Dowsing Rods and Paranormal Investigations

(This week are are featuring a blog post by Patti Starr, Certified Ghost Hunter out of Lexington, KY and owner of Ghost Chasers International. Her website is


What Is Dowsing?

Dowsing is the ability of seeking answers and interpreting them by using dowsing rods or a pendulum. Dowsing is widely used as a simple, but effective, way of searching for anything from lost coins, water, and geophysical surveys to finding ghosts.

Can I Dowse?

Everyone one is born with the capability to dowse. Some will obtain the dowsing reaction immediately while others may have to practice for a while before they will see results.

How Can I Learn to Dowse For Ghosts?

Patti Starr, Certified Ghost hunter and President of Ghost Chasers International, Inc., has released an instructional video “Dowsing for Ghosts” and it will show you how to find the spirits with two “L” shaped brass rods and then with one rod how to ask the “yes and no” questions.

Dowsing for Ghosts:

Dowsing has been used for many centuries by many different cultures. The L-shaped rod is probably the most ancient of all dowsing instruments. The word “Dowsing” means to use a rod or pendulum to find something. It was a method used when searching for water and minerals. In our modern day, large oil companies, police forces, mining operations and farmers employ skilled dowsers. After World War I and during the Vietnam War dowsers equipped with rods were used to locate booby traps and underground tunnels.

Both animate and inanimate objects have energy fields. Everything that exists in the universe is ultimately pure energy that gives off a vibrational frequency. This would include every particle, thought, word, emotion, object and experience. When you dowse for a target you tune into its frequency. The response from the rods means you are reflecting energy back to yourself for interpretation.

Through experimenting and research in dowsing has led us to believe that the dowser responds to electromagnetic fields given off by the object that is sought. I feel that this very reason is why dowsing works so well with the TriField Natural EMF meter. When I’m dowsing with a single rod and asking “yes” and “no” questions to the ghost my EMF meter goes off with some of my responses. Once, while I was dowsing a spirit that I thought I had lost, because my rod remained motionless, I asked the spirit if he was still with us. Just at that time my EMF meter went off and had a tremendous signal for a good 45 seconds. As a matter of fact, I was unable to use my EMF meter again until I realized that the presence of the young male was so strong that he drained a new 9-volt battery. 

Later when I played my cassette recorder back to this exact incidence, you can hear me ask if he is still with us and just as the EMF meter goes off in the background you hear a very breathy, “Yes!” With this experiment I had a positive response of 3 mediums, a dowsing rod, EMF meter, and audio recorder. All of these instruments were able to pick up the disturbances in the electromagnetic field by translating the frequency of the communication with a ghost in the spirit world that resulted in a voice answering an intelligent question captured on audio cassette.

Beginners in anything will make a lot of mistakes and dowsing is no different. However, anyone who is sensitive, which includes a large percentage of people, can get a reaction from and learn to use the dowsing rods for finding ghosts. Every dowser has times when you get some weird responses to the questions being asked. This may happen if the dowser is showing off instead of taking the rods and their power seriously. It could also mean that the user is tired, feeling ill, or uncomfortable asking the question. It may occur at other times for no reason at all. These infrequencies may fall under the universal law that we can never have anything under control 100 percent of the time. 

When this happens, try another set of rods. I have about 6 sets and I use them for different projects. I never use the same rods that I use to dowse for bodies in a cemetery to use when dowsing for ghosts. After trying a different set of rods and you are still not getting correct answers, it might be wise not to use the rods for a few days, until whatever universal energy that is affecting your rods has passed.

To become a good dowser for ghosts you’ll need to practice, practice, practice. I started developing my skill by dowsing in cemeteries. I would start out with the L-shaped rods.

I begin by checking my “yes” and “no” responses. Once I understand the signal I ask permission to dowse. These are the following questions that I ask. The first question that I ask is, “May I?” This means, “Do I have permission?” The second question that I ask is, “Can I?” This means, “Am I ready?” The third question that I ask is, “Should I?” This means, “Is it appropriate?” Then I say my dowsing prayer: “Dear God (or other according to your religion), Please help me to become centered so that I may become a clear channel to your wisdom, in order to raise my consciousness and the consciousness of those who come to me for advice and help. Protect me from all negative forces while I do they work”.

Once the prayer is finished I position the rods in my hand and start walking. I would follow their lead until they crossed, signaling me that I could now speak to the Ghost or Spirit. At this point I let go of one of the two rods to start my one-rod communications.

The first question that I ask is, “May I, please, ask questions? If I get a “yes” response from this question, then I proceed with my first “yes or no” question. Usually I want to know if I’m speaking with a ghost or spirit. So, I ask, “Are you a ghost?” If the answer is no I ask, “Are you are a spirit?” If I get a, “yes” I continue with any other question that I would like to find out about this entity. If I ask the question, “Are you a male?” and I get a, “no” response or no response at all I ask, “Are you female?” if I got a, “no” response or no response at all I come to one conclusion. I may be talking to a child that doesn’t understand the male/female word. Then I try, “Are you a boy?” and if I get a “no” response, then I ask, “Are you a girl”. Usually after changing my question I can find out if it is a boy or girl.

