Camera (35mm) – Any camera can be used to obtain photographs of ghosts. Some people have even had luck with disposable cameras, although I have not. Price: $5.00-several thousand dollars
Digital Camera – Once again, pretty much any brand of digital camera can be used for ghost photography. I suggest a camera with at least 2.0 mega pixels, so you can zoom in to analyze anomalies. No matter which camera you chose, you should have it set on a higher resolution. I love my Olympus Camedia C-3000, and have had incredible luck with it. Some of my fellow investigators also swear by Kodak and Sony Mavica. Price: $150.00-several thousand dollars
Film: Any film can be used. 400-800 speed is preferable. Some investigators prefer infrared film, but it tends to be very expensive to buy and develop. You also have to keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to use it, which can be quite inconvenient. Make sure you get every picture developed, even if it looks like there is nothing there. This may be tricky if your pictures are being developed by a machine. I do suggest you find a good locally owned camera shop for developing. I’ve had some very frustrating experiences with the large drug store chains. Also, be sure to keep all negatives, as you may want to use them for verification if you do get an anomalous picture.
Audio recorder (analog): Once again, they’re pretty much all the same. Some investigators prefer micro cassette recorders, while other prefer full-size recorders. You must use a new tape each time. If you dub over old tapes, you can not guarantee that the sound won’t bleed through, thus nullifying any possible EVPs. Also, analog recorders tend to be very noisy, therefore, you should use an external microphone (it doesn’t have to be an expensive one). A friend of mine taught me an awesome trick to minimize internal and external recorder noise. He wraps the recorder itself in a towel, and puts it in a box with a lid. Then he extends the microphone from the box as far as he can. This method cuts recorder noise significantly. Price: $15.00-$100.00
Audio recorder (digital): There are many digital recorders on the market ranging anywhere from $50.00 to several hundred dollars. Whichever you chose, you should set it on high resolution. Some recorders have a setting for dictation or conference. The dictation setting should only pick up noises that are close to the recorder, while the conference setting will also pick up noises further away (including passing cars, people in other rooms, etc.) You may wish to experiment to determine which works better for you. Some investigators also prefer to have their recorders on voice activated mode. The plus is that you don’t have to sit through hours of listening to nothing. The minus is that it takes at least one syllable to activate the recorder, so if you do get an EVP, you may miss some of it, if not all of it. I personally think that listening to nothing for hours on end builds ghost hunting character!
Also, some digital recorders have limited memory. This can be a real problem at a long investigation. Others use Smart Cards, which you can change when they are full, giving you virtually unlimited memory. Unfortunately, most recorders using smart cards do not have an output to allow you to directly download your recordings to your computer. Although, Olympus has recently come out with a recorder which uses smart cards and can be downloaded directly, but it costs over $200.00.
Both digital and analog recorders can also be used to document times and activity during an investigation. You can also use them to interview witnesses. Price: $50.00-$200.00+
Night vision: Night vision can be a handy tool, but is not necessary for investigating. Most investigators use monoculars, such as the Night Owl Cyclops series. These are available online starting about $120.00. If you do decide to invest in night vision, be sure to get something with an infrared option. Regular night vision allows you to see in very low light, as it greatly magnifies what light is available. The infrared option allows you to see clearly in zero lux (complete darkness). Although I have never seen an orb through night vision, I know of plenty of people who have. This is because a great deal of paranormal activity seems to happen within the infrared spectrum. Some ghost clubs even attach their night vision scopes to their cameras. Price: $120.00-several thousand dollars
Camcorder: Video cameras are great investigating tools for several reasons. One reason is that you can use them to completely document your investigation from start to finish. This can help determine exactly who was where during your investigation. It will also help to document any activity, even if you don’t actually catch the activity on tape.
