So, just what do you need to have to be a ghost hunter or paranormal investigator? Is there any benefit in buying a sack load of gadgets? Well, personally I think not. However, it very much depends on what you think ghosts are. You have to decide that before you can possibly select the right tool to detect them, unless of course you can afford to buy one of everything and have a go with them all!
You have to think about what your chosen 'gadget' is designed to detect and whether it fits in with your own theory regarding paranormal manifestations. It is also worth remembering that ghosts have been experienced for thousands of years and it is only perhaps the last hundred years that we've had the technology that is widely available to all. So what's the relevance of that? Only that in my opinion, most people have been turned from sceptics to believers without need of detecting equipment and the chances are that it will be a personal experience that will tell you what you want to know - i.e that ghosts DO exist. I don't believe that any piece of kit can tell you anything more useful than what you can sense with your own body.
This is where I hear the yells and calls of the investigation teams as I denounce their favourite tools. As I say, its a personal opinion, but one I stand by. The EMF meters, thermostats, lasers, EVP recorders and night vision scopes are brilliant at what they do, but how many of the people that use them understand the technology on an in-depth level (some professionals, but not many) and how many can translate the findings to proof of ghosts? I'm sure I would have seen something on the news if that had happened. Yes, they might be able to indicate fluctuations in whatever it is they are detecting, but a fluctuation isn't going to convince any but those already wanting a reason to believe. But its not personal beliefs that are at stake are they? Most of the teams using these kits are out to convince the world, to capture that elusive 'proof' and to be the ones to show everyone else that they've shown ghosts to be 'real'. That is all very well and good luck to them, but for the ordinary individual with a genuine interest in the subject you would do well to not get involved with those preaching their beliefs and start by examining your own. It took me a long time to formulate my own beliefs, but it was a journey worth the taking.
I have come to think ghost sightings to be one persons brief connection with the consciousness of another, dead or living. As such I don't believe you can photograph, video or measure this in anyway outside the brain of the individual having the experience. For this reason I don't carry electronic equipment for any other reason than to explain outside influences on my own body. If I feel cold, its because it is cold. It being cold doesn't indicate a ghost, it just means I'm more likely to have over-sensitive skin etc.
It is important to distinguish between ghost sightings and other paranormal phenomena. My notion of ghosts perhaps has more in common with out of body experiences than anything else, but if you're going to have an unproven theory its best to have one you are truly willing to argue and debate, and debate it often I do!
The most, most, most important thing to remember though is that these 'ghosts' were once people. People with feelings, families, happy times and tragic times. Whether you find evidence of your ghost is largely irrelevant when compared to the importance of learning these peoples lives and keeping them alive in our society. Yes, its cool to see a dark figure disappear into priest hole, but it is a worthless experience if you don't understand why he had to be there in the first place and what he would have been feeling at the time. Remember the people and the times in which they lived and you can step into their world far more authentically than looking at a dot on a photograph, trying to decide if it is 'proof'....