Somewhere along the way, paranormal investigators decided that EMF played an important part in paranormal research. It is believed in some form that a spirit or ghost can manipulate the electromagnetic field. How they do this or if they even can do this, we don't quite know. Do they draw energy from it? Do they use it by changing it?
While a lot of people use equipment such as KII meters or Mel Meters as a way to potentially communicate with a spirit, they are actually a more valuable debunking tool. They can show us where there is power in the walls, in fact, that is what a KII was invented to do. While the Mel Meter was specifically designed for the paranormal field, a KII meter was made for electricians. These measuring devices can show us where EMF is and more importantly, how strong it is. The reason this is highly important especially when it comes to debunking paranormal phenomena is that high levels of EMF actually can have an effect on a person that almost 'mimic' the feelings a person has when they feel something paranormal is happening.
EMF stands for Electromagnetic field. Electric fields are created by differences in voltage: the higher the voltage, the stronger the field. Magnetic fields are created when electric current flows. The greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field. An electric field will exist even when there is no current flowing. If current does flow, the strength of the magnetic field will vary with power consumption but the electric field strength will be constant. In a nutshell, you need a source of flowing current to get a magnetic field - ie Power.
With that in mind, it is not surprising that EMF is all around us. From power lines to cell phones, we are exposed to different levels of EMF on a daily basis.
house energy meters
wireless (Wi-Fi) routers
The body responds to high levels of EMF with:
sleep disturbances, including insomnia
depression and depressive symptoms
tiredness and fatigue
dysesthesia (a painful, often itchy sensation)
lack of concentration
changes in memory
loss of appetite and weight loss
restlessness and anxiety
skin burning and tingling
changes in an electroencephalogram (which measures electrical activity in the brain)
Further reported symptoms are hallucinations, anxiety, heart palpitations, and paranoia. The list goes on. These are a very similar list of symptoms that people report when they feel they are experiencing something paranormal. Add to that list, sudden headaches or feelings like you are being watched. These are thought by many to be instances of a spirit manifesting nearby. Some people even see or hear things that could fall under the hallucination category. It is a fact that is so well known by paranormal investigators that EMF is one of the first things that is often checked when investigating claims of a haunting in a person's home as a way to debunk or explain the activity.
While it is something that is often looked for when trying to help explain what is happening to a person in their home, it is quite often forgotten about when investigating the bigger locations. Quite often people work under the assumption that because there is no power to an old building that it is not capable of emitting any EMF. This of course is incorrect. The above scenarios address man-made EMF, what about the natural EMF?
Obviously, items like power lines and WiFi, etc, and pretty much all of the above refer to what we call man-made EMF. There is however another kind of EMF that is completely natural. Natural EMF is invisible to the human eye. You would only know it was there from either an EMF meter or how your body reacts to it. Electric fields are produced by the local build-up of electric charges in the atmosphere associated with thunderstorms and weather events. The Earth itself has a magnetic field. It is the reason why a compass will always point North. It is how birds navigate. Visible light emits EMF as does what it is called Geopathic Stress. Geopathic stress lines or zones emanate EMF radiation naturally from the earth due to geological features such as underground streams, mineral concentrations, fault lines, and underground cavities. When natural radiation rises through the earth from geopathic stress lines, its wavelength becomes distorted. Geopathic stress lines can be virtually any length and run in any direction. They can be caused by construction disturbances such as underground cabling. Having pipes running under your house can cause this as can a source of running water. Put your EMF near a waterfall and see what it is doing. Even a flushing toilet will set off one of your meters. It makes sense in a lot of ways. A lot of mills for example would run from water acting as the power source. Maybe this is why people also connect water to the paranormal.
