On every television show and every paranormal investigation, I have ever been on or seen, you see people walking around with EMF meters.
EMF meters measure electromagnetic fields; most meters measure the electromagnetic radiation flux density or the change in an electromagnetic field over a period of time. There are two major types of EMF meters, a single axis meter and a tri axis meter. A single axis meter measures EMF from a single axis, so in order to get an
accurate measurement you have to tilt and rotate the meter on all three axes, X, Y and Z. And to this day I have never, ever witnessed someone using the meter correctly. The second type is the tri field meter, a tri-axis meter measures all three axes simultaneously, but these tend to be more expensive. Tri-axis meters can also filter out different types of electromagnetic energies depending what types you are looking for. As most electromagnetic fields encountered everyday are those by household or industrial appliances, the vast majority of meters out there are calibrated to measure 50 and 60 Hz AC fields. Other meters can measure fields alternating at as low as 20Hz, but these tend to be very expensive and are only used for specific reasons. The leading problems with these tools are not if they work to detect paranormal activity, it is in the interpretation of data collected, and the gross neglect and inability to properly identify the sources of the readings. On all of the popular television shows and with many investigation teams, you will see investigators walking around a location getting a “Base” reading. This in itself is misleading at best. There are no base readings at a location that has electricity running through it, every time you plug a device in or unplug a device it will change the “base” reading for that area. The same with appliances turning on and off, like a refrigerator, furnace or air conditioner. These shows will never tell you how these tools really work because if they did they would lose their audience, so they go out of their way to make you believe it is something paranormal (without ever saying so).
Identifying the different types of energy using your EMF detector can be tricky. This is because your meters can detect three different types of energy. (Tri field meters can be set to detect a particular energy) they can detect electromagnetic energy from anything that uses electricity to operate, this includes washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, clocks, TV’s, stereos, computers, gaming systems and all of the wiring running through the walls, floors and ceilings that have electricity flowing through them. And your meter can detect radio waves from, WI-FI, analog cordless phones, CB radios, cell phones, walkie-talkies and baby monitors. And finally it can detect microwave energies from microwave ovens, cell towers and some WI-FI networks. I guarantee if you ask twenty paranormal investigators what types of energies their meters detect; you may get one or two that know the correct answer.
So now you are forced to ask yourself a question, if you were to get a reading with your EMF detector, how do you identify the source? Was it a truck nearby using a CB radio? Was it your neighbor’s baby monitor or Wi-Fi network? In today’s technologically advanced world it is impossible to isolate a location to the point where there is no electromagnetic energy contaminating your investigation, therefore, in this type of environment as an investigator, you should not collect this and label it as evidence because there is no way to determine the source or type of energy detected, much less trying to prove that it is something paranormal. This isn’t to say that your EMF meter cannot detect something paranormal, it very well could, but how can you tell? How do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s not something in our environment that triggered the reading, short of getting a reading while you see a spirit standing in front of you?