The Ovilus 5b is an ITC device used by ghost hunters to communicate with ghosts in real-time. It’s a popular gadget used on ghost hunting reality TV shows, but it has a lot of problems. Get the scoop after the jump.

For this review, Ghostly Activities bought an Ovilus 5b from Digital Dowsing with our own money. There’s no expectation of a good review for the manufacturer. The Ovilus 5b does not offer a mobile hotspot, nor does it have a Wifi connection.

For our tests, Ghostly Activities took it to various haunted cemeteries in Thurston County, Washington. We used its modes for approximately 7 hours. The videos later in this review were filmed in a residence to illustrate the Ovilus’ features.

Ovilus 5b Background

ovilus 5b test and background

The Ovilus is a popular choice with the reality, ghost-hunting TV set. Per the manufacturer, it scans the environment to generate words. Digital Dowsing claims that none of the words are random. They also state that nothing is instant or guaranteed.

Digital Dowsing in now on the fifth edition of the Ovilus. If you watch a lot of ghost hunting shows, you know that Ghost Adventures often uses the Ovilus 3, 5 or its sibling, Paranormal Puck. This has led to heavy demand. It took 2 months for Ghostly Activities to acquire the device for testing.

There were a couple of red flags discovered while researching this review. For one, it wasn’t clear that the Ovilus 5b did not offer the mobile hotspot or a Wifi connection. There are instructions on the manufacturer’s site to use this feature. Also, most instructions focused on the Ovilus 4, which is discontinued. We recommend the maker update its technical manuals to reflect this.


Most ghost hunters are familiar with the Dictionary mode. It’s a list of 2,048 English words stored in the Ovilus. When an investigator asks a question, the Ovilus will use environmental factors to pull a word and respond. It’s not clear how the algorithm weights these factors to select a word. You can customize gender (male or female) and language (English or Spanish). The Log feature holds a list of all words produced by the device.

Other features include:

  • Energy (measures fluctuations in environmental energy levels with a Sine wave)
  • Draw (reads the environment and outputs colored blocks to based on high or low energy levels)
  • True or False (uses rising or falling energy levels to flash a green or red result)
  • Motion (shows a Sine wave to measure vibration or movement)
  • Phonetic (broadcasts robotic sounding syllables, called phonemes)
  • Proximity (displays a sonar-like graph that creates an alert based on static and electromagnetic fluctuations)


For the most part, you just turn on the Ovilus and select one of the features. The gadget starts measuring the area immediately. You can adjust the settings and sensitivity for each feature/mode by clicking the Wrench icon. We recommend experimenting with the Settings for each mode.


Accuracy in measurement is critical for any investigator. You need it to compare data collection over a period of time to help explain phenomena. The Ovilus 5b failed at this.

Below, you’ll find video snippets of basic tests so you can judge for yourself.

None of the modes accurately measured energy, motion or proximity. In fact, there is no X, Y or Z-axis anything. To be fair, you could simply use another gadget to see if real-time changes matched a MEL meter, for example. But that is an additional cost and tax on your team’s resources.

energy mode on ovilus 5b
The Energy mode did show changing energy levels, but there was no gauge to measure its levels
The Motion mode couldn’t tell me how strong or weak movement was. Even the slightest wiggle looked off the charts.

As for proximity, we had to touch an object to get the alarm to sound. Ghosts probably don’t have enough mass or energy signature to do that.

The Proximity mode didn’t clearly state how much energy spiked, and we had to touch objects to get the alarm to go off

The Phonetic mode never gave us anything sensical to string together. We would say it’s less reliable than a spirit box for sure.

The Phonetic mode provided a lot of syllables (or phonemes), but it sounded like gibberish

As for True/False, we found its name misleading. It actually detects rising or falling energy levels. Then, it would flash a green or red dot. That’s not exactly a binary response but a trend line.

The True/False mode really measuring increasing or falling energy levels, which is not how someone measures binary responses

As for the Dictionary mode, we did find the Ovilus generated a word that matched our questions. But it would never happen immediately like on TV. It was usually 1-of-50 to 1-of-100 words. That would make it a random response.

The Dictionary mode would match a word to our questioning, but it was one of dozens of words generated. That’s on-par with a randomly selected word.

Conclusion | Should You Buy The Ovilus 5b?

Ghostly Activities does not recommend the Ovilus 5b. The main problem is its lack of accuracy for measurement and subjectivity for Dictionary mode. Our tests showed the Dictionary mode worked more as a random word generator. This mode gave non-sensical responses, much like The Estes Method. To be credible, an investigator shouldn’t need to discard 90%-to-95% of the words. To put it in more relatable terms: Would you want your doctor to misdiagnose your condition nearly all the time for how much it costs you? We don’t think so.

Its other metrics for energy measurement lacked detail. Sine waves are nice and all, but we need a unit to compare. How much EMF is generated by the haunted location? We can’t tell from this gadget. Why do investigators need to press the device against a computer to get the Proximity alert to go off? What is the energy spike level?

It’s just too vague and unreliable to be taken seriously for $400. The Ovilus 5b is a pass. Get a gadget with better measurement instead or invest in thermal imaging.

You can find more information about this device at

Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by Jacob Rice