Pendulums – How They Work and How To Use Them

What is a pendulum?

In popular use, a pendulum refers to any weighted object that can swing back and forth.

Lava pendulum
Lava pendulum, courtesy Sean Paradis

You’ve probably seen pendulums (or pendula) on old clocks. The pendulum is the round thing below the face of the clock, and the pendulum swings back and forth, rhythmically, keeping time.

If you pause the pendulum, the clock stops working.

In paranormal research, a pendulum is usually a small, heavy object — like a stone, a crystal, or even a piece of metal — suspended from a cord, ribbon, or chain. A necklace can be ideal for this.

Some pendulums are highly decorative. Some of them have been blessed.

Each one is unique and will respond differently.

A person holds the cord, ribbon, or chain so the heavy object can swing freely. Then, that person asks a question. The movement of the pendulum determines the answer.

Most of my pendulums come from Sean Paradis‘ company, Sleeping Meadows. In my tests, the ones he makes have been the most responsive.

I own a variety of stones and colors, and I use each for a different purpose. My selection is based on my “gut feeling” about the best pendulum for that location.

How to use a pendulum

The end of the string (cord or chain) is held between the forefinger and thumb so that the object can swing freely. Hold the string at very top, with your hand at an angle. Your fingers should be out of the way.

Or, you can drape the cord or chain over the middle of your index finger. Then, keep it from slipping by applying gentle pressure from your thumb onto the cord or chain, against your finger.

Fiona's adviceTo experiment, you can make your own pendulum by tying any heavy bead or small pendant to a string or cord. The string should be about ten inches long.

Some people are naturally gifted at pendulum use. Others aren’t.

Pendulums work (or don’t) for believer and skeptics alike.


Some people can use pendulums, but they internalize the energy.

That’s not a good idea.

If you can’t remain completely separate from the pendulum you’re using, stop immediately.

Do not allow outside energy to be channeled through your body to the pendulum. (And, if you can’t tell the difference, don’t use a pendulum. The risks are too great.)


Next, try some baseline readings. It’s important to verify these every time you use the pendulum.

Baseline readings

Start with the pendulum entirely still. Ask a question with a yes or no answer that you already know.

Then note the how the pendulum swings. It may swing from side to side or from front to back. Or, it may swing in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner.

Now, ask a question with a different yes or no answer. Compare the results.

Repeat this several times until a clear pattern is established. (If no pattern emerges, it’s okay. Pendulums don’t work for everyone. It’s no reflection of the person’s psychic abilities.)

At haunted sites, you can ask, “Is this room haunted?” According to tradition, the more active the pendulum movement, the stronger the spiritual energy.

Even in the hands of skeptics, pendulums work. I’ve seen a pendulum swing so wildly, the weight snapped off a new chain. Then, it flew across the room.

Free Pendulum Charts

I’ve created two different pendulum charts.

To use them, hold the string so that the tip of the pendulum is about two inches above the center “dot” at the bottom of the half-circle.

Then, ask your question.

One chart is designed for simple, yes/no questions. You can draw this on a sheet of paper, and use it yourself. The pendulum should favor one direction/answer more than any other. If it doesn’t rephrase your question, or take a break and return to this later.

Pendulum chart 1The next kind of chart can be used to ask anything with numbers, such as the ghosts age when he or she left physical form. (Or, if the ghost believes that he or she is still alive, ask what year it is now.)

Pendulum chart 2You can create your own charts on paper, providing many other kinds of answers, too. They could include letters of the alphabet, people’s names, places, or things specific to the life of the ghost you’re contacting.

Or, click either image above to download it as a printable PDF.

When You Don’t Get an Answer

No matter which chart you use, if the pendulum swings towards you, off the chart, try rephrasing your question.

No results? The ghost may want you to answer the question for yourself, first, and then have spirit confirm it with a yes or a no.

If you are adept with a pendulum, I recommend professional pendulums designed for ghost hunters and psychic mediums.

Try one. See how it works for you.

But if you did just as well (or better) with your homemade pendulums, keep using your homemade tools.

Some people achieve remarkable results with pendulums. Others don’t.

It’s not a measure of your paranormal research skills.

It’s more like singing or running… different people have different talents. Someone who can play the violin may be perfectly awful at the piano.

One of the great things about pendulums, besides their simplicity, is that you can try this on your own without spending a cent.

For more information about ghost research, visit Fiona’s ghost hunting website,

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