10 Popular Ways People Talk to Ghosts

Optional Audio Transcript

In media, there are many ways that ghosts are contacted. Whether it be with a tool, like a recorder, or through a psychic, the means are endless. You’ve seen those ghost shows (I talk about them often) where they have different setups that are somehow able to look for ghosts and allow them to talk to the living, usually resulting in people screaming or saying, “did you hear that?” But these shows barely give you the ideas of how people talk to ghosts.

They typically are trying to talk to someone who had died there or seeking out an evil entity that lived there but didn’t physically live. In movies, it usually ends up with a jump scare, a death, or a combination of the two. You never see the boredom that comes with ghost hunts because it just doesn’t make good content. Showing a group sitting silently for 5 hours in a dark room doesn’t exactly spark joy.

So, I give you 10 different ways people speak to ghosts, whether it be an instrument or a spiritual journey. Now, before we get into this, I will not be discussing EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) as a tool as it is a result of using tools.

1. Voice Recorder

This is the simplest instrument you can use for any ghost haunt as it widely available to the average person. It can be found for dollars in a store or as an app on your phone. It is easy to use and is used quite a bit in all of ghost hunting. Now, recorders are used to find EVP’s, which are just voices you hear on an electronic device.

Voice recorder app to talk to ghosts
Voice recorder app

Recorders are great for this because they can catch any sound that is near them. I would know this because I record the upcoming YouTube videos on a recorder, and you can hear an engine outside while you’re inside doing voice-over takes.

Now, I have an Android phone, so the app is just the voice recorder from the store. It’s nothing big but it works.

2. Ovilus

Now, this one is the fun one. It supposedly collects energy from around itself and pushes out a word or words to a screen. This one is a device that I love to see just because there are apps for it and the output is never correct, but on shows they have a $400 spiritual dictionary that’s always right. I let an app run for a bit in my house and it came up with some strange outcomes, but none of it was correct. During a show, when the Ovilus comes out, I get excited for what words pop up on the screen.

The “unholy” one is just a ploy, I swear. I see it in shows all of the time and they are usually after some dead wife or child in an 1800’s home. Not everyone is unholy. So, if you have a few hundred dollars to spare, try out a more official Ovilus. I forgot which of the spooky apps this is, but once again, on Android. There are like, 3 good ones on there that are free. Ghosts must have been Apple users.

3. Spirit Box

Another fan favorite is the spirit box, where it uses radio transmissions to get words and phrases (and sometimes growls), from certain radio waves enhanced from a spirit. I personally have never tried one of these, but they seem neat. On most television shows that uses these, it is difficult to figure out what comes out of them, and if you are not recording the audio, you will lose it forever. I’m sure it is different if you are in the room with it and not watching a recording on an overheating laptop.

Spirit box from Amazon talk to ghosts
Spirit box from Amazon

Someone like me who can barely understand English would have trouble with this one.

You’ll also see it in games like Phasmophobia, but they do mix the Ovilus and Spirit Box a little bit. It is cheaper, at least.

4. EMF Reader

Another cheaper option with ghost hunting is this guy, the EMF reader. It detects electromagnetic waves in the air and if there are more, it goes higher. If there are less or normal, it goes lower or stays the same.

EMF reader from Wikipedia to talk to ghosts
EMF reader from Wikipedia

Apparently, ghosts emit these waves and can be detected with them. It is like an alternative version of hide and seek. This one isn’t exactly fancy, and you can get them anywhere, including on apps, so, much like the voice recorder, it is everywhere.

The unfortunate thing about these devices is that anything can have electromagnetic waves, so don’t expect a telephone pole to be filled with ghosts. Just don’t get near anything electronic. Your readings will not be accurate.

5. Xbox Kinect

What, you think only Paranormal Activity has rights to being wacky? Yes, they do, and yes, the Kinect, an outdated piece of technology that was super fun during its hay-day, is used to hunt ghosts. I had one of these and never thought to use it for hunts.

Xbox 360 Kinect from Best Buy, used to talk to ghosts
Xbox 360 Kinect from Best Buy

You see that game in the corner? Great game.

Anyways, this only horizonal piece of electronic technology can detect spirits using lasers and can map out a figure that is just visiting our plane of existence. I’m not sure if it really works, but it is fun to think that an addition to the Xbox 360 has a strange secondary talent.

6. Ouija Board

You probably know this one and the warnings behind it. Hasbro probably never meant it to be so prominent in the horror genre, but you bet their bank account is happy about it. The Ouija board is set with the alphabet and 3 words:

  • “Goodbye”
  • “Yes”
  • “No”
Ouija board from Smithsonian Magazine, used to talk to ghosts
Ouija board from Smithsonian Magazine

The board is meant to contact dead people, most likely being relatives or ancestors that may or may not have moved to the great beyond. Most of the planchets, the object you move around, also have a mirror in the middle, but they don’t require one.

It isn’t used in ghost hunting reality shows because it wouldn’t be as grand as using recent technology. It can also be easy to fake. You’ll see it more in horror movies where the answer is doubted, and no one says goodbye.

7. Scrying

This one has a major variety of ways to be used, but I will go over the most common ones: the pendulum and the crystal ball. The pendulum is used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. It will swing to either what is notated to be “yes” or notated to what is to be “no”.

Way to scry with a pendulum, to talk to ghosts
Way to scry with a pendulum

Seen here, it moves in a certain way without any influence (other than the spirit) to answer a question. So, you can ask a ghost if they are aware that they are dead, and they will reply accordingly, or so they say.

The crystal ball is a bit different and has more fire warnings with it than any of the other things on this list. To use the ball, you would ask it a question and then focus energy into the ball and gaze into it. This art was dead for a while in history, partly because of Christianity.

What I have learned is that these balls stay covered as the transparent and translucent ones will go full magnifying glass and burn your house down.

8. Evoking and Invoking

Evoking is calling a spirit or thing on another plane to come visit you for aid in something. A good example of this is “Jesus, take the wheel”. This is different from invoking, which is calling something to just appear and have a chat with. You see more invoking in shows than evoking, but evoking would be more of asking a spirit to come open the door.

This isn’t really a main tool, but it deserves a spot on the list as it is the most common way to try and get a spirit to make itself known. So, move over voice recorder, there is a new sheriff in town, and it is the voice of command and plead.

9. Psychics and Mediums

I would say these people work as tools for ghost hunting because they are the conduit for ghostly interactions. A mediator for spirits. No one knows why these people have the gift (or curse) that they have and most of the time, they are considered faking it.

Illustration of the third eye by Enrique Meseguer 
Illustration of the third eye by Enrique Meseguer 

Mediums are seen usually in all horror media, from ghost hunting to movies. The Conjuring universe shows an exaggerated version of how the mind works for psychics. It is up to you if you believe in them, like a quarter of the population does.

Psychics can use tools themselves like automatic writing and question-asking to get answers if you are having a tough time trying to get the spirits to talk to you.

10. Traditions

So, imagine if you hold a feast for someone who has passed on, and you want to give them a way to say anything after they have died. This one is a bit of an umbrella, so bear with me. Traditions like the Day of the Dead, the Dumb Supper, the Festival of the Dead, Fèt Gede, and All Souls Day exist to honor and converse with the dead.

It is an idea that happens all over the world and has been celebrated for thousands of years. So, if you want to speak to the dead, give them a party.


If you are interested in any of this, let this be your start or sign of something to research. If you hate this whole article, at least you learned something new about the world. How we talk to ghosts, spirits, and the overall dead has been something to look at for a long time as humanity is constantly thinking about the end result of life. It will continue to grow and influence those interested in the other side.

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