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Equipment

 

This page is dedicated to the tools of the trade that we use on our investigations. People get curious when we use the equipment and always ask questions so we will put this page up. This is also a place for our clients to look in case we forgot to mention what our equipment does.

For the ease of our clients, we have used photos of the actual products that we use so they can put a face to the description.

Here are some pieces of equipment that we use.

Sony HandyCam Mini DV Video Camera

The MNPSG uses mini-dv (digital video) video cameras to allow us to document and film a location during an investigation. These allow us to have a mobile option to film our investigators during the investigation. Since the camera records both audio and video, we are able to pull electronic voice phenomena (EVP) off these cameras as well.

When used with a tripod, these cameras offer the team flexibility for stationary cameras in hard to reach locations since all you need is a full battery or extension cord.

The Minnesota Paranormal Study Group prefers using Sony brand products due to the Night Shot feature that these cameras feature. When used with an infared extender, these cameras can light up even the darkest areas!

 
Infrared Extenders

These nifty little boxes attach to our Mini-DV cameras via a shoe mount. These allow us to see further into the dark by putting out IR light for our Sony Nightshot to pick up on. These allow us to see about 15 feet more into the dark than the standard night shot feature.

The IR extender that we have pictured was hand made and given to us by Paul Bradford who operates Creepy Hollow Gear and also is a cast member for Ghost Hunters International.

 
Voice Recorder

Voice recorders allow us to record sounds as well as interview clients during cases. We use these in ambient sound recordings as well as EVP sessions. For ambient sounds, we will leave a recorder running while we close off an area to see what we can pick up. Sometimes we will find conversations on our tape or loud noises such as bangs that were not heard by our team. In EVP sessions, we host a Q&A session by ourselves and on playback, we might have a disembodied voice that only appeared audible on the recording!

We use both analog and digital for audio because we believe neither is proven enough to cut the other out. These are used for capturing electronic voice phenomena. For more on the evidence we have captured with these recorders, please visit our electronic voice phenomena section.

 
Dowsing Rods

Dowsing rods, or divining rods, are used by our team to find areas of energy. We use these in a location to ask the possible entities questions.

In a team of two, one investigator will walk around a location doing what we call a "sweep." The other will take notes and have a recording device on them. During this sweep, the rods may start to move. The investigator will then ask a question aloud such as "If you would like to talk, please point at [object in the environment]." If the rods then swing towards the selected area in the question, the process is repeated while the secondary investigator takes data readings of the area.

We do not use these very often but on rare ocassions, they seem to show us some bizarre activity.

 
Walkie Talkies
These are used to keep in touch with one another. Often times we will end up doing multiple floors of a location or an open space in an outdoor location. These also allow us to communicate very quickly with one another during an investigation in case we hear or see an oddity and need instant feedback on it.

We keep them for both communication and safety.

 
Digital Weather Station

These simple and inexpensive devices allow us to place a temperature instrument in a place that has reported activity. These measure both maximum and minimum temperatures with a range of about eight feet. (They have a probe and also measure from the actual device.) At the end of the night, we are able to review the data that has been logged and compare notes.

Usually a temperature change of 5-10 degrees F is considered normal but anything within 15-20 degrees F change is something that we want to review and be aware of.

These devices also allow us to measure and record an ambient temperature which is something that our IR thermometers cannot do.

 
Infrared Thermometer

The MNPSG uses Infrared Thermometers to measure surface temperature of things such as doors, walls, and windows. Basically, consider these a low budget FLIR system! These came in very handy while the team investigate the Greyhound Bus Origin Museum as doors would move and windows would open by themselves. These devices allowed us to measure and record the differences in temperature of things that were moved by unseen hands and those that were not.

These work great but do not measure ambient temperature so we need to use these in conjunction with the stationary weather systems.

