Old school challenge - make your own barometer

14th May 2018. Reading Time: 4 minutes General, Old School Challenge, Paranormal Equipment. 2051 page views. 1 comments.

Before data loggers and paranormal puks, investigators would use barometers to measure any changes in atmospheric pressure. Here is how you make your very own barometer for the next Old School Challenge.

I recently talked about the importance of understanding the effect of atmospheric pressure changes during a paranormal investigation. Some investigators like to use data loggers or even devices like the Paranormal Puk to measure any barometric changes. As we know, in the early 1900’s, they didn’t have these fancy gadgets and used items we know refer to as ‘Old School’. So for the next old school challenge, here is how to make your own Barometer.

What is a Barometer

A barometer is a scientific device that is used to measure atmospheric pressure which is also known as barometric pressure. The atmosphere is basically the layers of air that wraps around the Earth. Believe it or not, air actually has weight and presses against everything it touches as gravity pulls it into Earth. A barometer measures this pressure. When the pressure drops, it means a low-pressure system is approaching (you know those things you always hear them refer to in the weather on the news?). It means that there isn’t enough pressure to push the storms or clouds away. When a low-pressure system approaches, you typically get rain, wind, and storms. If the pressure rises, it means that a high-pressure system is approaching, and with that means you get cool dry air and lots of sun because the pressure pushes the clouds and the storm systems out of the way.

How does a Barometer work

A barometer can help you determine if the pressure is rising or decreasing. People generally use it to predict the weather, however, some people within the paranormal believe that a large change in barometric pressure could indicate that a spirit is nearby. There are a few different kinds of barometers. You can get mercury versions, water versions, and of course in today’s age, digital versions. It is also worth noting that a Barometer will need to be adjusted when in higher altitudes as the pressure changes the higher above sea level you are.

To read about atmospheric pressure and paranormal investigating, you can read my article here:


How to make your own Barometer

It is very easy and inexpensive to make your own barometer. Not only can you predict the weather, but you can also use it on your next investigation. All you need are the following tools:

  1. Glass bottle with a narrow neck
  2. Rubber Stopper
  3. Water
  4. Food Coloring
  5. Elastic Bands
  6. Optional - glue or window sealant

To do this experiment, I tried to find the easiest way possible, but to be honest, there are a few different ways you can make your own barometer at home. Search on youtube and there is a variety of instructions from simple to complicated, depending on how far you want to. For me, the hardest part was peeling the label off the glass. Metho and a razor blade works well here.

I used an old bottle of Worchester sauce from the supermarket. The reason I chose this is because the bottle already comes with a rubber stopper with a hole the perfect size for a straw. The rubber stopper needs to stop air from entering the bottle so it needs to be a tight fit. In order to do this, I have used a rubber band to seal it in. Some people like to use glue or window sealant to be sure that no air leaks through.

Fill the glass jar with water at around halfway. Put a few drops of food colouring in. You can choose any colour, it is so it is easy for you to notice and changes. Blue or Red works well. Put the straw and the rubber stopper in the bottle and make sure it is sealed tight so that no further air can escape or leak through. Blow some bubbles through the straw. If it has been done properly, the water should rise up inside the straw. If this happens, your barometer is ready for use!

Put the rubber band around where the water level is sitting. That way you can establish if the water rises or lowers. Remember the higher the water, the lower the pressure and vice versa.

If you are using this for a paranormal investigation, remember these do detect the weather so take note of what is happening with the weather and what the forecast is over the coming hours.

There you have it, another old school challenge! This took around 10 minutes for me to make. 8 minutes of that was spent trying to get the label off the bottle. As said above, there are a lot of other different ways you can make your own barometer and if you want to be even lazier, a helium balloon will work well for you as well!

If you enjoyed this challenge, check out my other old school challenge articles

How to make your own electroscope:


How to make your own compass:


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  • Joseph Kapusta 5 years ago

    Good article. I never could understand how the idea of barometric pressure change being an indicator of a paranaormal presence ever came about. These changes are minute even compared inside vs outside. For instance, today, in Colorado in the U.S. where I reside the entire statewide variance is 0.20 hg. I would be interesting in seeing documented barometric pressure testing results that coincide with alleged paranormal activity. Just saying...