Will Storr vs. The Supernatural: One Man's Search for the Truth About Ghosts

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Overview

Will Storr has done some seriously bizarre and otherworldly things over the course of his career as a journalist. But even spending an entire day with Ozzy Osbourne wasn't as frightening as when he agreed to follow Philadelphia "demonologist" Lou Gentile on his appointed rounds. Will Storr never believed in ghosts—but his healthy skepticism couldn't explain the strange lights and sounds he witnessed, and the weird behavior of the occupants of several allegedly haunted houses.

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Overview

Will Storr has done some seriously bizarre and otherworldly things over the course of his career as a journalist. But even spending an entire day with Ozzy Osbourne wasn't as frightening as when he agreed to follow Philadelphia "demonologist" Lou Gentile on his appointed rounds. Will Storr never believed in ghosts—but his healthy skepticism couldn't explain the strange lights and sounds he witnessed, and the weird behavior of the occupants of several allegedly haunted houses.

What resulted is a confirmed cynic's (and proud of it!) dedicated search for answers in a shadowy world of séances, mediums, devil worshippers—even the Vatican's chief exorcist. So get ready to confront the genuinely creepy along with the hilariously ridiculous in Will Storr vs. the Supernatural!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Will Storr, an award-winning British journalist, hadn't planned to be ghost stricken, but his encounter with self-described "demonologist" Lou Gentile sent him down roads best not explored alone. His ad-hoc odyssey led him to the creaky doorsteps of mediums, devil worshippers, and even the Vatican's chief exorcist. Will Storr vs. The Supernatural lives up to the British review that called it "a rattling read rich in deadpan humor."
Chicago Sun-Times
“Perfectly reasonable, ordinary citizens have what can only be described as eye-popping supernatural experiences.”
St. Petersburg Times
“...lively and sharply observed, creating an exhilarating mix of sly humor and shudders.”
The Guardian
“A ripping yarn that genuinely leaves you questioning how you view the world.”
The Independent on Sunday
“Part Scooby-Doo, part The Exorcist, this is book a very amusing way to scare yourself stupid.”
Deborah Blum
“No writer has a better way with the supernatural than Will Storr.”
Bookseller (London)
“Somehow Storr manages to be very funny one minute and seriously scary the next.”
Daily Record UK
“Storr’s intriguing stories will have you spellbound.”
InStyle UK
“Terrifying.”
Townsville Bulletin (Australia)
“Storr’s adventures will truly surprise even the most hard-nosed agnostics...Read this one in a well-lit room.”
Jon Ronson
“Funny, exciting, and strangely haunting.”
Danny Wallace
“Too funny to read in public, too scary to read on your own.”
The Independenton Sunday
"Part Scooby-Doo, part The Exorcist, this is book a very amusing way to scare yourself stupid."
St. Petersburg Times
"...lively and sharply observed, creating an exhilarating mix of sly humor and shudders."
The Independent on Sunday
“Part Scooby-Doo, part The Exorcist, this is book a very amusing way to scare yourself stupid.”
Bookseller (London)
"Somehow Storr manages to be very funny one minute and seriously scary the next."
Daily Record UK
"Storr’s intriguing stories will have you spellbound."
InStyle UK
"Terrifying."
Chicago Sun-Times
"Perfectly reasonable, ordinary citizens have what can only be described as eye-popping supernatural experiences."
The Guardian
"A ripping yarn that genuinely leaves you questioning how you view the world."
Townsville Bulletin (Australia)
"Storr’s adventures will truly surprise even the most hard-nosed agnostics...Read this one in a well-lit room."
Jon Ronson
"Funny, exciting, and strangely haunting."
Danny Wallace
"Too funny to read in public, too scary to read on your own."
Deborah Blum
"No writer has a better way with the supernatural than Will Storr."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061132193
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/5/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 799,858
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Storr is a journalist who has dressed up as a woman to impress the transsexual leader of radical pro-suicide campaigners, trained in jungle warfare with the British army, and has been arrested and then deported under armed guard from Los Angeles. He has written for many publications in the UK and has won many awards. This is his first book.

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Read an Excerpt

Will Storr vs. The Supernatural

One Man's Search for the Truth About Ghosts
By Will Storr

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Will Storr
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061132195

Chapter One

'Are you Sir Thomas Sackville?'

He's a man's man, is Christopher Tuckett. Rosy-cheeked and countryside-fit, rugged-faced and handsome. The 34-year-old assistant property manager (events) of Michelham Priory is all thick-cord trousers, rolled-up shirt-sleeves and shooting the shit out of pheasants. That's what the (events) part of his job title means, by the way - countryside pursuits. He adores them. And they're his job. So, you believe him when he says, 'I'm not the type who's easily fobbed when it comes to spooks and whatnot.' (I believe him, anyway: I've seen a framed photograph in the lobby of him with a peregrine falcon perched on his arm. He's giving it a steely look.)

