As well as our articles on locations and folklore, we will bring you ‘tech’ pieces to give a better understanding of the equipment and methods you see used. Let’s take a look at the mysterious sounding ‘EMF Meter.’

Anyone who has ever watched a Paranormal investigation on television or been on a investigation themselves has heard the term ‘EMF’ banded about. We use EMF meters and they look great and the K2 version will flash away but what does it all mean, and do they really work?

First, we need to understand what EMF actually means. It stands for ‘Electro-magnetic field.’ That’s basically energy created either magnetically or electronically. The Earth itself has its own field which is how compasses work and anything electronic has one also.

What makes up the field? Electrons are the simple answer. Their movement creates the field naturally and when it comes to electronics the drive of energy through a circuit and electrons via a conductor create a similar field.

EMF meters work by two basic methods, although in truth the actual measurements and readings are far more complex and scientific. EMFs are created by DC pulses radiating and in this instance the reader will work on density. They also work on AC currents which are measured over time and make up most man made electronic devices.

There is something vital any paranormal investigator needs to understand before undertaking any kind of paranormal investigation. Electro-magnetic fields and pulsating energy can physically and mentally cause the kind of damage that can appear as a paranormal experience.

Physical symptoms can be anything from fatigue, nausea, headaches and rashes to feeling like you’re having a seizure or chest tightness and pains. Mentally they can manifest from feelings of uneasiness to full blown hallucinations.

As you can imagine with the amount of electronic equipment we have in our homes and work places, it is very hard to distinguish between the effects of EMF and genuine paranormal experiences.

Our first job on an investigation is visual. To take in the amount of electronics around and relate that to where alleged paranormal occurrences take place. The other is to discuss with those affected any other ‘symptoms’ they may be experiencing, before any EMF measurements take place.

With regards to the type of meter that should be used, it should be noted that K2 meters are great for public investigations as they give a series of lights based on the strength of reading but they are, by and large, inaccurate. That is why for private investigations we use a trifield meter which gives a more accurate digital or analogue reading.

We can then take readings all over a location to establish a baseline for EMF and any fluctuations. Most households will have readings of less than 0.1 milliGauss and it is recommended not to be exposed to more than 2.5 mG. Astonishingly a simple thing like a microwave oven can expose you to up to 25 mG from a few feet away.

Only once we have baseline readings as a point of reference, can we consider using an EMF meter to register anomalies as part of an investigation. It is thought that any entity trying to manifest, whether visually, physically or audibly uses an immense amount of energy or EMF to be exact. It is therefore a possibility/theory that a high reading over any base readings once localised sources are discounted, are an indication of a potential paranormal event or anomaly.

Even so, any spike in readings is only an indication of potentially increased energy and a hint at the possibility of something paranormal. Therefore, an EMF reading on its own should NEVER be classed as independent proof of the paranormal. It is simply a question mark that requires further investigation.


Published by Ann Massey McElroy

Published author and blogger specializing in Irish Folklore, Dark History and Hauntings. Travel Expert working in Travel and Tourism. Ireland Editor at spookyisles.com and paranormal investigator. Irish Folklore Consultant for books, comics, films and video games, TV, Interviews, Guest Speaker.

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