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Ghost Detectors

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Ghost Detectors

Toy Ghost Detector Device

"Who invented the ghost detector?" a reader wrote in asking. I set to work on finding out the answer and headed to the United States Patent and Trademark Library to do a patent search for ghost detectors.

Searching For The Ghost Searchers

An initial search using the key words 'ghost detectors' presented me with several results. However, they were for inventions that got rid of the ghosts in your television picture, including the patent for a 'ghost detector with time reversal processing'. It was also just another signal fixer and not a time-travelling ghost buster.

Toy Ghosts?

Finally, I did manage to find one patent for a ghost detector that claimed it could help a child's imagination in catching fanciful creatures. At the right of this page you can view a drawing of said invention and you can read the patent abstract belonging to patent #4,971,592 below. Without a chance to field test patent #4,971,592, I had to concede that this was no true ghost detector. It was in fact as the patent said, "just a toy."

What Is Real?

The real truth behind ghost detectors is that there are no dedicated ghost detectors and the United States has never issued a patent for any invention that claimed to detect ghosts. But does that mean that ghosts are not real and that there are no inventions that can be used to detect ghosts? Cameras, tape recorders, and video cameras have all been used by amateur and professional ghost hunters. Several laboratory test instruments are now being used to aid in the hunt of the paranormal. These are all inventions designed for other purposes but are perfectly suited for use in ghost busting activities. Among the many inventions that can double as ghost detectors are:
  • EMF Detectors EMF detectors were designed to detect electromagnetic emissions from microwave ovens and high tension electrical wires. EMF detectors alert investigators to the presence of ghosts by measuring electromagnetic distortion in the two to seven milligauss range. The models that come most highly recommended by paranormal investigators are the Trifield EMF Detector and the Trifield Natural EM.
  • Electrostatic Charge Meters Electrostatic charge meters can detect minute electrostatic charges, like static electricity. Investigators claim that certain hauntings are electrostatic in nature.
  • Motion Detectors Ultrasonic and microwave motion detectors use reflected waves to monitor an area for movement, even the movement of ghosts.
  • Geiger Counters A geiger counter measures alpha, beta, and gamma wave radiation. Radiation has been detected in the area of hauntings.
  • Infrared Thermal Scanner Infrared thermal scanners detect "cold spots" or drops in temperature that indicates ghost activity. These cold spots may be from 25 degrees to 60 degrees colder than the surrounding ambient air temperature.

Toy Ghost Detector Device

Inventor - Joseph P. Carcia, III
Patent #4,971,592
Date - November 20, 1990

Patent Abstract - An apparatus is set forth to provide a toy to enhance the imagination and entertainment of children simulating ghost detection and capture. The device includes a central cabinet provided with a battery powered sequencing of LED lights. The lights are mounted upon spaced "L" shaped arms directed in a parallel relationship relative to the main cabinet. A further series of lights mounted on a forward face of the cabinet cooperates with the LED lights to enhance the visual effect of their use. Accessories include a forwardly mounted ghost capturing concial illumination barrel mounted to a forward panel of the cabinet, and further including a telescopic lens utilizing multi-colored panels to enhance visual effect of the device.

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