 
4 Channel DVR System

For stationary video, the MNPSG employs the use of a 4 Channel DVR system. This system allows us to use IR cameras to monitors areas with little to no room with ease. The unit stores 250 GB of video which translates into around 17 hours of video at high quality. This frees up our expense on mini-dv tapes and allows us to have four extra cameras for monitoring. The DVR unit allows us to review evidence in a 4 channel mosiac which helps to simplify and speed up our evidence review!

This system does not record sound for our team which means we usually have to place an audio recorder with each camera.

 
Cell Sensor EMF Meter

The Cell Sensor EMF meter is one of our most used tools. This device allows us to measure and record fluxes in the electromagnetic field. This device is used for finding EMF hot spots in homes. High EMF levels can lead to electromagnetic hypersensitivity. We can report to the home owner where the high levels of EMF are present within their home and they can usually remedy the problem by shielding their wires with higher grade wiring.

Some also believe that ghosts can manipulate the EMF levels in a haunting to produce effects and activity. There have been a few times within an investigation that the team has been able to communicate with what we believe to be a spirit with the Cell Sensor. While a sole EMF Q&A cannot guarantee a haunting, it does lead to some interesting data and experiences!

 
K2 Meter
The K2 (KII) Meter is another version of an EMF meter. This does not seem to set off as easily as the CellSensor meter so we like to use both during an investigation for comparision. These devices were made publicly famous for their work on the television show, Ghost Hunters.
 
Headlamp / Flashlights
Since we do a lot of work in the dark, we need something to light our paths but something that leaves hands open for equipment. This is why we use LED head lamps!

These head lamps are LED which means the bulbs do last longer and also are able to give us both white and red light.

Red light is a longer wave length and will not blind other team members while in the dark because it is not as intense as white to human beings.
 
The Shack Hack

This is a modified AM/FM radio from Radio Shack that is paired up to an IPod speaker system via a stereo cable. This allows us to scan the radio channels constantly on either band and the theory is that the spirits can use the random white noise that is generated to communicate by manipulating the sounds.

We have yet to find a solid use and purpose for this piece of equipment.

 
Infrared Strobe (IR Strobe)

One of our experimental pieces of equipment is the IR Strobe devised by Paul Bradford at Creepy Hollow Gear. This device operates like a normal strobe light but the key difference is that the white light has been switched out with IR lighting which is invisible to humans. The theory is that the spirits can see on the IR light spectrum and are attracted to this. Also, with the light being invisible to human eye sight, this allows investigators to operate in the same area as the device without the worries of having an epilipetic seizure.

We set this up near one of our cameras with IR capabilities and leave it run. The hope is that the spirits will walk up to the device out of curiosity and will be noticed on the camera that is recording.

In our early tests, this has lead us to believe that the spirits are indeed intrigued by the light since activity seems to be prevalent around the device.

Miscellaneous Equipment 

We do go through a lot of miscellaneous equipment that we didn't feel needed a long explanation as it is pretty simple.

 

Why didn't you list a film loaded or digital camera?

We understand your concern about why we did not list a digital or film loaded camera for photography. We have seen thousand of spirit photography examples and here is our concern about them; they only show a split second of time with no reference to before or after.

Even if we were to shoot a magnificent photo of a full bodied apparition, it would still leave doubts because there is no reference to what happened before or after the shot was taken. The advance of technology has also led many to hoax these photos which we know we would be stacked up against. However, even if the photo was genuine, would it really be proof of the paranormal and make skeptics believers? 

We feel that video and audio can lead us to more clues than photography can which is why we focus on those. Don't get us wrong; we still use these cameras to document the team in action and for our website! We just don't use them for evidence of the paranormal.

 

Where do we get our equipment at? 

We get asked frequently where we buy our equipment. We do a mix of online and offline shopping. Some things such as K2 meters and Cell Sensors are only found online as local stores do not stock them for obvious reasons.

 

Our Mission Statement

Since 2005, MinnesotaGhosts.com has been the home of the Minnesota Paranormal Study Group. We built this project upon three core beliefs: Investigate. Consult. Educate.

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