CNET News Video: Average tech to find the supernatural
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CNET News Video: Average tech to find the supernatural

3:16 /

If you're in the mood to go ghost hunting this Halloween, stop by your local electronics store first. While the spirits may be supernatural, the devices used to try to detect them can be low tech. CNET'S Sumi Das went along with a professional ghost hunter as she used an array of gadgets in the reportedly haunted Brookdale Lodge.

-Deep in the Sta. Cruz Mountains sits the Brookdale Inn, an abandoned lodge with an eerie past. Venture inside, brush aside the cobwebs, and you'll find a doll and teddy bear tea party carefully arranged for a child, but this child hasn't lived here for 100 years. In the late 1800's a young girl named Sarah died here after falling into the creek that runs through the main dining room. It said that her ghost still haunts the lodge. The tea set and toys are so called trigger objects used by professional ghost hunters like Gloria Young to try and attract spirits. Have you ever spoken to Sarah? -No. I have heard her laugh though. -But Young also relies on off-the-shelf technology to conduct her paranormal research. -Because we don't know how to detect ghosts or how things work and that's why we have such a vast array of stuff that is regular everyday stuff you can buy on the shelf at the local electronic store. -RadioShack. We asked Young to show us her best ghost-tracking tech. First up a spirit box, a modified radio which is supposed to give ghosts a voice. -It will do an AM/FM sweep of the radio frequencies in the area, and if you're patient enough and ask the right question it will answer you. -Young says she once heard her name through the spirit box. -But that's why I like this because you know you can use it, you can believe it, you cannot but when I heard my name I'm going okay, there's something to this. -Geiger counters measure radiation. They normally click at regular intervals, but irregular or frequent clicks could be interpreted as a ghost responding to your questions. Is anybody there? Is anybody here? Investigators also consider electromagnetic field to be a sign of ghostly presence and measure it with REM-Pods, K2, and Trifield meters. So what range would this be in for a paranormal activity? -3 and above. -To try to capture visual evidence Young sets up specialized video cameras like this full-spectrum camera. -And what this does is pick up every single color. So if you see somebody say out of the corner of your eye and you point it towards it, it will pick up whatever that entity or anomaly is. -But Young's prized possession is her thermal imaging camera. -So you know it's still vaguely kind of red, reddish yellow. -Yes. -That's at those tables right over there. -Right. -And it shouldn't be that way. It should be cold. -Cold. -Because it's cold in here. -While most of the gadgets range from $20 to $200. This is the priciest at $5,000 which made me wonder, could a low-tech Ouija board do the job? -Nobody should use those. -Oh, really? -Really. -Why? -Because Ouija boards are things that you can play with and they're fun. -Yes. -But if you open a door that you don't know how to close sometimes it brings through things you shouldn't be playing with. -I wish 10-year-old me had known that. Okay. Exactly. 10-year-old me believed in ghosts. Adult me is more of a skeptic. Just don't invite me to any spooky tea parties. In Brookdale, California I'm Sumi Das, CNET for CBS News.

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