The Estes Method
I have a confession to make, now this is an outpouring of honesty that will create a similar kind of reaction to when you ask people if they like marmite or not.
Are you ready?
Here it is, I love a good paranormal gadget, I really do and whilst I have said this with my tongue kind of in my cheek it is true. Now for the quantification of that statement, I do love the flashing lights and beeping of a piece of equipment, I also know that the “evidence” they give is not unequivocal and that you have to use it as part of the story as opposed to the whole story.
Stand down anti equipment posse.
The options and possibilities for experiments with the gadgets are innumerable, as is the tweaking of existing methods such as Estes.
I am lucky enough to count the two main protagonists of the Estes Method, Connor Randall and Karl Pfeiffer as acquaintances and have interviewed the latter for my new forthcoming book “ A Haunted Experiment”, but I thought I would talk about this particular experiment a bit more.
You may think that Estes is the name of the investigator who used it but it isn’t, it is named after Estes Park, Colorado and it was actually pioneered at the infamous Stanley Hotel – yes, Here’s Johnny! – Connor and Karl being part of the then resident paranormal team and looking for different ways to try and communicate with the resident spirits.
There are strong similarities between Estes and some earlier research known as the Ganzfeld Method, which was pioneered by a follower of the Gestalt Theory called Wolfgang Metzger and used similar techniques now adopted by proponents of Estes.
So what is it and what do you need to do? Firstly, you need a spirit box of some sort, the normal choice is the PSB – 7, good headphones, at least two people and a blindfold. The idea being that you need to isolate a persons senses so that there is no auxiliary information being projected into their mind and all they can hear is the noise coming through the PSB -7. I can tell you from experience that you really need to trust the people you are working with as once those headphones go on and all you can hear is the white noise – which let’s face it, is pretty spooky in its own right! – And are blindfolded as well, it would be very easy for someone of a nervous disposition to have a full blown panic attack.
The individual who is blindfolded and can hear nothing by white noise blasting into their ears (we can call the receiver), then sits and waits and says what they think they hear being communicated through the white noise. At the same time the other person starts asking a series of questions (we can call them the sender). It is believed that this removes the audio pareidolia that can influence what you think you hear coming through the white noise as the receiver will have no idea of the question being asked.
One of the additions that I made (and others have, I cannot claim exclusivity to this) is the use of digital recorders, I would suggest at least two, one recording the spirit box output, the white noise that can only be heard by the receiver and also one recording the questions and replies. It is amazing when you play back a recording and hear a third voice answering the questions with a different answer to what the receiver has just given.
If you do not receive anything? Do not give up, try a different place, try swopping the receiver and sender, try different questions – the options really are infinite!
Penny presents the Haunted Histories podcast on Parasearch Radio (www.parasearch.org) every Wednesday, writes for Haunted Magazine and is also the author of My Haunted History with her second book, A Haunted Experiment due for release in early 2020