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History of Paranormal Investigation

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Cosmo Kitchen

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, the idea has been around for centuries. The first ever recorded paranormal experience was from around 1500 B.C.E.  A tablet made in Babylon during this time was believed to be the first depiction of a ghost. One of the first ghost stories was told as early as the 1st century A.D in a letter from the famous Roman author Pliny. One of the first books ever written about ghosts was Horace Walpole’s The Castle Of Otranto released in 1764. The Haunted Castle or The House Of The Devil released in 1896 is the first ever horror movie as well as the first ever ghost movie. The most notable time for ghost stories was from the 1880s to the 1920s. This era gave us stories such as The Phantom Rickshaw from 1888 and The Open Window from 1914. The biggest boom in paranormal investigation, however, was in the 1900’s. 

These examples are mostly imaginative, but paranormal investigations work to move the paranormal from imagination and theory to fact. This leads to the question, how does ghost hunting work? If you plan on ghost hunting, there are a few materials you should look into. The first one is an EMF detector. This device is able to detect changes in the electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic fields are a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. They are generated by natural phenomena like Earth’s magnetic field but also human activity mainly through the use of electricity.

Another piece of equipment that you should look into would be a spirit box. A spirit box is a device that flips through different radio stations. Paranormal investigators claim that spirits are able to use the spirit box in order to flip through different radio stations and pick words to be played in order to form sentences. The Estes Method is a method where one person uses headphones connected to the spirit box. They also blindfold themselves and another person asks them questions and respond with what they hear.

Finally, investing in some sort of motion detector would be a good idea. You don’t need anything super fancy for this one either. You can get something like a music box that plays music when motion is detected or even some cat toys that light up when touched. 

Although the gadgets above can be helpful, it is possible to go ghost hunting without equipment. According to the Statista research department, 36% of Americans believe in ghosts. Although 36% seems low, the hobby has gained popularity in recent years with a rise in YouTube ghost hunting videos.

References:

A brief history of early horror

 History of ghost stories – early sightings, famous ghosts & haunted places

Electromagnetic fields 2009 update

 Supernatural naturalism: The golden age of the ghost story

The Birth of the Modern Ghost Story

3,500-year-old Babylonian tablet may contain earliest known depiction of a ghost

United States: Belief in ghosts 2021

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About the Contributor
Cosmo Kitchen, a junior Vocal major at Las Vegas Academy of the arts is passionate about reading. Through their work, they hope to entertain.
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