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Anyone interested in the field of paranormal research has probably heard of a device called an EMF meter.  These meters provide a starting point and can eliminate things that we can not see in the walls and floors.  Such meters make our job  easier as we attempt to document or disprove a haunting.  However this meter is only a tool that can help us, it can not prove a ghost is there.
Since the early 1980's paranormal investigators have become increasingly interested in various types of electromagnetism,  This followed from the work of a number of researchers, but most notably Professor Michael Persinger at The Laueentian University in Canada.  Working with others he conducted many experiments that suggested that when parts of the brain was exposed to electromagnetic fields of varying intensity and duration subjects reported experiences that were similar to those experiences associated with reported paranormal activity.  He concluded that the source of these EMF's were both natural in the form of the Earth's geomagnetism or interactions with solar radiation or manmade from sources that included electrical wiring and appliances or a combination of both.
Alot of research has been undertaken that does strongly suggest that when some people are exposed to powerful EMF or a less powerful but varying EMF they may report sensations that they may believe are paranormal in origin.  These effects include a sense of presence, a sense of touch, anxiety, unease, fear, nausea, headaches and even 'Out of body' sensations.
Exposure to electomagnetic fields when they are applied to the brain, or more accurately to the temporal lobes can cause certain individuals to misinterpret the resulting physical or sensory changes that may be perceived as paranormal in origin by some people and may be the explanation in some cases of the real cause of the experiences.
Paranormal investigators might therefore wish to measure the electromagnetism that is present at an investigation site with interest.  They should note the intensity of the EMF, record the variations of the EMF and they should try and locate the source of any EMF.
An electromagnetic field occurs any time electricity passes through a wire or an appliance that is operating.  An appliance that is plugged in but turned off does not emit EMF's.  Electromagnetic fields are measured in mil Gauss.  A high mil Gauss indicates a strong electromagnetic field, and the fields weaken with distance from the source.Most buildings generally have an ambient background reading of .5 to 2 mill Gauss. The EMF meter will measure these fields but you as the investigator must determine what is an unusual field. 
There are several factors to consider when using an EMF meter inside a building;
1,  Walls are not barriers to EMF.  Something on the other side of the wall may be causing your reading.
2.  Electric wiring with current running through it gives off slight EMF.
3.  Electric junction boxes or fuse boxes will register stronger than wiring.  Be aware of their locations.
4.  Fluorescent lights give off an EMF that could register, and incandescent lights give off a minimal, usually undetectable EMF.
5.  Appliances of all types give off an EMF when operating.  These include but are not limited to, televisions, computers, microwaves, refrigerators and electric ovens.You can determine the strenght of an appliances EMF by taking readings from different directions and distances.
Likewise there are specific factors to consider when using an EMF meter outside.  Technically there should be no EMF readings outside and if you encounter one you should conside these factors;
1.  Are there any buildings close by that could be giving off the readings.
2.  Consider powerlines.  These will cause an increase in the EMF reading.  You should be aware of overhead and buried power lines in the area.
3.  A high iron content in the ground could also give you a higher than expected EMF reading.  This is the same reason that a compass will not work properly in an area that is rich in iron ore.
Now that you know somethings that could give false positive readings, what do you look for?  If you do find a higher reading than expected, and one not explained by normal electrical sources, then you may have found something paranormal.  Remember that you have to account for all the factors above before you can hope to reach any true conclusions. 
Look for EMF's that appear and disappear.  The area you are investigating must remain constant to pick up appearing and disappearing fields.  If you have the lights on when a high reading appeared than they must still be on when the lower reading is recorded.  If you find a field that appears and disappears when the background remains constant, then you may have activity.
EMF's that seem to move are a significant indicator of activity.  Again the background needs to stay constant in order to locate such fields.
I hope you now have a better understanding of electromagnetic fields and what can cause them.  Happy Hunting!