Flashlight Technique: Friend or Foe?

Last week I talked with you guys about K2 meters and the rule of five. This week I want to piggyback off of that and talk to about similar pitfalls with the flashlight technique.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out last week’s video, you can click right HERE to visit the video.

I want to break this vlog down into parts like last week. This week it’s FOUR PARTS.

Part ONE: How the flashlight technique works, if you don’t know.

You’ve probably seen it on all the ghost shows if you’re not an investigator, so I want to give you some background. Now, when the flashlight turns on during these investigations, it’s not turning on purely on its own. The flashlight is set up to encourage this happening. The flashlight technique is NOT just setting up a flashlight and hoping it turns itself fully on. That happens very rarely on cases and is usually completely unexpected.

What you do is you take one of these small maglight flashlights with the twist-on caps, and you turn it so that it’s just barely off. A good rule of thumb is to then tap on the flashlight to ensure it’s not too delicate. (Some investigators will tell you that it’s best practice to play with the flashlight at home and make markings on the cap and the body to ensure you have the most reliable position every time. Which is good advice, Marty).

Now the theory is that spirits can either twist the cap ever so slightly to get it to turn on, or, more likely as it seems to me, they can somehow complete that connection inside that’s already almost barely completed.

Which leads into Part TWO: Why this is important.

Some people will say that with these flashlights, they’ve called the company and if the light is off it’s off, and there is no in-between. This is inaccurate. I’ve seen these flashlights turn themselves on from this delicate position more times than I can count. Whether it’s because of a static buildup or a kind of heating up and cooling down of the parts involved, sometimes these flashlights will turn on, then turn off a number of seconds later. Usually they’ll go thirty seconds or a minute or two in between turning on each time, and often they’ll continue to do this for any period of time between ten minutes or an hour.

This is why, point THREE, we use more than one flashlight at a time. This way, we can so direct the spirit to turn on specific flashlights. When consistency is gained, you can trust better that it’s beyond coincidence.

If one flashlight should turn on, I like to first see if the spirit can turn on the other two flashlights. Best case scenario, the flashlights are set up in a way that if a spirit can turn one on, you’d think that the spirit could also turn the other two on.

Once all three have turned on, you can direct the spirit to individual flashlights. Like say “turn the blue one on, now the red one, now the gray one. Okay now the gray one again.” And if you can specify an order with a bit of a twist, the odds of that happening on chance begin to drop significantly.

I had the mis/fortune of getting perfect interaction exactly like this the very first time I used the flashlight technique with three flashlights.

I was at the Stanley Hotel last spring, filming with the AdventureMyths team. It was around three in the afternoon in the Billiards room. The team was setting up lighting for an interview and I’d just purchased my three flashlights. So I was trying them out with a couple friends while waiting.

For the next fifteen or twenty minutes, we were receiving perfect on command interaction, well beyond coincidence. (Video of some of the interaction is embedded in the vlog)

But, point FOUR, I want to again reference last week’s rule of five.

If you’re speaking to just one flashlight and not double checking your answers constantly, it’s going to be very difficult to trust the interaction. Because these flashlights DO go on and off on their own, you could build a whole interaction with a single flashlight that is not genuine.

Always hold the spirit to at least two flashlights, and if you do only have one or two, keep the questions very specific and double check.

“Are you a man?” Yes. “Are you a woman?” No. “So you’re a man.” yes.

Now again, keep in mind to be understanding of the spirit. Asking the same question multiple times can be annoying, so be sure that the spirit knows you’re not just making it jump through hoops, but it’s a validation process to help be sure.

Again too, this isn’t exact. We don’t know if it’s very hard for a spirit to jump so quickly between flashlights. We don’t know if on many nights only one flashlight is in a position that a spirit can use it. Or if it’s very hard for a spirit to expend energy this way to multiple lights.

But because we’ve seen it happen in perfect communication before, we need relatively perfect communication again if we’re to trust not only the phenomena, but the information then gleaned from it.

Karl Pfeiffer is a writer, ghost hunter, and blogger/vlogger. He won the first season of the pilot reality series Ghost Hunters Academy, and went on to work with the Ghost Hunters International team on the same network. Since then he’s lead the weekend ghost hunts at the Stanley Hotel, studied religion and writing at Colorado State University, and published his first novel, Hallowtide, in October of 2012. More can be found atwww.KarlPfeiffer.com


2 thoughts on “Flashlight Technique: Friend or Foe?

  1. Patrick says:

    I totally concur! This is a good one, Karl!

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