Every investigator of the paranormal remembers acquiring their first piece of equipment that would aid in either detecting ghostly goings on, debunking it or both! For some it may have been as simple as a camera, digital recorder or digital thermometer. For me, it was my trusty Panasonic micro-cassette recorder. Setting out many years ago with nothing but a torch and that recorder to a reputedly haunted abandoned structure, I felt I was ready to track down any entity that may cross my path.
Today, there is one spook seeking tool that is on top of the ‘must haves’ for many budding ghost hunters. And that is the now famous KII (K2) meter or safe range EMF reader. There are many reasons why it’s popular among those who chase the supernatural. It’s simple and easy to use, it fits in your pocket and more to the point, it’s very affordable. The KII is also a star in its own right, featuring in a plethora of mainstream paranormal shows, which adds to the attraction. But is the KII really an essential addition to your paranormal kit?
Let’s take a look at how the device works, what it was originally intended for and why it is now so popular with para-peeps.
Origins and how the KII works
The KII meter is a single axis electromagnetic field meter. Now to many, them there’s some mighty big words, but it really just means that this device is designed to locate the radiation of electric and magnetic fields and also radio frequencies and microwaves within a certain area. These EM fields are produced by anything with an electric charge. Tradespeople, such as electricians, can use this tool to find wires within walls, track down electricity leaks and also determine if an appliance or power supply is safe as prolonged exposure to higher than normal EM fields can affect ones health. Opening up and taking a look at ‘the guts’ of a KII meter reveals a very simple construction. Encased in a plastic housing is a 9 volt battery which connects to a small circuit board that in turn powers 5 little LED lights of different colours situated at the top of the tool. Within that circuit board is a small metal coil. When the device detects an EM field or RF (radio frequency), the tiny coil vibrates and, depending on the fields strength and proximity, will light up the corresponding LEDs at the top. The weaker the field, the lower the light response. The stronger the field is, those lights will light up like its Mardi Gras time! I could ramble on about how EM fields are measured, but that’s just plain boring.
So how does it manage to alert you to the presence of a ghost? So glad you asked.
The most popular theory suggests that a ghostly presence is actually an electromagnetic field, or manipulates the natural EM field by entering or interacting with our plane of existence. This is pure speculation of course, as the existence of ghosts is YET to be scientifically proven. However, it’s a theory many in the paranormal world tend to agree with as we have little else to go on. Couple that the fact that many researchers and investigators report EM fluctuations that coincide with unexplainable activity within a given location, and you can see why it’s a widely accepted theory.
Pros and Cons
Every doo-hickey and gadget has its redeeming and not so redeeming features. The KII is no different. Let’s take a look at the pros of the device.
• It’s easy to use
• It fits in your pocket
• It’s lightweight
• It’s relatively cheap ( around $60 au )
• It’s a great companion piece to other bits of equipment (getting a ‘hit’ on your KII at the same time you get an EVP on your recorder along with a motion sensor going off is good stuff!)
• It’s great for spirit communication. ‘Hits’ can be used as yes/no responses (“ Can you make the lights blink once for ‘yes’ “……or……” Can you stand next to the device” )
• It lights up!!!!!!
Now to the downside of the KII.
• It’s only a single axis device. Meaning that it will only detect fields from left to right. In order to pinpoint where a field is being emitted, you must constantly raise, lower and turn the KII from side to side.
• It’s extremely sensitive. Mobile/cell phones (TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!!!), radio transmissions, electrical appliances cutting in and out and even your own body emits its own weak EM field, so hold it at arms length. All these and more can produce false positives. You may think you are talking to a ghost, when in actual fact it could be Rubber Ducky conversing with a trucker mate. 10-4 good buddy!
• It’s definitely NOT a stand alone toy. Don’t go looking for ghosts with nothing more than a KII.
So, is the KII a worthwhile device to have in your kit?
All sceptics will tell you that equipment designed to track down ghosts and record haunting phenomena are a load of hocus pocus, but most investigators of the paranormal are not total sceptics. We have witnessed and experienced too much to simply agree with mainstream science that ghosts don’t exist. The KII meter, for all its shortcomings is a very handy tool to have at your disposal. It may be overly sensitive and at times give you false readings, but it is a great device for debunking possible activity and can also be a tool of validation when used in conjunction with other equipment. I’m a big believer in having ‘backup’ for your ‘backup’. Hearing a motion sensor alarm trigger at the same time someone has a personal experience in that exact location is great data, though it’s not enough to be anything conclusive. Having a KII meter register a strong hit while all this is going on may not be absolute validation of paranormal activity, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Think of the KII meter as a paranormal hammer. If you only carry a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
Dan McMath is a paranormal investigator, radio program host, promotions manager and barman with a flair for cocktails designed to make you see more than just the floor!