Trigger objects can increase the probability of a ghostly encounter. They are simply any object that has personal meaning to the spirit or its time period. Ideally, you want to have an idea who the suspected ghost is. This will let you pick something that resonates with the ghost. Otherwise, you can select an object from the time period of the suspected ghost, but those general trigger objects don’t work as well.

Let’s learn about using trigger objects on your investigations.

Research Haunted Place And Suspected Ghosts Before You Pick A Trigger Object

little girl ghost uses trigger objects

Your research will help find a ghost’s suspected identity and your questions should try to confirm that

Trigger objects work best when there’s a connection to the place or spirit. This doesn’t mean the object is haunted: It just means the spirit will know what the object is. For example, if you used an iPhone while investigating a ghost town from the 1860s, the spirit wouldn’t ‘know’ the object and it wouldn’t interact with it.

If you can get something that belonged to the spirit, it will really improve your chances of interacting with it. If you can’t, use an object from the time period. Ghostly Activities tends to use objects from the time period, like a bell, because most spirits know how to make one chime. Toys and dolls work best for suspected child spirits.

Your research should lead you to questions you want to ask. While trigger objects are used for ghostly interactions, they can also double as EVP sessions. You may not see any physical movement, but you could record ghostly voices. And that’s evidence you want to capture.

Common Trigger Objects

trigger objects with ghostly measuring devices

Closer view of child’s toys used as trigger objects

Some of the most common trigger objects include:

  • Coins
  • Bells
  • Jacks
  • Dolls
  • Teddy bears (Boo Buddies work too)
  • Playing cards
  • Dice
  • Compass

Most ghosts will know what these things are and will engage with them. Many newer ghost hunters will put out an EMF meter, EDI or their smart phone, and expect a ghost to touch. Well, they won’t. They have no idea what they are, so you’d scare the ghost away. Go low tech for trigger objects, but high tech to collect evidence.

Experiments To Run With Trigger Objects

Trigger objects are for engagement, so your questions should focus on the ghost moving them. That just means you’ll reframe your question from a Yes/No EVP to tapping a compass once for Yes and twice for No. This statement applies more for adult ghosts. With child spirits, you may ask it to play with a teddy bear or jacks, and see what happens.

Trigger Object Setup

Don’t make the experiment area cluttered. You can place the object in the middle of the room and keep back at least five feet. If you use jacks, dice or coins, use chalk to draw a circle around each one. This is so you can measure any movements.

Around the trigger object, place other ghostly measurement devices like digital audio recorders, EMF meters, thermometers and geophones. These will capture manifestation observations to complement your engagement session.

Questions And Interactions

With your research in hand, you should have a list of 10-20 questions to ask. Remember to have the spirit use movement to answer Yes/No questions. It’s OK to repeat the questions if you don’t get a physical interaction. The other equipment may pick something interesting up.

If you didn’t find anything to ask from your research, you can ask generic questions to help narrow down the ghost’s identity. Some examples include:

  • Are you male?
  • Does your name start with a J?
  • Are you 30 years-old?

The goal is to get some info to identify the suspected ghost and some killer evidence.

Recording Trigger Object Sessions

Video is the best option. I record most sessions using full spectrum light, but you can use a normal light or infrared light, too. At the end of the day, if you capture the objects moving, it’s a success. You can set the camera to zoom in on the object to not only to see if it moves, but to capture changes on the other instruments. Most sessions last about 30 minutes.


It’s rare you capture any movements. It may happen during 1-in-20 experiments. These sessions take a lot of energy for ghosts and they may not be strong enough to move the trigger objects. BUT you may get EVP, geophone data, EMF changes and/or temperature changes. That’s pretty good data to have.