Old School Tools of a Ghost Hunter: Popular Techniques From Different Periods of History

Thinking about ghost hunting? Here are classic methods people used to communicate with ghosts in the past. I've got 13 ghost hunting techniques that were popular in different periods of history:

- **Dowsing rods**: These are metal rods that are held loosely in the hands and are supposed to move or cross when they detect water, minerals, or spiritual energy. Dowsing rods have been used since ancient times for various purposes, including ghost hunting.

- **Spirit photography**: This is the practice of capturing images of ghosts or other paranormal phenomena on film or digital cameras. Spirit photography emerged in the mid-19th century, when photography was a new and mysterious technology. Some spirit photographers claimed to have special abilities or techniques to reveal the hidden presence of spirits. I'll be uploading some spirit photography of my own on the website soon, so come back for that!

- **Ouija board**: This is a board with letters, numbers, and symbols printed on it, along with a movable pointer called a planchette. Users place their fingers on the planchette and ask questions to the spirits, who are supposed to move the planchette to spell out answers. Ouija boards became popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially during the spiritualist movement. The story about how the Ouija board came to be is very interesting. Let me know in the comments if you would lick a post on that subject.

- **Automatic writing**: This is writing that is done without conscious control or intention, supposedly under the influence of a spirit or a subconscious mind. Automatic writing can be done with a pen and paper, a typewriter, or a computer. You can close your eyes while writing or typing and see what you get. Some people believe that automatic writing can reveal messages from the dead or from higher realms of consciousness. 

- **Seance**: This is a session where a group of people gather to communicate with the spirits of the dead, usually with the help of a medium. A medium is a person who can contact and channel the spirits. Seances often involve various rituals and tools, such as candles, incense, bells, and tables. Seances were very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among the upper classes and celebrities. 


- **Ectoplasm**: This is a substance that emanates from the body of a medium during a seance, and forms into shapes or figures of spirits. Ectoplasm is usually described as a white, viscous, or vaporous material, sometimes with a foul odor. Ectoplasm was first reported in the late 19th century, and was often exposed as a hoax or a fraud. It is easy to tell from the old images that ectoplasm was often wet lace in the mouth of the medium.


- **Psychometry**: This is the ability to obtain information or impressions about an object, a person, or a place by touching or holding it. Psychometry is based on the idea objects retain traces of the energy or emotions of their owners or users. Psychics or mediums often use psychometry to gain insight into the past or the future. Hold an object in your hands and concentrate. Maybe you'll get an impression.

- **Crystal ball**: This is a spherical object made of glass, quartz, or other transparent material, that is used for divination or scrying. Scrying is the practice of gazing into a reflective surface, such as a mirror, a bowl of water, or a crystal ball, to see visions or images of the past, the present, or the future. Crystal balls are often associated with fortune tellers, witches, and magicians. Nostradamus is one of the most famous scryers in the world. 

- **Pendulum**: This is a weight suspended from a string or a chain that is used for dowsing or divination. The pendulum swings over a map, a chart, or a person to locate objects, answer questions, or diagnose illnesses. Pendulums are based on the idea that they respond to the subtle energy fields or vibrations of the environment or the user. Healers, psychics, and ghost hunters often use pendulums. You can use a pendulum over a Ouija as well.

- **Tarot cards**: These are a set of cards with symbolic images and meanings that are used for divination or guidance. Tarot cards are divided into two groups: the major arcana, which has 22 cards that represent the major themes and lessons of life, and the minor arcana, which has 56 cards that represent the everyday situations and challenges of life. Psychics, mediums, and spiritual seekers often use Tarot cards. 

- **EMF meter**: This is a device that measures the electromagnetic field (EMF) of an area or an object. Electricians, engineers, and environmentalists often use EMF meters to detect the presence and strength of electric or magnetic fields. Ghost hunters, who believe that ghosts or spirits can generate or affect EMF, also used EMF meters. 

- **Thermometer**: This is a device that measures the temperature of an area or an object. Meteorologists, doctors, and cooks often use thermometers to monitor the weather, the health, or the cooking process. Ghost hunters also used thermometers because ghosts or spirits can cause sudden changes in temperature, such as cold spots or hot spots. 

- **Infrared camera**: This is a camera that captures images or videos in the infrared spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye. Firefighters, soldiers, and wildlife researchers often use infrared cameras to see in the dark, to detect heat sources, or to observe animals. Ghost hunters, who believe that ghosts or spirits can emit or reflect infrared light, also used infrared cameras.

Other Websites to check out!

(1) Ghost hunting - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_hunting.
(2) Ghost Hunting in the 19th Century | Science History Institute. https://sciencehistory.org/stories/distillations-pod/ghost-hunting-in-the-19th-century/.
(3) Ghost Hunting Techniques Throughout History | PE. https://paranormalemissaries.com/ghost-hunting-techniques-throughout-history/.
(4) How to Be a Vintage Ghost Hunter | The Haunted Walk. https://hauntedwalk.com/news/how-to-be-a-vintage-ghost-hunter/.

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