EMF Devices

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They’re Not What You Think

Paranormal Research Tools

Not long ago, there were some valid criticisms with the technique of using an EMF detectors by paranormal researchers and investigators; especially with those claiming to be expert ‘ghost hunters’ and ‘paranormal researchers’ using EMF meters for something other than what it was originally intended. EMF meters were specifically designed for utility professionals looking for power line and electrical irregularities that are out of the norm, for which they used these devices so that they could steadily pickup the anomalies, and follow them to their source. Who came up with the idea that ghosts, spirits, entities, and E.T.s, may be detectable by them is unknown and the debate rages on.

Today these tools are not being designed and marketed exclusively to utility workers any more. I have seen more and more EMF readers being designed and marketed to people interested in using them for paranormal-related research. Many models include lights that blink, flash and even buzz when when there is a sudden change in the normal levels; and some models are being sold with names like “the ghost meter EMF sensor.” All this marketing suggests the spike in demand for these tools are due to all the ghost hunters and weekend hobbyists who are buying them without really understanding them.

What’s more annoying, is that some skeptics have been using electromagnetic energy as a basis for looking at natural causes for paranormal sightings. In other words, even the skeptics are beginning to have similar theories as do the believers. As a matter of fact, some skeptics have been wondering as long ago as the 1970s if electromagnetic energy is causing people to perceive the existence of ghosts and/or other paranormal activity. Skeptical researchers, such as Michael Persinger have done experiments in such buildings that were claimed to be a “haunted” but are deliberately chosen only if they have unusual reading of strong electromagnetic energy, to see if those exposed would claim to have a “ghostly experience.”

What is EMF Exactly?

First of all, let’s clear up a mistake everybody makes in believing that EMF is caused by an ‘Electro-Magnetic Field’ when in all actuality, EMF is caused by a physical force, known as an ‘Electro-Motive Force.’ That force that causes electrons to flow through an electrical circuit and produce an electrical current.

Because it is not really a force, the term is actually a misnomer; it is more commonly referred to by the initials EMF. EMF is another term for ‘electrical potential,’ or the difference in charge across a battery or voltage source. It’s the potential difference in force of the electrical circuit as the current moves away from its source. Much like water flowing downhill, so is the electrical charge in an electric circuit.

The water starting at the top of the hill begins with a certain amount of ‘potential energy,’ just as charges in a circuit start with high electrical potential at its source, or battery. As the water flows downhill, its potential energy drops, as does the ‘electrical potential’ of the electrical charge drops the further it moves through the circuit. At the bottom of the hill, the potential energy of the charge is at a minimum. EMF is what measures this to determine what work must be performed, to bring the charge back to a higher potential after their trip through the circuit. Much like a pump would do to water, to get it back uphill.

EMF Defined

Somehow the term EMF meter has become universally accepted to represent ‘Electro Magnetic Field’ by paranormal investigators and has now even been adopted by equipment manufacturers. In this case, we will use both terms to explain what it is, and how it can better be understood, before we review the equipment. So for now, we will continue to use the terms ‘EMF meter’ and ‘EMF force’ to differentiate the difference for EMF readings.

The strength of electromagnetic field is affected by the source (current and charge strength) in the environment. In is gauged by its proportional strength from the source. For example, if your magnetic field is generated by a current, then if you double the strength of the current, the strength of your magnetic field will also double, but when measured a distance away, the as the current weakens the magnetic field will as well.

The measurement that is normally given as the units to measure electro magnetic field strength is ‘milliGauss (mG)’ or micro Tesla (named after Nicolas Tesla). The EMF devices used in paranormal research are thus called ‘EMF meters,’ when in reality they are only Magnetic Field Detectors. Thus it’s worth pointing out that although many EMF meters provide their measurements in milliGauss (mG) the actual unit of measure is called the S.I. Unit (International System of Units), a standard and preferred unit of measurement by scientists.

Ghosts, Spirits, Entities and Electromagnetic Fields

You asked, “What evidence is available to prove that a ghost causes or even raises an EMF field?” It has been proven that when a ghost is sighted there is normally a high EMF reading (significant from base/background readings). Whether the EMF is *caused* by the ghost—or whether something else causes the EMF is a subject of debate.

