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!