Full disclosure: I have thrown more than one book across the room at various times.
But few books have wormed their insidious way into my consciousness and most significantly, into my dreams like the one I’m going to tell you about.
The book is a piece of garbage titled The Demonologist by Some Jerk. Or Gerald Daniel Brittle. Anyway, for a taste of how the book reads, visit the official website, which, like yours truly, has its own domain name (but to be fair, so does 1111spiritguardians.com).
This book was thrust in my direction by a friend, now unbefriended. Being a good sport (and terrible reading at blurbs) I cracked open the purple-ish cover with a luminescent cross and began to read.
So, as the subtitle suggests, the book is about the “extraordinary career of Ed and Lorraine Warren.” If you’re at all familiar with The Amityville Horror, in either book or film form, then you’ll know them as the demon diagnosing duo that assisted in discovering the dark, haunted past of the infamous house. If you’re more into modern horror, you’ll know them as the attractive couple helping the haunted family in The Conjuring.
Now first of all, let’s address the author. After the most cursory of Google searches, I’ve found it hard to verify he even exists (as the old maxim goes “If you ain’t on page 1 in the Google search, you ain’t real). In the book, he lavishes such obsequious and uncritical praise of the demon-fighting couple, one begins to suspect the book was either penned by the Warrens themselves, or Dobby the house-elf.
The book itself is bad. Badly written and more prejudiced than your Great Aunt Edna at Thanksgiving dinner. I was so incredulous, I read parts out loud to see if they sounded as ridiculous as they appeared. They did. I threw the book, more than once, yet despite my distaste I always picked it up again, and I ended up finishing it.
That’s when the real nightmare began.
The book, for all its flaws, has some creepy parts. The story of the possessed doll, in particular, provided moments of creeping dread in my mind (that doll is now immortalized in the forgettable horror film Annabelle).
I’ve never been particularly enamored of demon possession. The Exorcist is too cheesy to be creepy (minus the infamous spider-crawl down the stairs scene) and while I enjoyed The Exorcism of Emily Rose, it’s just not scary stuff.
Until the nightmares.
Boy, did I have nightmares! I dreamed I would walk into my bedroom and furniture would be rearranged and I would cry “demons!” and then stuff began to levitate, including me (for some reason I never attributed this to the more obvious cause: poltergeists).
The nightmares were exacerbated by a real-life episode in which I woke in my locked bedroom to find my nightstand pulled out from the wall and turned to face my bed. I prefer to attribute the cause to a giant bug and the possible presence of alcoholic influences.
The nightmares occurred regularly for months after reading the book.
My story has two main points:
- The Demonologist is terrible.
- Terrible books can still be worth reading. They can still change your life or change you. They can be a massive waste of time or an adventure you survived.