Flashy lights and bits of gear


A very common response we seem to be getting from people who join us for P.I.E. nights is a reaction of nerves; not just towards the Historic Site, but also towards the gear we use!

It’s all high tech and fancy and can look pretty intimidating to someone who’s never had the chance to play with it all before, but for the most part it’s all pretty straight forward and certainly nothing to be scared of.

We use so much gear because we want to track as many variables as possible during an investigation.  Because no one can define exactly what paranormal activity is, we need to cover as much ground as we possibly can, including some things that we as human beings can’t detect without gear to show us.

What does some of the equipment look for?

  • Fluctuations in atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity and air pressure.
  • Fluctuations in the electro-magnetic field (outside of visible light and audible sound etc.)
  • Anomalous sounds and sights (both those perceived at the time and those missed until evidence review)
  • Fluctuations in positive air ions.

So basically all of the equipment you get to use is not necessarily designed to prove the presence of the paranormal (with the exception of video cameras/sound recorders), so much as it is designed to rule out external influences which might contribute to paranormal experiences.

So what does this all mean for investigating?

If you’re wandering through an old house with an EMF meter and it lights up, chances are you’ve stumbled across a field produced by faulty wiring or a security system.  If it’s in a location where people are prone to experiencing odd sensations, there could be a correlation between the EMF and the effect it has on humans.  It makes you wonder about places like the Parsonage and the Commandant’s House, where we have long documented histories about people experiencing the paranormal, and have since discovered substantial EMF leaks from the respective security systems in the buildings.  Is there a link there?  Or are people truly experiencing ghostly apparitions and the like?

Likewise, a sudden drop in temperature doesn’t mean you just walked through Casper, but might be linked to pockets of air in the building.  Or you might feel a sudden drop in ambient temperature, but a thermometer might show that nothing’s happened.

This is why so much flashy gear!



Winter chills

Hi all

The May Investigation is long gone now, and the discs all on their merry way out to their new homes (please let us know if you didn’t get yours yet!).  In fact it’s not too long now ’til the June Investigation, anyone fancy a chilly winter’s night hunting the paranormal?  We still have spaces available (and our awesomely exclusive beanies to give away to keep your heads toasty warm!).

As part of the May investigation I was able to continue the experiment with our CCTV system in the Separate Prison, and with many wires and thingamabobs was able to get a functioning feed going throughout the night.  Sadly it didn’t pick anything up in the way of paranormal activity, but with more work we will achieve our dream of streaming the prison feed into the asylum on the big screen (now there’s a sentence you’ll probably never read anywhere else!).  Fingers crossed.

Thanks to everyone who came along for the May Investigation, and although it was a pretty quiet night all round, if anyone spots anything on those discs please drop us a line and let us know.  Sometimes we might miss things!

This coming investigation will also be part of the training experience for our two new guides, James and Meahd, who will be coming along to see how it all works, and to have a bit of a play with the equipment.  Both James and Meahd have been ghost tour guides at Port Arthur for years, and have plenty of experience to share!  They’ll both be Investigating with their own groups in the coming months.  We’re very happy to welcome some new faces, and they seem pretty keen to start investigating.  

In other news, we recently also played host to a Malaysian film crew, who dropped by to do a brief spot of filming with us as part of a broader tour of Tasmania.  They were more after a bit of a thrill, and perhaps less interested in the theory and equipment than we would’ve liked, but it was still a fun experience and a bit of a laugh for all involved.

Finally, don’t forget you can keep up to date with our thrilling blog by subscribing by email on our home page.  Go on, you know you want to!

Got a question for the paranormal team?  Send us an email at paranormal@portarthur,org.au or leave a comment here on the blog.

“Is there anybody there?”

Welcome to our Paranormal Investigation Experience Blog.  Here we will post everything funny, scary, exciting and otherwise that happen on our investigations, because, let’s face it, things can get a little unusual in the dark!

First up – if you haven’t already checked out our website, go here :


Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  Why not book yourself in to come along for an evening of investigation whilst you’re browsing that link 🙂

Anyway, after months and months of hard work the Investigations are finally up and running, with the first intrepid group taking on the haunted buildings on February 25th.  The next evening will be March 31st, and is filling up quite quickly.  This next experience will be a little different to the last, with a side trip to Trentham Cottage planned due to special guests on the tour.

Coming up in April we’ll be introducing SEA FM’s breakfast show hosts Matt and LC to the joys of Paranormal Investigation, look out for their Fright Night promotion starting up soon for the chance to come along and see whether or not they can cope with the highs and lows of seeking ghosties.

Our gear is all prepped and ready to go, with the recent addition of a GAMMASCOUT Geiger Counter, and in the near future we should hopefully be sporting Ion Counters and even the infamous Frank’s box (it remains to be seen whether this will be a positive addition or not!).  We’re loving the experience of getting to use our Zoom H4n sound recorders, and so far these handy little devices have already ruled out possible electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) as general stomach rumblings, nervous whispers and the like.

So what did we find on our first Investigation? Well, not very much at all.  There were a few EMF hotspots in odd locations (an electricity-free, underground basement room should perhaps not be generating large fields!) and a small encounter with bats in the Parsonage, but no dramatic encounters with full bodied apparitions so far.