Monday, February 7, 2011

Meter Readers: Drones of the Ghost Hunting World

I was in a large hunt with a group of others and found immediately a phenomena that makes me smile. I don't carry a cell phone for this very reason, it is highly distracting. Meters on ghost hunts are similarly so.

A large group of hunters, heads bent, squinting in the dark at a meter waiting for it show them a ghost is present is a bit like taking photos on your digital camera out you front windshield and using those images to help you drive down the road.

Many times, something would happen and I would elbow someone nearby, “Did you see that?” The dazed hunter would shake her head and I would sigh as her head snapped back down to the meter waiting for it to tell her if something happened.

It was dazzling, admittedly, when TAPS came to our TVs on “Ghost Hunters” and showed us a more “scientific” method to determine if a building was haunted. I was most impressed with their tactics of debunking.

I admittedly went along with them on the use of EMF meters, thermometers, and KII meters in the hopes that they might correlate with activity. The fact is, these electrician's tools do not line up with activity. You can see it as well on the GH show. They will get excited about EMF rises and nothing happens. They feel the temperature go down and nothing happens. They're sitting in a room observing and they see or hear something, no meters indicating it's there. They do not line up. They are not effective. They are like using a rectal thermometer to check electrical current or using a light meter to measure sound. It makes no sense. It is not effective. These tools are useless. I hate to say it, but it's true.

With enough years of working these tools and finding absolutely no correlation with activity, I am doing something that bucks the system. I am lifting my head and studying my environment like ancient ghost hunters might have done.

The fact is, I grew up in a haunted house and these events occur randomly and without warning. You can easily miss them. Your own body is your best meter. It reacts to it just like the way you know someone is staring at you and you lift your head and look directly at them as if you felt their eyes upon you. Your body tells you of a presence, something that does not belong there. Trust it. Do not trust the meters. Do not stare at them like a cell phone drone and miss the life around you.

This does not make me popular, but at this point, it's time to wipe the slate clean and find yet a new technique for hunting that involves the greatest witness of such phenomena, the human body/mind/eye/ear. It is true that anecdotal evidence does not prove phenomenon, but then neither does a jump in an EMF meter in an unshielded room.

I know I piss people off in the field when I say that, but they look more the fools for running around using hearsay and old wives tales to direct their investigations as if Jason and Grant somehow tapped into the other world and know how it works. They don't. They do the same thing the rest of us poor hunters do; they go to reportedly haunted sites and try to witness phenomena. If it depended on their equipment, they would set it up and go out to midnight bowling.

None of this is scientific investigation. If it was, it would be done in controlled and shielded environments, but it's not. We're still shooting in the dark. We took a step up from turn-of-the-century spiritualists and hoaxers to debunkers, but no matter how we tackle it one thing is a given--it's humans who witness this and humans witnesses still trump a meter rising to 3.5 or temperature dropping 10 degrees.

Back to the tables, boys! We need to have a little discussion on where this industry is going. I will be writing about that tomorrow after my Mind Fuck Tuesday entry!


  1. I have never been on one of these so called ghost hunts, but have to agree with you....go with the feelings. EMF devices can be debunked. As a matter of fact any electrical device can be effected by outside sources. See the book Spook and the chapter on same.

    I prefer the raw energy of how I feel and what the surroundings to to me. But those don't come across well on TV I guess.
    Oh well, Happy Trails.

  2. MM;
    You're right, dude. Always the wisest soul in the blog world. We do need to develop new ways to weigh and measure phenomena, but it will take looking at its patterns and instigators to see where we might begin.

  3. I think it's evidence of Gadgetitis, the disease so many people suffer from these days.

    Symptoms include ignoring people you're actually with, constant figeting when there's not a gadget in your hand, numbness in the thumbs (and head), inability to concentrate on everyday tasks, and an irrational fear of loss of power.

  4. Eric/Bubba;
    You are so right. It afflicts us everywhere as if loss of communication is loss of being plugged into the borg's collective.

  5. Funny you should mention Borgs - that's exactly what I think of when I see people with those Bluetooth earpieces.

    The ironic thing about Gadgetitis is that people actually think they're being MORE communicative.

    But 90% of their 'conversations' go like this:

    Hey. Whatcha doing?

    Nothing. What you doing?

    Not much. Just hanging.

  6. True. One of my old friends I used to have (grew out of her) used to call me during her lunch break. She would go to a restaurant, eat alone and call me so she had a lunch companion. Since I work from home, she assumed I'm on-call 24/7. I'm actually paid by the line I type so her taking an hour out of my day--not cool. She also would get off the call the minute she'd paid her bill and was leaving. I was a dream date. She didn't have to buy me lunch.

  7. I'm intrigued by the digital voice recording rather than the EMF and KII's.

    Gadgets are for non-believers. My experiences and my 8-year-old daughter's experiences are not something we feel we need to prove. Either people get it or they don't.