As I continue I try to find out how old they are and how long they have been passed over. I start out with a question like this, “Are you more than 5 years old?” if I get a “yes” response I ask, “Are you more than 10 years old?” if I get a “no” response I can figure that the child is more than 5 less than 10 years old. If it is an adult I start the age at twenty and work up. I use this same line of questioning when I want to find out how long they have been passed over. I start with, “More than 10 years?” and work my way up. Sometimes I find some that have been passed over for around 150 years.

If I’m asking “yes and no” questions and the rod swings around and stops to point I try to figure out what is going on. Sometimes I ask if the ghost/spirit is trying to give me a message. If the response is “yes” I start to follow the rods to see if it leads me to a clue. Sometimes they may take me to a picture and then I can start asking “yes and no” questions again. Sometimes they lead me to a person standing close to me and then I start asking “yes and no” questions about the person the rod is pointing to.

Sometimes when the rod points away, I just have no clue what the message is and then I loose the energy and that ghost/spirit will pull back. Then if the vibrations of the rods become strong again I ask if I have contacted another ghost/spirit and start all over with the “yes and no” questions. Sometimes I find out more about the second entity than I did the first. It’s almost like the first one was getting me ready so I would be really tuned in so I could understand the second one better.

While I was dowsing a bedroom at the Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky, my first question after entering the room was, “Are there any ghosts present in this room?” At that moment my single dowsing rod swung around me and pointed behind me. Shortly after I entered the room I had placed a mini cassette recorder on a dresser, which was now behind me. I didn’t know why the rod did this movement until I returned home and listened to my audiotapes. As I came to that section of the tape where my rods had swung around behind me you can hear a whisper answer my question, about ghosts being in the room. The response was a clear whisper “Behind you”. This is when I discovered the real benefit for having a recorder going during a dowsing session. This was just the beginning of the many voices that I’ve been very fortunate to capture while dowsing and the voices seem to answer my questions or leave a message related to the subject of discussion.

During a session of “yes and no” questions, I once got a “yes” response and then a quick “no” response. This continued even after I re-worded the question. Then I realized the response might have meant “maybe”. Just like in our lives when a question is asked about something or someone that we are not sure of, we respond, “maybe”. By this I learned a new signal. You will also learn new signals the longer you practice.

Dowsing is intuition technology. Like most things in the world, it is not 100% accurate and like ghost hunting it is not an exact science. We are dealing with intuition and collective unconscious sending messages through a human mind.

Code of Dowsing:

1) Relax your mind and body before starting. You should not dowse if you are tired, sick, or stressed.

2) Dowsing takes a lot of energy so keep the sessions short.

3) Wear comfortable clothes and it’s a good idea to remove your watch, jewelry and other metallic objects from your pockets. Do not wear heavy backpack or carry a bag during your dowsing session.

4) To protect yourself from other energies and negativity it is important to align yourself:

a) Take a deep breath and imagine the air entering through the top of your head. As you exhale visualize a bright tube of light passing down through the center of your body and down past your feet into the ground.

b) Take another deep breath and imagine a bright white light encircling all around you as if you were inside a protective sphere.

c) Now you are ready to test your responses.

5) Once you have asked the “May I, Can I, Should I?” and said your prayer you are set to proceed.

6) Be sure that the wording of your question is clear and not ambiguous.

7) Think only of your question. Clear other thoughts, especially the thoughts about what you think the answer will be.

The Proper way to hold the Dowsing Rods:

The proper way to hold the dowsing rods is to take the L-shape rod and with the shorter end hold them lightly in your hands with your thumb bent down across the fingers. Do not place the thumbs over the bent end of the handle or it will restrict movement of the rods. Do not grip too tightly, but hold them tight enough to keep the rods parallel and loose enough for them to move. To test the “yes and no” response, ask the rods to show you the “yes” position and they should cross each other. When you ask for the “no” position they should turn out away from each other. If for some reason you get the opposite response then you much remember the signals have been changed and for this day you will get the rods crossing for “no” and them pointing away from each other for yes. We are all different and that’s why it is important to do the test response before starting the dowsing.

In our world today, we are basically wired to the left-brain or analytical and linear thinking. In fact, this rational side of our brain is over developed. Businesses and schools very rarely try to emphasize the right-brain or creative intuitive abilities. In order to learn dowsing we have to learn to let go of our left-brain and give our right-brain permission to bring up the answers.

The practice of meditation is one of the easiest ways to access the right-brain. Meditation is a great method of strengthening the intuitive side of the brain as well. One thing is for sure, the practice of dowsing will exercise your intuitive thinking and this will cause you to become more aware of the psychic areas of your mind. Dowsing is partly physical, partly mental, and partly something else. It is a multi-level tool. Use it well.

NOTE: A Ghostly Encounter rents dowsing rods for $5.00 per set and sells them for $18.00 per set in our booth.

2 thoughts on “Dowsing Rods and Paranormal Investigations”

  1. Is their a danger attracting negative or evil entities using dousing rods?
    I tried using the rods for the first time recently. I had success. I absolutely did NOT move the rods on my own. They responded to my questions

  2. In New Orleans cemetery tour the rods instantly began quickly spinning in opposite directions. I had to hand them off. Happened every time I grabbed them. Any idea why????

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