Strong EMF’s that move (through walls, through different stories of a building) are certainly NOT normal. These are unlikely to be caused by man-made power lines, or electrical equipment—which are stationary EMF’s. In my opinion, strong moving electromagnetic fields can be a good indication of paranormal activity. I have found that moving EMF’s will either move away from me, or follow me. In one case, I was able to follow a moving EMF through three floors of a building before it disappeared.

Reading a TriField Natural EMF Meter

The TriField Natural EM Meter was designed to do field measurements for special research. It detects changes in extremely weak static (DC or “natural” or living) electric and magnetic fields, and signals with both a tone and the movement of a needle-type gauge if either the electric or magnetic field changes from a previous level. A radio and microwave detector is also included, which reads radio power directly. Because man-made AC electric and magnetic fields are very common and could interfere with readings of static fields, the meter has been designed to ignore AC fields. Normal construction materials don’t block magnetic fields, so the meter can be placed indoors and will work equally well, and due to the built-in tone, it can be used in the dark, and will sound the tone at whatever level of field the user sets. Model 1 operates on a standard 9-volt battery, and Model 2 runs on a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter (both included). Model 2 has an input jack for an optional high-sensitivity magnetic coil. Both models are covered by a one-year warranty.

The Difference Between AC and DC Magnetic Fields


The meter on this unit is sensitive to changes of as little as 0.5% of the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, and the tone will sound whether the field increases or decreases. Model 2 is sensitive down to 0.05% of the Earth’s magnetic field when the optional external coil is used. After the meter detects an event, when the magnetic field then becomes stable for more than about five seconds, the tone will stop and the needle will return to zero. The meter will remain at rest until the field changes again. The threshold level (squelch level) of the tone is adjustable. The user determines the amount of change in the magnetic field required to sound the tone. If the field changes by the threshold amount, the tone will come on at a low pitch. If the amount of change is larger, the tone’s pitch will be higher. This meter can also be used to determine if anything is magnetized. For example, if a bed frame is magnetized, the meter can be held vertically and slowly be swept by hand over the bed. Any changes in the direction or strength of the magnetic field will register. A similar process can reveal the presence of magnetic rocks just below the ground.

The TriField Natural EM Meter can detect geomagnetic storms caused by unusual solar activity interacting with the ionosphere (which results in rapid changes of up to 10% in the Earth’s magnetic field), as well as the electrical activity of ordinary thunderstorms. It will signal the movement of any distant, strong magnetic sources in the sky, even if the sky is cloudy or the source dips behind a hill. Ball lightning should in theory be associated with a strong magnetic field, and magnetization of metal on the ground has been reported with some sightings of unusual lights in the sky.


When the dial is set to ELECTRIC, the meter is sensitive to electric fields as weak as 3 V/m (volts per meter). Indoors, electric fields typically fluctuate 1 or 2 V/m. By setting the minimum sensitivity to change at 3 V/m, we have designed the meter to disregard this “background noise”. A 3V/m field is so feeble that if a 10’x10’x10′ room were filled with a field of this strength, it would contain the total amount of energy equivalent to that required to lift a single grain of table salt 1/50th of an inch.

Human beings and animals usually emit an electric field which is easily detectable using the TriField Natural EM Meter. In fact, the meter can be used as a motion-activated intruder alarm. It is so sensitive that it can detect the presence of a person through a wall. Though it is not foolproof in this capacity, (sometimes a person will carry no electric charge and thus be “invisible” to the meter), its sensitivity is of interest to researchers in the field of parapsychology. Every type of detectable physical manifestation requires a certain amount of energy. For example, “moving air” requires the expenditure of a small amount of energy to get the air to move initially.

Below is a table showing several types of effects or fields emitted by people and objects. It also shows the minimum amount of energy required (per cubic foot of air) to set up that effect or field so that it is stronger than typical indoor “background noise” for that effect or field. Clearly the static electric field is the type that requires the least energy to be detectable.


 The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Oh, that again.