    Or, like the God Experiment suggests, one of our temporal lobes is more sensitive than some one else's making it seem like we have these godly, ghostly, otherworldly experiences while others don't.

    Hope you're well!

  8. Hey Patricia. You hit it on the head. We don't need to prove the experiences because no matter what teams come up with, it can be disputed as it was hardly a scientific and shielded/controlled study. All we have is anecdotal and that's actually good because witnesses can find patterns, see what might aggravate situations or relieve it. We can learn a lot about this. I've always felt the element of surprise is on our side. If you ever watch hunting shows, almost always when they run into something they actually see, they do so when entering a hall or room. It's as if we disturb and startle this activity much like people who see shadow people report that when they realize they've been seen, they flee. I am intrigued by the concepts. We can say that either ghostly activity is:
    Brain-induced and part of our mind's makeup for some evolutionary reason

    Something in the physical world, an energy or other dimensional or intelligent but hard to discern being

    The spirits of the dead.

    Seems to be mind/science/spiritual.

    It is more than likely part of all three depending on the situation and it's something I'm covering in my "Was That a Ghost?" book.

    Oh, and I'm doing great. I sure hope you are too. Of course, it probably helps that it's in the 70s here and I have spring fever.

  9. I like the thinking.

    Industry might be the point. There's money in those devices, but also the impression of science in carrying one.

  10. Porky;
    Yup. I bought into it hoping to find some kind of correlation, but I can tell you there is nothing, nada, zip. Teams like TAPS seriously need to impress the hell out of us (and save their show) by pulling a round table discussion with experts in the sciences, inventors, sound experts and others to come up with a new way to tackle their next season (if they get one after the upcoming one that's already filmed). I would jump on and watch them again if they would simply evolve.

  11. i've never liked the gadgets used either. although the voice recorder does get my attention.
    i don't like the all the silly "provoking". they don't anything about ghosts; what makes them think they know how to get the ghost to "react/perform" just nonsense.

  12. So these things don't work? I remember after my grandmother died in our house a bunch of "weird" stuff would go down around 3:00 am every night for a couple months

  13. Zoe;
    It's not unusual for there to be a period of time in which you have all kinds of odd things happening after the loss of a loved one. The reason it comes at 3 am, I would believe (and that's a really common time for these things to occur) has less to do with the time on the clock and more to do with the shift in sleep stages. There is speculation, but I think it's pretty promising, that between the shift in dream state to deeper sleep states, communication with the dead is easier to accomplish. This sort of connection, as well, could have a poltergeist type reaction with kinetic bursts and things in the room shifting and doors opening, things dropping, loud bangs and such. Now, whether the dreamer is the one causing the physical phenomena or the attempted communications from the dead is a hard one to answer. I'd be more inclined to think one's grandmother wouldn't be visiting around in the bedroom at 3 am when 3 pm might be a better time, but that 3 am might be more advantageous if one wants to communicate with the living and their mind's state needs to be optimal.

  14. So how do we get our bodies to "record" what we hear, see and feel and "play it back" for the naysayers?

    Ahhh...the agony of it all! LOL

  15. T-Dear;
    We've been given a big crock o'crap. The fact is, even with video proof, it won't be accepted. We live in a time of viral video hoaxes and Photoshop. The question isn't, should we PROVE a haunting, but should we UNDERSTAND a haunting? I'll be discussing it in my afternoon post tomorrow.

  16. obviusly the use of geomagnetic meters makes more sence in ghost hunts. There have been experiments causing people to have sensations that they attribute to a ghost within the ifrasound frequency range, 17Hz or something like that.

  17. Meter, schmeter. I just don't see the point. Someone once said A + B = C and everyone just went along with it. There has never been any controled, peer-reviewed experiments to determine within even the broadest margins that a correlation exists between EMF fluctuations and hauntings/ghosts. It's been and will be what I call 'the PKE meter fantasy'. If you're not familiar, cue up Ghost Busters. I'm glad you're preaching the GHOSTpel, sista! :-D

  18. Echo;
    I always keep logs of all my hunts. I looked back and discovered that 100% of the time I had activity on a hunt, there was a geomagnetic storm, usually K4 or electron flux. It's worth pursuing.

    Call me Reverend Autumnforest. Hee hee. I wish I could make everyone happy and tell them what they want to hear, that the industry makes sense, but it doesn't. I've hunted long enough that I have found zero correlation between these instruments and activity. I don't know why TAPS and others are hell bent and determined to hold onto their props, but like the phantom missing limb syndrome folks with cell phones have, they seem to think they need to look like they're doing something. Honestly, nothing they show on their episodes would convince anyone of ghosts. That takes a personal experience. This afternoon--a post about where the industry should go.

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