Paranormal technical managers (or tech managers) have one of the most demanding jobs on a ghost hunting team. They’re responsible for the smooth operation of all the ghostly gadgets, but there is one big drawback to know before you take the job.
What does a paranormal technical manager do?
Paranormal technical managers (tech managers) have one of the most sought after roles on a ghost hunting team. After all, you know all about the equipment, how to support it, and how to fix it. You get to make recommendations on what to buy. You also get to show everyone how to use it.
It also comes with one big drawback: You don’t get to actively investigate during a ghost hunt. During the ghost hunt, you have to make sure all the equipment works correclty or troubleshoot problems.
Explanation of Tech Manager Duties
As a tech manager, this is what you have to do regularly:
Inventory – You have to keep track of each gadget before and after the ghost hunt. If you lose it, you have to pay for it.
Maintenance – You have to make sure each gadget works as expected, before and after, each investigation. Set up a schedule to test each piece of equipment.
Training & Certification – You teach people how to use the equipment and some basic troubleshooting tips. Then, have each team member show you how they’d use the gadget on a ghost hunt. If they can’t show you how to use it, then don’t certify them and don’t let them use it on a ghost hunt. Investigators only get to use equipment they can effectively operate. No ifs-ands-or-buts about it.
Selection – After you meet with the case manager, lead investigator and research manager about a case, you decide which equipment to use on the ghost hunt.
Troubleshooting – You have to fix problems on a ghost hunt. Understand the most common equipment failures (besides batteries – see next section), gadget operations and how to repair a gadget. This is all on you: Practice as much as possible with these 3 topics and you’ll do fine.
Storage & Transport – You have to securely store the equipment to make sure the evidence isn’t lost, and transport it to and from a ghost hunt site.
Acquisition – You decide which equipment to buy and which gadgets to retire from service. In some cases, you get a budget for acquisitions. Only buy the items you know you will use on a regular basis.
Advice for Tech Managers
As a tech manager, make sure you understand how to use the equipment before you take the role. I recommend you study under an experienced (more than 3 years in role) tech manager. If you can’t find someone, then read the books in the section below and watch YouTube videos on the subject.
Every investigator is responsible for their own batteries. You are there to fix the equipment, not run around with a bunch of Duracells.
If you are on a small team (less than 6 people), ask investigators to bring their own equipment. Your team probably doesn’t have the resources to buy all the equipment for them. Have each team member acquire at least a digital audio recorder. When I was a tech manager, I had my own gadgets, but I only let trusted and experienced people use them. I would let the Lead Investigator use my Tri-Field meter. Another member would use my infra-red camera.
You don’t get to investigate. During a live ghost hunt, you will be busy troubleshooting problems with the equipment and monitoring its performance from a central location. If you want to investigate, be an investigator with tech savvy. You can’t do both well at the same time.
If you recommend new equipment, make sure your team can afford it (or you can afford it), and you understand how to use it correctly. No thermal imaging equipment until you understand it and have a reason to use it!
In a pinch, go with a MEL meter, digital audio recorder and digital camera. You can never go wrong with this basic equipment choice. Most other gadgets are nice to have, but not essential.
Most people-related issues with equipment are caused by improper training. If they break it by fiddling with it, they never understood how to use it. Make sure you certify the people using your equipment.
Don’t give psychic investigators anything more than a digital audio recorder. I find the tech takes them out of their element and they can’t focus on the investigation.
It takes longer than you think to set up the tech and get it to work. If you think it will take 30 minutes, it takes an hour. Expect the equipment to stop working and you will force yourself to learn the best troubleshooting diagnostics.
Most failures happen in the last hour of the investigation. Just when the evidence starts to come in, expect video to fail. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but this is reality. Ghosts are pesky things!
Further Reading for Tech Managers
“Strange Frequencies: A Practical Guide to Paranormal Technology,” by Craig Telesha
“Ultimate Ghost Hunter,” by Vince Wilson
“EVP Lab 1.0” by John Gruber, PhD
“The Art and Science of Paranormal Investigation,” by Jeffrey Dwyer, PhD
“Ghost Hunting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started,” by Rich Newman
“So You Want to Hunt Ghosts?: A Down-to-Earth Guide,” by Deonna Kelli Sayed
“Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting,” by Christopher Balzano
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about the paranormal in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.