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As the season of ghouls and goblins approaches, ghost hunters are out in force, and they come packing some pretty sophisticated tools. But you don’t need thousands of dollars worth of equipment to go on a search for unearthly presences How To Become a Paranormal Investigator [Best Sites] How To Become a Paranormal Investigator [Best Sites] Read More !

Several of the tools you need are already right in your smartphone. So grab your phone, turn out the lights, and let’s get to ghost hunting.

How Do These Apps Work?

One of the most important tools of any serious ghost hunter is, conveniently, also in your iPhone: a magnetometer. This tools measures the strength of magnetic fields. Both magnetometers and EMF meters have been used by ghost hunters for years; and while no one has come across any conclusive proof that increased electrical or magnetic fields are associated with hauntings, many ghost hunters swear by them.

ghost-hunting-equipment

An important note about magnetometers: not all phones have them. For example, only the iPhone 3GS and later versions pack them. If you need to figure out whether or not your phone has one, check the specs or run a quick search online. And if your phone doesn’t have one, don’t worry! You can also use your web browser to go ghost hunting Go Ghost Hunting with Your Internet Browser Go Ghost Hunting with Your Internet Browser Read More .

Another piece of equipment that’s used is a sensitive microphone that can be used to pick up electronic voice phenomena (EVP); if ghosts are trying to communicate with you, you may be able to hear their voices in the background of an electronic recording. And while you might not think that you need a special app to record the sounds in a room, ones made specifically for ghost hunting have some useful features for paranormal investigators.

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There are a number of other tools that some apps incorporate, though it’s difficult to pin down what some of them do. For example, one app includes a “spatial displacement tool” that uses “powerful, and proprietary, algorithm to analyze the data presented by the system’s electro-mechanical sensor array.” What that means? I have no idea – but it sure sounds like it’ll help catch a ghost.

Magnetic and Electrical Detectors

If you’re looking for a stripped-down ghost detector, an app like iEMF is a great way to go. This free app will help you monitor fluctuations in magnetic fields that could indicate a presence with you in the room. The pro version ($0.99) offers some useful features like an ambient filter and a low-pass filter to help you make sure that what you’re seeing isn’t just background interference.

ghost-hunting-emf

Another good EMF detector, though not specifically marketed as a ghost-hunting app, is EMF Detector ($0.99). The needle-based display gives the app a bit more of a technical feel, and because it’s not made by ghost hunters, you can be a little less skeptical that it’s giving you spurious readings in the interest of entertainment. And when you’re not ghost hunting, you can use it as a metal detector.

EVP Recorders

Many ghost-hunting apps promise to record EVP for you, but few are as focused on it as Paranormal Recorder. This app combines EMF and EVP, and will only turn on the microphone when it detects abnormal EMF patterns. This means if you’re staying in a haunted hotel, you can leave the app running all night, and you’ll probably only have to listen through a few minutes of recordings to scan for voices.

ghostly-waveform

EVP-PRO, while on the expensive side for an iOS app at $3.99, is a serious EVP-seeking app that lets you easily record EVP sessions and send them to your computer for further analysis. It also contains a camera for capturing visual phenomena, and a ghost-hunting journal for you to take notes, which is a whole lot easier than fumbling with a pen and paper in the dark.

Ghost-Hunting Multitools

While the apps above are focused on a single type of monitoring or recording, there are a number of apps that aim to provide everything you need for investigating the paranormal with your smartphone. Ghost Hunter M2 ($0.99), for example, includes the ability to monitor EMF, EVP, audio detection, and geomagnetic fields. It also includes several other features that are described as using “complex algorithms” and a variety of sensors on your phone. If there’s a ghost out there, and your smartphone can find it, M2 will help.

ghost-in-forest

Ghost Detect Pro ($0.99) similarly offers an entire toolbox of ghost-hunting functions, like EMF and EVP (with a function that will speak to you if it picks up any recognizable words), ghost “radar,” a “super sensitive” microphone, a built-in camera and photo analyzer, and even a quantum flux detector (which presumably works only with phones that contain quantum-flux-detecting hardware). The EMF also displays its readings in different colors depending on the axis in which it detects field fluctuations, giving you a more accurate idea of where to focus your search.

Get Out There!

With these iPhone apps, there’s no excuse not to get out and do some ghost-hunting—whether you’re looking for a previous occupant of your house, a presence in the university library, or malicious spirits in the local courthouse, you’ll have the tools to find them in the palm of your hand! And be sure to share your findings with us—we’d love to hear about what you see out there.

