A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven: (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process).
Yes. That is a book title—a book written by Corey Taylor, the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour. When I first heard about it, I didn’t know what to think. An overloaded title for an over-egotistical rock star. But when I heard what it was about, I realized I wanted to read it.
Made Peace with the Paranormal. What does that even mean? When my fiancé told me the title, I just looked at him like a cat does when you’ve been baby-talking to him for four minutes straight. What? No one else does that? Anyway… He explained it to me this way:
“It’s the lead singer of Slipknot.”
“It’s his second book.”
“It’s about his experiences with the paranormal.”
And that’s all it took. We started listening to the audio book that very day. Taylor narrates himself which, in a way is cool. In another way it’s slightly an ego thing, but if my titles were ever made into audio books, I’d either want myself or James Earl Jones to read them.
Now, on to the substance of the book. Aside from Taylor’s many random, pages-long tangents about religion, exorcisms, “arm-chair science” and ginger ghosts (yes, you read that right), it was quite interesting to hear about his adventures with friends, band mates and fellow paranormal investigators. Like any rock star you’d imagine he had a lot of fun. The book is written quite well aside from a few redundant words and a bit much of the thesaurus from time to time.
I do have a gripe, however. I’d never say this to his face (right, like I’d ever meet him in person or he’d ever read my lonely blog), but his experiences were…lackluster. And in the book, he says each one is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to him. Among these experiences include:
- Seeing a vagrant homeless man in an abandoned house (which he believes was a ghost);
- Hearing whistling in a hallway where no one claimed to be;
- A vase being pushed off the ledge of a counter;
- Being shoved from behind;
Note that during each of these experiences, he was either fatigued or distracted. The other instances I did not mention were those of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis can be quite scary. A feeling of being unable to move or breathe. Some people even experience seeing shadows dart around the room. I’ve even heard stories about one male friend of mine who said an old woman would sit on his chest at night while another said someone constantly screamed in his face while falling asleep. One time (after a lengthy few days of playing Silent Hill in the dark), I had an experience where I woke up and saw three mannequins standing by the closet. I thought, “Huh…” I turned over, tried to shake my fiancé awake to no avail, then looked again and noticed they were just jackets hanging up. Needless to say, the closet stayed closed the rest of the time we lived there.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not demeaning Taylor’s experiences at all. I’m simply saying that there are quite rational explanations for them. I dabbled in paranormal investigation for years (I’m even certified), and I try to come up with rational explanations for everything I’ve experienced. These include:
- Someone blowing air right in my face when no one was there;
- Feeling as though someone was grabbing my arm (we took a photo later and it was all red);
- Hearing gunshots in an empty room;
- Feeling someone wrap their arms around my legs.
All I’m saying is that we can’t trust a lot of technology to record ghosts or spirits. Audio devices have static and artifacts, video is never clear in the dark, and even our own senses betray us at times. If you stand near a circuit breaker box long enough, you’ll feel paranoid or sick because the electromagnetic field around it is messing with your waves. And let’s not forget when you go somewhere or do something expecting to be scared and running around in the dark… Come on. Our minds play tricks on us.
All that being said, it was a fun book and I recommend it. And I promise I’ll go into all my paranormal experiences in a later blog post, so stay tuned!
What are some paranormal experiences that have happened to you? Enquiring minds want to know!