EMF Meters and Ghost Hunting

By Dave Juliano (davejuliano@theshadowlands.net)


As I answer emailed questions and surf through paranormal websites, it has become apparent to me that there are many groups out there using a lot of the same equipment but without any idea of how it works or why they are using it.    Hopefully, I can help with one of the more misunderstood pieces of equipment, the EMF meter.

<>Here's the run down on Electromagnetic fields.  As the name implies, they consist of two parts: electric and magnetic.    EMF fields come from a variety of sources - electrical appliances, power lines, batteries, etc.    The electric portion of the field stays fairly close to the source and it is read using the unit of measure called a nanoTesla.   The magnetic portion of the field goes out much further and that is measured in a unit called a milliGauss.     The frequencies that are found are ELF and VLF (extremely low frequency and very low frequency).   The meters we use in this field are made to detect ELF (60 Hz).  <>

Ghost researchers/hunters are looking for readings in the 2 to 7 milliGauss range.   mG is the range that most EMF meters you will come across measure.   More important than the actual mG amount is that you obtain a brief positive EMF reading that you cannot get again in that same area.   If you can get the reading again, it has a natural source.  If you cannot, then you have found something that should not exist, a moving or disappearing EMF field.    For example, you have a stationary EMF meter sitting on a desk and it suddenly sounds its alarm for a few seconds then stops.   This means that a moving EMF field entered the area that the meter was covering and left that area seconds later.    Unless someone walked by with a power source of some kind (some rechargeable batteries will give false positive readings), then you just had something unexplainable happen.   If the meter's alarm stayed on for minutes instead of seconds, then there are most likely natural explanations for the positive reading, such as power being turned on somewhere on the floors above or below where the meter is sitting or it is the meter's low battery warning.    Walking around with an EMF meter is trickier because you are changing the area that the meter is covering as you walk - if you suddenly get a steady low reading, then you should continue to walk in a direction in which the reading is getting stronger.  It will lead you right to a natural source of EMF and you can mark that area and make note that you could get false positive readings there.   Remember to move the meter up and down too in case the false reading is coming from the ceiling or floor because there are power sources typically present in both.   Now, if you are walking around and you get a short positive reading and you cannot get any other reading in that same area, then you have a positive EMF reading.

How does this tie into ghosts?   I have stood face to face with a spirit and had an EMF meter in my hand do nothing and other times I have had it detect an EMF fluctuation.   How spirits and EMF's relate is still unknown, but there are plenty of theories, each of which just as plausible as the rest.  We do know that low level EMF fluctuations in the 2mg – 7mg range are often found in places reporting spirit activity.   That is the significance of getting a positive EMF reading.    You are recording events that are similar to other known haunted locations and are unexplainable.  EMF meters, like most of the equipment we use, are simply guides to let us know there is something unusually or unexplainable going on in a location.   



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