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Skyler Sanders Instructor: Malcolm Campbell English 1102 November 2 th! 201" On the Hunt: A look into Paranormal Technology #$lright everyone! pass it around%& $s the yearbook got to me I noticed! 'ithout a doubt! that there 'as another person standing behind the girl in the photo% (ut it 'asn)t *ust a person! it 'as completely see through% It 'as a ghost% +hat 'as one o, the most memorable days in my $English class that year% It 'as close to .allo'een so my teacher! Mrs% Smith decided to share a ghost story% She told us about the time 'hen she 'as the yearbook teacher and she 'as in charge o, taking pageant photos% /hen she ,inally got the photos developed something 'as very strange0 standing right behind the pageant girls 'as a man! but there 'asn)t a man on the set that day% Even a,ter trying their hardest to ,igure out ho' the image o, a man came through in the picture! they couldn)t% 1et a,ter thirty some years it is a story she continues to tell her students every single year% /hy though2 /hy are 'e 3humans4 so interested in seeing ghosts2 .umans are dra'n to things 'e kno' nothing about! like paranormal entities% /e have no proo, or evidence to believe these entities e5ist! yet 'e are still dra'n to the proo, o, their e5istence% 6ver the years since Mrs% Smith)s little ghost story I have remained interested in the little things that make me think about ghosts and I have noticed more and more about these things on +%7% and in the movies% In the past ,e' years I have seen movies and television sho's that attempt at making one believe that such entities are real and that they can! in ,act! prove it! but can they2 8host hunters and paranormal investigators regularly attempt to capture the e5istence

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o, ghost via the use o, technology% +he 9uestion is! does this technology prove that 'e! humans! can communicate 'ith paranormal entities! or does it moreover play 'ith our imaginations2 (y de,inition a ghost is the soul o, a dead person! a disembodied spirit imagined! usually as a vague! shado'y or evanescent ,orm! as 'andering among or haunting living persons 3as provided by dictionary%com4% $ ghost hunter is simply one 'ho attempts to track do'n these souls using common technology% .o'ever! there is much debate on 'hether or not the technology is used properly and 'ith any scienti,ic kno'ledge% (en*amin :ad,ord)s article in Live Science; #+he Shady Science o, 8host .unting& believes that #in ghost hunting! o,ten the less scienti,ic! the more likely a researcher is to ,ind evidence&% :ad,ord believes that ghost hunters misuse the technology in their hunts and considers a paranormal investigation to be nothing more than a 'aste o, time% #<the e9uipment is only as scienti,ic as the person using it0 you may o'n the 'orld=s most sophisticated thermometer! but i, you are using it as a barometer! your measurements are 'orthless% >ust as using a calculator doesn=t make you a mathematician! using a scienti,ic instrument doesn=t make you a scientist%& says :ad,ord% In contrast! ?ave >uliano! o'ner o, the 8host.unter Store in Mt% .olly! N> is a strong believer in the technology used to hunt do'n and prove the e5istence o, the paranormal% >uliano has been ,eatured on the .istory Channel! National 8eographic! and the +ravel Channel% In ,act >uliano has a 'ebsite! ghosthunting101%com! dedicated to teaching others ho' to pre,orm a sa,e and e,,ective ghost hunt% In a typical ghost hunt! a team 'ill set up a number o, di,,erent technological e9uipment in hopes o, returning ,rom their #stake out& 'ith certain evidence o, ghosts% $ccording to ?ave >uliano some o, that e9uipment 'ould include a digital camera! digital voice recorder! video camera! EM@ 3electromagnetic ,ield4 detector! compass! motion detector! and a thermometer%

