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“Don’t freak out, that’s rule number one.”
From the book, page 1.

I have to admire anyone who starts a book this way!  And of course it meant that I was hooked, literally, with the first sentence.

Will Storr vs. the Supernatural is “one man’s search for the truth about ghosts.”

Now of course I don’t think it was his intention to actually do all this research and come forth and say “yes, I do believe, after all my research, that there is a supernatural world.”

“To me, it was all so much superstition.  It was absolutely clear – people are desperate to believe in whatever will comfort them through this chaotic, random and, ultimately, pointless life.” From the book – page 5.

Will starts his journey by visiting a Demonologist named Lou Gentile.  They go to the house of a woman who is supposedly possessed by a demon.  It was this experience that inspired Will to do more investigating into the world of the supernatural.

To gather more data for his research, Will attends several ghost hunting expeditions, visits with a druid, a philosopher, a psychiatrist, an exorcist, and a seasoned paranormal investigator.  He also spends the night in a haunted castle and a haunted pub, joins the crew of “Most Haunted Live,” attends a seance, and visits a library.

What he found was that skeptics wholeheartedly believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was no proof of an afterlife, and that paranormal activity could all be explained away.

And…

The fans of the paranormal wholeheartedly believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is an afterlife, and that the paranormal activity is the proof of that.

And why not?  History has shown us, again and again, that great minds have made some pretty arrogant assumptions based on current information (like when the sun orbits around the earth).

“And scientists used to think the world was flat.  They changed their minds about that.  These days, every single time they send a space probe up, they’re forced to have a rethink.  Really, every generation thinks they know everything, but everybody knows that they don’t.” From the book – page 81.

What I loved about this book was that it made me, someone who was already a believer in the supernatural, think about why I believe what I believe and why what I believe is important to me.  Honestly, there are many who are into the study of the supernatural simply because of their own fear of death.  And I can completely relate to this.  None of us want to believe that our lives are simply a teeny blip that eventually comes to an end.

He also briefly explains why it may be that when you go looking for a ghost, you never see one.

I enjoyed this book so much, and though I only picked it up because of its title and cool looking cover, I would now buy just about any book Mr. Storr should decide to publish, just because I enjoy his style of writing so much.  He’s funny, clever, and really jumps into the investigation with an open mind.  I really believe that he’s willing to uncover as much truth as he can, even if it goes against what he’s hoping to find.

“As for the hard skeptics, I think that to believe so passionately in the existence of nothing that isn’t immediately obvious is to suffer the most gigantic failure of intelligence and imagination.  The universe – the reality in which we exist – is such an immeasurable, unbelievable and, ultimately, unknowable thing.  And the only thing I know for sure is that it’s a stranger place than any human has the capacity to imagine.” From the book – page 308.

Will Storr vs. the Supernatural is more than an investigation into the truth about ghosts.  It’s a study of the human mind reaching above its littleness.  It’s a call to rethink our need to let our fears determine what we’re willing to believe.

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One Response to Review: Will Storr vs. the Supernatural

  1. James Randi says:

    When author Will Storr writes ““As for the hard skeptics, I think that to believe so passionately in the existence of nothing that isn’t immediately obvious is to suffer the most gigantic failure of intelligence and imagination” I heartily agree with him. As a rather dedicated skeptic – perhaps even “hard” – I have never come upon any claim that is “immediately obvious”. Rather, I’ve always had to examine any such matter, in detail, as well as consulting with appropriately competent colleagues, before coming to any conclusion. Thus, I find Mr. Storr’s standards rather lacking… He appears to need better…

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