'I was a right cynic,' Christopher continues, leaning back on a thick stone ledge. 'I didn't believe in ghosts. Still don't. I'll argue the toss about anything.'

'What,' I say, 'even when you've got a tornado in your bedroom?'

But the rest of the Ghost Club don't laugh. They just stand there and blink back at him.

It would, perhaps, have been better for me if the Ghost Club had turned out to be a support group, the sort that sits in circles in meeting halls, a cuddly community of crumpled victims who wear name badges, have tearful, confessional moments and a twelve-steprationality-recovery programme. Unfortunately, however, they're not. They're unashamed and unreconstructed Ghostaholics. And I am their newest member.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that my only option is to confront my fears, to charge bravely, head first, onwards towards the answers. So, I tracked down the Ghost Club's website, printed off an application form, filled it in and popped it in the post.

Barely two weeks later, I am here in Michelham, East Sussex on my first investigation. The thirteenth-century priory looms in misty, silent grounds, surrounded by a still-treacherous moat. Its high sloping roof, tough Tudor chimneys and thin, suspicious windows give the building the air of a defensive, growling animal. It doesn't want you anywhere near it.

We're standing in the undercroft, the priory's large, square, stone-walled entrance room. It has a low roof of curved arches that honeycomb across the ceiling and gather together into a large column that comes down into the middle of the room. It's 5:17 A.M.

'Well,' says Christopher, rubbing his chin, as if he's being made to consider the tornado incident properly for the first time. 'Actually, I would say it was more like a mini-tornado. Me and my wife used to hear it in the kitchen. Then it would come down the corridor and into the bedroom. It would be there for a good . . . two or three minutes?'

'And it would . . . what?' I ask. 'Blow stuff around?'

'Mmm, yeah,' he says, nodding with his hand still cradling his jaw. 'The curtains would be flat on the ceiling. Then you'd hear it go back up the corridor and into the kitchen.' He ponders the mini-tornado for a few more moments before muttering, 'That would wake you up.'

In the corner of the undercroft, a life-size waxwork model of an Augustinian canon gazes at us piously from beneath a dark cloth hood.

Christopher has permitted the Ghost Club to investigate the property that he's allowed to live in as an employee of Sussex Past, the site's owner. He's come down to lock up behind us.

'My wife left about a year ago,' he says, folding his beefy, bramble-grazed forearms. 'She couldn't handle it here. I had to make a choice between my marriage and my job. And the job's quite good.'

The worst time for Christopher, he confides, was when he first moved in. He wasn't allowed to live with Sue until they were married, so he had to spend two weeks living here alone.

'The flat upstairs is quite huge,' he says, 'big rooms. And there was no furniture up there except one circular table and a bureau in the kitchen, which we decided to move into the sitting room. I remember waking up at three in the morning and you could hear this thing moving across the floor, as clear as you like. And you knew what it was straight away. It was the bureau, on these small brass caster wheels. I remember thinking, oh dear. Well, this noise seemed like it went on for ever. But it stopped and, well, eventually curiosity gets the better of you. I went into the sitting room and turned the light on. The bureau had been pushed up against the corner and it looked like it had only come out that far,' he says, measuring about a yard with his hands, 'but when you looked at the floor, there was this huge figure of eight scratch. It had scored all the polish from the floor, where one of the wheels had seized up.'

'Christ,' I say, involuntarily.

'Now, I have to admit I do sometimes find it a little difficult to relax. Some nights it's busier than others. You always know when it's going to kick off. You know when you go into a pub and everyone stops and looks at you? That's the feeling. Sometimes I'll walk in, get a chill down my spine and I'll go flat out up the stairs. But I just think, psychologically, that's me snowballing in my mind.'

I know what he means. I've done a bit of psychological snowballing in my own mind over the last few hours.

It started in the gatehouse, a centuries-old castle-like tower that guards the entrance to the priory over the moat. I was with a senior member of the Ghost Club called Lance, and a couple in their early twenties called Natalie and Dane. I'd gravitated towards Lance early on because he looked like a man who knew what he was talking about. Male-pattern-bald and dressed down in a black T-shirt with studious wire-rimmed glasses and a cautious and precise way with words, Lance . . .



Continues...

Excerpted from Will Storr vs. The Supernatural by Will Storr Copyright © 2006 by Will Storr. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    Perfect read for believers and skeptics alike

    I'd never heard of the author, Will Storr, before. Nonetheless, I was impressed by his writing and the open-mindedness and skepticism he displays as he goes on a series of adventures in hopes of getting an answer about the supernatural, and whether ghosts exist. He remains objective through out, and does not try to sway the reader either way, but instead presents his experiences in a straight-forward, non-biased manner. Ghost hunters and those familiar with some of the names/stories of hauntings in this book will find it particularly entertaining. This is a book that is a great mix of information and pleasure-reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

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