Among the many, many things your snazzy iPhone can accomplish, add one more: It can sniff out ghosts. Or pretend to. A company called Moderati Inc. released a simulated paranormal state EMF meter that you can download free on iTunes. It turns out the app is more of a promo for the A&E show "Paranormal State" than anything that will help you detect beings suspended between our world and the hereafter. It did get me curious about EMF meters and if I could buy one if were so inclined. Yeah, yeah, I'm the science editor, but I will admit to being fascinated by ghosts. Berate me if you will.
An EMF meter or reader measures the electromagnetic fields in your immediate surroundings, be they haunted house or humdrum household. Ghosts supposedly have strong electromagnetic fields that will register on your handheld meter and confirm or deny your paranormal suspicions. But regular stuff sitting around your house can cause these gadgets to jump, too, like electric blankets, fluorescent lights and internal wiring among other examples. If you ever hire a paranormal investigator, like one of the folks from the Paranormal Research Society, he or she will probably be gripping one of these in his or her hands.
If you see yourself going where Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis or Ernie Hudson have boldly gone before, you may to pick one of these up. A company called AlphaLab makes one called the TriField Meter available for about $150. But something tells me eBay has plenty more to choose from. If you buy one, let us know what you find. Even if it's nothing.