The radio/microwave detector is sensitive from 100,000 to 2.5 billion oscillations per second (100 KHz to 2.5 GHz) and can detect strong or unusual atmospheric electrical activity. It can also detect leaky microwave ovens, cellular or portable phones, walkie-talkies and concealed surveillance bugs. Its minimum and maximum detectable signal strengths are 0.01 milliwatt/cm2 and 1 milliwatt/cm2 respectively.


The TriField Natural EMF Meters is by far the most preferred unity by paranormal and parapsychology research teams. Because a room can easily be measured that is known to be vacant, and where no electrical energy is present. As well as an early warning system if any unusual atmospheric electromagnetic activity, such as geomagnetic storms or ball lightning is present. In this setting, it does not falsely sound the trigger when people pass near it.

Sorting Through ALL the Choices

Gauss Multi-Detector

Similar in function to the EMF Meter in that it detects Gauss Fields, but on a far more sensitive level. This handy tool measures values in both Electrostatic and Electromagnetic scales independently and with high accuracy. Using a corresponding colored bank of LED lights and a field strength rating capability ranging from .00001 to 1.0 on both the Electrostatic and Electromagnetic scales, this moderately priced instrument is a must for the serious investigator. Some of the more modern models come with a built in audible signal feature as well.

Gauss Master Meter

A single axis Gauss meter that claims to detect paranormal activity within a given area via of the Electromagnetic Smog signature such activity creates. These instruments are sometimes surprisingly accurate with a comparative reaction time to the presence of a Gauss field that easily doubles the reaction time capable using its close cousin the CellSensor. However, DHPR discovered that on the three units we tested, each unit report differently, as if they were calibrated to a different sensitivity for alarming. A color coded graph helps indicate the level of a field’s intensity at a glance.

Just as there are different nails used for different tasks and yet they are all basically capable of doing the same chore more or less, the same can be said for Gauss meters. The sensitivity, ultra fast reactivate, extended detection range and audible tone that these meters are capable of make them a precision instrument designed for those specific situations where such qualities would be an asset to the safety of the team involved.

In other words, you’ll be disappointed…don’t bother.

K-IIs EMF Meter

Just like in other fields of serious scientific study, you have one tool better suited for a situation than another. Sometimes silence is golden or the weather is less than favorable for electronics. This weatherproof meter is made for abuse. 5 led lights that notifies you of different levels of Electro-Magnetic Fields. The led lights makes it easy to use the meter in the dark. Man made EMF will stay steady. Paranormal activity will produce continuous spiking of the meter (a spirit emits a pulsating electromagnetic field). As soon as the meter goes to the 2nd light you have a higher than normal field of electromagnet energy. EMF is always around us. We even emit a small field ourselves. This meter is said that it will only alert you when you have a field that is worth noticing. But we found that to be nearly anything higher than normal, that cause the meter to go all the way up to the highest level and make the meter flash (spiking).


Said to be able to detect Electrostatic (Telsa) and Electromagnetic (Gauss) fields with EXTREMELY high sensitivity, very high range and accuracy. Integrated, switchable frequency filter to allow monitoring of frequency fields (VLF/RF and ELF) separately. NOT so. The lights are supposed to give the user the ability to read results in darkened areas. Dual use meter featuring RF measurement as well as a single axis EMF gauss meter for basic combination detection of EMR as well as ESR. RF meter measures the intensity of radio frequency radiation. Two analog scales: HIGH sensitivity 0-1 mW/cm²², and NORMAL sensitivity 0-10 mW/cm²². Remote probe with 2 foot extension cord allows user comfortable flexibility and reach. Both RF and Gauss meter provide audio sound and large flashing light which corresponds to abnormal spikes in field strength.

NOTE: The drawback here is that these units are only LED alerting, and the user becomes too accustomed to listening for sound or the light to flash to signal EMF activity in a specific area. Research dictates readings should be constantly monitored and logged if anomalies are noted. We were able to detect readings that could have signaled paranormal phenomena occurring on the TriField and KII that went undetected by the ELF’s ‘sensitive’ meters.

TriField Natural EMF Meter

Starting at $180.00 and subject to easy breakage, these meters are very often out of the grasp for many investigators and groups. However, the benefits that these instruments can bring to an investigation might be well worth considering the risk.

