At least one SouthCoast library is giving young patrons a chance to become paranormal investigators, and I’m here for it.

I was recently asked to present some SouthCoast ghost stories to a local Girl Scout troop, and it was arranged for me to speak to them at the Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion.

The young ladies in attendance seemed to enjoy my tales of true-life hauntings and my own encounters with the paranormal, and afterward, I let them try out some of the ghost hunting equipment I brought along to show them.

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That’s when my attention was directed to a section in which a variety of backpacks were hanging up, each with a different activity inside that can be checked out by library patrons. It appeared that they were mostly designed with kids and families in mind.

One in particular caught my eye; it was a backpack made of a material featuring a pattern of ghosts, and the tag “Ghost Hunting Kit” was attached to the top of it.

A ghost hunting kit from the Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion, Massachusetts
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Inside, the kit features a headlamp, a pair of dowsing rods, a copper pendulum, an EMF detector, and three books: Low-Tech Ghost Hunting 101, Everything Ghost Hunting and the Ghost Hunting Notebook.

The kit combines some “old school” and more modern paranormal investigation techniques.

A ghost hunting kit from the Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion, Massachusetts
TIm Weisberg/Townsquare Media

A pendulum is used as a tool for divination (communication with spirits), allowing a ghost to control the swing of the pendulum to respond to questions or even spell out words.

Dowsing rods are, of course, used for finding water – but the belief is that the same fluctuations in the electromagnetic field that indicate the presence of water can also occur when a spirit manipulates the rods.

Both dowsing rods and pendulums have been used going back to ancient times for attempting spirit communication.

The EMF detector is a more modern approach to the same idea. It detects fluctuations in the electromagnetic field and provides actual measurements of them. The idea is that in order for a spirit to manifest, it has to draw in and then exert energy, and therefore a spike in the electromagnetic field may indicate the presence of a ghost.

The important thing isn’t whether or not this ghost hunting kit, when checked out of the library, will actually help find ghosts. It’s that it will help bring together an interest in science and history in an exciting and engaging way that is sure to get almost any kid hooked on the idea of learning about both.

Other libraries are beginning to offer ghost hunting kits for checkout. We’ll ask around and see if we can come up with a list of all the ones on the SouthCoast, but if you know of a library that offers one, email me at and let me know about it.

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