How To Use Dowsing Rods For Ghost Hunting

Dowsing rods in action during a paranormal investigation

We’ve all seen them in the movies – a bent, dried hazel twig, quivering in the hands of an old, wise man, looking for water in a desolate, dry landscape.

Those are what we call a dowsing rod. And yes, though traditionally used for locating water sources, a dowsing rod can also be used for ghost hunting or to communicate with spirits.

Read here to learn about dowsing rods, and how to use these peculiar, L-shaped rods during your next ghost-hunting expedition.

How To Use Dowsing Rods For Ghost Hunting

In ghost hunting, divining rods detect the presence of spirits. It’s believed that the sticks are attracted to magnetic fields emitted by otherworldly entities, making them move in a particular direction.

Use these steps to ghost hunt using your divining rods:

1. Choose your divining rods

Use L-shaped metal sticks or a forked branch. Hold one rod or end in your left and the other divining rod or end in your right hand.

2. Focus on your stance

Always assume a relaxed standing position. Stand with your legs slightly apart and your arms relaxed and next to you, pointing the sticks towards your front.

3. Find a comfortable grip

Hold the two rods loosely, allowing them to move freely in your hands.

4. Set your intention

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and set your intention. Mentally focus on searching for ghosts or paranormal activity.

5. Calibrate your rods

Start by asking simple and clear questions to find which direction they’ll point for “yes” and “no” answers. Once you know their movement and particular responses to relevant questions, you can start hunting ghosts.

6. Start walking

Slowly walk through the area you want to investigate, allowing your rods to guide and “point” you to the ghost’s energy field. Observe how they move. Some believe they will cross – forming an “X” – when you’ve come across the spot where the spirit’s energy is the strongest. Others claim they will point in opposite directions.

7. Engaging with the ghost

When your rods cross, stop, lower one of them, and ask the ghost for permission to engage. Keep an eye on your rod to see if you get a “yes” or “no” answer. If in the affirmative, continue your conversation, asking questions and observing your rod for yes or no answers.

If you do not get a response, pick up the other rod, take a breath, and again allow your sticks to lead you in a search for where the energy is strongest. Once there, repeat this step and try to engage with the ghost.

8. Interpret your findings

Once you have finished your conversation, thank the spirit and end the session. Use the time afterwards to reflect on and interpret the answers and responses you received.

Be aware that any movements of the rods could be caused by subtle muscle twitches, environmental factors, or your unconscious expectations.

What Are Dowsing Rods?

Dowsing rods, in the world of ghost hunting or paranormal investigation, are also called divining rods and are used for ghost hunting or communicating with spirits.

They can take the form of a forked stick or two L-shaped sticks and made from a range of different natural and synthetic materials, including:

  • Wood: Traditionally, divining rods were made from forked tree branches. When on the search for ghosts, the wooden sticks are believed to be sensitive and attracted to the electromagnetic field emitted by paranormal beings.
  • Metal: Divining rods made from copper, brass, or steel are also popular. These materials are more durable than wood and can bend into different shapes.
  • Plastic: Plastic rods are a lightweight and inexpensive option. They are not as durable as metal or wood, but they can be effective for some ghost-hunting applications.
  • Other materials: Other materials used for these sticks include fibreglass, bone and crystals.

The Practice Of Dowsing

Dowsing has been practised for millennia. Traditionally, a dowser (someone who is trained and skilled in dowsing) would use a wooden Y-shaped or two L-shaped metal rods to locate a paranormal being in a specific room or location.

When used in ghost hunting, it is believed that spirits, made up of electrical energy, can manipulate the electromagnetic field around the rods to make them move. Therefore, one can use these sticks to locate ghosts in a particular area. After “locating” the ghost, you can use them to communicate with the entity.

For a dowser to perform their art, they would need:

  • The right tools: Dowsers typically use forked sticks (made of wood, metal, or plastic) or pendulums (for example, a weighted crystal on a string). They hold their dowsing rods and walk around the targeted area, claiming to experience involuntary movements indicative of hidden objects.
  • Practised techniques: Specific methods and interpretations vary across practitioners. Some claim sensitivity to energy fields, while others focus on intuition or subconscious cues.
  • Intuition and skill: Experienced dowsers emphasise the role of intuition, honed through practice, in interpreting rod movements or pendulum swings.
  • Personal belief: Many view dowsing as an art, requiring personal belief and connection to the environment.

Considerations: Using Dowsing Rods For Ghost Hunting

Keep the following in mind when you use dowsing rods to hunt ghosts:

  • Practice makes perfect: Many ghost hunters learn dowsing by regularly practising and honing their skills. Use your dowsing sticks often and learn how they react to your questions. As you become accustomed to your rods, and they become attuned to you, remember not to share them to avoid someone else’s energies interfering with the bond between you and your rods.“Dowsing is not magic, it’s a skill. It’s like learning to ride a bike – you can practice and get better at it, but it doesn’t mean everyone will be able to do it to the same level.” – David Ashworth
  • Keep your ghost-hunting sessions short: Because you have your hands up – holding them – all the time, your arms will easily tire. Keep your dowsing sessions brief to allow your arms to rest between sessions.

The potential dangers of using dowsing rods for ghost hunting

While divining rods are safe for finding water and other objects, using them to hunt for and communicate with spirits can be potentially dangerous.

Inviting spirits into one’s home for communication, for example, may lead to unforeseen consequences, and it is essential to approach this practice with caution. Be mindful of the potential risks involved in using divining rods.


Is it bad to use dowsing rods?

It depends on what you use the divining rod for. When using it to locate water, treasures, or a lost possession, the practice of dowsing holds no harm to users.

However, divining rods should be used cautiously when communicating with the spirit world. Dowsing experts warn against inviting spirits into your home as they might not leave your house after your session.

What else can you use dowsing rods for?

Except for hunting for and communicating with ghosts, you can also use dowsing rods to:

  • Find water: Also known as water witching or water divining, water dowsers use their sticks to find water reserves or a hidden water pipe in the ground. It’s believed the water-dowsing rods respond to electromagnetic fields and energy emitted by the bodies of water.
  • Find hidden objects or divination: Here, the dowser uses their rods to locate lost objects, minerals, or hidden treasure or tell the future.


Divining rods and the art of dowsing have fascinated humans for millennia.

These wooden, metal, or plastic sticks are believed to be attracted to the electromagnetic fields emitted by paranormal entities, helping dowsers pinpoint their location.

Properly using your divining rods takes time, practice, and intuition. Also, use it cautiously when hunting ghosts to prevent uninvited visitors from moving into your home.

Though shrouded in mystery and regarded with scepticism by many, this age-old art is still widely used by many to communicate with their departed loved ones and to find hidden or lost valuables.

Contact SpiritShack today to learn how our dowsing rods can help you improve your ghost-hunting skills, and let us help you find the dowsing rod that best fits your needs.


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!