This is the bare minimum of things you may want or need that can be bought in many locations. Mostly cheap yet useful stuff.


Pencils & Pens

You have to be prepared to write stuff down and take notes. You may need to document a sound you heard, or information about a site. It may also be a good idea to bring a few permanent markers. The small “Sharpie” markers would be your best bet. You never know when you’ll need to mark something. Pencils and Pens can be bought at any store everywhere for between 10 cents and a few bucks. Sharpie markers are sold at any drugstore or supermarket for 3 dollars or less.



What you gonna write on? PAPER! Regular notebooks, and possibly some graph paper or a sketch pad would do you well. The notebook paper would be just for writing things down. The graph paper and/or sketchbook is for mapping out your location. That way you know where everything is. Also, waiting for activity to happen can be rather boring for some people. With the sketchpad, you can draw a picture or play Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe or something. You can get paper for less than 2 dollars everywhere.


Tape (Masking, Duct, Electrical, Whatever)

Using tape is a good way to mark a location or item without doing permanent damage. Say if you’re investigating a ball moving on its own, put a piece of tape on the floor, put the ball on the tape, and leave the room. If when you return, and the ball is no longer on the tape, you know that you have some work to do. Sometimes you need to label things. Get a pen or marker, write on the tape and stick it to whatever you need to. Can be bought wherever you get the pens and paper for less than a few bucks.


Dry Erase Markers

What if you ain’t got no tape? Dry erase markers are another way of marking things without doing any permanent damage. You have to be careful though. When using them, ONLY write on smooth, flat surfaces, and make sure you have a cloth or something to wipe it off. So why not just use tape? If ‘something’ touches tape, tape doesn’t wear off. If ‘something’ touches markings from a dry erase marker, the evidence is easy to see. Think about the possibilities. Less than 5 dollars where pens and paper are sold.



“Somebody blows their nose, and you wanna keep it?”
That’s pretty much what you would use Ziploc baggies for in the field. No, not for somebodies nose goblins, but for actual PHYSICAL evidence that you may find on an investigation. It doesn’t happen often. As a matter of fact, it’s almost never, but when it DOES happen, you’ll be glad that you have some baggies. Go to any grocery store, and get some for 2 bucks or less.


Things That Tell Time

Telling time is important. You need a clock, stopwatch, wristwatch, or something else that tells time accurately. Some paranormal events only happen at certain times of the day, and without a clock, how are you gonna be ready? Look at the sun? What if something happens, and you have to take notes. You gotta write down what time things happen. This is a no brainer. You can go the cheap route and get a watch at a dollar store for a buck, or you can show some self respect for a change, and use a Rolex.


Frickin’ Label Maker

You can easily put some masking tape on an item, and use a sharpie marker to label it so everyone knows something is yours. But… That looks like shit. In the field a lot of people bring their own equipment along on an investigation. A label maker gives you an easy way to put your name on stuff, so nobody can steal it. Well, they can steal it but then you can beat them over the head with a shovel repeatedly, and have a logical, and reasonable excuse why. After all, your name is on the thingy. Office Max, or Staples for less than 30 bucks.


Cell Phone

This one is primarily for emergency purposes. What if something happens, and you need to get in touch with someone, or somebody gets hurt, and you have to call 911 or something? What if you need to order pizza? There are a ton of cell phones and companies, and I’m not even going to attempt to go into phone prices and rates. Good thing you probably already have one of these.



Okay, so you’re at an investigation, something falls off the shelf, and everybody gets freaked out. You pull out your trusty level with the kryptonite-green bubble, and you put it on the shelf. You find out that the shelf is NOT level and it was gravity that pushed the item off the shelf. What if a toy car, or even that ball with the tape under it rolls across the room? What if it rolled uphill?. This is a way of checking. You can get a cheap one at a dollar store for a few bucks. You don’t have to go expensive with this item.



Flashlights are completely necessary to conduct a safe and productive investigation. You need to be able to see where your going, and what you’re doing, or bad accidents can happen. There are many different kinds of flashlights to consider, and they vary in price. You may want one with a red tint to reduce glare. How about one of those new LED ones that don’t even need batteries? Do you want one that will attach to your head? It’s all personal preference. They range anywhere from 5 to 20 bucks, and are sold almost everywhere.



A wind chime is a cheap motion detector of sorts. It can’t detect movement per-se, but it can detect air flow if the current is strong enough. I’m sure you’ve heard stories that people have felt entities ‘go through’ them. Its not very scientific, but when indoors, they can help alert you to that type of presence. They can be bought in most dollar stores for a couple bucks. Or you can steal one from your grandma!


Cotton Balls

For their size, cotton balls are extremely lightweight, which makes them very useful. They’re easy to spot, and easy to be moved. You can line them up at the base of the door, and when someone (or something) opens the door, they’ll all be moved. Use your imagination, they have lots of uses. You can get a big bag of them in any drug store for a buck or a little over.


Talcum Powder

Try to get the unscented kind, otherwise throughout the investigation, you’ll smell like a baby’s butt, or worse you’ll smell like an elderly man’s butt. This stuff can be useful if you’re trying to document movement on a flat surface. Lightly dust the area with the powder and photograph it. At the end of the hunt, photograph it again and see if anything had disturbed it. You can get it at a drug store for less than a few bucks. (Make sure you have a way to clean it up when you’re done.)


Dark Clothing

Wearing darker clothing is important to reduce the risk of lights and flashes reflecting off of you while other investigators are filming or taking pictures. That’s the bottom line. Wearing darker clothing will make your investigation go smoother with more reliable results. Go to Wal-Mart and buy some.



