The Demonologist (by Gerald Brittle) focuses on the work of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the duo who helped investigate the Amityville Horror house. I’m not sure where I heard about this book, but I’m kind of a fan of The Exorcist and demon-horror genre, so I thought I would check it out.
It was three things:
- Poorly written
- Sensational (lots of exclamation points!!!!)
- and ultimately, terrifying
Claiming to be 100% true (!!!), the book is written in faux-journalistic style, sometimes feeling a little bit like a true-believer fan writing up a review of a favorite artist. However, that didn’t stop the actual content from being really pretty horrifying.
The two things I remember most are the story of Annabelle, the possessed Raggedy Ann doll (I should mention here that I have my own Raggedy Ann doll, made by my mother, definitely NOT possessed… I hope…). I have a thing about animated non-living things, ESPECIALLY dolls, dummies, figurines… I think I would lose my mind if a doll started moving around the house of its own accord (being in a different place every day) or started leaving notes around the house. I would completely freak out. So that’s a pretty good story.
The other thing that was really scary was the extended descriptions of what happens when your home becomes infested with a demon (or multiple demons). Apparently there are three stages: Infestation, Oppression, and Possession. Each stage was described with multiple “true examples” and quotes from tape recordings of Ed and Lorraine speaking with the “demons.” I found these to be terribly unsettling in their utter bizarreness.
Lesson learned: do not play with Ouija boards, do not attempt black magic conjuring spells (even those from a novelty book) and do not focus on demons. Wait… don’t focus on demons? THEN WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS BOOK?!?! I’ve been focusing on demons for the past week or so! I am doomed.
A funny story: The other night, after reading this terrible book and becoming completely freaked out, I turned out the light and tried to go to sleep. As I listened to the little scritches and scratches that inevitably happen when the branches scrape against the house, and heard the dogs barking in the distance, I couldn’t get the list of “demon infestation” symptoms out of my mind: “Scratchings, knockings, rappings, animal sounds, sounds of furniture being moved, telephones ringing with no one on the other end, doorbells ringing with no one at the door…” etc. So I was trying not to match up the things I was hearing with the list of symptoms (“Just because there’s scratching doesn’t mean it’s a demon. Just because the dog is barking doesn’t mean it’s a demon) when all of a sudden, THE PHONE RINGS. At 10:30 pm. I am absolutely petrified and cannot get up to answer the phone, becuase I am SURE there will be nothing on the other end except clicks and silence, perhaps a low inhuman moan… so I lay there in bed, trying so hard not to wake up my sweetie next to me… “Don’t wake him up for this, don’t wake him up for this…” and eventually I calmed down and went to sleep. Surprisingly, I did not have nightmares, but I was awfully glad to finish this book last night.
It’s poorly written and its claim to truth is somewhat questionable of course, but it was damn scary and really kind of disturbing. A great RIP read if you want something to really get you thinking those October thoughts!!