Buying your research equipment.

A few weeks ago I decided to get a thermometer to check suspected cold spots during my ghost hunts. It seemed a worthwhile purchase as my guests often report feeling suddenly cold on one arm, or feeling colder at a certain part of the room. I even experienced a significant temperature change myself at a recent event, only in that case it was warm spots.

I knew what I was after, I’d once seen a surveyor use a lazer guided infra-red thermometer when he was checking the walls of our house once and knew it would be right for the job. A very brief search on eBay unearthed one for a little over £8 including P&P. I clicked buy it now, it was delivered, jobs a good un!


A few weeks later I received an email from a company who were selling “Professional Paranormal investigation equipment”, inviting me to view their wares.

There were some nice bits and bobs there, one or two things that are on my wish list, and then I came across the exact same thermometer, the same make and model, at £20. That is over double what I paid for it. without postage and packing!

A quick browse on eBay at the time of writing, (Searching Infra-red thermometers) reveals quite a range in prices for this item some even cheaper than what I paid!

And it does seem that the price rises when something is sold as “Paranormal investigation equipment”.

There is always going to be another “Must have” gadget when working in this field, but when shopping around it is worth asking yourself two questions: “What does this item do?” And “Why do I want/need it?”

If the answer to the first question is “I don’t know.” and the second one, “I saw someone use one on Ghost Adventures & thought it looked cool.” You seriously need to reassess your needs!

Most of the equipment you see “professionals” use has not been designed to hunt ghosts, rather it has a much more terrestrial purpose. Consequently it seldom comes with instructions for use in a paranormal environment. If you don’t know why you need it you are  unlikely to know how to use it when you get it. Trust me on this. My first serious piece of kit was the Tri-field Natural EMF detector. I bought it nearly 10 years ago and didn’t have a clue what to do with it until I sat down and searched the net several years later!

If you can answer the first question, “What does this do?” it is likely you will know why you will need it. And if that is the case it may be worth asking yourself, “is there anything that does the same that is cheaper/more efficient/more practical?” you may find something that works more effectively. Just because it looks good on TV doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good for your investigation!

Bottom line is it pays to shop around, but also make sure you know what you are getting!


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  1. […] Before you spend a fortune on the latest must-have gadget, read up on what it is you are actually spending your money on. What does it do? Why do you really need it? Is there something cheaper that would essentially do the same thing, (In the case of the K2- a compass maybe?) I have written about this in the past on this blog, see “Buying your research equipment”. […]

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