Investigative Equipment

Basic Equipment
Digital Camera

The camera is one of the most commonly used tools in paranormal investigation. They are used to document the layout of the investigation site. We take photos of all the locations and significant items reported in the claims. Cameras with infrared, full spectrum, or low light capabilities are a benefit and may be used in poor lighting conditions, or if we suspect that there may be something that will not show up in the visible spectrum. Occasional anomalies may show up in photos, these will be investigated and documented in the case files.

Evidence captured on a camera is reliable, within the limits of its correct usage. Photos taken in poor conditions, objects out of the focal range, outside the depth of field, or without sufficient lighting can cause effects that are often mistaken for paranormal anomalies. One such anomaly, the orb, is most often the result of dust, water vapor, insects, or other airborne objects close to the camera and flash, a condition commonly known as close proximity contamination. When reviewing photographic evidence, always look for multiple images of the same frame for comparison, as well as other forms of evidence such as video, audio, or EM to support the claims.

Sunset PRI currently has 1 digital camera, 1 digital IR capable camera,  
1 IR video camera, and a video flashlight for investigations.

Voice Recorder

An audio recorder is another very common tool used in paranormal investigation. Primarily used to document the interviews and set up audio coverage during an investigation. As with photos, occasional anomalies may show up in photos, these will be investigated and documented in the case files. We always use multiple recorders to identify the location and likely source of any unexplained sounds.

Sunset PRI currently has 5 voice recorders for use on investigations.

DVR or CCTV Camera system

Primarily used for surveillance when staking out the investigation site.  
These cameras allow the investigator to monitor and record activity in multiple locations.  While they may record anomalies in the same way as regular cameras, they are primarily used for observation and confirmation of any activity reported.

Sunset PRI does not currently have a DVR system for our investigations.

Trap or Game Cameras

An alternative to a DVR/CCTV system, these cameras are battery operated weather resistant and portable.  Trap cameras only film video or still photos when activated by motion in the area.   Many models can also be set to take sequential stills and time lapse photos.  They are infrared capable.

Sunset PRI currently has 2 Trap cameras for use on investigations.

EM Meters

EM, or electromagnetic field meters are widely used in contemporary paranormal investigation. They do not really have much use when doing   an analysis of a person's claims, they do tell us about any electromagnetic influences that may be related to the claimants experiences.  The effects of electromagnetic fields on people and the environment is still in question, though some claim that exposure to prolonged or high levels can cause health issues, including hallucinations.

Natural EM Meter

The natural EM Meter is a special filtered form of EM meter that was designed specifically for geological and biological studies. Unlike other trifield meters, this meter is single axis. (to identify geo-magnetic orientation.) Regular EM meters measure fluctuations in magnetic fields, which include all AC based electrical systems. The natural EM meter filters out common AC electrical (60 Hz) in order to focus on fluctuations of DC based electromagnetic fields common in geological as well as bio-electrical activity. These meters can also isolate electrical fields and even Raido signals in the area.  Because they can help identify the type of EM field in the area, some investigators prefer natural EM meters over other common EM meters for paranormal research.

Sunset PRI currently has 1 K-II meter and 1 Natural EM meter for investigations.


Like other devices listed here, Thermometers are primarily used to 
evaluate the environmental influences that may contribute to paranormal experiences.    Documentation of the temperature and temperature 
changes is valuable supporting information for the review of an investigation. 

Ambient Thermometer

A thermometer that measures the ambient air temperature is a useful source for baseline data in all investigations. A weather station that measures humidity, and air pressure is even more useful than a basic thermometer. Thermometers and weather stations are best used as baseline data to compare and support other forms of evidence, and as an attempt to define the conditions then a person encounters a paranormal event. 
Drastic changes (more that 10 or 15 Degrees ) in ambient temperature are often reported in paranormal claims, and should be documented if they occur.

IR "Non-Contact" Thermometer

IR thermometers are used to to measure the temperature of the surface of an object. Given a broad aspect ratio, the average measure of room temperature objects can estimate the ambient temperature in an area. Like ambient thermometers, multiple readings (of the same object) that show a drastic change in temperature can show possible paranormal activity, but allows us to estimate a location for the event. Like the camera, this requires multiple documented readings in order to show any changes that might be occurring. The drawback to non-contact thermometers is that slight movement in the target location can cause large differences in the average temperature that the device is reading. Laser sighted thermometers can help maintain repeat ability by showing the investigator where the device is actually pointing.