Posted by Matt Egan 28 February 2014
Wooooohhhhh... the best ghostbusting tech: how to catch ghosts using tech
In respectful remembrance of Ghostbusters' actor Harold Ramis, we go on the hunt for the best ghostbusting tech.
Your author has a non-too-common surname - in the UK at least. So you can imagine the comfort of having a popular character in a great and credible film who almost shares your name. Step forward Dr Egon Spengler, one of the original Ghostbusters, played by Harold Ramis who sadly passed away recently. It is therefore with no little affection that I decided to investigate the real tech that today's Ghostbusters can purchase. After all, the original Ghostbusters did their stuff with only a hearse and a mixture of chemicals with dubious scientific provenance. Just remember: don't cross the beams.
Delving into the sometimes murky world of the modern ghost hunter is an interesting experience. It turns out that in ghostbusting as in life, the more credible among us can be easily parted from their cash. But I leave it to your judgment as to how effective the following tools are likely to be...
5 best bits of ghostbusting tech
Let us, dear reader, step over to GhostStop, your one-stop shop for all spook-hunting needs. Here we find a modified Sony camcorder. This camera will, we're told, 'capture images reflected within both ends of the light spectrum - where theories suggest that spirits reside'. It is, they say, a TRUE SPECTRUM camcorder. And if all else fails - as it will - you can at least video your cousin's wedding.
Ghostbusting rating: Far from spooktacular
Now let's float menacingly toward theghosthunterstore.com (perhaps with our head tucked under our arm?). Here we find the Programmable Sound Amplifier. This is, we're told, 'designed specifically to detect very subtle sound wave vibrations within the environment'. Or to put it another way, it's a sensitive piece of audio recording equipment. If the film Paranormal Activity is your idea of a good time - and you have my sympathies - stick this bad boy down in an abandoned building and freak yourself out to your heart's content. Either that or record programs for your local hospital radio.
Ghostbusting rating: Para-snore-mal
3. Dowsing Rods
Now we're talking. The first two items could at least have some intrinsic and non-spooky value. These are plain bonkers. For just 15 quid you can get these two bits of metal. Two bits of, frankly, useless metal. Unless you need something with which to poke down crud into the drains around your house. (Some people claim you can use Dowsing Rods to detect restless spirits. But, well, you can't.)
Ghostbusting rating: A rod for your own back
4. EMF Meters
Yee haw! Let's saddle up and ride a ghostly horse back up to Ghoststop where we find a variety of EMF Meters. These are devices that measure fluctuations in electromagnet fields. Guess what: 'Theories in the paranormal field suggest that ghosts have the ability to manipulate these fields'. Sadly, that's simply not the case. But you could at least use your EMF Meter to, you know, measure electro-magnetic fields. Maybe a career as a spark awaits? Failing that you could ask 90s band EMF to reform and then follow them around detecting them with your EMF Meter. Hours of fun.
Ghostbusting rating: You're unbelievable
This is very special. Hand made by one of the finest minds in Mitcham, south London, this Magnetic Field Generator will 'create a strong magnetic field which can supply energy to any paranormal phenomena to feed off!' Note poor grammar and the uneccessary exclamation point. My skepticism has dropped away. Some people seem to think that ghost hunting tech is simply a means of ripping off the gullible. But if hard-working inventors are prepared to (a) set aside the time normally reserved for learning how to write and (b) charge you only 20 quid for their finest creations... well, who am I to mock? Oh yeah, a rational man. Yes, this is a load of old nonsense.
Ghostbusting rating: empty your heads, don't think of anything
So, I think I've successfully debunked some of the myths surrounding ghost hunting. Now we can all sleep safely in our... woh. Did you hear that? You know, that ratting and clanking noise coupled with the deadpan delivery of one of Hollywood's finest? Holy... isn't that the ghost of Egon Spengler? Harold, Harold, I'm sorry.. arrrgggghhhh...