Ghost Hunting On A Budget: How To Investigate Without Breaking The Bank
Photo: © Maria Pop
If you're an avid paranormal investigator, you know that ghost hunting can be an expensive hobby thanks to the high cost of hiring some locations and the hefty price tags on ghost hunting gadgets.
With the current cost of living crisis, it can be even harder to justify spending money on equipment and locations for investigations. However, that doesn't mean you have to give up on your passion for the paranormal. By making a few adjustments, you can continue to enjoy ghost hunting while also saving money.
Whether you're a seasoned investigator or just starting out, we've put together some practical advice for sourcing cheaper alternatives to dedicated paranormal kit, and finding free or low-cost locations.
Ghost hunting equipment can be expensive, but it's often possible to make your own equipment as it tends not to be too technically advance and the key components are easy and cheap to purchase. Making your own equipment can be a fun and creative way to enhance your ghost hunting experience while also saving money. Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you built the equipment yourself. If you don't have the technical know-how to create your own gadgets, with a little creativity, you can find tools that are just as useful at a fraction of the cost.
Ghost hunting apps get a bad rep, and in many cases this is justified. However, if you choose an app carefully it will offer the same functionality as physical paranormal devices. Modern phones have a whole array of sensors, including magnetometers, which can approximate the functionality of an electromagnetic fields (EMF) meter. While these apps may not be as accurate as a professional-grade meter, they can still be a useful tool for detecting EMF fluctuations. And let's face it, all we're looking for on a ghost hunt is a response, the accuracy of the reading the meter gives is some what irrelevant.
DIY Dowsing Rods
Dowsing rods are a popular tool for ghost hunters, but if you're looking to save a few pounds, then you can make your own dowsing rods using materials you may already have at home. All you need is a pair of wire coat hangers or a couple of lengths of copper wire. Bend the wire into an L shape and hold the short end loosely in your hand while you hunt for ghosts.
Voice Recording Apps
Many investigators use voice recorders in an attempt to capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), but a good recorder can be costly. Instead, try using a voice recorder app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. There are many free and low-cost apps available that can provide high-quality recordings, some are even built into the phone. Just make sure to turn off notifications and put your device on airplane mode to minimise interference.
Candle divination is a cheap method of spirit communication that involves using nothing more than a candle. To try it for yourself, light a candle in a quiet room and ask any spirits present to make their presence known by causing the flame to flicker or dance. You can also use different coloured candles to represent different types of spirits or energies.
Use A Compass
A compass can be a handy tool for detecting changes in magnetic fields, which can be a sign of paranormal activity. You can use any standard compass or purchase a cheap one from a pound store. Hold the compass steady and watch for any sudden changes in direction or movement.
Use Your Senses
While technology can be helpful, your own senses are often the most important tool in ghost hunting. Listen for unexplained sounds, pay attention to changes in temperature, and trust your intuition. These can often be the best indicators of paranormal activity.
Free Software For Analysis
After you capture audio or video during a ghost hunt, you may want to analyse what you've recorded for EVPs or other evidence of paranormal activity. There are many free software programs available for audio and video analysis and playback, such as Audacity or WavePad for audio, or VLC Media Player or iMovie for video.
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Free Or Low-Cost Locations
One of the biggest expenses of ghost hunting can be the cost of hiring locations to investigate or the price of tickets for public ghost hunting events. However, there are many free or low-cost locations available that can still provide a great paranormal experience.
Many public parks and nature reserves have a history of paranormal activity and can be explored for free or for a small fee. Look for locations with a history of tragedy, such as battles or accidents, as these are often associated with ghostly activity.
Ask around or delve into local folklore to discover whether there are any stories of haunted roads or bridges nearby. These locations can also be explored for free and often have a history of tales of ghostly sightings and unexplained phenomena associated with them.
Haunted forests can be another great location for ghost hunting on a budget. Many forests have a history of paranormal activity. Before exploring a haunted forest, research the history of the area to learn about any reported paranormal activity or historical events that may have led to ghostly sightings. Forests are vast, but this approach can help you plan your investigation and focus your efforts on the most active areas.
The other option is to look for group deals or to collaborate with other teams in order to save money. Rather than coughing up the cost of hiring a location yourself, join forces with one or more other paranormal team for the night and split the cost of hire.
Investigation At Home
Photo: © lucigerma
One of the easiest ways to save money on ghost hunting is to investigate your own home. By conducting a ghost hunt at home, you can save money and still have a great paranormal experience. Consider inviting friends or family over to join you. This can not only be a fun experience, but can also help to corroborate any paranormal activity that is experienced.
Who knows, you may just uncover some hidden secrets about your own living space. But what if your house isn't haunted? Well, there's no reason why certain paranormal activity can't occur anywhere, not just in haunted locations.
Séances were once a popular method of communicating with spirits, and were traditionally conducted at home or in séance parlours with a small group of people. Despite not necessarily being in a haunted locations, spirits would come through. All you need is a quiet, dark room and a willingness to communicate with any spirits.
EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, is a technique used to capture the voices of spirits using electronic recording devices. This technology can be used anywhere, including in your own home. In fact some of the earliest pioneers in the field of EVP research investigated the phenomena in non-haunted locations such as dedicated labs or at home. Despite the location, just like in séances, the voices from beyond the grave came through.
There's no denying that ghost hunting can be an exciting and fulfilling hobby, but it can also be an expensive one. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on ghost hunts and equipment, even in the midst of a cost of living crisis. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can conduct paranormal investigations on a budget without sacrificing the quality of your experience.
Just remember to always be respectful of any locations you visit and any spirits you encounter. And if you do experience any paranormal activity, make sure to document it and share it with the wider community of ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.
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