|Ghost Hunting Equipment - Divining Rods
Detect and Speak with Spirits
Dowsing is a type of divination employed
in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones,
oil, gravesites, and many other objects and materials, as well as
so-called currents of earth radiation (Ley lines), and it is also used
to detect and speak with spirits without the use of a scientific
dowsing has never been scientifically proven to work in a controlled
setting, the practice remains popular in many parts of the world.
been suggested that humans may be able to sense electric and magnetic
energy that's invisible to the eye (as many animals can) and
subconsciously manipulate the dowsing rods or pendulum to reflect that
Dowsing is also known as divining (especially in reference to
interpretation of results), doodlebugging (in the US), or (when
searching specifically for water) water finding or water witching.
A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod, called a dowsing rod, divining rod (Latin:
virgula divina or baculus divinatorius) or witching rod is sometimes
used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no
equipment at all.
Dowsing appears to have arisen in the context of
Renaissance magic in Germany, and it remains popular among believers in
Forteana or radiesthesia although there is no accepted scientific
rationale behind the concept and no scientific evidence that it is
Like most tools used in the
field of ghost hunting and the paranormal, the dowsing rods have
believers and non-believers. Many people are happy with the experiences
they have with dowsing rods, while skeptics believe that dowsing has no
science behind it other then it is a placebo effect.
Believers will generally believe that dowsing has to do with energy and
magnetic fields, while skeptics believe that dowsing has to do with your
subconscious mind controlling the rods which is known as the ideomotor
effect (people's subconscious minds may influence their bodies without
consciously deciding to take action).
How to use Divining Rods
Using Divining Rods for Ghost Hunting
Leading ghost expert Richard Felix tells you everything you need to know about how to become a successful ghost hunter.
Richard uses dowsing rods to find a spirit.
Dowsing as practiced today may have originated
in Germany during the 15th century, when it was used to find metals. As
early as 1518 Martin Luther listed dowsing for metals as an act that
broke the first commandment (i.e., as occultism).
The 1550 edition of
Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia contains a woodcut of a dowser with
forked rod in hand walking over a cutaway image of a mining operation.
The rod is labelled "Virgula Divina – Glück rüt" (Latin: divine rod;
German "Wünschelrute": fortune rod or stick), but there is no text
accompanying the woodcut. By 1556 Georgius Agricola's treatment of
mining and smelting of ore, De Re Metallica, included a detailed
description of dowsing for metal ore.
In 1662 dowsing was declared to be "superstitious, or rather satanic" by
a Jesuit, Gaspar Schott, though he later noted that he wasn't sure that
the devil was always responsible for the movement of the rod.
Besides dowsing, divining rods were also used as revelatory devices.
Sometimes a rod would be held up in the air, and the rodman would ask a
question. If the rod moved, the answer was "yes". If it did not move,
the answer was "no".
The source for this was believed to be either magical spirits or God;
sometimes these types of rods were referred to as a "Mosaic rod" or "rod
of Aaron", referencing the Old Testament prophet Moses and his brother
Aaron, who both used rods (presumably straight ones).
How to use a Pendulum
Basic information on how to use a pendulum (dowsing).
A pendulum of crystal, metal or other materials suspended on a chain is sometimes used in divination and dowsing.
In one approach the user first determines which direction (left-right,
up-down) will indicate "yes" and which "no" before proceeding to ask the
pendulum specific questions, or else another person may pose questions
to the person holding the pendulum.
The pendulum may also be used over a pad or cloth with "yes" and "no"
written on it and perhaps other words written in a circle.
The person holding the pendulum aims to hold it as steadily as possible
over the center and its movements are held to indicate answers to the
In the practice of radiesthesia, a pendulum is used for medical diagnosis.
Dowsing Rods at a Haunted Hotel
A Ghost Hunting team uses diving rods to speak to the spirits at a haunted hotel location.
A 1948 study tested 58 dowsers'
ability to detect water. None of them was more reliable than chance. A
1979 review examined many controlled studies of dowsing for water, and
found that none of them showed better than chance results.
In a study in Munich 1987-1988 by Hans-Dieter Betz and other scientists,
500 dowsers were initially tested for their "skill" and the
experimenters selected the best 43 among them for further tests.
Water was pumped through a pipe on the ground floor of a two-story barn.
Before each test the pipe was moved in a direction perpendicular to the
On the upper floor each dowser was asked to determine the position of
the pipe. Over two years the dowsers performed 843 such tests. Of the 43
pre-selected and extensively tested candidates at least 37 showed no
The results from the remaining 6 were said to be better than chance,
resulting in the experimenters' conclusion that some dowsers "in
particular tasks, showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which
can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance ... a real core of
dowser-phenomena can be regarded as empirically proven."
Five years after the Munich study was published, Jim T. Enright, a
professor of physiology and a leading skeptic who emphasised correct
data analysis procedure, contended that the study's results are merely
consistent with statistical fluctuations and not significant.
Dowsing as practiced today may have originated in Germany during the 15th century, when it was used to find metals.
He believed the experiments provided "the most convincing
disproof imaginable that dowsers can do what they claim," stating that
the data analysis was "special, unconventional and customized."
Replacing it with "more ordinary analyses,"he noted that the best dowser
was on average 4 millimeters out of 10 meters closer to a mid-line
guess, an advantage of 0.0004%.
The study's authors responded, saying "on what grounds could Enright
come to entirely different conclusions? Apparently his data analysis was
too crude, even illegitimate."
The findings of the Munich study were also confirmed in a paper by Dr.
S. Ertel, a German psychologist who had previously intervened in the
statistical controversy surrounding the "Mars effect", but Enright
More recently a study was undertaken in Kassel, Germany under the
direction of the Gesellschaft zur Wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von
Parawissenschaften (GWUP) [Society for the Scientific Investigation of
The three-day test of some 30 dowsers involved plastic pipes through
which water flow could be controlled and directed.
The pipes were buried
50 centimeters under a level field, the position of each marked on the
surface with a colored strip. The dowsers had to tell whether water was
running through each pipe.
All the dowsers signed a statement agreeing this was a fair test of
their abilities and that they expected a 100 percent success rate,
however the results were no better than chance.
Some researchers have
investigated possible physical or geophysical explanations for alleged
dowsing abilities. One study concluded that dowsers "respond" to a 60 Hz
electromagnetic field, but this response does not occur if the kidney
area or head are shielded.
Build Your Own Divining Rods
Pastor Lucy Baker shows how to make and program your own dowsing rods using two wire coat hangers and a pair of wire cutters.
Make your own divining rods in three easy steps:
||Acquire two lengths of wire, each about 20 inches long. Alternately, you can straighten two wire coat hangers.
||Bend each wire about 5 inches from one end. This short end will be the handle.
||For handles, a length of
1" dowel rod, with a hole down the center, or several cotton reels glued
together will do very nicely. Some people even use Biro pens/felt pens
with the centers removed.