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Ghost hunting equipment and how it works

Ghost hunting equipment and how it works, explained by the paranormal pros

Paranormal investigators use a variety of tools in their trade, but not everyone is familiar with them.

Lead investigator Dylan Lane and fellow investigator Tyler Tennell, with Concho Valley Paranormal, shared how some of their most frequently used items work.

The Xcam SLS

An SLS camera (Structured Light Sensor), according to, "has an infrared light projector with a monochrome CMOS sensor that shows everything as dots arranged in 3D formation. ... The software 'sees' people by recognizing joints and movements. The IR will detect paranormal entities that the program recognizes as a human shape based on the body parts and joints.”

The investigator will aim the SLS at an area, and if a spirit is there, it will show up as a stick figure like person. If a person walks in front of the SLS, it will show a stick figure and the outline of the person. A spirit will not have that outline.

"If I was to shine it down a hallway and a random stick figure pops up, it's mapping out a humanoid object," Lane said.

The SLS, often used by paranormal investigators, was invented by renowned engineer Bill Chapel and is based off Kinect gaming technology. It runs on a different type of program for paranormal investigations, Tennell said.

The REM pod

In the field, Concho Valley Paranormal has used an REM pod (Radiating ElectroMagneticity) at one of the most famous Texas haunts: Yorktown Memorial Hospital.

The small device has an antenna with its own electromagnetic field it and reacts when anything gets near it. The pod went off repeatedly throughout their investigation.

"If we set this on a hallway or a staircase ... and it starts (lighting up and making noise) it's a high form of electromagnetic energy doing it," Lane said.

If the pod is placed near an electrical outlet or a light, it will go off the whole time, Lane said.

The device also has ambient temperature deviation detection.

The Ovilus is "basically a Speak & Spell for ghosts," Tennell said. The device contains a database of words and syllables, and after a question is asked, changes in temperature or magnetic fields caused by spirits can draw an auditory response from the device. When the Ovilus first turns on, users are supposed to let it warm up a bit because it can give false responses. "It has all these words programmed into it ... which is why it's so weird when it says something intelligent, like a person's name," Tennell said. A paranormal crew at the Olde Park Hotel in Ballinger received an "intelligent response," giving Tennell's name, followed by the word "friend." The crew quickly contacted Tennell to let him know. EMF detector Similar to the EVP detector, the Electromagnetic Field detector is another tool spirits can use to speak to investigators. Some investigators use it to get yes or no responses from spirits. The level of lights on the EMF detector reflect the level of electromagnetic energy. If held to a light, the detector will go off. If the lights stay at a constant level, it proves that the cause is natural electricity, Lane said. Generally, the investigator asks the presence to touch the device for yes, causing the light level to increase. "We've actually had this happen at the Olde Park Hotel," Lane said. When using the EMF, the user should hold the device by their fingertips and away from their body. This is to avoid the natural electricity generated by people. Users also need to try and be in the middle of the room and away from objects to avoid interference. Mel Meter

"Basically, this is a good combo of a couple of devices," Tennell said of the Mel Meter. This device has an antenna that detects motion like the REM pod's antenna. It also has a temperature gauge and electromagnetic field detection. If a presence appears around it, a sound will go off. "This is good to use because usually a drop in temperature means something is trying to gather energy," Tennell said. ARTICLE FROM:

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