As I've mentioned, the Mrs. and I are trying to fortify our emergency supplies. We recently brought home a generator inherited from my father-in-law, an old 1500-watt unit. And while we were happy with the new acquisition, we soon learned it was only good for minor applications-- tailgating, camping, backyard parties-- so we decided to shop for a new, bigger generator and use this one as a supplement.
Now, I'll study the HECK out of a product before I buy-- professional reviews, customer comments and forums are must reading. If you're like me, you think customer reviews are the best, especially when there are several of them for a product, and most of them agree. The Predator gas generators at Harbor Freight all have high-star ratings, so I dove into their reviews. Most of them were what you'd expect: "very pleased..." "well constructed..." "powered everything with no problem..." "works great and costs a lot less..."
But then, I stumbled on a particular review, and a chill crept up my spine. I turned down the AC and read on.
It was from the West Houston Paranormal Society, a dedicated group of otherworldly investigators who hunt and engage the unknown:
"We are West Houston Paranormal Society and this is our official generator. Running power where we need it in powerless buildings and houses that we investigate. It runs our equipment (cameras, audio, trip sensors, monitors, DVRs, computers, recharging packs, etc) throughout the house, as well as our trailer base command/review center. Fist pull operation, no drain or surges and super quiet.... the last thing we need is a loud generator interfering with our EVPs and video evidence, that is why we chose this one because that was high on our list of NEEDED features." Caps included.
Why the Predator generator? Could it be it resonates with beings from across the veil? Or, is it the high-quality performance and low prices? Perhaps it's all of the above.
The Mrs. and I ended up going with the Predator 8750 Watts Max/7000 Watts Rated Portable Generator, certified for California (4.5 stars, 13 reviews). It has the necessary power to juice our gas furnace, refrigerator freezer, AC, microwave, TV & lights... a little more than the "bare minimum" we had originally planned to get, but I'm sure we'll be glad when the emergency (and the other stuff) goes down.
The Predator generator isn't the only Harbor Freight product of choice among paranormal investigators. The Southeastern Paranormal Society, located in Salisbury, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC, and the good folks at IHuntGhosts.com, favor the motion-activated Bunker Hill Security 4-Camera Surveillance DVR when looking into poltergeists and sundry presences. A representative at the SPS commented:
"I bought this package to do surveillance for our paranormal research group. The cameras perform great in near pitch black conditions. Considering buying another system for our group."
Everyone who's seen those paranormal movies knows why this is an important contribution to the investigative process (on the other hand, I'm not sure I want to know what's going on in my house when I'm asleep).
On My Para: The Paranormal Social Network, a forum member recently recommended the Cen-Tech Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer for measuring the ambient air around "cold" and "hot" spots. While so-called "professional" ambient air thermometers cost around $130, Harbor Freight's is just $39.99. Boo-yah!
Here's a particularly unnerving thread about using a wireless inspection camera " for "tight spaces" and "a very good idea for a room that has noises coming from it with the door closed." The forum member who recommended the Cen-Tech Digital Inspection Camera was using his to check out a mausoleum he'd been curious about.
Finally, as Ghost Journeys advises in its Investigation Guidelines:
So, when it comes to quality tools at incredibly low prices... who you gonna call?