STRANGE FREQUENCIES: A Practical Guide to Paranormal Technology, Craig Telesha, Whitechapel Press, 2008, softcover.
This is an excellent high-tech ghost hunting guide for the non-techie. That was Craig Telesha’s intent all along and he does a good job of achieving it.
Telesha gives you a basic working knowledge of how the various useful techie tools that lend themselves to ghost hunting work. He also briefly explains how they may be used in investigating hauntings.
The section on photography, for example, suggests which type of camera will be best suited for ghost hunting (single lens reflex), the benefits of analog (film) cameras versus digital cameras, and explains the basic adjustments you can make to the camera (which is what makes an SLR preferable). All that with a prefatory snap history of photography and how taking photos works.
At the summer ghost conference for the American Ghost Society in Decatur, Illinois, Telesha told me two things I found of great interest on this topic: one, old analog devices such as reel-to-reel tape recorders, old microphones, film cameras, etc., provide an image or recording that is of the what-you-see-is-what-you-get variety. There’s no computer chip as middle man.
And this analog stuff is being dumped on eBay for a song (think “Flight of the Bumblebee”) because everyone is switching to digital.
Two, there’s been some success in using an unplugged microwave oven for gathering EVP (electronic voice phenomena) with the microwave acting as a shield to outside electronic interference.
I have an audio recording with Telesha on these specific topics at http://www.associatedcontent.com/audio/9832/low_budget_high_tech_ghost_hunting.html?cat=15
In his book, Telesha raises one more point that comes to mind relating to EVP. Some experimenters using the same location on repeated occasions have substantially more success in recording communications than if they sample many different areas. The implication is that as the spirit accustoms itself to the availability of your recording device, it feels freer to use it.
There’s a look at a new device called Frank’s Box which I saw a presentation on a couple years ago, tape and digital recorders, the use of radio for EVP, how EMF meters work, tips on temperature probes (useful for seeking out “cold spots”) , radar detectors (!), and more, with a chapter on paranormal devices you can build.
The fact is, ghost hunting is only good for obtaining personal experience which no one else is obligated to believe unless you can somehow get a record of what you experience. As Telesha points out, in all the centuries of interaction with the paranormal, the opportunity to record the experiences has only been with us for a short time. Even with all the ghost hunting TV shows that are out there and the seemingly repetitive results produced, it’s still conceivable that high tech ghosthunters may be able to come up with some explanations of the paranormal that have eluded us until now.
It’s a short, concise book which any non-techie can tolerate and as Rosemary Ellen Guilley says in the forward, a book that will become dog-eared through use.