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3>uliano4 6ne o, the most 'idely used pieces o, e9uipment used by ghost hunters is the camera% ?avid :ountree! the author o, the book Paranormal Technology takes a greater look at the digital camera and 'hy it is used% #+he uni9ue part o, the digital camera ,or paranormal investigative purposes Aho'everB is the ability to see an e5panded light spectrum!& e5claims :ountree% .umans can only see light through a band'idth o, about "C0 to DE0 nanometers! the digital camera is capable o, seeing more o, the spectrum% +he use o, the digital camera is simple! but easily misconstrued% $s stated in #8host .unting in the 21st Century&! a short essay by >ohn -otts! #AaB photograph can produce e5tremely misleading representations o, a AghostFhauntedB site! due to a 'ide range o, ,actors such as ,lash! dust on the lens! double e5posures! camera angle! or simply the ambiguous manner in 'hich light may be captured in a photograph%& 3-otts4% .o'ever according to ghosthunting101%com a photograph is an e5cellent 'ay to capture the image o, a ghost% >uliano does admit that using a camera only produces satis,actory results i, it is used in the right setting% .e insists that a ghost hunter should take several precautions! such as tying up his or her hair! prohibit smoking at the site! keep camera a'ay ,rom breath! be cautious o, dirt and dust in the area! etc 3>uliano4% $ll o, these elements! i, photographed could look like an orb or vorte5! 'hich are 'hat ghost hunters primarily look ,or 'hen trying to capture an entity in a photograph% (ut 'hy orbs2 /hat makes ghost hunters think that a tiny ball o, light is related to the dead2 +he International 8host .unters Society de,ined their theory o, orbs in photography% G%%%+hrough our research 'e ,ound that an orb represented the soul o, a departed person%%% /e teach that a spirit is represented in an orb con,iguration pattern%%% 'hen it comes to rest! meaning that it is no longer in motion! the spirit energy that is compressed 'ithin the orb is released& 3-otts4% In the book Paranormal Technology! :ountree states that there is no 'ay to


tell a dust particle orb ,rom a plasma or paranormal orb but he does insist that there are certain methods o, ho' to capture these orbs and 'hy% $ ,lash on a typical camera bombards the environment 'ith an intense emision o, photons% +hese photons are traveling at the speed o, light% /hite light is made up o, elements o, the entire light spectrum! even though 'e can)t see it< So suppose these photons bombard a cold plasma;like energy ,orm that is vibrating in the ,re9uency range o, ultraviolet light% +he plasma 'ould absorb the photons and begin to #glo'& brighter in the H7 spectrum% Even though our eyes 'ould not be able to tell it! the camera 'ould be able to pick it up and record it% 3:ountree4 +he in,rared thermal scanner is another ,orm o, e9uipment used by paranormal investigators% +he scanner is used to detect and isolate 'hat is kno'n as #cold spots&! once a #cold spot& is ,ound the ghost hunter 'ill try to capture something greater on camera% +hese #cold spots& are nothing more than 'hat they sound like! a space in 'hich a drop o, temperature has been noted 3-aranormal :esearch4% +he correlation bet'een these temperature drops and ghosts are by no means scienti,ic but rather *ust an idea% Many times both the thermal scanner and cameras are set o,, by motion detectors 'hich are set up in numerous places at the location% /hen the detector senses motion it sets a trigger in the camera and then it automatically takes a shot% /hether or not the motion is that o, a ghost or not is once again le,t up to 'hoever is conducting the e5periment 3>uliano4% $nother piece o, e9uipment used by ghost hunters and mentioned by ?ave >uliano is the digital voice recorder% +he voice recorder is used to record sounds and is then played back and revie'ed over a laptop computer 3>uliano4% +he goal o, recording is to attempt to detect any communication either $7- 3$ural 7oice -henomena4 'hich C$N be heard 'ith the human ear

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or E7-s 3electronic voice phenomenons4 not heard by the human ear 3-aranormal :esearch4% $ccording to -otts! #+he ma*or criticism o, E7- has al'ays been that any apparent spirit voices are likely to be the product o, the imagination< +apes or audio ,iles generally reproduce an aural ,ield o, hiss! static! hum! and noise generated by the properties o, the recording device or medium&% .o'ever! :ountree argues the meaning o, E7- in his book% .e states that because E7-s cannot be heard by the human ear! they are not sound but rather an electromagnetic phenomenon% :ountree states! #$ microphone is an electromagnetic transducer and as such! acts as an EM@ sensor! due to the voice coil)s response to the ,ield ,luctuations% +he coil movement induces a current 'hich is recorded by the audio recorder% /hen 'e play it back! it sounds like sound! even though it isn)t%& 3:ountree4 +he audio recording! to me! is probably the most misinterpreted piece o, e9uipment! right ne5t to the camera% 6ver time I have spent many hours 'atching sho's and documentaries o, alleged ghost hunts! and the recordings seem to be the most phony% I)ve noticed that ghost hunters 'ill take any noise they hear! and turn it into 'ords said by the ghost% @or instance! 'hile 'atching one o, these sho's! a group o, paranormal investigators 'hen to a #haunted& location and tried to vocally communicate 'ith any spirits using high tech microphones that could pick up virtually any sound% $,ter they claimed that ghost 'as talking to them! they played back the sound to the at home vie'ers and the noise 'as nothing more than a slight hiss% .o'ever the investigators 'ere determined that the ghost said #go a'ay&% $n EM@ meter is another e5tremely common device used amongst ghost hunters% +he EM@ meter simply detects ,luctuations in electromagnetic ,ields% /hen +om Cook o, +omgadgets%com 3a 'ebsite in 'hich ghost hunting tools and e9uipment are sold4 'as 9uestioned 3by (en*amin :ad,ord4 about the science behind tools he sells he replies #$t a

