“I’m not really a writer…” E.E. Bensen explained when he approached me about reading his book, Supposedly Haunted: True Life Experiences of a Paranormal Investigator, for review here at ParanormalInvestigating.com. I have heard this from other authors before, and some of them are, indeed, correct. Fortunately for me and for all of you, that is simply not the case where Bensen is concerned.
Broken into three parts, Supposedly Haunted relays Bensen’s own journey into the world of paranormal investigation. Spurred on by experiences in his youth, the author eventually found himself a member of the American Association of Paranormal Investigators, AAPI for short, based in Denver, CO. It was there that he finally began to answer some of the questions that had plagued him for years, though he freely admits that answers only lead to more questions.
The first section of this highly entertaining book centers around the experiences that formed the foundation of his interest in the paranormal. His mother’s copy of the Reader’s Digest Mysteries of the Unexplained filled him with wonder at what might lie just beyond the perception of his five senses. A feeling of suddenly being watched while doing homework in his living room terrified him. Questions about what happens after death kept him awake at night as he imagined what it would be like to simply not exist anymore.
The second section delves into some of the experiences Bensen has had as an adult working with AAPI. This is where I have to argue with the author’s assertion that he’s really not a writer. He may not be, BUT he is a spectacular storyteller. In fact, he’s the kind of storyteller that finds himself in the center of a group of people in a bar regaling a captive audience with tales of his investigative exploits.
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much while reading stories about paranormal investigation and the sometimes silly things we do while in a derelict building in the middle of the night. While investigating Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky, Bensen recalls seeing something peek at him from a darkened doorway at the end of a hall. It moved in and out of sight very quickly leaving just enough time for the author to be sure he had seen…something…
“I knew what I had to do, so I walked to the doorway cursing the thing for putting me in this situation. I very reluctantly leaned so I could see into the room knowing full well if something was standing there looking back at me that I’d likely crap my pants and have a heart attack in no particular order. Since I am writing this, you can safely conclude nothing was visible.”
The book is full of stories like this, and Bensen’s self-deprecating humor brings something we rarely see when we tune into our favorite paranormal investigation TV shows or read various books on the subject. It’s the laugh that releases the tension we feel when surrounded by experiences we cannot possibly explain, and the punchline to the question of why we stand in the dark asking questions to thin air in hopes of an intelligent response.
Ultimately, some of these things really are funny but far too often they are presented so seriously, I think, because our field of interest is mocked by so many. How else do you explain the ever present melodramatic narration over 75% of filmed investigations?
What the reader may not realize is just how much they’re learning and the tips they’re being given along the way. AAPI’s approach to investigation is laid out for other investigators to learn from as Bensen tells his story. From their unique approaches to EVP sessions to the reasons why they keep their group small during investigations for more control. It is fascinating to view the inner workings of other investigators and Bensen presents the information with a wink and a nod to his readers.
As he concludes his books, Bensen ponders what he has learned and the conclusions he has reached after years of investigation. Does he consider himself an expert? Not even close. And he wonders how one can be called an expert in a field where there are so few answers to go around to the many questions before us. He continues, however, to ask those questions, to uncover more evidence, and to ultimately shed a little more light in the darkness.
Oh and by the way, yes, he is a writer.
Supposedly Haunted is available on Amazon. Pick up your copy today!