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The EMF Detector: Pros, Cons, and Tips

When speaking with ghost hunters, among the gadgets and tools they suggest to be useful for the detection of spiritual phenomena will likely be the EMF Detector, also known as an EMF Reader or simply “Ghost Detector.”  But this last name may be misleading as the EMF reader will not only detect anomalous behavior in haunted locations, but under some other circumstances which should be taken into consideration.

The EMF in the EMF Detector’s full name refers to the Electromagnetic Field that it picks up on.  It gives a reading based on the intensity and generalized location of electromagnetic fields.  There are two types of EMF detector and dozens of uses for each.  And of course they were not originally developed as “ghost detectors.”  In fact, EMF detectors are most commonly used by electricians.  EMF is generated by electrical fields generated from both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current).  Those who are uninitiated in the use of EMF detectors and precisely what they do often will notice that ghosts like to “hang out” around electrical sockets when the power is on.  Of course this is simply the detector picking up on the electromagnetic radiation of an electrical socket.  Experienced ghost hunters often cannot help but wince when some popular ghost hunting shows show investigators excitedly gathering around an electrical appliance claiming it to be haunted.

A positive EMF reading is most interesting when it detects readings far away from an electrical influence.  Electromagnetic radiation is often all around us.  When using an EMF detector, you should take care to turn off the electricity at the establishment you are operating in.  Of course be sure you have permission to do so first, and any time investigators are interacting with electricity, they should familiarize themselves with electrical safety to ensure an unfortunate accident or bad decision keeps them on the side of the living.  Hospitals are often reportedly haunted, but investigation is difficult when you are actually a patient.  In addition, sufficient light and other preparations should be brought when hunting contact with the other side.  Keep in mind no electricity will mean extra batteries will be needed as well.

EMF detectors come in two main categories.  The single axis EMF devices are usually far cheaper, but less accurate.  Tri-axis meters measure all three axises at once, but are usually much more expensive.  When shopping for an EMF detector there are hundreds of sources, including specially designed ghost hunting supply stores.  Of course you should take care, as some of these charge far more for a simple device or misrepresent its quality.  Still, if you know what you are looking for in an EMF detector you should be able to figure out what you need at a simple electronics supply store.  Most towns have these, but the staff may not know much about ghost hunting.

As a final note, EMF detectors are rarely considered “proof” of a supernatural presence, but they are often used in conjunction with other evidence to make a good case for spiritual presence.