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haunted location strong erratic ,luctuation EM@s are commonly ,ound% It seems these ,ields have a de,inite connection to the presence o, ghosts% +he e5act nature o, that connection is still a mystery< there e5ists no device that can conclusively detect ghosts%& $s ,ar as the connection bet'een magnetic ,ields and the supernatural goes! there is no scienti,ic evidence that proves 3or disproves4 any relation 3:ad,ord4% (en*amin :ad,ord concludes in his article that ghost hunters are entirely antiscienti,ic and illogical% #<i, one area o, a home is colder than another! that may indicate a ghost0 i, an EM@ meter detects a ,ield! that too may be a ghost0 i, do'sing rods cross! that might be a ghost% >ust about any Ganomaly!G anything that anyone considers odd ,or any reason! ,rom an undetermined sound to a Gbad ,eelingG to a blurry photo! can be 3and has been4 considered evidence o, ghosts%& 3:ad,ord4 6n the other hand there are those like ?ave >uliano 'ho spend everyday selling his e9uipment! updating his site! teaching his class! and making special appearances ,or being a reno'n ghost hunter% ?ave has spent the last 2D years tracking do'n spirits and capturing them on camera and vocal recordings% 6n ?ave)s 'ebsite he reveals his background and interests in the spiritual 'orld insisting that he has a connection 'ith the spirits 'hich allo's him to communicate 'ith them! 'ith or 'ithout technology% 3>uliano4 +here is obvious skepticism 'hen it comes to the technology that is used by ghost hunters% +he 9uestion ho'ever! is can humans communicate 'ith ghosts via technology2 /ell it)s clear that I am no e5pert but! I 'ouldn)t count on it% $s ,ar as science today goes! there is no real evidence that anyone has ever been able to communicate or photograph an actual ghost% +here is no such tool that has been tested to detect ghosts% +here is also no proo, that the ghost hunting e9uipment that is used and the science behind the use even correlates% @or instance!

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although ghost hunter use electromagnetic ,ield meters to determine magnetic ,luctuations! there is nothing that suggests that ghosts have anything to do 'ith magnetic ,ields% I 'ould love to kno' that there 'as some 'ay I could communicate 'ith the paranormal or capture them on ,ilm! but I *ust don)t see any scienti,ic connections% I, anything ghost hunting e9uipment! at best! is purely ,or ,un and e5citement% /ho 'ouldn)t love to go out to the old cemetery o,, Main St% 'ith a pack o, ,riends and their brand ne' ghost hunting kit and scare some o, their buddies2

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/orks Cited

>uliano! ?ave % G8host .unting 101%G Ghost Hunting 101% N%p%! n%d% /eb% "0 Nov% 201"% Jhttp:FF'''%ghosthunting101%comFK%
G-aranormal :esearch investigation anomalous phenomena scienti,ic $SS$-G -aranormal research investigation anomalous phenomena scienti,ic $SS$-% N%p%!n%d% /eb% 1I 6ct% 201"% Jhttp:FF'''%assap%ac%ukFinde5%htmlK% -otts! >ohn% G8host .unting in the 21st Century%G @rom Shaman to Science: Essays on .umanity=s search ,or spirits 3200 4: 211;2"0% -rint% :ad,ord! (en*amin% G+he Shady Science o, 8host .unting%G Live Science 2D 6ct% 200I n%pag%'''%livescience%com /eb% 22 6ct% 2012

:ountree! ?avid M%% Paranormal technology: understanding the science of ghost hunting% Ne' 1ork: iHniverse Inc%! 2010% -rint