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Toys... er, I mean, Equipment!
Recently (April 21st, 2001) I caved in and actually bought an EMF Detector and one thing I did want to get, a "lab" thermometer.
To tell the truth, I don't believe we really needed or want these toys as Torontoghosts' is not out to prove or disprove the existence of any phenomena but simply tell the history, legends, mythos and first hand accounts of ghosts and hauntings throughout the province BUT every time we deal with the media and even some users, they want to see TOYS! They want lights flashing, things beeping and the brighter and louder, the better.
Now, my views on EMF detectors haven't changed. They are NOT accurate measuring devices and I've seen documentaries with "scientists" running around with them moving them all about rapidly spouting numbers to some poor schlep who's madly trying to take down these figures.
"Hello, reality to television parapsychologists: Movement causes electric fields! Telephone and electrical cables in walls WILL set off EMF detectors! And, as proven at the recent Haunted Hamilton Meet and Greet, fluorescent lights send these things into OVERDRIVE!"
BUT, I do now see ONE possibility... My EMF detector makes a lovely, NASTY noise when it picks up any "fields" so here's a plan...
- First, enter your "hot" room (room or space with a lot of reported activity that you wish to check on,) with EMF detector.
- Note all air vents and possible electric devices that might affect it. (ie: Televisions, fans, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, etc.)
- Take your initial readings from a STILL surface (coffee table or something like that. DO NOT wave or move the detector.
- LEAVE THE ROOM AND BAR YOUR GROUP FROM ENTERING. Tell them that if they are within a twelve-foot area of the room's doors or in an adjoining room to note ALL electrical devices in use or that they might use and times that these devices are turned on and off.
- Wait to see if the noise audibly increases from the room PROVIDED that there is no outside interference.
Now, I don't know about you (the reader,) BUT if my EMF detector suddenly, in an "empty" room with no external source suddenly started "squealing" uncontrollably, I don't think it proves anything but it would be definitely something to note especially if other phenomena was reported at the same time.
Now, the thermometer was another "good toy" even though I still adhere to us not trying to prove or disprove. I have experienced "cold spots" and would, next time I experience one, love to get an actual reading and see if there is a physical temperature drop.
Again, I would caution ALL researchers to FIRST look for "natural" reasons... Air vents, open windows, fans, etc.
We will be using these tools when out at haunted sites BUT after much chatting to not only some experts in physics, electricians and even the folks at a local science shop, I will not be using them on exterior investigations. Nature, naturally, can and will throw a spanner into your works and you will almost definitely get false readings.
Now, this is NOT a paid advertisement and we are receiving NO money or consideration for this BUT the new toys can be purchased by anyone at Efston Science near the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. (401 and Dufferin.)
The total cost for both our new gizmos was UNDER $140 CANADIAN and included all necessary batteries... (thermometer came with one and EMF detector required a nine-volt.)
The equipment we have bought is a "Gauss Master" EMF Detector and a Checktemp 1 Lab Thermometer. Jennifer and I tested them both and they do truly meet all our requirements and I would see them as inexpensive and useful equipment to any researcher.
So, we broke down and now when asked "What equipment do you have?", we can now answer yes to an EMF detector and a sensitive thermometer.
By the way, the thermometer comes with a "probe" which has been the cause of many GREAT jokes!
What would we like to get next? Easy, night-vision video equipment and possibly thermal imaging equipment... and a proton energy pack. (That's the "Ray Gun Backpack" used by the Ghostbusters(tm))
Matthew Didier - Director