A lot of paranormal investigators like to use EM pumps during an investigation. They think of it as a way to 'give energy' to a spirit to use to communicate. Often, however, it makes people feel ill. If you have been anywhere near an EM pump for a prolonged period of time, you likely walked away with at the very least a headache. For myself, they make me feel anxious, sick and give me a pounding headache. So much so that I know what my body's reaction to EMF feels like. I can often tell you when there is high EMF in a corner of a room or I know when someone has a pump in their pocket. Why? Because my body reacts to it. In a lot of ways, we talk about how our bodies can be one of the important tools we use in an investigation, and this is no exception. It can guide us to potential areas of EMF that we would not normally consider. It is important when we are experiencing symptoms that some may feel are paranormal, that we explore the possibility that it could be EMF making us feel that way.
Unfortunately, there are also deceptive people out there. Sometimes they will use a pump during things like ghost tours etc to make the group of people feel like something paranormal is happening. If you feel there may be a pump operating, speak up and ask! They may not even be intentionally trying to deceive you, but by asking the question you are putting them on the spot. They may not realize their pump is making the group feel that way as in a lot of cases, a ghost tour guide for example is not always really a paranormal investigator - they are often paid actors and don't know a whole lot about that side of things. In some cases though, maybe that is exactly what they want to happen. These things do happen and sadly not everyone is as honest as we would like to believe. It is not exclusive to ghost tours, any claim of paranormal phenomena can be faked. When any sort of paranormal claim is investigated, a person needs to back up their claim. If it is a false claim, an EM pump is a sneaky way to try and do that as it will 'make' the investigators feel these symptoms. It is a common trick used for 'haunted objects'. When you are in the presence of the object you feel ill and because of the stories surrounding the object, you attribute it to the item. But what if they have an EM pump running to make you think that? In the same way, a person may use photoshop or a ghost app for a photo, it is in the same category of purposely using an EMF to make a person 'feel' like something paranormal is happening.
I think that EMF can potentially explain some cases, but I don't think it would explain every instance as that would be naive. I don't think that every headache a person is EMF-related, nor do I think every headache is potentially something paranormal here either. It is one of those scenarios where we have to live up to the name of a paranormal investigator and actually investigate what is happening. We know baseline readings are important when it comes to trying to debunk claims, however, we are often measuring them incorrectly or using incorrect methods or tools when completing them. You can check out this article I wrote about baselines for further information: Effectiveness of baseline readings.
Equipment like K2 and Mel Meters are not necessarily reliable as they can tell us what is happening in the environment around us and if there is power nearby, but it is up to the person themselves to decide what to do with that information. There is a misconception that EMF is 'static' in the sense that it won't move around so if you find an area that has no EMF and you suddenly get reading it means it is a spirit. This is incorrect. Certain devices send out intermittent pulses which means they will send out EMF waves at different intervals. The best way to test this is to measure the time in between the readings. You will find the space of time between each reading is the same (such as 90 seconds). If you have pipes of running water running under a house, for example, you can be standing a room where you had no readings and suddenly get a slow build-up of a reading that spikes and then winds down. It could very simply be that someone has flushed a toilet or turned on a tap and the water is running underneath you causing the readings. The reality is that there is no piece of equipment that can actually detect a spirit or a ghost. It can tell us when the environment around is changing and this is a really important point to remember. We need to be aware of our surroundings and outside influences, and not just limit our exploration of explanations to searching for power in the walls. If there is something you suspect is causing a person to suffer these symptoms, remove it and see if the situation improves. Even something as simple as a lamp next to a bed can cause a person to have experiences where they feel they are 'under attack' as they fall asleep as the EMF is manipulating their brain waves.
In all the research I have done, I can't actually find where the concept of spirits being able to manipulate the electromagnetic field actually came from. Again it is one of those things as investigators we tend to accept and not question enough. I would not rely on just an EMF meter alone to possibly tell you if something is going on as there are too many variables. I personally like to rely on several different methods. To me just reading a piece of equipment is not enough. If nothing is happening and suddenly there is a single spike on a piece of equipment indicating an EMF reading, I would tend to think it is more likely the equipment picking up on something natural. If there are a series of events leading up to this moment and there are other fluctuations at work at the same time, this is when I would take more interest in these results. It is important to remember that all of the equipment that we use to take these measurements are not designed nor proven to collect ‘paranormal’ information. They collect data. It is how you interpret that data that is what makes the difference.
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