Black Sheets or Curtains

This works on the same principle as the dark clothing, but its portable, and the thicker the cloth, the better. Say, you’re in a room taking flash photography, or using an infrared camera. If there are mirrors, or other reflective surfaces in the room, it’s going to play hell with your results. So, you cover the reflective surfaces up with the black cloth, and your results will be a lot better. If you have trouble finding black cloth, you can dye regular bedsheets. Rit Dye can be bought in most craft stores, and even drugstores for less than 5 bucks.



These can come in handy. I prefer ‘zip ties’ like the picture, but a piece of string or a twist tie from a loaf of bread will do. It’s an easy way to secure your microphones or cameras to a surface, and make sure that they’re not going to move. They’re also good for keeping wires together. You can get a 100 count package at Home Depot or a hardware store for between 5 and 10 bucks.



Its always a good thing to have a small knife available on your investigation, particularly at the end. I mentioned buying zip ties to secure your equipment. Those things can be a pain to remove. Hell, even cops use them as handcuffs now. That’s why a knife can be useful. Instead of fighting with them to get them off, all you have to do is cut them and be on your way. A pocket knife will do fine or even a razor. Get one for free in your kitchen.


First Aid Kit

Say you’re on an investigation, and a member of your team is taking a temperature reading on a cold spot. Things get out of hand. The next thing you know, he’s laying there, and his arm has been ripped off by a monkey. So he’s bleeding to death while the monkey sits there pointing, laughing, and jumping around like an idiot. If you brought a first aid kit, your friend MIGHT have survived. Now all you got is an evil monkey, and a dead guy with a bloody stump. They’re cheap at any drugstore, or grocery store.



Cameras are in the ‘Basics’ list because they are ABSOLUTELY necessary for a hunt or investigation. They can however be expensive, depending on what you want. You can go anywhere, and buy one of those cheap disposable cameras for 5 bucks, and It’ll work just fine. Its the developing that gets expensive. Otherwise, go digital.


Walkie Talkies

Walkie talkies are good because they’re easy to use, and its a lot more professional than screaming at your team from the other side of the site. The pricing on these things are a little bit tricky. They’re sold individually or you can also find them in a 2 pack. Individually, I’ve seen them run from 20 to 200 dollars. You can get a nice 2 pack for anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars at Radio Shack. (NOTE: You will find that Radio Shack is your best friend for buying gadgets!) Shop there while they still exist!



Have at least 3 sets of each type of battery you use. If you’re using 9 Double A’s, then you should have 27of them available to use. There is a theory that spirits need energy, and feed off of the batteries. Whatever the reason, when your on an investigation or hunt, your batteries can go from completely full to DEAD with only a second of use! Your best bet is to buy a buttload of all different types of RECHARGEABLES and a charger, usually around 25 bucks to start.



In this century, a computer is necessary for almost every job that there is. Ghost hunting is no different. Most importantly, you ant visit this site without one. Seriously though, if you plan on being serious about investigating, you’re going to want to document everything and keep records. There’s no better way of doing that than a computer. You can also use it for audio and video as well, but we’ll get into that later. Laptop models are effective. Now-days, you can get them anywhere from between 400 bucks and up.


Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Don’t cross the streams. It would be bad.




Equipment Case

There’s a LOT of equipment that you can buy for paranormal investigations. Naturally, you need something to carry it all in, or even store it. I recommend you get a case for a handgun, or multiple handguns. They’re about the size of a large briefcase, and have that egg-crate foam stuff on both sides. When you close it, it will hold all of your gadgets snugly so they don’t bounce around. You can get a gun case at any outdoors sporting goods place, or where they sell handguns. They cost anywhere between 25 and 50 bucks.


Utility Vest

This is another thing that you can get at pretty much any sporting goods store. Hell, you can even go to Wal-Mart, or some other store, and go to their sporting goods section. Basically, all you really need is a hunting or fishing vest. Most of the time they come with many little pockets and compartments for you to store things. I wouldn’t recommend the color pictured to the left though. It’s probably better to go with a much darker color, like black. These run around 25 dollars.




This is a pretty good image viewer for all of your photographs that you take in the field. It’s got a slide show and even some small editing applications such as gray scale, filters, cropping, inverting, and contrast adjustment. It’s very easy to use and the best part of all, it’s COMPLETELY free for download from the IrfanView website… Click HERE to visit there to get it. (Keep in mind, that tampering with evidence makes it MUCH less valid.)


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is considered by many people to be the ‘be all, end all’ of image editing software. By looking at the price tag, Adobe seems to agree, unfortunately. This entire website has been built using images created using Photoshop. It’s a pretty useful program. You can get it directly from Adobe’s Website. There are different versions available ranging from 650 to 1000 dollars.


Lunar Phase Pro

This is a neat little program that will track the phases of the moon for ya. Why the hell would you need the phases of the moon tracked? Well, there’s a lot about the paranormal that we don’t yet know. Actually, there’s NOTHING about the paranormal that we DO know. Is it so hard to conceive the possibility that the phases of the moon MIGHT have some effect on the paranormal? With this program, you can at least make the connection, and try to figure it out. You can get it on the Lunar Phase Pro Website for 40 or 50 bucks.


Atom Time Pro

AtomTime Pro is a Windows application which will connect to the Atomic Clock time server in Boulder, Colorado (USA) via the Internet, and fetch the current atomic clock time value. It compares this value to your PC time and displays the difference. You then have the option of updating your PC clock to match the atomic clock value. How’s that for copying and pasting? This is good for your team synchronizing all of your clocks. You can download it here.