Monday, October 9, 2017

EMF? What has this got to do with Ghosts?

What is EMF?

EMF is the abbreviation for electromagnetic fields. According to the WHO, these fields are around us all the time but are invisible to the human eye. (WHO web link)


Natural sources include thunderstorms and the earth's magnetic field.

Man-made sources include x-rays, electricity and mobile phones.

Possible ill effects of high EMF

  • fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances
  • skin rashes
  • depression
  • sore throats
  • digestive disorders
  • infertility
  • cancer clusters
Research is ongoing and although these effects are often reported, no conclusive link has been found between them and high EMF levels.

So what has this to do with Ghost Hunting?

Most paranormal investigators carry at least one EMF meter with them. The meters' flashing lights are well-known to most paranormal fans.

But why do they flash? What does it all mean?

For years, paranormal researchers have believed that bursts of EMF signal the possible manifestation of a spirit.

There is no proof to state that this is the case but conversely, there is no proof that this is NOT the case!

Confusing? Yes.

These days, most paranormal investigators use these meters as, simply, another tool to point them in the right direction. Unexplained readings (flashing lights) guide us to spend a little more time in the area, perhaps taking more photographs or calling out.

Sometimes the pulsing of the lights seems to be intelligent. They seem to flash on demand or in response to questions. While this can be interesting, it does not prove the existence of spirits.

Things that can affect EMF

Sometimes, on a ghost hunt, the EMF meters flash throughout the investigation. We have to rule out natural or normal causes such as;

  • mobile phones not switched off
  • passing taxis or police cars (the radios send out waves that can affect our meters)
  • other items of gear too close to the meters - my audio recorder sets mine off if I hold them too close together
  • electricity meters
These are the most obvious things we have to look out for but there may well be other things that we do not notice at the time (thunder, overhead power lines).

If we have a lot of activity with the EMF meters but no other items of interest during the investigation, we make a point of returning at a later date to see if we get the same response.

If, on the other hand, we pick up EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), unexplained mists or shadows on photographs or film and have some personal experiences around the time of the high EMF readings, we are inclined to say that they may be of a paranormal nature.

In conclusion

High EMF readings are always of interest. Shorts bursts may simply mean that we have inadvertently contaminated our investigation or that a spirt is trying to manifest or that a taxi has just driven past close by.

Longer, more sustained, high readings suggest that there may be a source of electricity, WIFI, cordless or mobile phone or other radio wave producing element in our vicinity. In this case (especially in a private house investigation), we will try to locate the source so that we can advise the homeowners that this may be a potential health issue.

EMF readings are interesting but not conclusive. No self-respecting paranormal investigator would rely solely on these little flashing lights - but, they are still fun!

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