Will Storr vs. the Supernatural
by Will Storr
So first off I should admit that yes, I do believe that not everything can be explained by science and things like demons and ghosts really do exist. That said, I don’t think ghosts are the souls of dead people, and I also believe that at least 90% of all supernatural phenomena reported is a huge crock of bull.
Journalist Will Storr was far more skeptical than I when he met demonologist Lou Gentile. He arranged to interview the man for Loaded magazine because he found the American a little eccentric, and ‘American eccentrics are great. They’re more sincere, unabashed and convinced in their madness than any other eccentrics in the world.” (Thanks, Will.) But after a frightening visit with a demon-possessed woman, Storr is shaken and unable to rationally explain the strange things he sees and hears. It bothers him, and after a few months he decides to more fully investigate the world of supernatural, and try to find the truth – if there is any – behind the myths and folklore.
Storr is a very funny writer, and he captures the essentials of a person’s appearance and mannerisms in a few short sentences, so you can easily form a mental image of the ‘characters’ he encounters. Some of the people are clearly crying out for attention and faking their ‘special’ powers, but the majority is sincerely convinced that they speak the truth when they describe their experiences. Storr treats the people respectfully, no matter how ‘off’ they seem to be. His quest leads him to amateur ghost hunters and psychics, but also to men of a more distinguished caliber, like Maurice Grosse, investigator of the Enfield poltergeist, and the Chief Exorcist of the Catholic Church.
I’d hate to spoil the ending by revealing Storr’s ultimate conclusions about the potential of an afterlife, but I felt he did a really thorough job attacking the subject. His interviews with a TV psychic or the founder of a UK-based ghost hunting group is balanced by research on quantum physics and interviews with psychologists. Will Storr vs. the Supernatural has a great title, it’s entertaining, it’s informative, and it’s a really fun book whether you believe in spooks or not.