You don’t need to purchase expensive gadgets to investigate. There are plenty of household items at your disposal that may generate better results. I learned of a few watching the Facebook Live Ghost Education 101 session with Philip Wyatt, as host, and Heather Leigh Landon, who presented “Non-Technical Paranormal Investigation Tools” last Tuesday. Here is a link to the presentation: https://www.facebook.com/101483755012255/videos/974627249720267. All of the panels are archived and accessible online. While I own quite a bit of the items mentioned, I did not own an electroscope; therefore, I made one!

From the YouTube creators Science Buddies, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=wso0FqcnG7g&fbclid=IwAR3gm8kgYKUA0L3jsN4rGCE_TZXsgs5TLqtJIMGvgY3WU10bzoDc8oBqoRU&app=desktop, I learned how to create an electroscope from items I already owned. It was rather easy to make and more fun to experiment with.

The electroscope works on the static electricity theory whereby everyone produces static electricity. Although there is much discussion on whether a person who dies maintains her energy, the concept presumes that a ghost has energy and gives off that energy that can be measured with different paranormal tools. The electroscope measures these electrically charged ions that are not visible to the naked eye. The electroscope that I made measures the static electricity when the teardrop-shaped aluminum foil resist and pull apart.

Make your own with the following items:

  1. Metal uncoated hanger;
  2. Pliers;
  3. Straw;
  4. Pencil;
  5. Piece of cardboard;
  6. Scissors;
  7. Hot glue gun;
  8. Piece of aluminum foil;
  9. Glass jar;
  10. Tape.

Watch the short video from the link and create your own electroscope.

In order to test the theory, you will need a piece of Styrofoam and piece of wool. You will also need the remaining hanger from above. Rub the Styrofoam over the wool to create static electricity. Then bring the Styrofoam close to the curved metal without touching it. Notice how the aluminum foil pulls apart. It will be slight. Next, rub the Styrofoam over the piece of wool. Again, bring the Styrofoam close to the curved metal. The aluminum foil teardrops will close back together. Finally, rub the Styrofoam over the wool. This time touch the Styrofoam to the curved metal. The aluminum foil will noticeably pull apart. This is how static electricity works.

Of course, my homemade electroscope decided to work differently. The foil might be too thin. The teardrops move together. I had to take them out and flatten them more in order for them to hang together touching. Once I did that, bingo—it started to work! The flaps separate quickly. I didn’t even need the wool (I reside in Atlanta and don’t own any wool clothing). All I did was rub the Styrofoam on my cotton shorts.

In ghost hunting, the electroscope measures when a ghost passes by as the aluminum foil will separate and pull apart, showing that static electricity is near or touching the curved metal. The key is for no one to be walking or resting near the electroscope. This invalidates the experiment.

Once I begin investigating again, I will bring my homemade electroscope along to test out. I will keep you posted on any developments!