Want to skip the ghost hunting and just read some scary stories to get in the Halloween spirit? Check out some of the best scary websites to spook yourself and your friends Top 8 Scary Websites To Spook Yourself & Your Friends Top 8 Scary Websites To Spook Yourself & Your Friends Bravado says that the web is not a tunnel of horrors. But be warned my friends, there are some scary websites out there. These scary websites may not give the screaming meemies to all of... Read More .

Do you believe in ghosts?

Image credits: moving ghosts on the beach People walking on the beach at sunset. The movement blur makes it spooky. Duo tone (edited) via Shutterstock, Michelle Belanger via flickr, WCGAPS via flickr, Mikael Altemark via flickrghost in a spooky dark forest on halloween with grunge texture via Shutterstock.

  1. Carson Furlong
    June 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I'm a part time Paranormal investigator and usually we employ purpose built hardware during our investigations. But out of intererest I've also tried some of the apps available in the app store... the ones mentioned in the article aren't actually that good, but "Paranormal EMF Recorder" and the well-known Ghost Radio app are actually pretty interesting and are a rather fun complement during our ghost tours. Though I still cannot confirm that the science behind these paranormal apps is 100% solid, but on the other hand, the same goes for all ghost detection equipment...

    • Dann Albright
      June 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Not many of these apps claim to have scientific backing, but it's good to know that even investigators find them entertaining! I'm glad that you took the time to test them out, and that you found some that are interesting.

      • Carson Furlong
        June 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm

        I agree, I believe that Apple and Google are a bit touchy regarding how paranormal apps are described in their app stores... and probably rightly so :) Thanks, Dann for your interesting article. Keep up the good work.

  2. Alexis Hill
    April 25, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Does anyone like to talk to a ghost because I am scared to talk to them

    • Dann Albright
      June 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      The popularity of these apps seems to imply that at least some people would like to. I don't know if anyone enjoys it, but it's clear that some people are interested!

  3. Jay
    March 14, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I downloaded an app and i just seemd to have random words come up that made no sense whatsoever could thid be caused ny backround noise etc ?

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      That's definitely a possibility—if something's messing with the sensors on your phone, you could end up getting a lot of weird things. Are you sure that you have the required sensors on your phone, too? I remember that some of these apps, if you don't have a magnetometer or whatever other sensor they use, are put into "entertainment mode," and just run through a pre-programmed list. That could have something to do with it, too.

  4. Christopher Hale
    February 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    If seeking to either prove or disprove the existence of paranormal phenomena, including ghosts, the technology available today can make the process much easier. Continuing advancements and reduced costs have allowed instruments used in paranormal activities can be bought by a wider range of people.

    • Dann Albright
      February 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

      While I have no idea how much it cost and how difficult it was to get a hold of this sort of tech in the past, it's certainly very affordable now!

  5. Anonymous
    February 11, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Well I am try to lure a ghost to my bedroom by feed only burger. The trough of cream cheese not have worked and he only disturb my dirty magazine.

    • Arianna Watson
      July 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Thats Just Plain Weird. I'm Just Saying.

  6. Craig
    January 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I have ghosts talking to me non stop. They follow me everywhere I go

    • Dann Albright
      January 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Well maybe you should try keep tabs on them with your iPhone!

    • Alexis Hill
      April 25, 2015 at 5:59 am

      What do you mean when they follow you around

    • Alexis Hill
      April 25, 2015 at 6:00 am

      Are nice or mean to you

  7. Deb C
    October 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Very interesting article. I had no idea there were apps like these. It's Halloween and time for quirky things like this. I'll check them out.

    • Dann Albright
      October 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Glad you liked it! You're totally right about this being the time of year for these apps. Have fun trying them out!

  8. Victor
    October 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Get my friends to do it, then scatter some powerful magnets all over the rooms :)

    • Dann Albright
      October 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      That's definitely one good way to use apps like this! When I was playing around with one of them, I noticed that my computer created a pretty big electromagnetic disturbance, so I'm sure you could have some fun with your friends that way!

  9. Chinmay S
    October 24, 2014 at 4:55 am

    I don't believe in ghosts. And even if you see something with a real physical body then that is called thief not ghost.

    • Dann Albright
      October 24, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Well then, you don't have much need for ghost hunting apps, do you? Glad you decided to read the article anyway, though.

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