Built electronically (through the use of filters) to detect only what we would consider paranormal activity, they take most if not all of the guesswork out of situations where the ELF, ION and Gauss detectors leave the investigator otherwise unsure of his or her findings. They are reasonably simple to use and have an audible tone which comes in handy in dark areas.

By the way, this is NOT a hand-held instrument, as often shown on un-reality TV. For true and accurate readings it requires a strict protocol to be followed and number one on the “Don’t Do.” list is touch the meter or disturb the area being measured (approx. 50′ FC) in any way. However, this meter’s close cousin, the TriField meter, can be hand held under some circumstances.

The DHPR research team often places these units in purportedly active areas and with a video camera recording the output of the meter (if not connected to the computer) and the area behind it. It is by far one of the most sensitive and best units to use. And one of the most preferred by experienced paranormal teams.

TriField 100XE

The TriField 100XE is the DHPR meter of choice, but not because of its affordable pricing (slightly less than the TriField Natural featured above), but because it does nearly everything Natural does, and is just as as fast and reliable for measuring AC Magnetic Fields, AC Electric Fields, and Radio/microwave transmission. This unit also offers an easy-to-see large analog readout; 3-axis electric & magnetic sensitivity for fast surveys; 2 separate scales for magnetic field readings; hand-held portability and simplicity. Extremely wide frequency response. It is the favorite of many professional paranormal researchers & weekend ‘ghost hunter.’ Completely self-contained. Nothing else to buy, no parts to lose. 9V battery included. It is none alarming and has no connectivity to outside sources.

Ion Detector

Unique in this price range, this hand-held ion detector possesses excellent sensitivity, is fully electrostatic ally shielded and can take accurate readings even under adverse conditions. This device can be adjusted to measure positive, or in paranormal investigation cases, negative ions separately. Much like with an electromagnetic field detector, the ions in the air will measure a high disturbance when an energy is present. This device is great for investigations also because it is sensitive to natural effects like radiation, electrical storms and radon…. thus, is not easily disturbed by power outlets. It operates much in the same way as the TriField Meter but is not recommended for the novices, and a bit pricey at around $499.95

Magnetic Field Sensor

This sensor type of unit is sensitive enough to measure the Earth’s magnetic field, and said to be sensitive enough to detect even the slightest shift in the Earths gravitational fields. They do show promise when used to study the field around motorized areas, that port, magnets, coils, and other electrical devices. This high end device, through computer software enhancement and data logging, will detect, monitor and document even the slightest change if a manifestation disrupts the magnetic field. DHPR has had some success in its use, however, evidence gathered in inconclusive to successfully confirm the presence of entities during an event. They range from $55.00 to around $200.00.

Mel Meter

Gary Galka knows better than most that a father’s love lasts forever. After he lost his daughter, Melissa, in a car crash, his connection to Melissa remained strong, so much so that he’s constantly feeling her presence around him. That connection led Gary, an electrical engineer, to design what he says is a digital device created specifically for paranormal exploration.

There are over 30 different products for paranormal research designed by Galka on his website Professional Measurement, and have been featured on several television broadcasts including the Travel Channel (Ghost Adventures) that is believed to explore paranormal phenomena for the masses. Using one of his devices, a voice was heard on the show saying, “Hi Daddy, I love you.”

“No one was making products for these people,” Galka said.

The Mel Meters — which range in cost from $79 to about $350 and are named for his daughter, as she was his incentive.

The flagship device in the line is the Mel-8704-SB7-EMF meter, which detects a range of electromagnetic and temperature changes, has an AM/FM scanner, includes glow-in-the-dark buttons, and includes an “exclusive P-SB7 Integrated Spirit Box” — the device purportedly used on “Ghost Adventures” to record the voice of a spirit.

Sure, it detects electromagnetic frequencies. But does that mean it actually searches out ghosts? Many paranormal teams believe so, but DPHR’s stand on this is that it’s difficult to say just exactly what the Mel Meter is reacting to. Unless we capture a corroborating EVP or photograph to support a human ghost to make the contact a significant paranormal event, otherwise it’s only another compelling paranormal event.