UV Lights for Ghost Hunting

by Jennifer Eblin

No homemade ghost-hunting kit is complete without some form of light. IR, or infrared, light is typically used because it detects movement and activity in darkened areas. An IR camera is specifically designed to locate light in a given space caused by movement in the surrounding area. Ultraviolet light, which is also known as UV light and black light, isn't as common but is still helpful in ghost hunting.


Using UV light in combination with IR light or an IR camera is helpful for ghost hunters. The UV light illuminates the surrounding area, removing dark shadows and hidden spaces that cannot otherwise be seen. An IR camera is set to a night-shot or night-vision mode and the UV light directed over the space.

Expert Insight

The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS, is the ghost-hunting group featured on the television series "Ghost Hunters." According to Long Island Paranormal Investigator, TAPS tested UV light on a routine investigation. Former investigator Brian Harnois did not find any proof that UV light was better than IR light. Harnois further claimed that UV light was helpful in situations where a demonic ghost or spirit haunted the building. The UV light stopped the entities from moving across thresholds, doorways and other areas when the light was directed across the space.


The theory behind UV light is that ghosts move quickly across a given area, and this speed is too fast to see with the naked eye. The UV light has a longer wave and lower frequency than ordinary light. When the light is directed at a supposed haunted spot, it allows the camera to capture the spirit and perhaps provide proof that the building is indeed haunted.

UV Lights

The cost of one particular UV light that mounts on your handheld camera is $54.95, at time of publication, according to Ghost Stop. Depending on the quality and size of the light, the price may cost up to several thousand dollars. If you're worried about the cost, consider making your own UV light for ghost hunting. Purchase an incandescent lightbulb set that runs on batteries. Make sure that the light is small enough and compact enough to fit over the top of your camera. Place the bulb flush against the camera and wrap a small length of masking tape around the bulb and camera. Be careful not to cover the lens or viewer of your camera with the tape.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.