Paranormal Investigations Research And Equipment

Paranormal is a term that describes a variety of unexplained and unproven phenomena, including crop circles, Bigfoot and ghosts. For those who believe in the paranormal or who have been first-hand witnesses to it, finding evidence of paranormal activity can be essential to validating their experiences, giving them peace of mind and proving the existence of the paranormal to the world.

However, when it comes to proving the existence of anything paranormal, research and investigation of these subjects are especially challenging. By definition, all things paranormal already exist outside of the realm of “normal” science, and proving the paranormal to skeptics requires paranormal researchers to find these elusive scientific explanations.

Regardless of the challenge, many still use a variety of efforts to research and prove the paranormal.

Paranormal Research

As with any study of science, research can progress through a number of methods including the:

  • anecdotal approach: Using anecdotes to prove the paranormal involves collecting stories and experiences from those who claim to have witnessed or otherwise experienced paranormal phenomena. Because people naturally have biases, make deductions from their experiences and rarely remember events exactly as they occurred, anecdotal approaches to proving the paranormal are considered pseudoscientific and, therefore, aren’t accepted by mainstream science.During the early 1900s, Charles Fort popularized the anecdotal approach of researching the paranormal by collecting around 40,000 anecdotes of paranormal phenomena.
  • experimental methods: Conducting experiments to prove the paranormal is primarily used by researchers investigating phenomena of parapsychology (a field studies the afterlife, ESP and telekinesis). In many cases, experimental methods revolve around card-guessing experiments that attempt to prove the existence of ESP.While many credible researchers and institutions were using experimental methods to prove parapsychology during the 1970s, failure to find concrete evidence has led many reputable researchers to abandon this form of paranormal research.
  • participant-observer approach: In contrast to research methods that take place in labs, the participant-observer approach to paranormal research calls for the investigator to immerse himself in the paranormal experience to better understand the subject and collect data about it. Visiting “haunted” locations and performing sances are both popular ways that researchers practice the participant-observer approach.Currently, this research method seems to be among the most popular ways for paranormal believers to investigate their subjects. Many reality-television shows, such as Ghost Hunters, document ongoing investigations that use the participant-observer research approach.

While paranormal investigators around the world continue to use the above and a variety of other research methods, to date, no one has conclusively proved the existence of the paranormal through research.

The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS)

Based in Rhode Island, TAPS is an association dedicated to investigating the paranormal on an ongoing basis. While TAPS’ paranormal investigations have been occurring since 1990, since 2004, TAPS has been the subject of a popular reality show known as Ghost Hunters. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are credited with starting TAPS.

Paranormal Equipment

Paranormal researchers may use a variety of equipment to document paranormal experiences. Common pieces of paranormal equipment include:

  • motion detectors: This piece of equipment uses infrared technology to detect physical movement, shock waves and temperature changes in a given region. Motion detectors with a few special features can cost as little as $20.
  • thermal scanners: By measuring extreme temperature changes with incredible accuracy, thermal scanners supposedly indicate the presence of paranormal phenomena. This piece of equipment typically starts at around $100, depending on where you purchase it.
  • tri-field meters: These sensitive meters detect electric and magnetic fields. Depending on the sensitivity of these meters, they may have to remain stationary, rather than be carried around. Most quality tri-field meters start at around $150.

Gaussmeters, ion detectors and EMF headsets are also popular pieces of paranormal research equipment.