". They don't know what they are testing for.

Over a hundred years have been spent investigating hauntings and yet we are no further in proving the existence of ghosts.

It suggests to me it isn't necessarily the location as much as the person, and I'm not going all out championing the "sensitive" people here.

You have to start with what people experience and work your way from there - I don't understand why this is something ghost hunters really struggle with.

Hardly any ghost hunters actually have any decent assessment tools as to what happened to that person during that event. They are not interested it's all about the location.

They don't even try to come up with any sorts of tools at all. Instead, grow a beard, buy some crap electronics from Amazon and put on a Metallica t-shirt and you are good to go - suddenly you are a Youtube star.
 
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EnolaGaia

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I think its less to do with electricity and more to do with neurotransmitters.
Ideally, ghost hunters should be wired up to electroencephalographs or some form of brain monitoring machine, that would tell us a lot more about any phenomena should they encounter it. ...
There are such things as portable EEG recorders that can be worn for extended periods. They're similar to the portable Holter monitors people wear to gather EKG (heart) data. In both cases you have to tote a recorder that's no larger than a compact cassette recorder from the Eighties.[*] I've worn both for 24 hours at a stretch.

[*] I'm not sure how small these recording devices may be nowadays.

The problem with the EEG version is that it requires attachment of a number of sensor patches to the head. This results in a big bulky cable bundle that has to be carried with some care. It's a much more clumsy set of rigging than the EKG version

(The good news is that you look like a Borg, and it's a gas to go out in public and freak out the little kids ... )

Anyway ... It can be done, but it's inconvenient. In any case, an EEG trace isn't going to provide any direct evidence about neurotransmitter levels or changes.
 

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There are such things as portable EEG recorders that can be worn for extended periods. They're similar to the portable Holter monitors people wear to gather EKG (heart) data. In both cases you have to tote a recorder that's no larger than a compact cassette recorder from the Eighties.[*] I've worn both for 24 hours at a stretch.

[*] I'm not sure how small these recording devices may be nowadays.

The problem with the EEG version is that it requires attachment of a number of sensor patches to the head. This results in a big bulky cable bundle that has to be carried with some care. It's a much more clumsy set of rigging than the EKG version

(The good news is that you look like a Borg, and it's a gas to go out in public and freak out the little kids ... )

Anyway ... It can be done, but it's inconvenient. In any case, an EEG trace isn't going to provide any direct evidence about neurotransmitter levels or changes.
'Funnily' enough, I'm currently waiting for a phone call to be told when to go and pick up a heart monitor that I'll be wearing myself .. I'll be trying to avoid doing anything over stimulating while I'm wearing it though.
 

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I'd like to see research into whether human ambient electricity can affect EMF meters ..

When we were at the shrieking pits, we neither saw nor heard anything ghostly .. the only weird experience was that myself and Rossanna suddenly started feeling a bit dizzy standing beside the pool so we sensibly decided to move away from the edge. In my opinion, that should be explained away as it was very cold and windy that night so the environment was effecting us.

The unusual thing was, it was only when I started shouting that the lights on the K2 started 'spiking' .. there's absolutely no large sources of electricity there, camcorders don't affect EMF meters because we've tried to do that in the past to disprove the validity of readings .. they have no microphone technology so it's only electricity that can effect them (or forgetting to put fresh batteries in them) .. we'd all double checked that none of us have left our phones on ..

A K2 shouldn't be affected by sound at all so I'm wondering if the source of electrical energy that caused it to start flashing was somehow caused by my shouting? .. a 'true believer' would point out at this stage that the location is noted for people reporting a screaming sound from the area so perhaps my experiment worked? ..
 

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Powering a video camera or activating an outboard flash or lamp can trigger readings on an EMF meter.

https://web.randi.org/swift/testing-the-k-ii-emf-meter-does-it-communicate-with-spirits-no
We used cameras to record the lights on our K2 meter .. we weren't powering them up because we were in the middle of a field .. they were already switched on when we started recording .. our only light source apart from light generated from my day vision setting camera was a small LED (the light I use for my mountain bike) .. ? .. I'm struggling to understand how any of that set up could affect a K2 EMF meter .. I'm not ruling it out of course but nobody has come up with a convincing explanation yet.
 

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Why? Explain it to me.
In the same way a hair dryer (for example) isn't capable of picking up on sound .. they have no sound recording or playback facility at all so you can put one in front of you and yell at it to your hearts content and that will have no effect on it whatsoever .. but when I started shouting, our lights on the K2 started flashing ... we haven't worked out why yet, we even took it in turns to hold the device when I did the shouting experiment and we were standing a good distance apart. My suspicion is that, because a K2 only recognises electricity and I was generating kinetic energy by shouting, my shouting was what affected the device and not some ghost. Others in our team theorise that my shouting could have stirred on the spirit of the dead girl which brought her nearer to the K2 which was why and when the lights started to spike (because she would probably have been shouting and screaming as she was about to drown .. hence the shouting experiment .. and hence the name the place is called: 'The Shrieking Pit')
 
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Swifty

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People have been running around with EMF devices based on one guy's research that was never duplicated. Just to prove they are "scientific". They don't know what they are testing for.

Over a hundred years have been spent investigating hauntings and yet we are no further in proving the existence of ghosts.

It suggests to me it isn't necessarily the location as much as the person, and I'm not going all out championing the "sensitive" people here.

You have to start with what people experience and work your way from there - I don't understand why this is something ghost hunters really struggle with.

