Do you know that ghosts have created a multi-million dollar industry? That they are an amazing money minting industry in and by themselves? That the ghost industry provides employment and much more to innumerable people around the world? Actually, the fact that ghosts are prolific money spinners is not really “news” or a new revelation, because the ghost industry has a long, colourful history. And equally remarkably, it has always thrived and flourished  and seems to have an unblemished record of always attaining ‘highs’ and never ever registering a “down” or a “low” even when subjected to intense, critical scrutiny and advanced methods and levels of scientific investigation. If anything, in recent years particularly, films , TV shows, books, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, YouTube serials featuring ghosts and the supernatural, well organised ghost tours, research and pronouncements on ghosts by scientists, new technology to hunt for ghosts and the rise and widespread popularity of social media have infused the ghost industry with abiding new elements of success.

According to Wikipedia, “with the advent of motion pictures and television, screen depictions of ghosts became common and spanned a variety of genres…Popularised in such films as the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters, ghost hunting became a hobby for many who formed ghost hunting societies to explore reportedly haunted places. The ghost hunting theme has been featured in reality television series such as Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Most Haunted, and A Haunting. It is also represented in children’s television by such programs as The Ghost Hunter and Ghost Trackers. Ghost hunting also gave rise to multiple guidebooks to haunted locations, and ghost hunting “how-to” manuals…”

Ghost hunters and trackers, both amateurs and professionals, benefited tremendously with rapid advances in technology and their equipment now includes thermal imagers, temperature recorders, a dowsing pendulum and dowsing rods used for question-answer sessions with spirits, video cameras, night shot cameras, digital sound recorders, electronic voice phenomena recorders or EVP—“sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded”.  It was several years ago that paranormal investigator and spirit medium Chris Fleming, who also ran a ghost hunting gear website, GhostOutlet.com, went on record to say: “Technology you’re seeing in the paranormal field has made tremendous leaps and bounds… I don’t believe in ghosts, I know ghosts exist. We have proof. What is the proof? The data. The evidence.”  And that data and evidence is purportedly gathered or provided by specialised equipment. Today, ghost and paranormal equipment boasts of an impressive business empire, with almost all the top notch online high fliers like Amazon paying special attention to marketing the equipment.

To give you a better idea of the sophistication of both the equipment and its marketing, there’s the Ghost Meter EMF Sensor to monitor even far away spaces for ghosts. Incidentally, ghost hunters believe that spirits cause EMF spikes.

There’s the Dual Full Spectrum Camcorder by GhostStop with many options for shooting, including a full spectrum for night vision and normal lighting for everyday settings. The camera includes a built-in infrared night vision light to help with “those dimly-lit investigations”. There’s the slickly marketed FLIR Scout TK—a temperature-detecting device. Then there’s the K2 KII EMF Meter Deluxe—“probably one of the best EMF detectors for ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. It’s easy to operate and portable, meaning it’s ideal for when the action starts.”

There are wireless Nest Cam Indoor Security cameras—“If you get multiple cameras, you can link them together to record different areas at a given time. You can also live stream your security footage to mobile devices. The Nest Cam also allow for two-way communication, so if need be, you can communicate with apparitions, even from rooms away. A bonus: these cameras can monitor both movement and sound!” There’s the Fenix Flashlight HP25R—“a rechargeable headlamp that’s easy to use and comfortable to wear during long adventures. During a paranormal investigation, you may find yourself working in the dark a lot, and you may need to keep your hands free. This is where a good headlamp will come in handy…”

There is the  Olympus VN-7200—“Often, ghost hunters on TV shows find that some spirits and apparitions will not manifest themselves visually. So, it comes in handy to have a capable audio recorder during your paranormal investigations. Tools like the Olympus VN-7200 are used to record electronic voice phenomena, or EVP. These recordings are known as electronic recordings of the voice of a ghost or spirit. The Olympus is a great option because of its ease of use, which comes in handy for quick recording…” Bill Shaffir, a paranormal “enthusiast”, focusing on the “Best Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Equipment on Amazon”  wrote that “any great ghost hunting mission requires high-quality gear to capture the most evidence of paranormal activity” and went in to provide a list for the best ghost hunting and paranormal equipment to capture those “unforgettable moments”.

Several other websites also market ghost and paranormal equipment and it is obvious from the demand feedback that manufacturing ghost equipment alone is a huge industry in itself. While this has induced many skeptics to question the existence of ghosts from new angles, it has prompted both believers and disbelievers to question the veracity of some of the research being done on ghosts and the paranormal.  Some of them assert that if it was proved ghosts are non-existent, it would lead to the collapse of, for example, the ghost and paranormal equipment industry and that would, amongst other things, be a financial disaster for all those involved in or linked with the industry. Obviously, apart from the thrills, adventures, controversies and much else that they provide, ghosts are also a most valuable money spinning asset. Read more about the fascinating money spinning power of ghosts in the next column.

 

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