Monday, December 12, 2011

EMF's in Ghost Hunting

EMF’s are a poplar topic in ghost hunting today. The term stands for Electromagnetic Fields, which are a fairly normal natural phenomenon. I won’t bore you too much with a long scientific explanation of EMF’s. There’s a decent brief explanation you can read here, if you are really curious. I mostly want to talk about how they are being used in paranormal research.

Just about every ghost hunting group around has at least one EMF meter (my group has several.) There are a lot of theories that ghosts are made up of electromagnetic energy. If these theories are true, we should be able to detect ghosts using an EMF meter. The problem with this theory (besides the fact that it’s nearly impossible to prove) is that just about every location being investigated has natural EMFs. Anything electronic can potentially give them off and identifying sources can be tricky. I’ve been on investigations where our EMF meter was going crazy the whole night. Part way through we realized it was because of an electric line running directly into the top of the building. On another investigation our meter started going off when it got too close to some silverware set out on a table.

It would be pretty amazing if we could track ghosts using EMF’s. I have seen meters lighting up in what appeared to be direct responses to questions. And there’s something comforting about seeing physical evidence of something unseen going on.

But until we can completely eliminate the possibility of natural EMF’s, I’m not convinced that readings on EMF meters are anything more that coincidence. I’m willing to continue experimenting with EMF meters but it’s something my group rarely bothers to show our clients because there’s always going to be a possible scientific explanation for our readings. I think we need a better understanding of ghosts before this technology is really helpful in researching them.

Do you think ghosts could be made up of electromagnetic energy? Do you think it’s possible to detect ghosts using scientific equipment?


  1. Hmmm. EMF's are used to great effect in Supernatural. That's how Sam and Dean track down ghosts. So what about salt? If you are attacked by a ghost can salt protect you? And iron?

    I think you should do a "Supernatural" post where you talk about the t.v. show and debunk some of the stuff that we see. Like say "If you are ever attacked by a ghost, iron will not save you. But finding the ghost's corpse and burning it will."

  2. That would be an interesting post Michael! Supernatural does a great job of getting the paranormal stuff right but not so much with the science stuff. It would be interesting to compare them!