Book Review No. 45 - Spirits of the Cage by Richard Estep and Vanessa Mitchell
Hope everyone is doing well, and enjoying the last little bit of summer before autumn takes over. I love autumn, all the decoration, the cooler weather, and overall feeling of the season. The book I read this week really ties into the autumn-feel, especially with Halloween not too far off.
If you like real-life ghost stories, you will probably enjoy this book. "Spirits of the Cage: True Accounts of Living in a Haunted Medieval Prison" by Richard Estep and Vanessa Mitchell is a chilling read about one woman's life struggle living in The Cage for over three years and a paranormal investigators 5 day immersion into her world.
This novel is unique, as Vanessa's story is interwoven with Richard's paranormal exploration of The Cage. The Cage is a highly active paranormal house in a small English countryside town that has been show on several television programs and investigated by numerous paranormal teams. The oldest portion of the house dates back to the medieval times, where it was used as a jail to house people under suspicion of witchcraft.
Richard and his team spend 5 days living in Vanessa's house. They use several different means of communicating with the spirits, including spirits boards, dowsing, and just simply trying to talk with the spirits. As Richard discusses their investigation, you get sort of journal entries written by Vanessa, telling of all the paranormal activity she (and a number of her roommates and friends) witness during the years she lived in The Cage. There are several different entities that live in The Cage, some benevolent, however the most active are much more sinister in nature. Right before Vanessa finally moves out of the house, she had confined herself and your infant son to basically living in one room, as there was so much malevolent activity in the house, she couldn't risk entering the older parts.
I have to admit, I am a huge fan of all these haunting books and TV shows. I've watching many of the series on TV and love "true-life" ghost story books. To be honest, I am still not 100% sure what I believe, I'm a fence-sitter, but some claims made in this book are scary, and I know given the chance, I would not stay in this house overnight.
The last several chapters of the book are actually accounts of another groups investigation of the house. Now this portion is from interviews done by Richard of the other team, so it isn't a first-hand account of the haunting. This was my least favorite portion of the book, as I would have liked a little bit more about Richard and Vanessa's story.
Overall I liked this book, it jumped around a little, which was fine, but I got lost a time or two. Not a big deal. It was creepy, filled with a lot of paranormal occurrences I recommend if you like ghost stories and history, or just want a creepy story to read.