A great deal has changed in the world of paranormal investigating since Richard Estep, author of ‘In Search of the Paranormal’ first became interested in the subject way back in the 1990s.
In the introduction to his book, Estep explains how advances in technology along with changes to investigative procedures and the massive, worldwide interest in the subject by TV companies has changed both the practice, as well as the publics perception of ghost-hunting in particular
Estep, who originates from England – a country well-documented for its paranormal activity, founded the Boulder County Paranormal Research Society (BCPRS) along with his wife in 2006. His book forms a collection of his favorite cases from the last two decades; time spent investigating haunted places, objects and people.
An English Upbringing
Estep begins his book by looking back to his early years and the time he spent as a youth growing up in the town of Syston in Leicestershire, England.
Even at an early age Estep was fascinated with spine-tingling stories about ghosts and haunted houses and this soon developed into a fascination with other related paranormal phenomenon such as UFOlogy, ESP, lake monsters, cryptozoology and alien abduction.
Later on, in his twenties, he found that his thirst for these topics was stimulated still further by the popular TV program the X-Files. This led him onto joining a local ghost-hunting group armed only with rudimentary recording gear, flashlights and maybe a VHS camcorder if they were lucky.
Over the coming years Richard and his team had several paranormal experiences, psychic events and even more challenging emotionally and draining events to investigate and contend with.
The initial research group that Richard joined quickly became busy dealing with reports of paranormal activity but the author still found time to run his own group, called Midlands Paranormal Investigations.
In his book, Estep describes several events that took place at that time including an investigation at a Northamptonshire pub as well as in a haunted theater in the town of Market Harborough.
The author also describes his researches conducted at Edge Hill in Warwickshire – once the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the English Civil War.
Although Richard and his wife now live in America they do return to England every year when they stay in London and take in the sights of some of the capital most paranormal locations – such as the Tower of London and Tower Green.
Moving to America
It was 1999 when the couple moved to the United States when, in the summer of that year, Richard took a job in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to his day job, he also became a volunteer at his local fire department and in his book he tells the story of nocturnal strangeness at his old fire station.
In regards to his paranormal work, Richard then explains the process of investigation that is initiated once a client approaches his group for help in dealing with hauntings of one type or another – very often taking place in their client’s own home.
Today, Richard admits that the BCPRS casebook is filling up with additional investigations being added each and every month.
It seems that on both sides of the pond the work of the ghost-hunter is a full and challenging one.
Rather then simply being a rather quaint subject to discuss at the dinner table the world of ghosts and paranormal research has recently become big business.
TV may well present the subject with a more balanced approach than it has in the past but what do we know from watching such documentary programs of the work that researchers do or the privations they put themselves through in their search for the truth?
If you have ever wondered what really takes place behind the scenes then ‘In Search if the Paranormal’ Richard Estep offers an excellent place to begin.
Essentially written as a biographical account of the author’s early formative years; including his first glimpse of the dead body of his grandfather and the growing interest in the paranormal that this spawned, the book forms an engaging narrative that carries its reader along in a very satisfying, but often slightly uncomfortable, way.
Richard makes no effort to explain the basis to paranormal research in his book – which is perhaps a bit of a shame as I would like to have gleaned his perspective and theoretical insights into what is so often such a confounding subject.
Nevertheless this is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening account of many strange and otherworldly experiences that its author and his wife have both experienced and deliberately subjected themselves to.
Few can have any doubt after reading this entertaining account that the world of the paranormal does exist and is as alive as a force in the world today as it ever was.
In Search of the Paranormal is both a fascinating and engrossing tale – one which carries its reader along with its warmth, charm and sheer sense of the mysterious.