You can also use you video camera as an extra investigator. To do this, you can set up your camera in one room, while conducting other business in another room. If you attach the camcorder to a monitor, you can watch the action in "real time". Most investigators, however, watch the video footage later. I have seen orbs and other strange things be caught on regular camcorders, in full daylight, but this is rare. Most investigators use a camcorder with a night vision feature with an infrared extender. Sony is the only manufacturer as of this writing to make this type of camera, and the product line is called NightShot. Sony NightShot camcorders are available in both digital and analog models. The infrared beam within the camera only works for a short distance (about ten feet), so I suggest you also invest in an infrared extender, which reaches to about 100 feet. I have caught several moving orbs with my video camera, and I believe that this is one of the best pieces of equipment to invest in. Camcorder Price: $400.00-$1,000.00. Infrared Extender Price: $70.00-$200.00.
Motion detectors: Motion detectors are usually used in conjunction with another piece of equipment, such as a video camera. They are also generally used in pairs, with one set on "chime", and the other set on "alarm". The problem with motion detectors is that they are most often set off by the investigators themselves and can, quite frankly, easily get on the nerves of the property owner. They can be found at Radio Shack or other electronics stores, and they usually range in price between $20.00 to $50.00 a piece.
EMF meters: Electro-Magnetic Field Detectors are used to measure the electric energy and magnetism in an area. There are several different types on the market. Some have digital displays, some only have lights, but most do the job equally well. The tri-field meter is especially valuable to ghost investigators because it has a squelch mechanism, and only measures natural energy, meaning that it blocks out electrical wires, pipes, etc. No matter which model you choose, an EMF meter is a must-have for any serious investigator. Price: $15.00-$500.00.
Batteries: These are a very simple tool that you can never have too many of. Despite their simplicity and low cost, most investigators eventually find themselves running out of them in the middle of an investigation. We suggest you pack several sets of each type of battery you use. Many times batteries can become suddenly drained in a haunted location, so we suggest you carry an extra set in your car as well. Also, you may wish to use rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium batteries in your digital camera, as they last about 10x longer then regular batteries.
Two-way radios: These can be very useful if you are conducting an investigation in a large building or area. With the use of two-way radios, one half the group can go in one direction, and the second half can go in another, while still keeping in touch incase something incredible happens.
Flashlight: This is another simple tool that you should never be without, for safety’s sake. However, it is very important that you use your flashlight responsibly. What I mean is that you should use your flashlight to help you get from point A to point B safely in the dark. Your flashlight beam should always be kept close to the ground, and never swing around the area in a huge arc. There are several reasons for this. One is that someone could be using infrared equipment, and your shining a light at them could hurt their eyes and damage their equipment. Another reason is that someone may me snapping a picture or looking your way at the moment you swing the beam across the area, and the light will be misinterpreted as paranormal. Last but not least, flashlights tend to "scare off" ghosts. When someone is constantly flashing a light in my face, I leave the area out of annoyance…why would a ghost feel any differently? When you see movement in a dark corner, your first impulse may be to shine a light on the area to see what it was. Fight that urge! Instead, snap a picture.
Thermometer: Thermometers are useful to investigators because a temperature change often accompanies a paranormal event. You can use a regular outdoor thermometer (which may be difficult to read in the dark), or you may wish to purchase an infrared thermometer. These have an infrared beam which you can point at an object and get a digital temperature reading. These work quite well because you can point them into corners and under furniture. The beam will read the temperature of the first thing it comes in contact with, so if there is an entity between you and the wall, and you point it at the wall, you will actually get the temperature of the entity. Price: $100.00-200.00
Pen and Pencil: If you are not keeping notes on a voice recorder, than you should do it with a pen and pencil. Keeping notes during an investigation is crucial to your investigation report. Everything that happens, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and the time at which it happens should be documented. When you compare notes afterward with the other investigators, you just may find a pattern to the activity!
Compass: This is another very simple tool which can be of great use, especially if you don’t have an EMF detector. When you reach an area of high energy, the compass will spin in complete circles. You can even get models that glow in the dark.