REM Pods are a very common piece of paranormal equipment that you will see some version of in almost every paranormal investigator's kit. The official REM Pod is quite expensive, however there other versions such as a RED pod and even the MEL Meter has a REM model with an antenna attached. Of course other developers have all come up with their own versions as well. They may look different, however they all work with the same basic concept.
How does a REM Pod Work?
The official explanation from GhostStop:
With an all new design, the REM Pod uses a mini telescopic antenna to radiate its own independent magnetic field around the instrument. This EM field can be easily influenced by materials and objects that conduct electricity. Based on source proximity, strength and EM field distortion (4) colorful LED lights can be activated in any order or combination. The Rem-Pod is intended to further help promote and advance Paranormal research.
Basically you typically have a red circle type device which has 4 (some models have 5) lights on the top and an antenna. There are however newer devices people are developing which are square with an antenna and a set of lights at the top. In each model, the unit produces its own magnetic field around the antenna. If something is to break that field (like a hand), it will make a noise and one of the lights will light up. The stronger the break in the field, the more lights will come on. If no one is touching this field, people interpret this to be a spirit interacting. Commonly during an investigation you will see just 1 light come on which is usually the green light.
There are also models which can sense changes in the temperature which will light up red with a high pitched tone if it detects the temperature is increasing and blue with a lower pitched tone if the temperature is decreasing. Personally in my own experience, the temperature detection is not really reliable. Of course if you have a group of people gathered around the device, it is going to start beeping to advise that the temperature is increasing. A simple draft could trigger this to alarm as well. I find it can be quite distracting and almost takes people away from focusing on what the REM Pod itself was intended for. Basically people are inviting a 'spirit' to interact it with and to 'touch' the antenna or the red circle so show us that there is something or someone there.
Where did the REM Pod concept come from?
The actual REM Pod was supposedly developed originally for the Ghost Adventures Crew according to the information from GhostStop. The concept of a REM Pod however is not 'new' technology. It is based on the design of a Theremin which is a musical instrument developed in 1928 by Leon Theremin. A musician didn't have to physically 'touch' the instrument to play it. The closer they moved their hand to the instrument's antenna, the higher the note it plays. This is how many developers have been able to make their own versions of a 'REM Pod' as it basically uses a theremin circuit board. There are questions as to why the price tag is in the hundreds for this technology when a theremin circuit kit can be bought for a fraction of the price. This would be why a lot of developers are selling their versions at a much cheaper price than the official REM Pod. The point is that they all work in the same way and use a theremin circuit, so you don't necessarily have to part with hundreds to buy the 'official' model.
Interestingly, the sound a theremin makes is described as quite eerie and was used in movie soundtracks such as The Day the Earth Stood Still
Here is a demonstration of how it was played and sounds
What technology interferes with a REM Pod?
From my own tests and experiences, there are a few common elements which will set off a REM Pod which investigators need to be mindful of.
Walkie Talkies . - If you are within around a 6 meter radius of the REM Pod and you are using a Walkie Talkie, every time you press the button and then release it, you will hear the REM Pod go off. I have seen many videos in the past where people have a locked off camera on a REM Pod and then a Walkie Talkie in the room. They 'radio in' their questions to see if they get a response and obviously there is no one in the room. It may be exciting when you see the REM Pod going off when no one is physically in the room, however in this instance it is the walkie talkie that is the culprit.
Mobile Phones - In the same way a walkie talkie sets off a REM Pod so does a mobile phone and in particular - live streaming. We all love a good live stream - myself included. Sadly again if you are in around a 6 meter radius of a REM Pod while you are doing a live stream, you are likely setting off the REM Pod. Again I have seen live streams where a person will be streaming and approaches the REM Pod. It starts to go off so they take a step back and it stops. They approach it again and it goes off again. In this case unfortunately it is your mobile phone. It will also go off if you get a message, an email or a phone call. This is why a mobile phone should be either switched off or on aero plane mode if you are using this kind of equipment during an investigation.
* The 6 meter radius is a guesstimate based on my own tests. Try it and see what radius you find.
Radio Transmissions - Things like baby monitors and CB radios can also interfere with a REM Pod which are out of an investigators control. It is not impossible to think that a truck could drive past and that the radio could in fact interfere with the device also making it pretty difficult to 'debunk' so it is something to keep in mind and use with caution.
Like any piece of equipment, it is not infallible. I always say I like to look at things in context. Are you getting random responses or are you getting what seem to be responses to your interactions? Are other things happening as well? Probably one of the biggest indications of interference is that often several lights will come on and or flicker between the colours. The most common interaction you will see on an investigation is usually (but not limited to) the green light. Interference is often more than one light (but can of course just be the green as well). I also find that interference lasts a few seconds and gives a solid light and noise for several seconds. Often interaction during an investigation is much shorter. Again this is where the 'context' and being aware of your surroundings is really important.
Ideas for using a REM Pod on a paranormal investigation
The REM Pod is not designed as the type of device that you carry around with you all night. It is designed to put down and left in a particular spot. Here are some ways you can incorporate it into your investigations:
One of the most common ways this is used is as a form of 'trigger'. Often an investigator will put a trigger object next to the device such as alcohol, a doll or an object they feel may resonate with the spirit and leave it there. They may ask the spirit if they would like a drink of whiskey. In theory if the 'spirit' were to try and touch the whiskey and break that magnetic field the REM Pod would go off. Some also leave the trigger objects there with the REM Pod and go on to another area to investigate. The sound of a REM Pod going off is loud and obvious so you can hear it from another room. You also know that no one else is in that room with the REM Pod making it all the more exciting when it does go off.
Another obvious way a REM Pod is used is to have it in the middle of a room. Often people will stand in a circle around the REM Pod. A circle is said to create energy. People may even hold hands in an attempt to create a circle of energy. They will ask a spirit to come forward and 'touch the red circle' to indicate if they are there.
One of my favourite ways to use a REM Pod is if you have more than one line them up in a long hallway. The goal of course is to have them go off one by one which would in some way indicate that someone or something we cannot see is walking or running up the hallway.
Two REM Pods can be used as a YES/NO communication session. You could put one REM Pod at one end of the room and the second REM Pod at the other end. You would explain to spirit 'Touch this red circle for yes and touch this red circle for no'. You have now established a YES/NO communication which can be quite effective.
Something that I think we all learn along the way and we have all made the mistake is that we will often walk into a location and straight away say 'Come and touch the REM Pod'. While in some locations a person may have a type of relationship with spirits and have been through all of this and explained equipment etc, it is important to understand that if a spirit is in fact the energy of someone who has passed away, especially if they are from say the 1800's, how would they know what a REM Pod is? They don't. You would need to explain it. This is why I often refer to it as a RED Circle. If I was referring to a K2 I wouldn't say 'come and light up the K2', I would say 'come and touch the Green Light.'
Personally I like using a REM Pod. I have tested them a lot and I know what seems to set them off. I also know that they don't tend to go off all that often. I will have several investigations with not a single REM Pod response which I guess makes me more intrigued when it does finally go off and when it seems to be what looks like answers to questions being asked.
Do you like working with REM Pods? What tips and ideas do you have for how they can be used on an investigation? What else can cause false positive readings?
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