Haunts & History of the Sandhills - Glossary



Glossary of Equipment


  • Camcorder - great for doing initial documentation of investigation site. Also provides another medium on which to capture footage. When reviewing information, allows frame by frame analysis. Can be adapted to or purchased with nightscope capabilities.

  • Digital Camera - has a higher shooting ratio than that of the traditional film camera. Requires no film and results can be viewed immediately. If including in your kit, please be sure to get a camera with atleast 5 megapixels for good resolution. Also, a prosumer digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera has even more advantages. The point and shoot digital cameras, even at higher resolution, use a smaller sensor to capture images. A prosumer digital SLR has a larger sensor and thus provides even better resolution even with the same megapixel count when compared to point and shoots. Some Digital cameras are now manufactured to include image information in the picture file which can detect changes made to the original image as well, thus narrowing the bias for film cameras and negatives. When going digital, please keep in mind that you need to have extra batteries and extra storage media with you during investigations.

  • Film Camera - this camera is a necessity on investigations. It allows you to capture visual images for evaluation later. You may be able to photograph apparitions, vortexs, or other anomalies. You can also purchase infra-red film to capture longer wavelengths than those of visible light, enabling you to capture things that you wouldn't normally be able to see. Film has an advantage over its digital counterpart because of its negative. Negatives can be studied to discover any evidence of tampering.

  • Cell Phone - definitely carry a well charged cell phone while investigating, preferrably with an extra, fully charged back-up battery. You never know when you may need to phone for help in case of an emergency. Or, less unfortunate, you need to reach someone for important information during an on-site investigation.

  • Compass - can be used to detect small changes in the earth's magnetic field. Popular belief and research support the idea of a fluctuation in magnetic the field when ghosts or other unexplainable energy are present. This is not an absolute, but including it in your kit is a cheap, but effective, tool for giving you a heads up in deciding to bring out your 'real' equipment.

  • Digital Voice Recorder - this device is highly recommended. Like everything else that requires batteries, be sure to always have extras on hand. This tool is important to any investigation because it allows you to capture EVPs or Electronic Voice Phenomena which is believed to be voices and sounds of the dead. A recorder of some type is usually needed because the sounds cannot always be detected with human ears. Digital recorders do not require tape, thus no need to defend yourself against claims that sounds captured are from reusing tapes. Also you can now purchase digital recorders and download any recordings to your computer. Additionally, by using various software you can have more control over what you hear. If you choose a non-digital recorder you should use external microphones to limit the amount of machine noise that is picked up. Another good rule to follow: only use new tapes and use only one side.

  • Digital EMF Detector - does exactly what the EMF detector does (see below) only it's digital. Once more, you will need to keep extra batteries on hand if you choose to include this in your kit.

  • EMF Detector - allows you to detect changes in the electromagnetic field, changes that are usually associated with hauntings and the presence of an entity or ghost. Be sure to get baseline readings of a site before deciding that the spike you see is paranormal, could just be an outlet.

  • Equipment Case - a useful way to compartmentalize your tools and instruments. Allows you keep on top of your inventory and quickly assess that you have what you need for your investigation.

  • First Aid Kit - Ghost hunting is fun, right? Not always...please be sure to keep a well stocked,fresh First Aid Kit with you at every investigation. Scrapes and cuts can and do happen, especially when traipsing through unknown territory in the dark. Always be prepared.

  • Flashlight - always have at least one flashlight for every member of your team or you'll have plenty of use for the above First Aid Kit. And we know we sound like a broken record, but please keep fresh spare batteries on hand.

  • Gauss Meter - this item is like the big brother of the EMF Detector, but can also be used to follow fluctuations of the ions in the air.

  • Identification - If for any reason you are requested to explain your presence at a location (do not EVER trespass) be ready to show valid identification. Every member of your team should always have their identification on their person at all times.

  • Laptop - this can be handy for going over footage with a client or for dumping information during an investigation. For instance, if your memory card/stick is full on your digital camera or if you've maxed out space on your audio equipment having a laptop handy would allow you to download and free up space.

  • Leatherman - having a leatherman can be very useful. You can use it to cut, strip, screw, open things, and if necessary, defend yourself. It's small, but can prove invaluable.

  • Motion Detector - these can be found relatively inexpensively. If you get them, you'll want to purchase portable ones. Can be used to detect movement, by seen or unseen forces. Another great benefit could result by setting them up in rooms in which you are not currently working. This way if something is going on you and your team can be made aware of it and maybe divert some of your attention to that location. As always, keep a supply of batteries on hand.

  • Night Vision Goggles - independently wealthy visitors read on...no, just kidding. These qualify as very pricey gear, definitely not for the casual investigator. Starting prices hover around $600 and go way up. They are used to allow visibility in the dark with no illumination. More comprehensive than flashlights because you actually see everything that your eyes are focused on.

  • Notepad & Pencils - Documentation is very important. Make note of everything including temperature, time, moon phase, people on your team, etc. You need as much information as possible to draw relevant and valid conclusions. This part may not be as exciting as hunting ghosts, but is an invaluable source of information and accurate note keeping can make or break your investigation. Keep plenty of sharpened pencils on hand and flex those fingers...

  • Tape - When doing an intensive investigation, you may find that you have wires running to this and to that, from here to there, and over and under. Well to avoid, at best, using your First Aid Kit, and at worse, a visit to the emergency room, it would be a good idea to tape down all those wires. If you can acquire tape in various colors, that would be a bonus. An assortment of colors will allow you to color code your wires to a certain extent.

  • Dual Temperature Thermometer - this thermometer will allow you to test the temperature in two different locations within the same room. It may help to track moving cold spots. Not entirely necessary, but may be fun to experiment with.

  • Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer - This would be another extra item that you can do without. But it could help account for temperature variations when you've been indoors for a long time. Let's say you come into a investigation at 5pm, but close to end of your investigation at 11PM you revisit a room that you previously checked and find that room considerably colder. Ghost? Maybe not, when you find the the outside temperature has fallen 20 degrees. Again, not entirely necessary.

  • Infra-Red Thermometer - this is yet another thermometer that is optional. It's basically a non-contact thermometer that allows you to take temperature readings using a laser to avoid transferring heat through touch. Please remember that it is really reading the surface temperature of whatever it hits, not the ambient room temperature. A great tool to use if someone thinks an object is haunted or that an entity has just made contact with an item. It's a nice addition to a kit, but is not vital.

  • Thermometer - As you have probably noted, there are many different types of thermometers available. Of all of them, a simple alcohol thermometer is the most basic. Please be aware that increases/decreases may not stabilize for about 3 minutes, so these are not ideal for noting erratic changes in ambient temperature. You can use a digital one if you like, but don't forget the batteries!

  • Tape Measure - this item can help determine distance in the case of objects that have moved. Can also be used to help plan a site set-up before arrival.

  • Thermal Scanner - This tool allows you to see images according to temperature. It may let you detect the presence of something unseen by its heat signature or lack thereof. May give form to a detected cold spot.

  • Tripod - allows you the opportunity to set up and leave a room unattended while recording. Also useful for stabilizing photo shots in low lighting conditions, reduces motion blur.

  • Walkie Talkies - it's a good idea to be able to stay in touch with your investigative team. You can communicate experiences or request assistance without leaving your area. Try to get a headset for your walkies, so that you can keep your hands free. Great to have if you are injured in some way.

  • Windchimes - these can act as an efficient and affordable way to track and indicate movement. Just be sure to account for any obvious source, like the heating or air kicking in.

  • Work Lights - It's a good idea to keep a few on hand to illuminate set-up conditions if need be. You can decide to get them with or without a stand.