Fun fact: After reading a particularly creepy chapter in this book, I had to go to the bathroom which required a walk down my house's spooky hallway. Just as I passed my sister's bedroom door, she opened it which caused me to scream which caused her to scream which caused me to scream again and then bust out laughing. She got mad at me because she thought I did it on purpose and I was laughing to hard to tell her the truth.
Moral of the story: Don't read this book if your bathroom is at the end of a spooky hallway and next to your jumpy sister's room.
The Haunted tells the account of Jack and Janet Smurl, the victims of one of the worst documented and publicized hauntings in America. The book doesn't mention this but apparently a TV movie was made about the haunting in the 90's and I strongly hope they use it as the source material for The Conjuring 3 because I love those movies. In the book, we learn about the Smurl family and how they cope with the haunting, the terrifying things that happen to them, and their involvement with Ed and Lorraine Warren, the famous demonologists in the fight against the demon that haunts the house.
As I mentioned before, I love paranormal stuff and I'm particularly a fan of Ed and Lorraine Warren's stories. This one proved to be a really good and creepy story. I had fun reading it. It moved quickly with fairly short chapters and the events happening to the Smurl's was definitely interesting. It was also intriguing to see how the Warrens conducted their investigation into the haunting and how things progressed. It also had some really creepy parts, such as the voice in the basement and the beast at the edge of the bed (the latter is what I read during the comedic event with my sister). I wanted a spooky, nonfiction ghost story to read and this one definitely delivered.
There are some downsides to this book. From a narrative standpoint, the sections about the demonologist in training didn't really fit well with the story. They were odd little add ons and in the end they didn't have much impact on the story. It was a great way to show how the Warrens recruit new members to their team and how they've turned skeptics into believers, I just wish it was integrated better.
Another issue with the book is it definitely has it's biases, namely religious ones. As a former Catholic, there were definitely parts that had me rolling my eyes a tad because they reminded me of my grandparents and how they fit faith into everything. If you're a devout Catholic you probably won't mind these aspects but if you're not, it can come across a little corny. Additionally there wasn't a lot said about the ways the Warrens tried to debunk things or if they did at all. I appreciate that the author included a lot of different accounts to add to the Smurls' credibility, but I would like to know how they determined the knockings weren't just coming from rusty pipes or the chill wasn't just a fluke AC. If the Warrens did do these things, it's really a shame Curran didn't include them in the account because that would have added greatly to their credibility.
Do I believe the Smurls? Sure, why not. There's not much said in this one account to make me think they were faking it, and not just because Curran and the Warrens said it was legit. It was more so the fact that people were noticing these events long before the Smurls went to the media and the fact they insisted their first media appearance be an anonymous one that makes me believe that, at the very least, they believe they were telling the truth. Plus it's more fun to believe anyway. If they came out tomorrow and said, "Just kidding!" I wouldn't be heart broken. They still tell a fascinating tale. And if you want a creepy, fascinating tale, I think you'll like this book regardless of whether you believe or not.
Final rating: 3.5 out of 5. Could have used some work to make a more well rounded story, but it's fun and it accomplished what I expected it to.
Final thought: Started my job at the library today. I love it. Being around all those books will be so distracting though.