Book Review: Spirits of the Cage by Richard Estep and Vanessa Mitchell

Title: Spirits of the Cage
Author: Richard Estep and Vanessa Mitchell
Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When single mother Vanessa Mitchell moved into a historic cottage in Essex, she had no idea that a paranormal nightmare was about to unfold. The cottage, known as The Cage, used to imprison those accused of witchcraft back in the 1500s. From her first day living there, Vanessa saw apparitions walk through her room, heard ghostly growls, and was even slapped and pushed by invisible hands.

Unable to handle the dark phenomena after three years, Vanessa moved out and paranormal investigator Richard Estep moved in. Spirits of the Cage chronicles the years that Vanessa and Richard spent in The Cage, uncovering the frightening and fascinating mysteries of the angry spirits who lurk within it.

In Spirits of the Cage, investigator Richard Estep and his team of US and UK-based investigators heads off for a stay at  The Cage, a haunted medieval prison now turned into a cottage. Back in the 1500s, The Cage had been used to imprison those accused of witchcraft, who later met a grisly fate, being killed often by hanging.

Nevertheless, single mother Vanessa Mitchell bought the cottage several years ago. First, she lived in it with a friend, and even during those times, they witnessed several paranormal events, like objects moving on their own, a death certificate of the previous owner showing up out of nowhere, apparitions, even shadow people and ghostly growls. But when Vanessa’s friend moved out, leaving her alone in the house, things got progressively worse. And when Vanessa became pregnant, she basically barricaded herself in a single room in the house, refusing to go anywhere else. Things got even worse when her child was born.

Part of the book is told from Vanessa’s POV, through flashbacks. The other parts involve the investigation carried out by Richard Estep and his team. Through various methods, one more scientifically accurate than the other, from Ouija boards to letting the ghosts move the body of one of the investigators, over the course of several days, the team investigates the haunting. No real conclusions are given though, and by the end we don’t know much more about the spirits living in The Cage.

I liked reading about the investigation, the different methods they used, and I also enjoyed Vanessa’s story about what she went through. Some of the events seemed a little over the top, but since it apparently happened to lots of people, I’m willing to give the story the benefit of the doubt. However, I would’ve liked to read more historical research about The Cage, and it surprised me neither Vanessa nor the investigators did a lot of historical research prior to entering The Cage, or Vanessa during the time she was there.

The writing was a bit sloppy at times, but I didn’t mind that much. The book was entertaining and some parts were even scary – the part about the old woman looking like a mannequin staring out of the top window at passersby in vehicles, that part really terrified me. I get goosebumps even thinking about it.



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