Hardly any ghost hunters actually have any decent assessment tools as to what happened to that person during that event. They are not interested it's all about the location.

They don't even try to come up with any sorts of tools at all. Instead, grow a beard, buy some crap electronics from Amazon and put on a Metallica t-shirt and you are good to go - suddenly you are a Youtube star.
We don't 'run around' with electrical equipment .. as deluded as you hope we are, we'd have to buy new equipment if we broke it .. we do know what we're testing for .. we're testing for the possibility of paranormal activity ..

Quantify 'proof' to me, that's what we're physically attempting to do while arm chair critics like yourself don't ..

I've got a beard .. a shitty small one I've been maintaining way before I got into ghost investigating .. I saw Metallica live once and they were shit .. I've never liked them .. I'm an ex raver, I didn't even have to pay, I was just the only bloke with a car a friend new who could drive him there ..

"they don't come up with any tools at all" ? .. so why are you criticising how ghost team investigators use/misuse tools all the time?.. make your mind up ..
 
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GNC

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You can be an armchair critic of war, for example, and your opinion will not be as valid as someone who has experienced war. But given that ghost hunters could bang pot lids together and yell "COME ON, GHOSTS! SHOW YOURSELVES!" in a darkened room and get much the same effect as they do with their gizmos, then it's fair to criticise the practice without going all Yvette Fielding for an evening.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe people see ghosts (I've seen one myself), I just don't know what they are, nor do I believe they can be conjured up on command.
 

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You can be an armchair critic of war, for example, and your opinion will not be as valid as someone who has experienced war. But given that ghost hunters could bang pot lids together and yell "COME ON, GHOSTS! SHOW YOURSELVES!" in a darkened room and get much the same effect as they do with their gizmos, then it's fair to criticise the practice without going all Yvette Fielding for an evening.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe people see ghosts (I've seen one myself), I just don't know what they are, nor do I believe they can be conjured up on command.
100% .. and my team know I only attend these nights out from a Fortean perspective .. I believe I've personally witnessed a shadow person apparition ..not on any of our investigations but in the past .. I'm more interested in finding out what's going on, paranormal or not, I haven't got a preference . I'm just as interested in the false positives.
 

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We don't 'run around' with electrical equipment .. as deluded as you hope we are, we'd have to buy new equipment if we broke it .. we do know what we're testing for .. we're testing for the possibility of paranormal activity ..

Quantify 'proof' to me, that's what we're physically attempting to do while arm chair critics like yourself don't ..

I've got a beard .. a shitty small one I've been maintaining way before I got into ghost investigating .. I saw Metallica live once and they were shit .. I've never liked them .. I'm an ex raver, I didn't even have to pay, I was just the only bloke with a car a friend new who could drive him there ..

"they don't come up with any tools at all" ? .. so why are you criticising how ghost team investigators use/misuse tools all the time?.. make your mind up ..

You don't know what you are testing for - nobody does. All I see from the majority of ghost hunts on Youtube is a group of people talking loudly with non-existent observation skills with no plan as to what they are doing.

They just mill about shouting "Are you there John?" "Edna what's it like being dead?"

There is no method. No background research. During the "investigation", you get stuff like "Ohh our lead investigator and sensitive Gemma felt a little dizzy" - did you check her blood sugars? Has she got High Blood Pressure? "Gemma felt a cold spot" - Nobody knows as they've not tried to test the ambient temperature in the first place.

I'm not talking about physical tools I'm talking about assessment tools, a plan in place, a structure to the whole proceedings - which is usually non-existent.

All I see is self-promotion. The whole gothic candles and skulls look - is that going to add anything to credibility?

Also, it's boring as hell. Watching lots of gothy-beardy-types talking crap in a church for 45 minutes isn't entertaining. At the very least I wish these people could learn to edit.

I did ghost hunting growing up following Peter Underwood and Usbourne books and it was just as scientific as what passes for ghost hunting these days - possibly more so as it at least pushed the idea of the importance of observation.
 

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You don't know what you are testing for - nobody does. All I see from the majority of ghost hunts on Youtube is a group of people talking loudly with non-existent observation skills with no plan as to what they are doing.

They just mill about shouting "Are you there John?" "Edna what's it like being dead?"

There is no method. No background research. During the "investigation", you get stuff like "Ohh our lead investigator and sensitive Gemma felt a little dizzy" - did you check her blood sugars? Has she got High Blood Pressure? "Gemma felt a cold spot" - Nobody knows as they've not tried to test the ambient temperature in the first place.

I'm not talking about physical tools I'm talking about assessment tools, a plan in place, a structure to the whole proceedings - which is usually non-existent.

All I see is self-promotion. The whole gothic candles and skulls look - is that going to add anything to credibility?

Also, it's boring as hell. Watching lots of gothy-beardy-types talking crap in a church for 45 minutes isn't entertaining. At the very least I wish these people could learn to edit.

I did ghost hunting growing up following Peter Underwood and Usbourne books and it was just as scientific as what passes for ghost hunting these days - possibly more so as it at least pushed the idea of the importance of observation.
To be honest .. I'm not worried about people believing in what we do or not .. I'm not their bitch or their secretary .. I owe sceptics nothing at all except respect if they're polite about how they go about their scrutiny .. I keep hand written notes as well as waving gadgets around in any way we think suits each environment .. and we've have some inexplicable results. We don't sell anything, we're not making any money from our pastime .. we get pestered by sceptics sometimes who can't just spit it out and say 'bullshit' .. we couldn't give a fuck about those people either .. that doesn't affect how we work ..
 
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