Paranormal State: My Journey Into The Unknown

Author: Ryan Buell And Stefan Petrucha
Publisher: Harper Collins World
Number of Pages: 400 Pages
Cover design: Amanda Kain
Released: 2010
Rating 4.5/5

Review by Jo Blackened

Paranormal State
Being a fan of the television series ‘Paranormal State’ I always wanted to get my hands on a copy of this book and I am so glad that I did.

Paranormal State is based on a team of investigators who help those who claim to be suffering due to paranormal experiences. This book shows a ‘behind the scene’ look into how they shot the series and help explain the mysterious world of ghosts, demonic disturbances, and sixth-sense sightings that shadow some people’s lives.
Forfrightened families who have nowhere else to turn, Ryan and his team go to investigate.

The book starts off with a full in depth introduction of how the paranormal team first set up with strict requirements showing how Ryan was and still is a serious and profession investigator. It also indicates his own internal mental and emotional battles of knowing which road to go down and not knowing what he should be doing at that point in his life and shows from the start the strength and loyalty of those around him.

As you go on the paranormal journey with the team, there is a great insight to how the TV industry works and the difficulty in conducting interviews and investigations with a media team wanting to film your every move.

One quote I really liked from Ryan was him explaining to them

‘You can’t schedule the unknown’.

Included in the book are little snippets and brief interviews with each member of Paranormal State dicussing backgrounds, their own personal journey and their own favourite memories from the show. Additional sidebars also go into depth explaining everything from the equipment they use, the in depth knowledge of demonic possessions required, and the origin of each subject covered. Even Ryan himself shows personal skepticism, as he believes that most experiences are in fact psychological.

Ryan goes into detail regarding his complex relationship with religion, his internal struggle and the reaction to others accepting his sexual orientation and the strong close bond he shares with well-known demonologist Lorraine Warren.

“I don’t need to leave my faith. The prejudices need to leave my faith”

The main point I liked most about this book is how clearly it shows Ryan has no ego. Unlike a lot of other people on TV and those who claim to have psychic ability who seem to cling to fame, Ryan shows how level headed he is and open minded at all times and treats everyone with respect no matter their beliefs or religion. He also shows how easy it is to become scared of the unknown and to believe everything you hear regarding the paranormal, when most of the time there is a simple logical explanation behind it.

After watching Paranormal State it’s really interesting to read the investigations you remember in detail so you really get a sense of being there and following Ryan’s thought processes throughout.

“If someone says there’s a portal to hell under some rocks, you bet your ass I’m going to move them.”

I feel the reason behind his journey and the connection he has with his clients is all down to the horrific memories he has carried since he was a child and no matter how much you try to rationalise things when you get older, some nightmares are embedded for life. It’s the help and support you can give to others that can also help yourself and relieve some of your own internal torment.

The book is very well laid out and at the end of each chapter there is a section explaining different logical facts and explanations, educating readers on topics such as sleep paralysis and the equipment they used on each investigation.

This is a book for the believers and the non-believers and it shows that you need to keep a level head when it comes to the paranormal. It also covers both sides and therefore doesn’t try to push the reader towards any concepts regarding beliefs or religion.

After reading each investigation, it clearly shows that despite each member’s personal beliefs, the researchers will question and research every fact before jumping to any conclusions. It is also clear that after reading some of these stories and people’s experiences that not everything can be explained straight away, and there are only a few of us that are willing to dedicate our lives into investigating the unknown and help others- Ryan is one of these people.

“Saint Michael the archangel, Defend us in battle, Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, And do Thou, oh prince of the heavenly host, By the divine power of God, Cast into Hell Satan and all evil spirits Who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

I recommended to anyone who has an interest in the paranormal…no matter what you believe.